5 min read
Scotland’s been voted as the most beautiful country in the world several times already in different web magazines and websites. It’s a breathtaking place with its lochs, glens, hills, mountains and jagged coastlines. The castles are magical and the golfing holidays cannot be resisted. There’s no better way to appreciate this gem by driving its twisty, turning roads from one stunning locale to another, but if you aren’t familiar with our country, I suggest for you to get a guide to help you get the most of your Scotland visit.
Scotland Roadtrip – Self Driving vs Taxi Hire
Vacationing with a guide may not give you the flexibility that you want, but it will eliminate any hassles that might end up destroying your trip. One instance you’ll like having a local driver around is when you get involved in an accident. Nobody knows driving conditions better than local 24/7 taxis so they are already familiar with how most drivers are on almost any road.
Another is when you suddenly got stuck because your engine failed. Inverness taxis have connections with most of the best rad assistance services so when you are with a local driver, you won’t get into such kinds of trouble.
Self-Driving Around the Highlands: Conditions
Many first-time visitors to Scotland are intimidated by the idea of driving on the “wrong” side of the road and the “wrong” side of the car. That’s normal and good. A little anxiety at the beginning makes you a sharp and defensive driver. The truth is that it’s really the first 15 minutes of driving that’s scary. After that, your subconscious adjusts to the flow of traffic and you won’t even consider turning right into a roundabout.
But there are some limitations for renting a car here in Scotland. First, you must be at least 23 years old and have held a valid driver’s license in your home country for at least 12 months. If you are 23 or 24, you may be restricted to renting certain cars and may incur a small surcharge.
A driver’s license is the other requirement. You do not need an international driver’s license. For non-EU visitors, your domestic driver’s license allows you to drive in Scotland for up to a year provided it is in English or has an English translation. You must also have a valid passport. If an English translation is not available then an international driving permit suffices. EU visitors need only their domestic driver’s license and a passport or ID card.
When it comes to choosing what type of car to rent, this is personal preference. You have to take note, though, that automatic transmission cars always cost more and there are generally fewer of them in any given agency’s fleet. What you get for that extra cost is one less thing to worry about as you use your left hand to shift gears.
Before you get too worried, while you are driving from the right side of the car and shifting with your left hand, the shifting pattern is not reversed. The good news is that most of Scotland’s roads are not busy, which provides you the time and breathing room to get accustomed to driving a manual. Inverness may see some traffic during the rush hours but when you take a tour at the outskirts, you will see the breathing room we’re talking about.
Try going through the Route NC 500 and you will enjoy the long ride at the wide road. It’s a famous route in the Highlands with so many tourist attractions along the way so if you really want to experience Scotland driving, this is the place to be.
The perceived cost of renting a car is often what turns visitors to public transportation or booking taxi hire from Inverness 24/7 taxis. You see, renting a car is usually not the cheapest option.
The class and transmission of the car is the primary determinant of cost. Petrol is significantly more expensive too in Scotland than in other countries.
When you rent a car in Scotland, you will have to take note of the ‘excess’ or deductibles that companies will charge you with. Most agencies try to sell you on the excess waiver, meaning they waive the excess, dropping what you would pay in the event of an accident to £0, at the cost of an extra daily charge. But if you don’t take the excess then you will have to pay half of the damages incurred.
What’s Not Likeable in Scotland Self-Drving
Driving in Scotland is a pleasure. By and large, the roads are good, the drivers are good and the signs are good. But there’s always a huge disadvantage when you do so and we’ve already mentioned some earlier.
Here are some others:
- Cost: We’ve mentioned that car rental in Scotland isn’t cheap. Renting a car is going to drive up the cost of your vacation. If this is an issue, then you may want to forget about renting a car.
- Risk: There is always the risk that you could damage the vehicle or even get into an account.
- You may not need a car: The truth is that once you get to your travel destination, you may realize that you don’t actually need the rental car. So, think twice before you book it. Plan where you want to go first and if they are easily reachable through public transport or booking 24/7 taxis, then you might want to skip the rental.
- Worry about parking: Parking could be an issue with a rental car. You may be required to pay for parking when you visit different tourist areas. Plus, you will need to make arrangements with your hotel for parking, which you may also have to pay for daily.
- Worrying While Touring: Sometimes, it will bother you to think that you might have parked the car you rented while you are on a day tour. The worrying will just spoil the fun so it’s better to eliminate the hassle altogether.
And these are the reasons why we are here.