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5 day tour or rent a car?

I have been to Scotland before and loved it so much I'm heading back! Flying in and out of Edinburgh. I'm comfortable driving on the left side of the road since everything is in English. From those who have driven the "country side" it is better to drive myself (and mom) to the places I want to see or go on a 5day tour? Thank you in advance.

Posted by
248 posts

1st, full disclosure: 21 trips to Europe and 19 car rentals. And, as you have probably read from innumerable previous posts on this topic there's quite a divide between the renters and the public trans accificandos. Once out of the large city, the rental car enables me to explore the area at my own pace and on my own time schedule; for me, this is ideal. Traveling to Oban from Edinburgh via Glasgow was a snap with easy stop overs at a distillery or two with a car.
Now one of the downsides of traveling by car is that you won't have an opportunity to chat a bit with other passengers but there is usually ample time to meet and chat with locals at a cafe, pub, etc.
Safe travels!

Posted by
556 posts

I agree with what Craig said, if you like the chance to explore at your own pace then rent the car. You will meet plenty of fellow travellers at the stops you make, and if you stay in B&Bs instead of hotels. If you are not planning on spending any time in Edinburgh on this trip then it will be easy to pick up a car at the airport and drop it there when you are done. I think if you are going to join a tour you will have to spend a bit of time in Edinburgh in order to join a tour as you will have to match your schedule to theirs, and you may not see as much as you want. Of course, with a tour a lot of things will be done for you such as accommodation and sight entry, but a tour may not go where you want.

Posted by
136 posts

We will be going in April and I went back and forth over car or tour. Since my husband will be doing the driving as he has always does, I thought I would give him a chance to see the scenery. We will be driving up from Cardiff to Edinburgh with stops in Durham area but we are going to do the Rabbie's small group Highlands tour. 12 people mini bus (not van), they drive, they arrange places to stay, you tell them hotel, b&b, hostel. We chose b&b ensuite. They pick up each morning and do the driving and tourist info. We like to drive ourselves however I thought this one might be better for my husband, since it is the beginning of a 2 month European vacation I figure we should both relax.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks Katie, I am too planning my trip and debating whether to rent a car vs. taking the train to Inverness. Or taking the train and then renting the car in Inverness. My husband will do most of the driving. I too like the freedom of stopping when and wherever we want to. My main concern now is the weather at this time of the year. I hear from various locals there that you "never know" it can snow, rain, or be sunny. Of course driving on the opposite side of the car and road will be a challenge initially, but most people say they can easily adapt.