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Car Rental at the airport in Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

We are trying to rent a car online. Everyone's systems keep asking for a National insurance number and we cannot proceed. Are US citizen's allowed to rent cars in Scotland? Is it something we are doing wrong? Suggestions please.

Posted by
185 posts

Yes, citizens of the US are allowed to hire cars in Scotland and thousands do every year.

I've just looked at this site www.orkneycarhire.co.uk

I see what you mean about asking for a National Insurance number. However when I looked at the site it did explain that this is for UK license holders only. It is so that car hire companies can check licences prior to hiring their cars out to UK licence holders.

Do the sites which you have been looking at not say this?

Try again and omit NI number and see what happens next. The systems you have looked at should all to my mind be programmed to understand when someone is not a UK license holder and should then process the booking accordingly.

Posted by
58 posts

We tried just leaving the space blank but the system would not proceed. We have emailed the business you suggested and one other and we are waiting for a reply now.
Thanks!

Posted by
185 posts

I hope all goes well and you manage to sort out a car. Orkney is a fascinating place to visit. We spend a week there in 2001 and really enjoyed it.

Posted by
5586 posts

We rented a car from "W R Turlock" in Kirkwall. They're the local Ford dealer, with a car rental side-line. They were friendly and professional, couldn't have been easier. www.orkneycarrental.co.uk
Email them and they will walk you through the online setup process.
Pick up the car on arrival in the airport, drop it off when you leave. Piece of cake.
Orkney was awesome.

Posted by
5669 posts

I think we also went with Turlock--they met us at the airport. But as I look online again, it might have been this place. My dad arranged the rental.

Posted by
58 posts

Problem solved. We went with the first auto hire business to respond to our email. He said to just enter random numbers for the insurance to get past that requirement. That worked! We still need to plan the rest of the trip. I'll be back.

Posted by
1345 posts

I was a bit surprised that they asked for the NI number, so looked at the link. It does apply to UK drivers only as it is so the hire company can work out if the number of points we have on our licence mean we cannot hire with them.

The points we get for going too fast past a speed trap, ie the tourist scams operated by our own government ;-)

It links to the UK government department in charge of driving licences and is a useful thing for UK drivers. To get the points situation one needs the licence number and the NI number.

For our US friends, the National Insurance number (two letters, six numbers, one letter) is what officially pays for our rights to the NHS, pensions, and social security. The last known as 'the brew' in Glasgow. So your social security number.