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car rental in edinburgh

I am planning to rent a car in Edinburgh. I have never driven in the UK before. I will be staying just off the Royal Mile. Would you recommend renting a vehicle in the city center or at EDI? I don't mind taking a taxi/uber to the airport to pick up a rental if it would be easier to navigate. Which would be easier to navigate in and out of the city for pick up and drop off? I will be leaving Edinburgh for Aberdeen and returning to Edinburgh from Stirling. Thanks!

Posted by
488 posts

We turned in a rental at EDI and took the tram into the city, which was pretty easy. We were coming from the north and the highway led pretty much to the airport, so you would be doing the same thing in reverse. We took a taxi to the airport when leaving because we had to leave for the airport before the trams started running. That was reasonable, as I recall. It's generally not recommended to drive in the city center, especially if it's your first experience and because of traffic restrictions. For returning the car, there are ring roads around the city to get you to the airport.

Posted by
2230 posts

yes head out to the airport,there is a big car hire hub there with all the major international companies.
take the tram, takes only 30 minutes and stop almost at the hire hub.
easy to reach the motorways to Aberdeen and easy to return the car to the airport from Stirling without having to drive in Edinburgh.

Posted by
486 posts

We decided to avoid even EDI and returned our rental car in Perth, then took the train into Edinburgh. It was so easy to drive into Perth and drop the car right near the train station.

Posted by
5330 posts

I feel obligated to point out that you do not have to rent the car at the airport. I have rented several cars at City Centre in Edinburgh and managed to navigate my way north out of the city. Rather than focusing on the difficulty of navigating out of the city the bigger issue is the wait time for your car. For my most recent trip in June 2018 we had quite a line to get the car. So, I would recommend thinking about the time it takes to gets to the airport vs when you are ready to get your car. If you want to get it at prime time--between 10mAM and probably 2 PM then go to the airport. On the other hand if you want to get going first thing then stay in the city and get a head start.

Posted by
1297 posts

If you’ve never driven on the right side, rent at the airport. The unique perspective of driving on the right side is likely to freak out your passenger on the left. My husband and I were yelling at each other 5 minutes after leaving the EDI airport. We decided that if I as passenger thought the driver, my husband, was too close to the curb, I would calmly state “curb”.