Renting A Car In Scotland

The beauty of Scotland while travelling is best seen from the window of a comfortable car as you make your way across the countryside for holiday. With no other guests to worry about or tour guides, taking to the open road of Scotland on your own offers an opportunity to see the amazing views and experience the local culture while travelling at your own pace.

Certainly being able to stop where you wish, eat where you like, and of course decide which direction to head towards next, makes renting a car the sensible answer for all those looking for a different type of holiday.

Though if you are ready to embark on your own great Scottish road trip adventure, there are a few things to note before you pack your bags and set out for the breathtaking wilderness and rich cultural sites.

So to help make you trip as amazing as it can be, and of course as stress free as it should be, we’ve put together this list of FAQS for renting a car while visiting the lush countryside of Scotland.

Just a quick reminder…

Important to note for all those visiting Scotland from outside of the UK, in Scotland, much like England, drivers operate vehicles on the left side of the road, so to save yourself from any possible accidents, always remember that driving is slightly reversed within Scotland. Also, the driver’s seat is on the opposite of what most people are used to, so mentally prepare yourself and perhaps practice a bit before you take off on your own Scottish road trip.

Is there an age requirement or limit for renting a car in Scotland?

Yes, there are actually two prerequisites for renting vehicles, at least most cars, within Scotland. First and foremost, anyone looking to rent a car must be at least be 23 years old. While the legal driving age in Scotland is a much lower 17 years old, the minimum age to rent a vehicle is set at 23 years old, but you will need to have held your licence for 1 full year..

It is also important to note that while there is a minimum age requirement, it is not the only prerequisite for renting a vehicle during your time in Scotland, which brings us to…

Do I need to have an International Licence to be able to rent a car?

While you won’t need an international licence to rent a vehicle, you will still need a valid licence before you can drive off with your newly rented wheels. But before you apply for an international licence or look into applying for a licence with the UK’s DVLA, your currently valid licence issued from your own country should suffice.

For all those that are renting a car while visiting from elsewhere in the UK, your valid licence allows you to rent and drive a car for as long as you like, given that your licence remains valid.

For all those visiting from elsewhere in the EU, your licence, and the ability to rent a car, only extends for a year beyond entry into the country. You will also need to have your passport or ID available.

I heard that you can only rent manual transmission vehicles, is that true?

While it is true that most cars within Scotland tend to be those with a standard manual transmission, it is far from the only option available to you at car rental companies. Every rental company is more than willing to accommodate those that are not familiar with utilising a manual transmission and keep a few automatic vehicles within their fleet. That said though, you will probably want to mention your preference before booking your rental car or even call in advance to reserve an automatic vehicle, as some companies may only have a few available at any given time.

What is an ‘excess waiver fee’?

While those visiting Scotland from abroad may not be familiar with the term excess as it applies to rental vehicles, this simply refers to the amount of money that must be paid in the case of an accident. Some may better know this as a deductible. While it certainly is not necessary, purchasing an excess waiver, it can potentially protect your from having to pay for costly repairs in the event of an accident or anything else that may damage your rental. As always, check the terms and conditions and any small print closely and completely.

Renting a vehicle in Scotland is much like any other country, and once you get the keys and paperwork sorted, you are ready to experience everything the Scottish countryside has to offer.