Guide to renting a car in Scotland

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Welcome to Scotland!

Whether you’re planning to wind through the majestic Highlands or seek out the historic nooks and crannies of cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow, renting a car is your ticket to freedom.

Here’s everything you need to know about renting a car in Scotland, from booking tips to navigating the roads.

Planning Your Scottish Road Trip: Car Rental Tips

Booking Ahead is Key: The earlier you book, the better the rates you’ll find, especially during the busy summer months.

Look for platforms like or to compare prices and find the best deal.

Most companies offer free cancellation, so you can rebook if you find a better rate later.

Airport Pick-up: Picking up your rental car at arrival airports like Edinburgh or Glasgow is convenient and often more affordable due to competitive pricing.

However, remember that cities are easily walkable, and you might not need a car until you’re ready to explore beyond.

Driving in Scotland: What You Need to Know

Stay Left: Driving on the left side of the road is standard in the UK.

An automatic vehicle might simplify your driving experience if you’re not accustomed to this.

Get a feel for the vehicle in a parking lot or a quiet street before hitting the busier roads.

Narrow and Windy Roads: Many Scottish roads, especially in rural areas, are narrow and winding.

Opt for a smaller car for easier manoeuvrability and always use passing places to allow overtaking.

Prepare for Weather: Scottish weather can be unpredictable.

Ensure your rental is suitable for rain or wind, and always pack a raincoat or umbrella.

Legalities and Safety

License and Age Requirements: Most rental companies require drivers to be at least 21 with a valid driver’s license.

An International Driving Permit isn’t usually necessary but check ahead for your specific situation.

Get Insured: Check if your travel insurance or credit card offers rental car coverage.

If not, consider purchasing insurance from the rental company for peace of mind.

Always document the car’s condition before setting off.

On the Road in Scotland

Navigation: Consider an eSIM for data coverage or download offline maps.

Rural areas may have limited service, so plan your route.

Parking Savvy: Parking in major cities can be a challenge.

Seek accommodations with parking or look for public parking areas.

Remember to pay for enough time to avoid fines.

Fuel Up: Petrol stations are common, but it’s wise to fill up before heading into remote areas.

Remember that fuel in the UK is sold by the litre and can be more expensive than what you’re used to.

Use an app like Petrolprices to find the cheapest fuel station near you.

Returning Your Rental

Check Before You Leave: Inspect the car for any new damages upon return and ensure the fuel level matches the pick-up condition.

Take photos for your records.

Enhancing Your Scottish Driving Experience

Packing Essentials: Bring your driver’s license, phone mount, charger, sunglasses, and perhaps a travel pillow for comfort.

Consider a portable jumpstart kit for emergencies.

Driving through Scotland in a rental car allows you to explore at your own pace, visit off-the-beaten-path locations, and make unforgettable memories.

With these tips, you’re ready to hit the road and enjoy all the wonders Scotland has to offer.

Safe travels and enjoy your adventure!

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