I am going to rent a car when leaving Edinburgh and heading up to Stirling, Isle of Skye and Inverness. Do i need to purchase the GPS from rental car company or will the WAZE app on my phone have all of the remote areas that i will need to access?
If your system relies on a phone/wifi signal while you are driving then the answer is probably no. You need a system where the maps are downloaded and not accessed via 4G or wifi while on the move. Even at my home we don't have a mobile phone signal!
Down load google maps for the areas you will be in from home before you leave. Then you gave GPS without using data.
Instead of relying on a satnav/GPS, why not try out your map reading skills? You can get an AA road atlas at most supermarket filling stations for one pound 99, or at most WH Smith shops or TI offices for 8 pounds 99. Yes, it's the same atlas.
There aren't that many roads in Scotland, especially in the remote areas, and they're well signposted. You can save money, and avoid looking away from the road to check your satnav.
By all means, avoid renting a satnav with your hired car. It's one of the biggest moneymakers for car hire companies in Britain.
I agree with Mike (auchterless)! I've lived in the UK all my life and never owned a SATNAV. I love maps - they show you so much more than just where the roads go. In addition to the road atlases that will get you from A to B, you could do worse than check out the Ordnance Survey range of maps in many different scales from maps that are essentially a similar scale to a road atlas, to scales that will enable you to hike with a compass in some very remote areas of Scotland.
As noted above, Google Maps (and perhaps Waze also) can have maps downloaded ahead of time "offline" and then you can use your phone as a GPS - without any mobile data or signal. GPS actually works without mobile data, just like a GPS- stand alone unit (more or less). Your phone doesn't need a SIM card to work as a GPS, but it needs the maps downloaded to show you where you are on a map and provide directions.
You can try this out at home in your home area. Try downloading the "offline" map for your area. Then put the phone in airplane mode. Then use the phone to drive and navigate somewhere. Will work the same way in Scotland.
You're right about the OS maps. OS 23 and 32 have come in very handy for us several times, especially hiking from Coruisk to Sligachan. I try to get them for wherever we go in Scotland, especially for the Inner and Outer Hebrides.
I wish that more people relied on maps, I'm sure that SATNAV/GPS comes in handy in cities, but once you're out in the countryside, map reading and interpreting makes the journey much more interesting.
Hope your weather isn't as bad as ours!
What a fantastic hike that is and an OS map would certainly come in handy. As for the weather - we don't have the polar vortex, but we do have a nice covering of snow, even here at 100 feet above sea level on Loch Dunvegan.
I use google maps navigation when i need to even for just walking around areas I don't know well but all the hire cars I have had in the last few years have had Sat Nav built in, I certainly would not pay extra for it.