About car rental at Edinburgh Airport
One of Scotland's four main airports, Edinburgh isn't only the largest but also the busiest - serving 12 million passengers a year on average. Edinburgh is most often international travelers' portal to Scotland's majestic mountains, moors, and more. Hiring a car at the airport is an ideal option, because some of the best, off-the-beaten-track attractions can only be reached with a private vehicle. Car rental is made extremely easy at Edinburgh airport because the car rental center is located very close to the main terminals. If you arrive at either the domestic or international terminals, take the covered skywalk next to the parking garage and just follow the signs towards the car rental center.
It's a breeze to pick up and drop off your rental car from the center when you book in advance. You can pre-book your car with our trusted partners Enjoy Travel to ensure that your Scottish getaway is seamless. You have car options ranging from mini and compact to 4x4 9-seater carriers. The best part about flying into Edinburgh Airport is that it's only a 25 minutes’ drive to reach the city center from the airport.
Downtown car rental in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a charming, hilly city with cobbled streets, old medieval buildings, and formidable castles and world-class whiskey tasting. You can rent a car if you are 21 years old or above, and have a valid driver's license in the UK. The Edinburgh car rental rates are lower in downtown compared to the airport, but the drawback is that the different agencies are spread out across the city center. Car rental rates typically vary depending on the time of the year and the location of your pick-up, but generally you should be able to find a small economy car like a Fiat500 or similar from around £7 GBP (approx. $9.60) per day if you make a reservation a few weeks in advance of travel.
Booking online in advance makes it effortless for you to compare a wide range of available vehicles at different price points to suit a range of purposes. Consider pre-booking to minimize waiting time and maximize efficiency. You can shop around for the best deals to make sure that you're getting the most bang for your buck. Edinburgh has relatively small roads and streets, which can be a disadvantage for larger vehicles. So renting a mini or compact car would be best if you're considering staying in town for a while. Fuel costs tend to be cheaper for smaller vehicles too.
Driving in Edinburgh
If you'll be driving in Edinburgh, remember to stick to the left side of the road. You can use your mobile phone with a hands-free device only while on the road. Using your mobile without a proper hand-free, equally sending a text message or checking emails whilst driving is illegal in the UK.
As for speed limits? It's 30 mph in urban areas, 60 mph in rural areas and 70 mph on the motorways. Make sure to keep an eye out for the road signs. Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory for all drivers and passengers. Children until 12 must be seated in a child restraint suitable for their size.
Edinburgh's rush hour periods are from 7:30 am. to 9:30 am., and from 4:00 pm. to 6:00 pm. There are limited parking options in Edinburgh city center, so the city council has provided numerous accessible parking areas outside of it. Be wary of going for road trips during the peak winter months as the country roads can get snowed in. Although the city remains busy throughout the year, prices tend to skyrocket in August due to the famous Fringe Festival.
Car rental Agencies in Edinburgh
Edinburgh's major car rental agencies include Enterprise, National, Alamo, Sixt, Hertz, and Avis. Other less well-known but still reliable options are Green Motion, Easirent, and Keddy by Europcar.
Top Road Trips in Edinburgh
Although Edinburgh could easily hold your interest for a long time, as it's full of history, art, and intrigue, the Scottish highlands offer unparalleled landscapes. If you are visiting Edinburgh, make sure to put the following on your bucket list!
The infamous Loch Ness is best known for being the home of the mysterious, cryptozoological Loch Ness Monster, fondly called "Nessie". However, the lake itself is pretty impressive in its own right. Located in Glen Gor, Loch Ness is the largest body of freshwater in Scotland and quite a tempestuous lake because it rises and falls quite sharply. You can enjoy a boat ride across the Cairngorms National Park nearby or even camp out in the forest. The Loch and the National Park are both less than 4 hours' drive from Edinburgh (169 miles).
Gretna Green is a small Scottish village, best known for being the most romantic place in Scotland. Following the 1754 Marriage Act introduced in England and Wales (which forbade marriage without your parents' permission if you were under 21), young couples would elope to Gretna Green, just across the border, to get married. It takes around an hour and a half to get here (66 miles) from Edinburgh.
Your visit to Edinburgh would be incomplete without a visit to Arthur's Seat. You can drive here in less than 15 minutes from the city centre. A site of particular geological and biological interest, Arthur's Seat has exciting rock formations, as well as uncommon flora and fauna surrounding the hill. Fancy ambling along with a couple of mates on an extinct volcano while enjoying stunning views over the city? Grab some fine Scottish snacks, a picnic basket, and make a day out of it.
What other travelers are asking about renting a car in Edinburgh:
Q: How old do you need to be to rent a car in Edinburgh?
A: All drivers must be a minimum of 21 years old. Drivers under the age of 25 will usually be subject to a young driver surcharge.
Q: How much does it cost to rent a car in Edinburgh?
A: Car rental prices in Edinburgh average at £15.80 per day ($21.70), but if you reserve well in advance you might find a cheaper option in the region of £7-£10 per day ($9.60-$13.70).
Q: Is driving in Edinburgh difficult?
A: No, but the city roads tend to be narrow and winding. As long as you drive safely and take note of speed limits, then you should be fine.
Q: Do you need a passport to drive from England to Scotland?
A: No, you don’t. There are no border controls between England and Scotland.
Q: Is there a Zipcar in Edinburgh?
A: Yes, there is. However unless you sign up for a yearly plan and will use Zipcar in other UK cities, then hiring a car is cheaper.