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Renting a car under 21

Hello. Me and my friend are going to Scotland in April and are looking to rent a car for a few days to take a trip to the highlands. We are struggling to find a rental agency that will allow for a 19 year old to rent a car. Any advice?

Posted by
7772 posts

You will not be able to rent a car at your age so either change your plans or research public transportation to the highlands.

Posted by
903 posts

There are a few Scottish Rail Lines that go to the Highlands: West Highland Line, the Jacobite Steam Train and others that could take you to the Highlands...if you book early, and maybe with student discounts you could get bargain fares. If you are students; maybe you can make some arrangements with a student group for touring. Or make friends with 25 year old with a credit card! Bon Voyage!

Posted by
658 posts

Hi, audra,

Unfortunately, Norma is correct. You have to be 21 or older in order to hire a car in Scotland. However, in addition to public transportation, there are several tour agencies which cater to younger tourists.

Check out the websites for Haggis (Backpackers) Tours or Blue Banana Tours. There are probably others. They used to drop backpackers off enroute, and pick them up on the return, or arrange to have them picked up by the next van through. I'm not sure whether or not they still do that, or if the tours are more structured.

Once you've determined where you want to go in the Highlands, you can work out a plan using one of the above, or public transportation. Also, as long as you're traveling with someone else, hitchhiking is fairly safe in the Highlands, provided you're not carrying too much luggage. You could take public transportation to someplace like Fort William or Inverness, and thumb from the outskirts of town. If you can bring a magic marker with you, a sign comes in very handy. I've hitchhiked in Scotland and Ireland several times (although I was considerably younger at the time), and I'm still around to tell the tale! I'm not recommending it, but it's an option. And you get to meet some wonderful people.

If you're hostelling, there are many excellent hostels in the Highlands and Islands.

Best of luck!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
2114 posts

Another word of encouragement: Scotland has a robust network of bus routes, so if the train doesn't go where you want to go, chances are a bus will.