Where can I rent a car in Edinburgh? I will be taking a train from London into Edinburgh. Is there a place to rent a car right by the train station in Edinburgh? How can I book in advance?
I do not know about renting cars in Edinburgh; however, I do know that it is very crowded with little parking, has had a tram construction project causing lots of roadway mayhem, and has a very good bus system, so you will likely not need/want a car while staying in Edinburgh.
If your plans are to drive elsewhere outside of the city, perhaps walk up out of the train station and across the street to take the Airlink bus from Waverley Bridge to the airport (about 25-30 minutes, 3.50 pounds one way) to rent your car. It should be much easier leaving from the airport than the middle of the city.
There is a National/Europecar Kiosk located right behind the taxi line-up at Waverly station. We rented a car there last September and it was very easy to pick up and drop off a week later. We booked on the National Car Website - it gave us a range of choices and options. I compared it to a couple of other sites. It was the same price as their airport location. If only one of you is going to do the driving, make sure they don't charge for both of you (a little trick they all seem to do) We requested an automatic (one less thing to deal with driving on the opposite side) and we took our GPS loaded with UK maps - just punch in the address or postal code where you want to go. We even stopped at the Edinburgh Costco on our way out of town to stock up on water, supplies, etc. We got the address from the Costco website. We got some souveniers there and Michael Palin's latest book and picked up a the current coupon book at the desk which turned out to be our favorite "brochure" of the trip! (Everyone laughs when they see it)
I've picked up and dropped off cars in the city centre of Edinburgh several times. Hertz is near the train station and National is out by Murrayfield, which is a short cab ride. If you haven't left the US rent through autoeurope and tell them that you want to pick up a car in the city centre.
If you are staying in Edinburgh for a day or two wait to pick up your car until you are ready to hit the road. There really is no point in having a car in the city. You won't use to drive within the city. You might use it for day trips, but it doesn't even make sense for all of them. For example, it's easy to take the train to Stirling. But if you're headed north, you could start your trip by driving to Stirling. (Easy parking at the castle!)