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Rental Car Edinburgh advice


I know this topic has come up few times but perhaps someone can share other insights.

We are renting a car in Edinburgh in May 2020. I made a reservation with Europcar (via Autoeurope) which we have used in the past and they are ok. Then we realized that the downtown offices are closed on Sundays and they open until 8am on Monday, we need to take our flight Monday morning. We wanted to change the reservation to pick and return at the airport, well price went up $200. Autoeurope has what is included and not in the reservation and 3rd party liability is included in the basic rental. I read it is required by law.

I booked another reservation with National picking up at the airport. I called them to find it out if the liability insurance was included, nobody could figure it out. I called again and they think I will get charged for it at the airport. I really want to know what is covered and not. Don't like $300 surprises. With National I like the fact that the 2nd driver is included but the rest is kind of unknown.

I have been looking at other rentals and prices are higher and seems none of them even mention the 3rd party liability.

Have any of you have used recently a particular rental car with a good experience, where you paid what you were told and you knew in advance what you would be paying when picking the car up?

I am thinking calling National at the airport and see if they would be able to tell me more.

Thank you

Posted by
1826 posts

I can't vouch from personal experience yet because my trip isn't until June but we're renting through Celtic Legend.

Their customer service so far via email has been fantastic and they've answered all my questions and gave me an upfront quote including insurance. We're picking up on a Sunday, however the branch we're using isn't at the airport and doesn't open until 10:00. Not sure about the airport location. I chose them after a few recommendations on this site as well as PMing one of the forum members after they got back from their trip to check if things went well.

Posted by
1837 posts

Third-party insurance is always included in the UK. It’s compulsory no one can legally drive without it. Whether it’s prominently advertised I guess depends on the company.

The other insurance – the one covering your costs for damage to the car is where they may well try to sell their own insurance. You can decline this if you are covered (by a credit card for example), but they could place a hold on your card as a deposit to cover any potential damage.

Arnold clarke is a popular company

Posted by
506 posts

This is one of those subjects that comes up over and over again on the Trip Advisor Scotland Forums, so it might be worth a look over at those forums. Many, many people recommend Celtic Legends who are linked to the Arnold Clark group (the largest car dealers in Scotland).

I would not recommend using a car while in Edinburgh city centre. The roads are very congested, parking is very expensive and public transport is very good. Rather, I would suggest renting a car at the airport for travels outside the city, and returning it to the same location. There are excellent public transport links between the airport and city centre, so you really do not need a car while you are in the city.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
159 posts

I cannot recommend anyone, but can say that my advice to you is ............

Do not under any circumstances hire a car from Green Motion!

There are lots of horror stories about them on Trip Advisor and elsewhere. They may look attractive but do not be drawn in by their website, or any promises they make, or their rate.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you everybody for your replies.

I tried Celtic but with them you can't decline the CDW (with my card this is completely covered including buying a new card). Buying the excess with Celtic in order to feel the same comfort as to renting using my CC will cost us another $180. This rental is turning very high. I wish Celtic would allow to decline the CDW because their prices are not bad and have a nice coverage.

I called National at Edinburgh and they confirmed that 3rd liability is included in my quote also got the amount for the VAT which is higher but at least I know how much to add and have a better idea of the 'final" cost.
Lots to think


Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Tashi,

I've rented from Avis at GLA the last few times over, and have never had any problems. I use my credit card to cover CDW/LDW, and it has worked like a charm. Last time over (2018), I had a hubcap scratch that Avis billed me 65 pounds for, plus a 60 pound "administrative charge." Visa refunded the whole amount, although it did take about a month, and a lot of paperwork.

The same thing happened to my son in Germany. He used his credit card to cover CDW, and he was billed about $600 for tree scratches. Visa refunded the entire amount. So it's a really good benefit.

When I rent from Avis (here and in Scotland), I decline all coverage on the rental agreement when I pick up the car. In the US and Canada, my own insurance covers everything, and Visa covers the deductible. In Scotland, Visa covers everything, so all I pay for is the car rental and taxes, plus a small charge to cover towing (just to cover me if the car breaks down in the Outer Hebrides!).

Third party liability should be included in the basic amount that you pay for the rental. If they try to charge you extra for that, time to find another rental company! Also, if Celtic Legend will not let you hire without buying their CDW, then you definitely need to find another company!

Good luck with your rental search!

Mike (Auchterless)