Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
We don’t think it’s difficult at all! However, we do appreciate that if you drive on the right and have never encountered a single track road or a roundabout, you might find the thought a bit daunting.
Instead of writing lots of reassuring words about how you will be fine and will get used to it quickly, we came across this lovely wee video which gives you lots of tips.
If you get a parking ticket, it will normally be put on your windshield and you should be able to pay it straight away. If this is paid straight away, they usually cut the price by half.
If the parking ticket is not paid straight away, the local authority who issue the ticket will send a copy to the rental company, who will charge the credit card used to pay for the rental.
If you incur a speeding fine or bus lane infringement penalty, they will send the notification to the rental company, who will charge the credit card.
If such a payment is taken, the rental company should send you a copy of the ticket or charge notice.
When you sign the car rental agreement, on picking up the car, one clause on the agreement is an authorisation to the rental company to charge for any penalties incurred.
If you are charged for something after your rental and you do NOT receive a copy of the charge notice, please contact us and we will investigate and get a copy of any charge notice for you.
If you use your car for sleeping, the insurance will be void.
Driving a car without insurance is against the law and if you have an accident, you will be liable for the full value of the car and any amount over this, which the accident incurs.
Please do NOT sleep in your car!
Cars are not ventilated suitably for sleeping in them and such practice could be extremely dangerous!
We only have right hand drive cars and we are not aware of any company in the UK which rents out left hand drive cars.
There are no toll roads or bridges in Scotland.
If you are in England and Wales there is a single major road, the M6 Toll. There are also a small number of bridges and tunnels where tolls are collected.
However, if you are looking for a hotel or an address, especially in a city, GPS can be invaluable. Some city centre maps will appear in road atlases, but they won’t show hotels or sites and attractions. That’s when the GPS can be a great help.
Some cars will have a GPS built in, so if you have booked a GPS and your car comes with one built in, we will take the cost of the GPS off your rental.
Our charge is GBP4 per day, capped at GBP20 no matter the length of the rental. Some rental companies can charge up to GBP20 a day!
Scotland has something to offer all year round, the massed ranks of Rhododendrons in the spring, the snow covered hills and mountains in winter and the beautiful scenery at any time!
It’s usually busiest in July, August and September when the weather should be better but the accommodation may be slightly more expensive and schools in the UK are on vacation. If you decide to come then, it’s best to make arrangements well in advance to get your first choice of where to stay. Actually, that’s not bad advice at any time.
Spring is beautiful and May and June are quiet months of long days and often very good weather. The autumn (fall) is a season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ (yes we did steal that line but it is true, so…).
There are lots of ways to come to Scotland and it naturally all depends on where you start! If you are coming from North America, you’ll either have to take an expensive cruise across the Atlantic or you fly.
Icelandair and American Airlines fly direct to Glasgow and we hear there are plans to have direct flights to Edinburgh, soon. Icelandair fly from Baltimore/Washington, Boston and New York, with connections and free stopovers in Reykjavik, Iceland. American fly from all over North America, but you’ll have to change in New York to fly to Glasgow.
Most airlines will bring you to London where you’ll have to change planes to fly up to Scotland. The problem with that is, Heathrow airport is a bit of a nightmare. Compared to most hub airports in Northern Europe, like Paris, Amsterdam or Frankfurt, it can be a bit of a challenge. If you decide not to fly direct, then check out airlines like Delta who have a code sharing agreement with KLM, the Dutch airline and after a change in Amsterdam, you can fly direct to Edinburgh. Contact your travel agent, or book direct online with the airline.
If you are coming from Europe, you can fly direct to Edinburgh and Glasgow from most European countries. Prestwick has flights from several European countries and Inverness and Aberdeen Airports now get flights from 15 European Countries, between them.
Check pricing carefully. It is often quite a bit less expensive to fly to Edinburgh or Glasgow, than to the other airports.
Unlimited Mileage on all rentals with no distance restrictions
Value Added Tax (VAT) @ 20%
Insurance Cover (view details here)
There are a number of things you can do to keep the cost down when renting from us.
1. If you are picking up a car and/or dropping it off at an Airport try to keep your pick up and drop off times within branch opening hours. Particularly the pick up.
2. Avoid one-way rentals. The cost is not huge but there is a charge unless the pick up and drop off are in the same City. For example an Edinburgh Airport pick up and Edinburgh City drop off would not be considered a one-way rental.
3. Manual cars are generally cheaper than Automatics so, if you can drive Manual, they are much better value for money.
4. If you are spending a few days in Edinburgh or Glasgow, you won’t need a car, and unless your accommodation has parking, it will be a liability.
5. We allow a free two hour overlap
There are no deposits for cars in Group’s One to Nine.
For cars in Group’s Ten and Eleven there is a £500 security deposit.
You must be aged at least 23 years and have held a driving licence for a minimum of 12 months to be able to rent a car. There is no upper age limit however, if you are aged 75 years or over, you must bring a letter from your Doctor, dated within 3 months of the start of the rental, stating that you are fit to drive.
If you are aged 23 or 24 years you can only rent cars in Group One, Two and Four Manual or Automatic. Drivers aged 23 and 24 years are subject to a £20 per day additional charge.
These limitations are the requirements of the insurers and there is no discretion.
No, surprisingly, you won’t see many Scots wearing haggis or eating their kilts (oops), sorry, eating haggis and wearing their kilts. Kilts are kept for more formal occasions like weddings. While people do eat haggis quite regularly nobody likes to admit it.
The haggis is a small, very round, three legged bird which lives in the Highlands of Scotland. They generally live on the sides of the mountains and because of this have 2 legs longer than the other to prevent them falling down the hills. This means they can only run one way, so they are very easy to catch. All you need to do is force them to turn round and with the long legs uphill and the short one downhill, it quickly falls down the hill and into your waiting net. Simple. It is so easy to catch haggis that they have become quite rare and many people now eat vegetarian haggis which tastes just as good without the unnecessary slaughter :o)
You pay for your car when you pick it up from the rental branch. No payment or deposit is required in advance. (*)
The best method of payment is by credit card.
We DO NOT accept cash, prepaid cards or MAESTRO debit cards.
We do accept some other Debit Cards but these must have a 16 digit card number, an expiry date, a 3 digit Security Code and your name printed on the card.
If in doubt let us know what kind of card you have and we can let you know.
The card holder must be present when the car is picked up.
If you have a Debit Card you may find the best option is to book and pay, in advance, online. That way you know right away if your Debit Card is accepted. You can do this via this link to Arnold Clark.
(*) Payment is only taken in advance when you will be picking up the car after closing time (this must be pre-arranged)
There is something called Value Added Tax (VAT) on many items you will buy and as a non British citizen, you can claim much of this back when you leave the country. Check with the Customs authority when you arrive and they’ll give you details. The most important thing is to obtain receipts for everything you buy. VAT is at 20% now so it is definitely worth having back!
We do not have a cancellation policy. You pay for your vehicle when you arrive to pick it up and can cancel at any time before that, at no charge.
We feel that it is punishment enough if you have to cancel your vacation to our beautiful country, without being charged for a vehicle you do not use or need.
We would appreciate it however, if you can give us as much warning as possible.
We supply the car FULL of fuel – for no charge. You return it FULL at the end of the rental and there is no charge.
If you return it needing refuelled, you will be charged for the pump price plus a 10% surcharge for the staff having to take the car to be filled.
As you do not NORMALLY pay for the car until you arrive you will not NORMALLY (*) need insurance to cover the cost if you HAVE to cancel your trip. However, it is absolutely essential that you have travel insurance to cover any other costs that may be incurred in the unlikely event that your trip is cancelled. Travel insurance would also cover you if your flight was delayed and this impacted on your ongoing travel or accommodation arrangements.
In the unlikely event that medical repatriation was needed, the costs can be high – US$150,000 upwards for medical repatriation from Europe to the USA. For more information on what this means and what is involved, read this (we do not recommend any particular company for cover, just this article to see what is involved) – http://www.expatmedicare.com/content/international-health-insurance-guide-medical-evacuation-repatriation
(*) Payment is only taken in advance when you will be picking up the car after closing time (this must be pre-arranged)
This is the question we are asked most often.
Put simply, if you hire a car and it is damaged or stolen, the ‘Excess’ (sometimes called the ‘Deductible’ or ‘Franchise’) is the maximum amount of money you have to pay the rental company, to cover the damage or loss.
Car hire excess waiver is an optional payment, which protects you against any excess charges you may incur, should your hire car be damaged or stolen.
Other terms commonly used to describe car hire excess include deductible, franchise and Super CDW.
When you hire a car, the vehicle comes with standard car hire insurance included (referred to as the collision damage waiver, CDW, or loss damage waiver). As is the case with most personal motor insurance policies, it’s likely that you will still be liable to pay an excess, before the rental company cover the rest of the cost of any accident or damage. This means that you are liable to pay the ‘excess’ if anything happens to the hire car, regardless of whether it was your fault or not, unless you have bought the Excess Waiver.
Not really. There are wild cats in the northern Highlands but these are very rare and very rarely seen. These are slightly larger than a domestic cat. You may also see foxes or more rarely badgers but these will keep well out of your way and are nothing to worry about.
There is only one poisonous snake, the Adder which can be found up in the hills.
It wants to meet you even less than you want to meet it so, it’s liable to be well out of the way by the time you blunder along. If you should encounter one don’t try to stroke it! Their bite rarely kills but if you are unwell or have any previous medical problems it can be serious. They have a clear ‘V’ on the back of their heads.
That’s it, no creepy spiders, no horrific insects, although the tiny midge and the quite large cleg or horse fly can make you itch in the summer months.
Yes, you should return the car with a full tank. Please also ensure when you pick up your rental car that the tank is full.
The car hire fleet is generally replaced within 3-6 months, so it is extremely unlikely any vehicle will breakdown, but in case of any problems, roadside recovery cover is included in your rental costs and full contact details will be provided in your rental folder.
Yes you can take your rental car on a ferry to any of the Scottish islands. There is no extra cost.
When you book your ferry you might be asked for the make of car and registration number.
As you won’t have that information, just tell them it is a RENTAL. The important information they want, is the height and the length of the vehicle. All the vehicles are less than 5 metres long and 2 metres high. Except the group nine vans, which are approximately 5.25 metres long and 2 metres high.
We are able to supply wheelchair accessible rental cars via a partner organisation, enabling us to offer a wide range of wheelchair accessible vehicles for hire, from smaller wheelchair cars to larger vans and people carriers. Both manual and automatic options are available.
It is very important you understand this one
The holder of an overseas driving licence may, for a period of up to one year, drive a motor vehicle in Britain.
EU drivers must possess a driving licence and either a passport or ID card.
Drivers outwith the EU must possess a valid domestic driving licence with English translation. If an English translation is not available, an international driving permit is required in addition to a domestic driving licence. A passport must also accompany a domestic driving licence.
Visitors from countries where you drive on the right might like to consider automatic transmission, on the basis that it’s one less thing to think of. “Bad enough driving on the wrong side, without changing gears with the wrong hand too!” Our experience tells us it really takes very little time to become used to the change, but if you feel it’s going to make things harder, we have a range of automatic vehicles. The roads in most of Scotland are not as busy as many countries, so driving is generally more relaxing here.
In urban areas, the speed limit is generally 20 or 30 miles per hour (mph), which sometimes goes up to 40 mph on dual carriageways (these are four lane roads with 2 lanes going in each direction). On roads outside town, the speed limit rises to 60 mph on normal roads and 70 mph on dual carriageways or motorways.
Not really. It’s all about paying attention to what you’re doing. We recommend you stick a little arrow on the windscreen of your car, pointing to the left. With this always in view, it’s hard to forget which side you’re on. In the rural Northern areas and on many of the islands, the roads are single track with passing places, so there is no right or left. That makes it pretty easy. Scottish drivers are generally very courteous and tolerant and will often give way to other traffic. If you hire an automatic, you’ll have one less thing to think about.
In the unfortunate, and hopefully unlikely event you should be involved in an accident while driving your hire car, you will have been given full instructions to follow and contact telephone numbers to use to obtain support.
This is the difficult question! I think we can safely say it’s changeable and suggest for more information you take a look at the UK Met Office site which gives pretty comprehensive information about the weather throughout the UK. In our experience May and June are the best months but you can never be sure.
Whatever season you visit the trick is to wear layers of lighter clothing, rather than a couple of heavy items. It’s easy to take off and put on layers as the weather demands. A light weight, wind and water proof top is probably a very good idea, too, at any time of year. For that cozy in the middle of winter feeling bring along your favourite fleece and woolly hat.