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Car Hire: Isle of Skye Questions / Advice / Recommendations

I am in the process of cobbling together a postponed trip to Scotland originally planned for May 2020. If Covid restrictions allow, the trip will now take place in late August/early September. The history is not especially important in my query. I am just mindful that some do not believe that planning at this time--as Covid and necessary Covid restrictions are sorted out—is prudent. I understand. I'm not insensitive to the toll that Covid has taken (and is taking) on our world.

However, I have quite a few vouchers as a result of Covid cancellations. I am eager to make this trip when it is possible. This will be my first trip to Scotland, and I’m resolved to be optimistic while it seems there is yet some reason to be.

On my revised itinerary, we would need a car for six days (ideally picking up at Kyle of Lochalsh train station and returning it to the ferry terminal at Armadale. In the interim, my husband and I would be making a trip down to Glencoe before arriving on Skye via Mallaig/Armadale and heading over to Portree where we will be based for three days. I hope/assume that car rental companies would allow this. ?

We were not originally going to make this dip down to Glencoe. (We will be coming to Kyle of Lochalsh via train from Inverness.) We originally would have gone on to Glencoe after leaving the Isle of Syke. However, in trying to reschedule, I am having to shift some things around based on when accommodations and a specific tour are available. (Rabbie’s North Coast 500, for instance, only occurs Thursday to Saturday each week.)

The Rick Steves guidebook for Scotland for 2020 seems to suggest that M-2 Motors might be the most amenable to the type of rental we are seeking. However, the business’s website has been down for, at least, a week. Maybe longer? Does anyone know if the company is still operating?

I sent a query to Morrison but have yet to get a response. (It’s only been a few days. Maybe I will soon.) As restrictions have only recently loosened perhaps businesses have not yet resumed or are just getting their staffs back to work. ?

I know I have quite a bit of time to work this out, but I do want to reserve an automatic, so securing this reservation is fairly high on my “to do” list.

I’d appreciate any information, advice, recommendations, etc.


Posted by
20802 posts

Can't help with your car questions but want to warn you of the likely need for dinner reservations in Portree. Skye's tourist infrastructure has lagged behind demand. If you want to have dinner sitting down, best to reserve. If that's impossible, it may work out if you show up at a restaurant at opening time (which can be quite early). Sunday is really challenging because that's a day off for quite a few of the restaurants but tourists still want to eat. The Fat Panda takeaway Chinese place is useful to know about. While I was waiting to pick up some food, a group of Chinese tourists arrived; I took that as a good sign.

I'm glad you've (apparently) got your accomdations worked out. That was also a challenge for me.

Posted by
71 posts

Thank you very much for the feedback. I had not thought, at all, about dinner reservations, and the additional options for a car hire look promising.

Posted by
587 posts

Morrisons would be my choice for car hire on the Skye, so bear with them if you can.

Dinner reservations are an absolute must as capacity is limited due to the need to have social distancing in place. Not sure of the best/recommended places in Portree at the moment as I live on the other side of the island, but there is a new sushi place that seems to get good reviews.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
74 posts

I used a company called Celtic Legend for my car hire in 2016. I picked up in Glasgow and dropped in Inverness. I took it on ferries and onto the Isles of Mull and Skye. I don’t know all their pickup points, but they were great to work with and quickly responded to emails. I would use them again, for sure. Also, you might consider renting in Inverness. The drive to/from Skye was quite pleasant and not time consuming. There was a place closer to Inverness to stop and take a short hike to waterfalls. I also did my trip in late August and was a solo traveler. It is so beautiful and having a car gave me the ability to stop when I wanted and go to places on my timeline. I hope you are able to go.