Please sign in to post.

Car Rental in Oban?

Is it possible to rent a car in Oban or do we have to consider a larger town for a car rental? I'm
trying to avoid city driving at all costs.
We are thinking of taking a train to Oban from Edinburgh (our arrival and departure airport) then renting a car, if available, to head to Glencoe area for 2 nights, then continuing to Skye for another 2 nights. We have considerable gaps in our Sept. 2016 9-day itinerary that we are trying to fill (love hiking, historical and cultural sights too). We would like to minimize the driving but it seems the only way to have the independence to stop and savor the sights.
Anyone know of other towns that provide car rentals in this vicinity? Or should I just give up and rent a car at Edinburgh airport or train station? I had a bad experience returning a rental car to the Florence airport a couple of years ago and I said "never again!".

Posted by
5678 posts

Hi Leslie, If you are nervous about driving out of Edinburgh, you will be okay. Here's the route that I would suggest--past Stirling. Edinburgh is much, much easier to deal with than Florence. :)

The driving will be okay. You will find that the freedom it gives you will compensate for other concerns.

Let me know your itinerary and I can suggest some walks. I've done a bit of it. :)


Posted by
3122 posts

I totally understand your wish to avoid city driving. Be aware, though, that Scotland's rural roads can be nerve-wracking in their own way. You will encounter steep cliffs on the side of the road and, in other places, hedgerows along the side barely disguising stone walls that can scrape the hell out of your paint job if you're not careful. Buses, trucks, and drivers hastening to catch a ferry may ride on your rear bumper. I'm not saying this to scare you but just to dispel any idea that rural driving would be stress free.

That said, I can vouch for the car rental return at Edinburgh airport being pretty well marked and straightforward. The only challenge is, once you leave the car rental area, it's a fairly long trek with your luggage to get to the taxi stand.

In any case, you're right that you will need a car to see the sights in the highlands. Near Glencoe you can see Kilchurn Castle (a ruin) and tour the Cruachan "hollow mountain" hydroelectric power station. If you drive south to Inveraray you can tour Inveraray Castle and the unique Auchindrain Township open-air museum. Northeast to Skye you can tour Eilean Donan Castle on the mainland and/or Dunvegan Castle on the Isle. Either way you're likely to pass through Fort William, where you can see Old Inverlochy Castle (a ruin) and the Neptune's Staircase ship locks.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for the information regarding rental cars. I 'll have to be cautious whether it's city or rural driving....
Some potential Glencoe hikes include Lost Valley and the Devil's Staircase. Hikes on Skye include -Old Man of Storr, Quiraing. But I'm having difficulty finding accommodations on Skye...
We have 3 days left to plan after Skye before heading back to Edinburgh. I'm optimistic it will work out!

Posted by
3122 posts

If you drive from Skye along the northern shore of Loch Ness here is a day's worth of sightseeing suggestions (or you could split it up into 2 days if you want to see more in depth). First, stop at Urquhart Castle, which is a ruin but has plenty of interpretive plaques, free tour guides and costumed interpreters. It is also possible to take a Loch Ness cruise from the Urquhart Castle site. A couple of miles onward is the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, a fairly science-based experience about the history of "Nessie" myths and explorations. Continue past Inverness for Culloden Battlefield and Cawdor Castle, also Clava Cairns if that interests you. You can end up for the night in Nairn on the shore of the Moray Firth. (I can recommend a B&B called Tali Ayer in Nairn.)
From Nairn you can drive back to Edinburgh by way of Pitlochry and Stirling, or branch off to the east to see Glamis Castle and St. Andrews, or take the coastal route via Aberdeen (which I'm told is not all that scenic).

Posted by
1014 posts

A GPS is essential now days. Take one with a Europe chip or rent a car with one.