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Location to rent a car?

My husband and I are planning to fly into Glasgow and take the train to Edinburgh. After a few days in Edinburgh we would like to rent a car to explore St Andrews, Deeside, Speyside and possibly Isle of Skye. We then fly out of Glasgow. I’m concerned about driving out of downtown Edinburgh, as a Canadian driver. Is there an ideal location we could take a train to and pick up our rental car? Preferably one I can book ahead of time. Thank you for your help!

Posted by
1217 posts

Bus or tram to the Edinburgh airport decidedly outside the city center and then right onto the M9 when you exit the airport area is going to be pretty straightforward. Probably wouldn't be too expensive to drop a car at Glasgow airport at the end if you use one of the major companies.

Posted by
1217 posts

It's rather on the outskirts of the city, and you can get onto the motorways pretty quickly after a few short stretches on airport access roads.

Posted by
2519 posts

yes the airport is you best bet, the tram stops just yards from the car rental hub so no need to actually go into the airport. 5 minutes from the airport you will be on the roads north

Posted by
223 posts

This past September we did the same thing picking up a car at the Edinburgh airport and heading off to the Highlands. There was no difficulty leaving the airport and picking up the A9.
Depending on who you rent from the location may not be in the airport car rental hub. We rented a car through Celtic Legends but the vehicle was provided by Arnold Clark who have their own stand-alone facility in what seemed to be some distance away but still in the airport environs. Be sure you know of the exact address of your rental company in case your situation is similar.

Posted by
2801 posts

When you head toward Glasgow to return your car, the M8 motorway is well marked for the airport and you don't have to go through city streets at all.

If you'll be coming from the northwest (Isle of Skye), you'll take the A82 all the way down from Invergarry. It runs along the western shore of Loch Lomond between Arrochar and Balloch. Near the southern end is a hotel & restaurant called Duck Bay which could be a good place to stop for lunch, if you haven't done so up in Fort William. If you need to fill your tank with gas, Dumbarton is a convenient place to do that. You then go over the Erskine Bridge and pick up the M8 toward Glasgow.

Just be aware that the airport is in Paisley, not Glasgow proper (i.e., if you get to Glasgow, you've gone too far). The signs on the M8 for the airport are very prominent. Once you are on the airport "campus," watch carefully for the rental car return sign. I drove past it on the first try and had to "cheat" by backing up a few feet to avoid having to make the entire airport circuit a second time.