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Car Rental report from Inverness to the Highlands

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Car Rental report from Inverness to the Highlands

Hello everyone!

Just back from a week in Scotland - we had a wonderful time and beautiful weather - and I will write an official trip report next - but wanted to call out some specifics about car rentals since that gave me the greatest anxiety when planning.

We took the train from EDI to Inverness and planned to drive to Dornoch (an hour north) for two nights, then to Plockton (near the Isle of Skye) for two nights (so east coast to west coast).

We rented from Thrifty Car Rental in Inverness and they were awesome - I highly recommend them! We arrived on the train and you call them from a pay phone at the station (the bank of payphones are straight ahead on the wall of the station when you first get off the train). They answered the phone promptly and were at the train station to pick us up in 10 minutes. They drove over using the car we rented, so we only had to pack the bags once, and drove us back to the Thrifty agency (5 mins) and finished processing the paperwork, showed us how to use the GPS, pointed out all the scratches on the car, etc. We were off in absolutely no time and on our way.

Now for more specifics, I reserved a large sedan for 4 adults plus luggage - and they upgraded us to a beautiful brand new Land Rover Freelander - this car was SO nice. I took the additional insurance for 12GBP per day to avoid a $500 deductible- and for peace of mind I was glad I paid it b/c as a new car, I worried anytime it was parked in a car park that someone was going to open the door into the side - and the "scratches" and stone chips they originally listed as damage, I think would have buffed out and wouldn't call it damage at all - so I figured better safe than sorry by paying the additional fee.

For driving in the Highlands I could not imagine driving it in a sedan. We took a lot of single track roads, over hill and dale, mountains, etc and as someone that drives a small convertible, I could not imagine taking my small car over a lot of those back roads. If you are planning to drive the smaller roads, definitely go with a 4WD vehicle - and bring your Tums!

Returning the car was just as easy, we drove into the lot and the person at the desk took the keys, hopped in and drove us straight to the train station.

Thrifty Car Rental was so fast, polite, efficient and well priced than I would recommend them to all.

Happy Travels!

Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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1. Re: Car Rental report from Inverness to the Highlands

Nice report. Just the part that one needs a 4x4 if driving back roads is kinda exagerrated. Done many of Hihgland single tracks in a sedan type car and beside getting out and in nothing disturbed me. And try parking that Landy behind a b&b in Inverness.

Destination Expert
for Scotland
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2. Re: Car Rental report from Inverness to the Highlands

I'm not sure what a sedan is but I'm guessing it's something like a regular saloon car.

I've driven and been driven on most roads in Scotland including someof the most demanding like the roads to Glenelg and to Applecross.

I've never used a land rover or a 4wd and had no problems.

I think it's misleading to visitors to say that a 4wd is needed. It'ds just not the case.

It would be handy in severe snowy or icy weather but that's all

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3. Re: Car Rental report from Inverness to the Highlands

HOwdy all - OK, I'll confess, perhaps I exaggerated a bit, a 4WD isn't "needed" but I loved it so much I am trying to talk myself into buying one - seriously, that was a nice car!

But, the point I wanted to make was my 4 cylinder VW at home couldn't have handled 4 adults plus luggage AND been as responsive on a 14% grade hill AND been able to pull over into a small passing area at a moments notice. I drove slowly but still needed to stop on a dime or pull off to the side as cars came rushing at you and didn't pull into the passing area on their side. Two adults perhaps a sedan would be fine (the paper work just calls it a 'full size automatic' not sure what a 4 door car is called), but the weight of 4 adults plus luggage is a lot of added weight to hinder responsiveness. IMHO, I was happy to have the bigger car.

As for parking - yes, the 'Landy" wouldn't fit at the B&Bs, I parked in the town center parking lots and walked over to the hotels...

Most important in the post was how good Thrifty was - and the location of the pay phones - it took us 5 minutes to find them!


Dubai, United Arab...
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4. Re: Car Rental report from Inverness to the Highlands

How much did you pay approximately for the rental, as we are planning a similar trip in august this year. Also we will be at Inverness just two nights and would like any suggestions on thigs to do and whether we really need to have a rental if we plan to stay close to the city? Thank you

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5. Re: Car Rental report from Inverness to the Highlands

I'm really pleased you had such good service from Thrifty, your post makes a brilliant antidote to the tales of woe that often come up ... however I'd just like to say that whenever I've been in the north of Scotland I've been blown away by how friendly and helpful people are, so maybe it was the location rather than the organisation

6. Re: Car Rental report from Inverness to the Highlands

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