We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Car Hire Isle of Lewis and drop off on Isle of Skye

Adairsville, Georgia
2 posts
Save Topic
Car Hire Isle of Lewis and drop off on Isle of Skye

I will be in Scotland in October and was hoping to fly into Stornoway on Lewis Oct. 10 (I know it's a Sunday but that can't be helped) and hire a car.

Tour Lewis on Sunday and stay somewhere on the West coast of Lewis Sunday night.

Monday drive to Tarbert and catch the ferry to Uig/ Skye and drive around. Stay Monday night somewhere on SKye...

Tuesday, see the southern part of Skye and leave the car in Armendale or Mailliag to be on the 14:00 train from Maillaig to Ft. Williams....

Is this at all doable? Do you know of a car rental company that will let me pick up a car at Storornoway and then drop off on Skye or Maillaig?

Trying to figure out all of these finer details from the US is a bit challenging.

Thanks for any help you can give!!!

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
Level Contributor
6,513 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Car Hire Isle of Lewis and drop off on Isle of Skye

There is no one-way car hire between Lewis and Skye, AFAIK. I don't think there is even one-way hire between Stornoway and Tarbert (Harris).

The best I can suggest is to hire a car in Stornoway, and return it there. Then take a bus to Tarbert (Harris), and go across to Skye. You may be able to arrange to pick up a car at Uig (Skye) and drop it off at Armadale. If not, you'll have to take the bus to Portree or Broadford and pick up a car there. I know that there's at least one hire company in Broadford which will let you drop off your car at Armadale.

Hope this helps.

glasgow scotland
Destination Expert
for Glasgow
Level Contributor
9,581 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Car Hire Isle of Lewis and drop off on Isle of Skye

I'm no expert on the Hebrides and no doubt someone may come along and assist, but the reason you are finding it challenging is the fact of the cost.

The costs of taking the car on the ferry and then the same cost plus manpower to the hire company to get it back is prohibitive.

Remember up in that part of the world the hire companies are small local outfits, you won't find the likes of your Hertz's up there.

I think you would be much cheaper hiring on each Island.

Aberdeen, Scotland
Level Contributor
1,914 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Car Hire Isle of Lewis and drop off on Isle of Skye

You might consider flying to Inverness instead and hiring car at the airport upon arrival. You can then travel to Lewis via the ferry from Ullapool, take the Tarbert / Uig ferry from Harris to Skye then return vehicle to Inverness. Ferry costs for vehicles and passengers on these routes were reduced substantially about 2 years ago due to introduction of RET (road equivalent tariff). As a guide it's 60 miles from Inverness to Ullapool and 82 miles from Kyle of Lochalsh (exit point from Skye) to Inverness.

glasgow scotland
Destination Expert
for Glasgow
Level Contributor
9,581 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Car Hire Isle of Lewis and drop off on Isle of Skye

Good plan as for the car hiring side of things Hubbert, but the OP seems to be on a tight schedule and by the looks of it has to be in Ft William at a certain time.

Aberdeen, Scotland
Level Contributor
1,914 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Car Hire Isle of Lewis and drop off on Isle of Skye

madscotsman, I think OP may well have problems with onward transport on Lewis given arrival day is a Sunday. Although the airport is open (and there's now a Sunday ferry crossing) most other facilities are still closed on Sundays. There are no Sunday bus services to Harris and one of the car hire operators states opening times as 'Monday to Saturday'. I suspect that picking up a rental vehicle in Lewis will be problematic, if not impossible, on a Sunday.

I'd suggest that OP contacts the car rental companies serving Stornoway Airport (I found 2 in search just now) to clarify the position. It would be a lot easier if OP could reschedule arrival day so as to avoid arriving on a Sunday; if not they may well have to plan on not venturing beyond Stornoway until Monday or using the Inverness / ferry option as I suggested upthread. If OP does decide to use the Sunday ferry from Ullapool to Stornoway it's important to note that this recently-introduced sailing is proving very popular and advance booking if crossing with a vehicle is strongly recommended.

Adairsville, Georgia
2 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Car Hire Isle of Lewis and drop off on Isle of Skye

Thank you to all for your advice. We may be trying to do too much in too short of time.

I'm still researching and will gladly share my findings and photos upon return for anyone interested.

Thanks again for all of you help!

Gig Harbor...
Level Contributor
819 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Car Hire Isle of Lewis and drop off on Isle of Skye

Hi Darbyscott,

We visited the places you mention in June, 2010. I wonder if you realize what tiny populations they have? Stornoway is the "big city" with about 8,000 people, the others aren't much more than ferry ports. Could you hire a car in Fort William, drive to Skye to spend your Sunday exploring (stay Portree) , drive about thirty minutes to Uig and take the Uig-Tarbert ferry on Monday, go see Callanish (is that your reason for going to Lewis?), Tuesday take the ferry Tarbert-Uig and return through Skye to Fort William? That's probably doable, although Skye is so beautiful it deserves an extra day. So does Lewis, but I guess your time is limited. On Lewis, Leumadair Farm B & B is less than a mile from Callanish.

8. Re: Car Hire Isle of Lewis and drop off on Isle of Skye

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 13 March 2011, 06:17
Get answers to your questions about Isle of Lewis