Hi, I am about to book a trip to Scotland for 9 days in May staying in Glasgow but wanting to travel to Edinburgh for a few days and into the Highlands and Islands for a few days. So far, it's cheaper to rent a car for the entire trip in a package than it is to rent a car for a few days to drive to the highlands. My question is how easy or difficult is it to park in Edinburgh and approximately how much per day would it cost to park? My hotel in Glasgow has parking available, so I'm covered there, while in Glasgow. Thanks in advance for your help.
Parking on the city is expensive, and driving in Edinburgh is a nightmare (at least that's what I found when I tried it).
Have you made arrangements for lodging in Edinburgh yet? If not, try to find somewhere that has free or discounted parking, even if it costs more than what you planned to pay for the hotel/B&B.
Depending on where you're staying, you can expect to pay 2.30 to 4.60 UKL per hour for on street parking, or about 20 pounds per day in one of the multi-story garages. Be careful where you park. Check the signage carefully. Edinburgh's traffic wardens are vicious. A hearse was recently ticketed while the funeral director was loading a body in to it. Be careful of those yellow lines on the kerbs as well. The double yellow especially.
Depending on the area of Edinburgh, metered parking is enforced between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 or 6:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, or Monday to Saturday. Sunday parking is enforced in some parts of the city.
It might be cheaper to leave your car in Glasgow, then go back to it before you head north!
If there's just one of you, I would suggest using public transportation for a couple of reasons: train & bus fare for one person will be cheaper than rental costs, and public transport will give you opportunities to strike up conversations with people so you'll get a fuller experience of Scotland. Also, since you only have 9 days, mainly based in Glasgow with "a few days" in Edinburgh, that only leaves maybe 2 days/2 nights for the highlands -- I wouldn't even try to fit in the islands unless you drop or shorten the cities.