If you're a car enthusiast and are looking to plan your next adventure, this post is for you! The UK has some of the world’s most impressive collections of motoring vehicles, with cars from the 1800s right through to present day. So why not take a trip down memory lane and dive back into motoring history to see how far we've come along the automotive road?
Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has put together a list of the best car and motor museums in the UK, ranging from museums exhibiting the first cars ever made, to the country's only museum dedicated to displaying microcars.
Location: Gaydon, Warwickshire
The British Motor Museum is home to the world's most extensive collection of antique British vehicles. Located in the little village of Gaydon, Warwickshire, off junction 12 of the M40, the British Motor Museum is positioned in a beautiful landscaped setting of the Warwickshire countryside. The museum tells the fascinating story of Britain's motor industry displaying the designers, the cars, the factories, the workers, the publicity and the drivers with their interactive trails and tours.
The British Motor Museum has an impressive array of vehicles, including the first Land Rover and the last ever Aston Martin DB7. Their collection consists of more than 300 vehicles on exhibition ranging from the classic, vintage and veteran eras dating back to 1869. The British Motor Museum is perfect for those wanting to find out more about British motoring history with fascinating exhibitions and family activities, making it popular with car enthusiasts and families alike.
Location: Beaulieu, New Forest national park, Hampshire
The National Motor Museum is home to over 250 vehicles telling the history of motoring. Located in the heart of the glorious New Forest national park, Beaulieu is one of the South's top visitor attractions. You can visit the Palace House and Gardens, which was the home of the Montagu family since 1538. The world-famous National Motor Museum has one of the finest collections of cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia globally, from the earliest motor carriages to classic family saloons.
The museum also has a World of Top Gear display where you can see some of the cars from Jeremy, James and Richard's most ambitious challenges. The collection showcases every era of the Top Gear challenges, including old favourites like the Reliant Robin Space Shuttle and fresh, new exhibits. The National Motor Museum offers plenty more marvellous exhibitions, so it's definitely worth a visit to see their unique collection.
Location: Clover Farm, Boston, Lincolnshire
The Bubblecar Museum is a quirky little institution with a range of 1950/60s microcars and scooters. The museum is located in Clover Farm, Boston Lincolnshire, which offers a campsite, tearooms and a gift shop with lots of toys and memorabilia. This is the only public museum in the UK that is dedicated to microcars. Their displays show how microcars (or bubblecars) are a significant part of British motoring history. These vehicles were an alternative to full-size cars powered by engines of less than 700cc in size. The Bubblecar museum is a great place to visit, delving into the details of this significant part of British motoring history, from their beginning in the times of hardship after WWII through to the 60s.
Location: Covent Garden, London
London Transport Museum showcases the heritage of London and its transport system, showing stories of the people who have worked and travelled to the city over the last 200 years. The museum is located in the heart of Covent Garden and has an extraordinary collection of past, present, and future London and its transport system. The museum shows historic vehicles, world-famous posters, original maps, and signs that are brought together to tell the story of London's development and how transport played in defining the city's unique identity. London Transport Museum is a great place to visit if you want to see how the city has changed due to the transportation improvements and see what's next for the future.
Location: Yeovil, Somerset
Haynes Motor Museum is a fantastic museum offering an excellent day out for everyone, with more than 400 cars displayed in stunning style, dating from the 1800s to the present day. The multi-award-winning museum is located in Sparkford, Yeovil, and is named a finalist for the Service Excellence Award at the Somerset Business Awards. The motor museum has also been awarded the WE'RE GOOD TO GO industry charter mark by Visit England. WE'RE GOOD TO GO are the official UK mark to indicate that a hospitality and tourism business has worked hard to abide by Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for everyone.
The museum offers a jam-packed programme of exhibitions, tours, talks, and events all year round. From collection tours to family summer activities, there are plenty of events to interest motoring enthusiasts, young and old.
Planning your next car themed adventure? Take a look at our comprehensive motoring and leasing blogs on everything from the Top 5 Car Themed Family Days Out and Top 10 UK drives to do before you die. Feel free to let us know your favourite car themed family day out in the comments below.