I would like to rent a car in Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland, but the site I went to said it was for people 18 to 70. Is this a law in Scotland? Is there a way I can rent a car?
Most likely, the maximum rental age is a rental company policy. At 73, some are sharp as a young man, but often they're not. I'm 69 today, and I could be going through the same thing in a year.
Go to AutoEurope.com and see what they have in their list of Terms and Policies. There's always more rental companies than one.
I do not know if it is law but I had the same problem in England. Both England and Scotland are part of the UK so the law would be the same.
Most of the major car rental companies should allow you to hire a car up to the age of 75. You're limited at Kirkwall, as there are only three or four companies. Best thing to do would be to contact the local offices of Avis (airport location) and Europcar by telephone, to find out what the local restrictions are. Don't give them your name. Or give them a made up name.
If you go to the Avis website, they don't ask about age - only if you're 25 or older. The Europcar website asks if you're older than 26. They don't appear to have a maximum age. You could rent the car on line, and not tell them that you're 73. There are many, many people older than 73 driving around Scotland!
The research we did before our trip last September indicated that both Europcar and Hertz had no upper age restrictions. You can check out your options at the Autoeurope website.
Yes, some of the local firms in Orkney have this limitation. I ran into it when traveling with my mom and dad Dad was over the 75 age limit for the company we were with. Fortunately, I was traveling with them and was able to take over the driving. My dad had booked the car and I'll always remember how the young woman told him, "but you didn't sound old in your email...." Hah!
If you are from the US, chances are you won't be able to rent a car. Both my father and a friend found that US drivers could not rent cars in England or Ireland after age 70. I don't know if it is a rental company policy or a law.
OK, I re-checked the Autoeurope site. As I said before, both Europcar and Hertz will rent to an age 73 driver in the UK. If you can't get a car in Kirkwall, then rent in one of the larger Scotland cities and pay the price to take the car on the ferry. Get full insurance coverage - you are almost certain to get a scratch or two on the car. I also disagree with the frequent advice to get the smallest car possible. We always go with a mid-size and it has not been a problem with it fitting on roads in either Cornwall or the remote highlands. You will be spending many hours in the car and you want to be comfortable!