Should You Hire a Car in Edinburgh?
A fairly compact city, many of Edinburgh's sights and tourist attractions can be found in the Old Town and New Town. However, the city's public transport system is relatively poor compared to major European cities, so getting far from the centre might not be such an easy feat without your own vehicle to navigate. Instead of having to rely on local buses and the sparse suburban railway network, renting a car is the more convenient option.
Simply search for car rental companies based at Edinburgh Airport and choose one that suits your liking. Book online and have your rental car waiting for you by the time you arrive. It's that easy!
Where to Hire a Car at Edinburgh Airport
There are 9 Car Hire companies stationed at Edinburgh Airport, namely Alamo, Europcar, National, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, Sixt, and Thrifty Car Rental. Edinburgh Airport features a combined Car Rental Centre where you can find the information desks and easily compare all the major rental car brands. The centre is conveniently located next to the car park, with direct access via covered walkway to the airport terminal. The information desks in the Rental Car Centre are open daily from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM.
There are more cheap Car Hire options near Edinburgh Airport with a free shuttle bus service that takes less than 5 minutes from the airport's coach park, Green Motion and Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental being two of the companies that operate nearby.
What Do You Need to Rent a Car from Edinburgh Airport
- The minimum age to legally drive a vehicle, rental or privately owned, in Edinburgh is 23 years old.
- The documents required in order to rent a car may vary, but the general requirements are a Full and Valid Driver's Licence from the country of origin, and a valid passport and credit card registered in the renter's name.
- Those whose driver's license is not in the English language will need to present an international driving permit.
- Holders of GB photo-card driving license should note that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is abolishing the paper counterpart as of 8 June 2015. This means that the paper counterpart will no longer have any legal status.
Driving from Edinburgh Airport
Edinburgh's city centre is located some 12 km east of Edinburgh Airport via the M8 motorway from Glasgow. The journey can take as little as 25 minutes in light traffic. The Old Town is not particularly car friendly, with many medieval streets and driving restrictions within the city centre where much of Princes Street and Shandwick Place are restricted only to public transport.
Edinburgh Airport's location outside the city also allows easy access to the national network of roads that make Edinburgh a convenient place to begin journeys to attractions across central Scotland. There are 12 National Tourist Routes that take you through scenic drives across the country.
Parking in Edinburgh
Edinburgh operates a controlled parking zone. Parking on the street is illegal within a large central area without a resident's parking permit, and even cars that are parked illegally for only a few minutes can be reprimanded. There are also public car parks available at Ferrytoll, Ingliston, Hermiston, Straiton, Wallyford, and Ocean Terminal.
Places to Visit by Car From Edinburgh Airport
Leith is Edinburgh's independent-minded port area, located to the north of the city at the mouth of the Water of Leith. It contains several attractions, like the Royal Yacth Brtiannia, Water of Leith Walkway, a large undercover shopping centre at Ocean Terminal (including High Street chain shops), and lots of bars and restaurants. Parking space there tends to be better than in New Town.
Head east on Waterloo PI/A1 towars Calton Hill and stay on A1. Turn left onto Easter Road. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Duke Street, then turn right to Duncan PI and keep going until you reach the city of Leith.
Livingston is the biggest town in West Lothian, situated 25 km west of Edinburgh. Its attractions include the Almondvale Shopping Centre, Eliburn Reservoir, and the nearby Almondell and Calderwood Country Park. The shopping centre is located at the heart of the town.
From A7, get on M8. Follow M8 to West Lothian and at Junction 3 exit onto Livingston Road/A899. At the roundabout, exit onto Houstoun Road, turn left on the way to Ladywell E. Road, then turn right to Willowbank to get to the centre of Livingston.
Linlithgow is the county town of West Lothian. It is an ancient town that lies south of two prominent landmarks: namely Linlithgow Palcae and Linlithgow Loch.
The town is situated between Junctions 3 and 4 of the M9. From the Edinburgh or anywhere from the south, take Junction 3. If arriving from the north, take Junction 4 instead.
This information is correct as of June 2018