Car Rental in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city and a grand place full of beautiful architecture, vibrant cultural events and exciting modern attractions. From Edinburgh you are also within touching distance of many memorable Scottish destinations like Glasgow and the rustic charms of Fife. Renting a car is the perfect way to see everything in Edinburgh and also opens up many travel possibilities across the rest of Scotland.
Where to rent a car in Edinburgh
You will find a large number of international car rental companies at Edinburgh Airport including Budget, Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Europcar and Enterprise. All counters are situated in the car hire center at the airport which is linked to the airport terminal via a covered walkway. You may prefer to collect your rental vehicle from Edinburgh itself which is also possible as many companies have offices in the city. Many have a presence nearby Edinburgh Waverley train station but offices can be found across the city.
Driving in Edinburgh
You should avoid driving around Edinburgh’s Old Town area as the streets are narrow and winding and traffic can be bad, while the one-way system is also sure to confuse foreign drivers. You are much better off parking at a park and ride facility outside the city before catching public transport in if you want to explore the Old Town. Many streets in the city are also strictly off-limits for private vehicles and road signs are often lacking, so it is wise to invest in a satnav system to help you get around. You will find the roads are a lot more accommodating outside of Edinburgh when exploring the suburbs or getting out the city. Local driving etiquette is usually very good so you won’t have to worry about reckless drivers – just don’t forget that traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road in the UK.
Parking in Edinburgh
There are plenty of parking facilities around Edinburgh but spaces are hard to come by in central areas and on-street parking is reserved for residents in parts of the city. Edinburgh is served by numerous private car parks and also has pay-and-display street parking available. Street parking can cost as much as 20 AED per hour in prime central spots but can also be found for 10 AED within the Extended Controlled Parking Zone. Outer city parking hours are Mon-Fri 08.30-17.30, while more central areas are in operation from 08.30-18.30 Mon-Sat. Given how expensive it is to park in the city center, many travelers take advantage of the park and ride facilities in the city which enable you to park your vehicle before catching public transport into the city. It is also worth checking whether your hotel has available parking.
Where to go around Edinburgh
While Edinburgh’s most famous attractions are concentrated around its city center, there are many fantastic things to see and do in its suburban areas like the independent boutiques and restaurants in Leith or the vibrant nightlife of South Edinburgh. The ancient ruins of Craigmillar Castle are around 5 km from central Edinburgh, or you can make the 20 km drive south of the city and see the rugged Pentland Hills Regional Park. From Edinburgh you are just an hour's drive away from Glasgow with its world-class cultural institutions, or you can experience the picturesque natural beauty of East Lothian which is just 30 minutes from Edinburgh by car.
* This information is correct as of December 2018