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Where to rent car in Edinburgh???

We (my husband, son, daughter in law and 1 yr old) are staying in Old Town Edinburgh for 2 nights then traveling on to see the sights....

Would it be best to rent 2 cars for us in Old Town (if there is a place) or go to the airport to rent them? There is a concern about driving in the city but then there is the time to go to the airport....what to do? Thanks!

Posted by
2540 posts

when you say travelling to see the sights, what sights are you talking about.
There are some car hire places in and around the city centre but there is a huge hub at the airport and it only takes 30 minutes by tram to get to the airport, the tram stop is only yards from the Car Hire Hub.

Posted by
810 posts

Other than the whole driving on the left thing, Edinburgh isn't all that hard to navigate. Hard to find parking in the Old Town so don't get the car til you're ready to head out for the countryside.

While there are more options at the airport you can rent in town. A quick search found at least one company at Waverly Train station which is right in the Old Town area. One thing to consider is where do you want to drop it off at the end. If Edinburgh airport you might want to get it from them to begin with otherwise you could pay more to drop at a different location.

Posted by
5669 posts

See the whole conversation re dropping a car off in Edinburgh. I have picked up a car at Picardy Place a couple of times and managed to escape the city without a huge amount of trouble. I got a bit lost one time, but it just added about ten minutes to my trip. So, with a group your size, you'll have at least one navigator who can help. I would recommend that you take a taxi all together to go pick up your car. You don't want to go back to the hotel to pick up passengers. You'll want to head straight out. Also, Depending on the day there can be a bit of a line to get your car. But come to think of it, I don't know that it was any worse than lines i've experience at US airports.

Posted by
360 posts

We rented our car from Hertz, right near the train station, since we came from London on the train. My husband was able to get in/out of the city (somewhat) easily -- it's just getting used to the left side driving for the first time, but the city does make it harder than the rural areas.

Posted by
7721 posts

I’ll just note what Pam said about waiting in line — last August., when my friend and I rented a car in the city at Picardy Place, we easily waited 45 minutes before even getting to the front of the line. So that was no time saving compared with the time it would have taken to get out to the airport to rent!!

It worked out okay for us because I had driven in edinburgh a couple of years prior, and had plenty of time to study up while she waited in line, so we did fine on getting away from the rental place and out of the city. I don’t know that I would recommend it though. Especially if you are picking up two cars, as you say.

Posted by
83 posts

Thanks so much for all your advice!!!
Unclegus, we are spending 2 nights in Edinburgh and then would like to rent the cars and leave right after breakfast to get to St Andrews as early as possible to look around. We have a tour scheduled of the golf course in the afternoon and then will have dinner there. The next day onto Craigellachie (Speyside) to take in a whiskey tour and I guess exploring Dufftown and some of the areas around there-spend 3 nights ( any suggestions appreciated) We are meeting up with 5 other family members there. We may take an afternoon and go to Leault Farm for a sheep dog demo- the one RS tour goes to- Then we (the 5 of us in 2 cars) will head to the Loch Lomond/Balloch area for 2 nights (staying at Innkeeper's Lodge) (not sure what is in this area) and end up at an airport hotel...turn in the car...for an early flight the next morning.

After all your advice, I think we need to leave our Airbnbs early in Edinburgh and head to the airport by taxi (just found out they are bringing the car seat for their little girl plus pack/go play yard, luggage, etc) so taxi is easier than tram) rent the cars there and then we can return them there too at no extra cost.

I really appreciate all the info and if you have any other suggestions, that would be great!