Car Rental in Edinburgh
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Edinburgh?
Historic and beautiful, Edinburgh is one of the most unique cities in the United Kingdom. Having the freedom of your own car will let you visit its different neighborhoods and beautiful Scottish landscapes, at your own pace. From older parts of the city to modern and upbeat districts and even nearby beaches and nature areas, there is plenty to explore.
One-Way Car Rentals in Edinburgh
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Edinburgh and drop off in another city include:
- From Edinburgh to Glasgow - 327 offers from $32.05 per day
- From Edinburgh to Inverness - 143 offers from $40.49 per day
- From Edinburgh to Manchester - 104 offers from $38.58 per day
- From Edinburgh to Aberdeen - 104 offers from $40.49 per day
- From Edinburgh to London - 130 offers from $41.67 per day
Top ways to enter Edinburgh
- Edinburgh Airport. The sixth-busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the largestin Scotland, Edinburgh Airport is served by more than 30 different airlines. Along with domestic flights and many flights to other places in Europe, Edinburgh Airport is also connected to North America and the Middle East. The airport is about 9 km (5.5 mi) west of the city center.
- Glasgow Airport. The second-largest airport in Scotland, Glasgow Airport is served by a large number of airlines, including many low-cost carriers. The airport is slightly more than an hour’s drive west of Edinburgh.
- Glasgow Prestwick Airport. Another international airport serving Glasgow, it only has flights one airline serving it, Ryanair. With connections to Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Poland, it can sometimes be the cheapest airport to fly into in Scotland. Glasgow Prestwick is a 1 hour and 40 40-minuteive west of Edinburgh.
- By rail. If you’re arrive in Edinburgh by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at the Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station.
Like much of the rest of the United Kingdom, Edinburgh has a temperate maritime climate with little temperature change between seasons. Though typically much drier than Glasgow to the west, its location on the North Sea means Edinburgh sometimes experiences haar, or sea fog. While not everyone likes it, it certainly adds to the city’s unique atmosphere.
Edinburgh has 4,500 protected buildings of historic architectural importance that cannot be demolished or rebuilt without the permission from a special local authority. Edinburgh has more protected buildings, proportionally, than any other city in the United Kingdom making it a must-visit for history lovers.
Top destinations and activities
- Edinburgh Castle. Of all the many impressive buildings of Edinburgh, its castle is arguably the most famous one and the most important landmark of the city. First built in the 12th century from a volcanic rock, the castle is now one of the city’s top attractions. The castle complex includes attractions like the Portcullis Gate and the St. Margaret’s Chapel, ad offers truly amazing views.
- Royal Botanic Garden. The garden is one of the nicest green places in the city. It includes the 165 m (541 ft) long herbaceous border and many smaller gardens of both local and exotic plants. The stunning John Hope Gateway with a restaurant and museum is also located here.
- Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. The museum is actually made up of two separate buildings called Modern Art One and Modern Art Two, which are divided by a street,. Both feature a large number of famous artworks and beautiful gardens for relaxing and taking it all in. The National Gallery of Modern Art is in the picturesque Dean Village area of Edinburgh.
- National Museum of Scotland. First established in the 1860s, the National Museum of Scotland is actually made up of two separate museums, the Royal Scottish Museum and the Museum of Scotland. The former is dedicated to natural history and classical cultures from around the world with exhibits that range from Assyrian sculptures to a taxidermy of Dolly the sheep, the first-ever cloned animal; the latter, meanwhile, stays closer to home and offers fascinating artifacts of the Celts, Picts, and other cultures that have inhabited Scotland over the millennia.
Traffic and parking
The United Kingdom drives on the left-hand side of the road
On-street parking is usually heavily restricted. Never park on a white, double yellow or double red line (stopping on motorways and along red lines is illegal).
There are relatively few parking areas available for city visitors in Edinburgh. Some pay parking spots are available via a pay-and-display system. You can find many those on this map on the city’s official website. The exact fee will depend on the length of the parking period, on the hour of the day, and the day of the week. It is not a good idea to park without a permit as the fines are quite high and the rules are strictly enforced; sometimes your car might even be towed away.
You are not allowed to use your mobile phone while driving, unless you use a hands-free system.
Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 112 km/h (70 mph) on motorways, 112 km/h (70 mph) on dual carriageways, 96 km/h (60 mph) on single carriageways and 48km/h (30 mph) or 32km/h (20 mph) in residential areas and areas with street lightning.
In Scotland, the legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for both experienced and novice drivers. In the rest of the UK, the legal alcohol limit is 0.08% for all drivers. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, a suspended license, or even imprisonment.
The insurance and documentation of the car needs to be in it whenever you’re driving.
The emergency numbers is 999.
Currently there is only a single toll road in the United Kingdom, the M6 toll. You also have to pay a toll for using a number of bridges and tunnels, as well as for entering the central areas of London and Durham (a city in North East England).
As an alternative to the M6 around Birmingham, the M6toll is a 43 km (27 mi) long portion of the road, also known as the Birmingham North Relief Road (BNRR), that relieves congestion on the M6 itself. There are toll gates where you can pay by either cash or credit card. As of January 2023, the price is £8.20 for using the toll road from Monday to Friday (from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.), £8.20 for using the toll road on Saturday or Sunday (from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.), and £7 for using the toll road at night (11 p.m. to 5 a.m.)y Find out more on the M6 Toll official website.
Find out more about toll roads in the United Kingdom on the European toll road website.
Ideas for day trips
Portobello. Affectionately called “Porty” by locals, Portobello is a nice beach in the area. Frequented by travelers and local families alike, it is a great place to have a picnic and spend a relaxing day away from the city. Even if you’re visiting in winter, you can still have a nice walk along the beach or visit the Portobello Swim Center and enjoy dipping in the Victorian baths. Portobello is just a 15 minute drive from Edinburgh center.
North Berwick. Another nice beach town, and arguably even more local in character, North Berwick is famous not only for its coastline, but also for the Tantallon Castle and Coastal Communities Museum. If you’re more of a nature lover, you’ll enjoy the impressive views of the Bass Rock or a visit to the Scottish Seabird Center. North Berwick is about 45 minutes drive northeast of Edinburgh.
Pentland Hills Regional Park. Great for long walks through its pastures and forests, the Pentland Hills is a nature area just south of Edinburgh. Its austere landscape might not be the most impressive in Scotland, but it is a perfect spot to spend a day away from the city
Glasgow. Edgier than Edinburgh, perhaps less historic, but nonetheless charming, Glasgow is a fun city to visit. From quirky museums to unique restaurants, bars and live music, there’s plenty to see. Glasgow is just an hour’s drive west of Edinburgh.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in Edinburgh is the VW Golf. Many travelers also pick the Vauxhall Corsa and the Fiat 500. The most popular rental car types are compact, economy, and mini.
- Scottish Highlands. Sparsely populated and spectacular, the Scottish Highlands are, for many, among the most spectacular areas of Europe. Whether you’re looking for natural beauty or to learn about traditional Scottish culture, it’s all there. Start at the region’s capital, Inverness, then go on to explore Glencoe Valley, the mountains, and the lakes. Glencoe is around 3 hours’ from Edinburgh. Northumberland National Park. On the other side of the border, this is the northernmost national park in England. There are very few people here, even for a nature area - instead, you’ll find blue lakes, extensive woodlands, and the remains of ancient religious sites. The border between England and Scotland was defended by Hadrian’s Wall during the Roman times, a large part of which still survives and can be explored within the national park’s territory. The park’s northeast corner is just a 90 minutes drive from Edinburgh.
- Shetland and the Orkney Islands. These islands north of Scotland, teeming with wildlife, offer visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in nature and see historic sites from the neolithic era. They can be reached by ferry from Aberdeen, north of Edinburgh. Rental cars can be picked up and dropped off at the Aberdeen Northlink Ferry Terminal. It is also possible to pick rental cars up at Kirkwall Airport which has flights to and from Edinburgh.
- Aberdeen. Sitting on the coast of the North Sea, Scotland’s third-largest city has been steadily growing in stature as a tourist destination. Known as the Granite City thanks to its distinctive architecture, it boasts a variety of attractions from the well-preserved Old Town to Aberdeen Maritime Museum and many beautiful public gardens. Despite its northerly location, Aberdeen is also a major hub of surfing and other water sports. Located about 205 km (127 miles) northeast of Edinburgh, Aberdeen can be reached in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Car Rental Prices in Edinburgh
- Convertibles - from $121 per day
- Station wagons - from $69 per day
- Large cars - from $27 per day
- Medium cars - from $22 per day
- Vans - from $108 per day
- Premium cars - from $50 per day
- Small cars - from $18 per day
- SUVs - from $27 per day
- Land a great rental car deal in Edinburgh by applying these tricks:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Edinburgh is cheapest in March when renting a car is about 52% cheaper than the yearly average and about 72% cheaper than renting a car in December, around Christmas time and the New Year’s Eve.
Top 20 Cities near Edinburgh
Stirling Car Rentals from $45.97 per day38.3 km / 23.8 miles away
Perth Car Rentals from $80.52 per day49.8 km / 30.9 miles away
Dundee Car Rentals from $45.77 per day62.4 km / 38.8 miles away
Glasgow Car Rentals from $15.89 per day66.7 km / 41.4 miles away
Prestwick Car Rentals from $93.02 per day90.4 km / 56.2 miles away
Newcastle Car Rentals from $18.21 per day146.6 km / 91.1 miles away
Aberdeen Car Rentals from $23.45 per day156.8 km / 97.4 miles away
Sunderland Car Rentals from $110.23 per day170.3 km / 105.8 miles away
Inverness Car Rentals from $45.29 per day181.8 km / 113.0 miles away
Elgin Car Rentals from $45.77 per day188.4 km / 117.1 miles away
Middlesbrough Car Rentals from $111.27 per day204.8 km / 127.3 miles away
Barrow-in-Furness Car Rentals from $30.49 per day204.9 km / 127.3 miles away
Lancaster Car Rentals from $30.49 per day214.3 km / 133.2 miles away
Belfast Car Rentals from $23.45 per day230.3 km / 143.1 miles away
Preston Car Rentals from $123.83 per day246.0 km / 152.9 miles away
Leeds Car Rentals from $39.41 per day256.3 km / 159.3 miles away
Bolton Car Rentals from $30.49 per day272.3 km / 169.2 miles away
Huddersfield Car Rentals from $69.82 per day274.6 km / 170.6 miles away
Warrington Car Rentals from $92.46 per day289.3 km / 179.8 miles away
Liverpool Car Rentals from $19.36 per day292.9 km / 182.0 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Edinburgh
Edinburgh Airport Car Rentals from $18.39 per day
Edinburgh Waverley Train Station Car Rentals from $23.62 per day11.5 km / 7.1 miles away
Glasgow Central Train Station Car Rentals from $87.58 per day56.1 km / 34.9 miles away
Glasgow Airport Car Rentals from $15.89 per day66.7 km / 41.4 miles away
Prestwick Airport Car Rentals from $93.02 per day90.4 km / 56.2 miles away
Newcastle Airport Car Rentals from $18.21 per day146.6 km / 91.1 miles away
Aberdeen Airport Car Rentals from $23.45 per day156.8 km / 97.4 miles away
Inverness Airport Car Rentals from $45.29 per day181.8 km / 113.0 miles away
Belfast City Airport Car Rentals from $30.09 per day216.8 km / 134.7 miles away
Belfast Central Railway station Car Rentals from $31.32 per day220.6 km / 137.1 miles away
Belfast International Airport Car Rentals from $23.45 per day230.3 km / 143.1 miles away
Leeds Bradford Airport Car Rentals from $39.94 per day256.3 km / 159.3 miles away
Downtown Car Rentals from $39.41 per day268.4 km / 166.8 miles away
Manchester Trafford Park Car Rentals from $75.85 per day283.8 km / 176.3 miles away
Liverpool Airport Car Rentals from $19.36 per day292.9 km / 182.0 miles away
Manchester Airport Car Rentals from $22.34 per day297.2 km / 184.7 miles away
Holyhead Port Car Rentals from $36.08 per day304.0 km / 188.9 miles away
East Midlands Airport Car Rentals from $46.88 per day371.2 km / 230.7 miles away
Birmingham Airport Car Rentals from $22.34 per day402.8 km / 250.3 miles away
Norwich Airport Car Rentals from $110.23 per day472.8 km / 293.8 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Edinburgh?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the usual rental length in Edinburgh?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Edinburgh?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||4|
|Popular suppliers||Drivalia, Arnold Clark, Easirent, Alamo, Enterprise|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, Vans|
|Lowest price||$18 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Drivalia||Ford Fiesta||5||1||Small cars|
|Drivalia||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Arnold Clark||Ford Fiesta||5||2||Small cars|
|Easirent||Fiat 500||3||2||Small cars|
|Easirent||Ford Fiesta||5||2||Small cars|
|Drivalia||Ford Focus||5||2||Medium cars|
|Arnold Clark||Mercedes Benz Vito||5||3||Vans|
|Hertz||Ford Fiesta||5||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Ford Focus||5||2||Medium cars|
Our Customers' Reviews
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