I will be renting a car at Inverness Airport in September. Has anyone a recommendation on which company to use or to avoid?
We rented from Arnold Clark, and they picked us up at the Inverness airport (we had to wait a bit even though they knew what flight we were arriving on, and when), and drove us to their office in town. Once at their office it took them quite a while to get the paperwork completed so we could be on our way, but the price was good and the car was excellent. Turning it in at the Edinburgh airport couldn't have been simpler or faster, by the way.
Thank you for the Arthur Clarke site. I like to do business with local companies such as theirs. Unfortunately they have only manual transmissions and I am looking for an automatic.
Hi Kate- we rented a manual transmission, so it didn't even occur to me that they wouldn't have a variety of rental options. Sounds like you checked the Arnold Clark Website, but did you send them a direct inquiry about automatic transmission cars? It's almost 11 PM in Inverness right now, but if you contacted them with a specific transmission-type request, they might (maybe) be able to offer you a solution in the morning that wasn't immediately available on the Website you viewed. Best of Luck, but sometimes it helps to be shifty! ;-)
I've used National, but I think that you can use any of them. Yes, they are international, but all the people working there are local, so remember that!
As far as standard vs automatic goes, if you have routinely driven stick in the US, then you can drive stick in the UK. The pedals are the same, it just means that you use your left hand to shift and you get very quick with that in amazingly short time. Picking up the car in Inverness also means that you are not facing serious city traffic. Inverness is an overgrown town and has traffic, but is nothing like Glasgow of Edinburgh, which I don't find that bad either. London! Now that is a different story!
However, if you have not driven stick a lot, then I would encourage you to to get an automatic. You don't want to be learning stick when you are driving on the left!
I can strongly recommend Arnold Clark too. We rented from them 5 weeks ago. Picked us up from our accommodation in Inverness. Very professional company. We were very pleased with our rental (a manual by the way). A company of this size surely must have autos to rent.
I just checked Arnold Clark Inverness site. They in fact do rent both auto and manual. Not in the smallest compact range but from the Kia Picanto, Hyundai i30, Ford Mondeo range.
The Kia Picanto is tiny by British standards, let alone US ones. Imagine a supermarket trolley with an engine and you've basically got a Kia Picanto. If you are unused to driving on the left or on Scottish roads as well, try and get smaller than the Ford Mondeo, probably ether the Hyundai i30/ Ford Focus equivalent, or slightly smaller the i20/Ford Fiesta equivalent. Larger might be too large for your comfort, smaller than the i20 and you are in a shopping trolley, which is not always a pleasant drive with an automatic transmission.
Although we rented by size category and didn't know what model we'd wind up with, Arnold Clark rented us a Huyndai i30 (again, with a manual transmission, but they would surely have an automatic available), which for the 2 of us and our suitcases worked fine, even motoring up some steep highland roads. In Spain the year before, we had a Kia Picanto for a few days, and it was tiny - we had to pop off the hatch security panel to get both small suitcases to fit in the hatch compartment.
Thank s for telling me that Arnold Clark had automatic transmissions. I don't know how I missed it. I am booking with them. Their prices are the best I have found. To all who took the time to reply, I appreciate your input.