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car travel Skye/highlands

Hello- I am coming up empty and hope someone can help...I am traveling by train from Edinburgh to get to Skye. I will spend 2 days on Skye then go to the Inverness area where I would like to drop the car before traveling south to Edinburgh by train. I can't seem to find anyone to rent a car that can do this (rent on Skye, drop in Inverness). . I am also nervous to drive and especially a manual as it is on the opposite side for me. I did find one place (Kyle Taxis on Skye)) but they have no more availability left for automatics on Sept 30th. Has anyone got ideas or maybe I need a whole different idea altogether for the itinerary and transportation options. Would also love to hear from any other US drivers that can tell me what to expect. Thank you!

Posted by
7655 posts

This may not help, given your stated plan, but we rented in Inverness, having flown there, not taken a train. We rented from Arnold Clark, and drove to Skye, then ferried back to the mainland, turning the car back in at the Edinburgh airport. Worked very well.

So we went counter-clockwise (“anti-clockwise as they’d say in the UK), not clockwise.

And drove clear to Edinburgh, using no trains.

And had a manual transmission, but drive a stick at home, but being left-handed, it might make a difference, maybe not.

A Skye-based rental company might not have other locations on the mainland, so if you can pick up somewhere in the mainland, using a nationwide company, then drop off elsewhere on the mainland, you’ll likely have more options for returning it in Inverness, if that’s what you’re still planning to do.

Posted by
9892 posts

You could also rent just on Skye and then take a bus to Kyleakin and catch the train that goes up to Inverness. It is supposed to be a spectacular train ride.

Posted by
6113 posts

I don’t want to dampen your plans, but Skye isn’t the best place to be learning to drive if you are nervous about driving here, with its narrow roads and heavy traffic loads. Have you looked into a Rabbies tour? Less stress.

Posted by
1227 posts

Hello Kristinnasman

What you propose will simply not be possible. The car rental companies on Skye are all very small and will not be able to cope with a one way rental ending in Inverness. You may be able to find one who will meet your train at Kyle of Lochalsh and also accept a drop off at the same location, enabling you to take the train from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness (note that the train goes from Kyle of Lochalsh and not Kyleakin as stated by a previous poster).

Companies on Skye to try include Morrisons, M2 Motors, and Jans Vans. They are all Skye based and as far as I know will meet the trains at Kyle of Lochalsh.

Automatics are likely to be in short supply as most people in the UK drive manual shift cars.

Skye is not the easiest place to become accustomed to driving on the other side of the road as many of our roads are narrow and even single track roads. Perhaps you would be better off considering a tour of Skye, from a company such as Skye Jeep Tours or similar?

I hope this helps.

Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
4 posts

you were all very helpful and confirmed what I was thinking and now I can move on in my travel planning! I appreciate all of your responses very much!