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car rental - Inverness

Hi! My husband and I have a trip planned to the Scottish Highlands in October of this year. We've only been as far as Edinburgh previously. We fly in and out of Inverness after a layover at London Heathrow. British airways has changed our flight and we now arrive into Inverness at 9 pm on a Friday night (versus our original arrival time of 2:50 pm). I need to change the time of our car rental pick-up, but before I do, I'm wondering if it would be easier to take a taxi or train from the airport into the city and then rent a car the next day for our 8 day trip? We plan to drive around quite a bit. I'm a little concerned about picking the car up at the airport and having to drive in the dark on the opposite side of the road from the airport to the city. Has anyone had experience with car rental at the airport versus in the city? Is one much easier than the other? I believe our car rental company is Sixt. Thanks for your help!!

Lisa

Posted by
6788 posts

I agree, don't pick up the car until you actually have a need for it. You're probably going to be pretty tired on arrival (how many hours from when you lock your front door at home and when you arrive in Inverness?...assume you get no sleep en route, what kind of shape will you be in to drive?). It would be an easy choice for me: stay in an airport hotel, or get into town via taxi or other public transportation, don't be the driver (your flight won't arrive until 9 pm, even if it's on time, what need will you really have for a car in Inverness after 10 pm your arrival night?). Another reason: pay for one less day of car rental, save some money.

Posted by
1376 posts

Hi, Lisa,

To add to what David advised, check with your hotel, whether it's at the airport or in town, to make sure that you can get something to eat upon your arrival. It sounds as though you have a long day ahead of you, and there may not be much open once you arrive in Inverness. Since you have a long layover at Heathrow, another alternative would be to pick up some food to go before your flight to Inverness.

As you have ten months to go until your holiday, there's always the chance that BA will change your connecting flight again, perhaps to an earlier time.

Very best wishes for your holiday, and Happy New Year!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
6788 posts

Mike makes some very good points above, I'd like to reinforce a couple of them:

First, about your flights: Your flights WILL change between now and October. Count on it. They might change more than once. All airlines shuffle their schedules throughout the year. IME British Airways shuffles more than others. You will want to keep an eye on them (and BA is not always good about notifying you about changes, you need to be proactive and check them every month or two).

Second, on food: We arrived in Inverness late (9-10 pm) after a loop through the Highlands, and dropped off our rental car there (we were flying to the Outer Hebrides early the following morning). We were staying at a BnB on the edge of town. When we got there, at that hour we were unable to find any open restaurant or other food option within reasonable proximity to our BnB. We gave up and went to bed hungry. So it's not a bad idea to have some kind of snacks or survival rations along to keep you from going to sleep with an empty, growling stomach.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you so much for the information! I think I'll wait to make any changes - I agree - BA is likely to change the flight again. If there is no change, we'll make sure to grab some type of food during our long layover (we plan to see Windsor Castle since we have an 8 hour layover). I was concerned about eating up time the next morning obtaining a rental car in the city, but I'll feel better driving during daylight hours (especially when we're likely to be so tired the night before). It's good to know there's no train from the airport to Inverness. We'll Uber or Taxi to our hotel. This site is wonderful. Thanks for your help!

Posted by
1376 posts

Hi again, Lisa,

Just in case all else fails, there are several Tesco supermarkets in Inverness open until midnight. The big one, near Raigmore Hospital, is open 24 hours. So if you're starving by the time your flight arrives, and you're staying in town, you could ask your Uber/taxi driver to wait for you while you run in for a ready made sandwich, or something to which you can add hot water in your hotel room.

Best wishes once again.

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
1188 posts

Hi Lisa
There are few BA flights from LHR to Inverness so don't count on it changing again. I would stay overnight at the Courtyard by Marriott at the airport - the only airport hotel. Then pick up your car next morning.

Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
15 posts

Hi Jacqui,

Thanks for the heads up. We did end up booking a room at the Courtyard Marriott by the hotel. I think it may be within walking distance to the Sixt car rental place.

We figured that since we're arriving late in the season (Oct. 13th), we would pick up our car the next day and head to Skye. Maybe a few more places will be open if we start there. We can explore Inverness and Culloden, etc., on the end of our trip.

Thanks so much for all the advice!

Lisa