Rent a car in Edinburgh with Europcar
Scotland’s buzzy capital, Edinburgh, is an enchanting place to visit and it’s not hard to see why it is the second most popular tourist destination in the UK. With an eclectic food reputation, unrivalled cultural scene and diverse local landscapes, there really is something for everyone.
Edinburgh is a great place to rent a car, whether you are planning to stay in the city or venture further out into the beauty of Scotland. It is an easy drive from Glasgow, and just a short plane journey from London Gatwick.
The Europcar car rental experience in Edinburgh
With five Europcar stations across the city, you’re sure to find a convenient branch for your car rental. Popular pick-up points include Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh Waverley train station. Choosing car hire in Edinburgh gives you the freedom to explore the whole of the city and the surrounding area how and when you choose.
Our fleet of cars includes smaller economy car hire and larger family models, with popular choices being the Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Passat. Van rental is also available, from our Edinburgh West station, ideal for moving larger loads or getting students moved in to their university accommodation.
Europcar Edinburgh offers economy car hire and van hire for both short and long term rental periods, giving you total flexibility.
Driving in Edinburgh
If you live within the EU, you will need a valid EU driver’s licence to rent a car in Scotland.
All Scottish signposts are in miles. The national speed limit is 70 miles per hour (112 km/h) for cars on motorways and dual carriageways, 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) on single track roads, and 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) in built-up areas. It is common for this to be reduced to 20 miles per hour around schools and in some residential areas.
When driving outside of Edinburgh, be aware that more remote areas may have different road conditions and fewer petrol stations. Plan your journey carefully and always check the weather before you drive. There are no toll fees to pay when you enter Scotland or on Scottish roads.
Due to its historic nature, parking in the centre of Edinburgh is limited. There is some on-street parking as well as off-street car parks and multi-storey long stay car parks. There is also a park and ride system in place. Many areas of Edinburgh use a mobile payment system called RingGo, where you can pay by phone or using a smartphone application.
Edinburgh is popular all year around, but be aware when travelling by car that road traffic coming in and out of the city is heavier during peak hours of the working week, and on Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings. During the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, access to some of the city is blocked off.
Driving while under the influence of alcohol and driving while using a phone (either calling or texting) is strictly prohibited. Penalties are severe if you are caught.
Discover Edinburgh and surroundings by car
Situated on the east coast of Scotland, Edinburgh has been the country’s capital since the 15th century. The city is divided into the Old Town and the New Town, and both are World Heritage sites. With its colourful streets, panoramic hilltops such as Arthur’s Seat, and inner-city green spaces including the Royal Botanical Garden, the Edinburgh experience is truly unique.
If you fancy driving out of Edinburgh for a day trip, there are numerous places within easy driving distance to explore. Stirling, the gateway to the Highlands, boasts a gargantuan castle and beautiful dense woodland. St. Andrews is the home of golf and Scotland’s oldest university. Fans of The Da Vinci Code will be keen to head to Roselin, seat of Rosslyn Chapel and supposed burial place of the Holy Grail.
Also within driving distance of Edinburgh by car are Glasgow (46 miles/74 kilometres away) and Dundee (62 miles/99 kilometres away).
The glowing redstone of Linlithgow is reason alone to travel to this stunning area, around a 40-minute drive from Edinburgh. The birthplace of James V and his daughter Mary Queen of Scots, the lakeside castle, Linlithgow Palace, is a relic of the Stewart dynasty that ruled Scotland during the 1300s. Walk around the grounds, and then into the charming town along the palace towpath.
Things to see in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a festival town, with 11 regular events held every year, including the acclaimed Fringe arts festival, the Film Festival, the Jazz & Blues Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the famous New Year’s Eve Hogmanay celebrations to name just a few.
The city doesn’t sleep outside of festival season however, with a constant thriving arts scene, foodie culture and countless adrenaline-inducing experiences. The atmospheric Edinburgh Castle, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and the former Royal Yacht, Britannia, are just some of Edinburgh’s highlights.