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Practical Car & Van Rental?

Has anyone used this car/van rental company? We had thought we might take the train from Edinburgh to Oban, then pick up a car there for the remainder of our trip (delaying the driving as long as possible :/). But, as most everyone probably knows, Celtic/Arnold Clark does not have a location there. I found Practical using a simple google search, so thought if anyone had any experience with this company, it would be lovely to hear it.....

Posted by
1137 posts

I've not heard of them. Doing a google search they describe themselves as the fourth largest vehicle rental company in the United Kingdom with over 150 locations situated throughout the UK and EIRE. The different branches seem to be franchises which makes it difficult to find reviews for Oban. Their Facebook page for Oban has two reviews with the overall score of 3. Out of intereast, I tried making a spoof booking for Oban for different dates and kept getting the message 'sorry no results'...

There is also Flit Vehicle Hire, which seem to be a local company. Hoiwever you would need to check if they do a one way hire unless you are intending to return the car to Oban.

Posted by
1946 posts

I've also just found this other local company-
but can't tell you anything about them.

I'm sure there used to be one of the national companies just behind the station, but can't just place it at the moment.

Visit Oban suggest (who seem to be a consolidator) but I get no results for Oban when I try it.

I at least could make a spoof booking for Oban for Practical for tomorrow.

Posted by
3329 posts

I'm not trying to talk you out of renting a car in Oban, but I was thinking one thing you might do is rent a car at Glasgow outside the city. You could take the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow then pick up a car outside the city or even at the airport. That would reduce your driving time but give you much better access to rental cars. I'm picking mine up at the Arnold Clark office on South St., which is outside the city, or you could pick it up at the airport also.

It also wouldn't be that difficult to pick up the car at Edinburgh airport either. Whichever route you choose, there's very pretty scenery from there to Oban and you'll be passing near Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

That said, I did some checking on Practical and it looks like they are adding lots of new locations (this is from their Facebook page). They do have ads on Visit Scotland and are listed on the Undiscovered Scotland rental car page. It sounds like they've been around for awhile but have only recently started renting from Oban.. You could try emailing them and request a quote at

Here are a few positive reviews from Trip Advisor - you might be able to find more:

Posted by
33 posts

Wow, you all are so helpful! You’ve done more research on my behalf than i have! I’m grateful and a little embarrassed. I will look into all the info you provided. I did send Practical a message - we will see what they come back with, hopefully tomorrow.

Mardee, I have thought of the Glasgow idea as well (we would save on the second destination drop off as a bonus). My first inclination was Edinburgh, too.
Truth be told, I think my husband wants to work in a train excursion and the trip to Oban - our first leg - seemed to be the obvious choice.

Anyway, I’ll do a bit more digging based on all of your feedback. I think I’m still exhausted from working out the itinerary and accommodations. Hopefully, this won’t be as stressful. Worst case, we can just drive the whole way and I can plop the husband on a train and meet him on the other end!

Thanks again!