Car Rental Inverness
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Why rent a car in Inverness?
Inverness is a great place to visit. The city is small and cozy but has surprisingly many things to explore, from interesting architecture to pubs and restaurants. Inverness is also a great base for seeing the rest of the Scottish Highlands. Whether you’re interested in Loch Ness, the United Kingdom’s highest mountains, or an impressive, rugged coastline, all of these places can be easily reached if you have your own ride.
Top ways to enter Inverness
- Inverness Airport: Known as Port-adhair Inbhir Nis in the local Scottish Gaelic language, Inverness Airport is served by 8 different airlines and hosts flights to the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Switzerland, and other European countries. The airport is conveniently located only 13km (8 miles) northeast of the city center.
- Aberdeen Airport: Serving the largest city of Northern Scotland, Aberdeen Airport saw more than 3 million travelers in 2018. Aberdeen is about 166km (103 miles) east of Inverness, a distance that can be traveled by car in about two and a half hours.
- Dundee Airport: Serving the city of the same name, as of June 2019, Dundee Airport hosts only one route, connecting the city to London. If you’re arriving there from the capital of the United Kingdom, Inverness will be 215 km (134 mi) north, a distance that can be traveled in less than three hours.
- Edinburgh Airport: Serving the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh Airport is the busiest in Scotland and the sixth-busiest in the United Kingdom. Located 251km (156 miles) south of Inverness, it can be reached in about three hours.
- By rail: If you’re arriving in Inverness by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at the Inverness Railway Station.
Useful city facts
- Located near the coast of the North Sea, Inverness has an oceanic climate. The air temperature is around 15°C (59°F) in July and August, the warmest months, and 4°C (39°F) from December to February, the coldest months. Inverness is one of the driest cities in the United Kingdom but experiences some snowy days every year.
- While most of the inhabitants of Inverness are native speakers of English, there is a large community of speakers of Scottish Gaelic. A member of the Celtic linguistic group, it is only distantly related to English and is the native language of the Scottish Highlands. Inverness is known as Inbhir Nis in Scottish Gaelic.
Top destinations and activities
- Inverness Castle. Although not famous for its defensive capabilities (it was invaded, looted, and destroyed multiple times throughout history), Inverness Castle is one of the nicest buildings in the city. Located on an impressive cliff overlooking the River Ness, it offers great panoramic views from its North Tower and having seen no invasions since 1846, it’s safe to say you can relax and enjoy.
- Inverness Museum & Art Gallery. Covering the human habitation of Inverness since ancient times, this museum has exhibits on everything from the mysterious Pictish stones (the Celtic tribe that once inhabited the area) to medieval weapons and stunning paintings of the Highlands. Check out the museum’s official website before visiting - with plenty of rotating exhibits, there’s always something new going on.
- Inverness Botanic Gardens. Located in the Bught Park near the riverbank, the beautiful gardens have many local protected plant species as well as a collection of exotic plants inside its glasshouse. If you’re in a rush and cannot visit one of the national parks nearby, this is the best place in Inverness to spend some time outdoors.
Traffic and parking tips
- The United Kingdom drives on the left-hand side of the road
- On-street parking is usually heavily restricted. Never park on a white, double yellow or double red line (stopping on motorways and along red lines is illegal).
- You are not allowed to use your mobile phone while driving unless you use a hands-free system.
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 112 km/h (70 mph) on motorways, 112 km/h (70 mph) on dual carriageways, 96 km/h (60 mph) on single carriageways and 48km/h (30 mph) in residential areas and areas with street lighting.
- In Scotland, the legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for both experienced and novice drivers. In the rest of the UK, the legal alcohol limit is 0.08% for both experienced and novice drivers. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, a suspended license, or even imprisonment.
- The population density of the Highlands is quite low, so the roads are not crowded and the driving is very enjoyable. However, many Scottish farmers keep sheep who occasionally wander on the roads and are one of the main reasons for road accidents in the region, so watch out for them.
- It’s not a bad idea to get familiar with the Highway Code, an official guide book of driving rules and tips in England, Scotland, and Wales, issued by the UK Government. The guide book can be downloaded online for free on its official website.
- Proof of insurance and the documentation of the car need to be in it whenever you’re driving.
- When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency numbers are 999 and 112.
Currently, there is only a single toll road in the United Kingdom, the M6 toll. You also have to pay a toll for using a number of bridges and tunnels as well as for entering the central areas of London and Durham (a city in North East England).
As an alternative to the M6 around Birmingham, the M6toll is a 43km (27 mile) long portion of the road, also known as the Birmingham North Relief Road (BNRR), that relieves congestion on the M6 itself. There are toll gates where you can pay by either cash or credit card. As of March 2019, the price is £6.40 for using the toll road from Monday to Friday (from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.), £5.30 for using the toll road on Saturday or Sunday (from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.), and £4.10 for using the toll road at night time on any day (from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.). Find out more on the M6 Toll official website.
Find out more about toll roads in the United Kingdom on the European toll road website.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Culloden. Its name meaning “back of a small pond” in Gaelic, Culloden is a small village near Inverness. Famous since ancient times as the location of clootie wells, a network of sacred springs, Culloden is also the location of Clava cairn, a mysterious burial complex, the site of the Battle of Culloden, and a place mentioned in Shakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth. Even if you’re not big on history, Culloden is the perfect place for a nice day outdoors. Located just a 15-minute drive east of Inverness, it’s easy to reach, too.
- Loch Ness. Although you might not be lucky enough to meet its most famous inhabitant, the Loch Ness Monster, with the impressive Urquhart Castle, old lighthouses, rugged beaches, and deep blue water, this lake is still a stunning place to visit. Dores, the closest village on the lake’s northwestern coast, is just 15km (9 miles) south of Inverness and can be reached in about 20 minutes. But don’t stop there continue along the entire route around Loch Ness as it is considered to be one of the most picturesque in Europe.
- Cairngorms National Park. With 1.8 million visitors every year, you might think the Cairngorms is a crowded place, but its 4,500 square kilometers of mountain plateaus, huge rocks, and vast wetlands provide enough space and freedom for everyone. A semi-tundra moorland, the park is home to unique species like the rock ptarmigan, red grouse, otter, reindeer, and wild cat. Boat of Garten, one of the nearest settlements to the national park, is about 47km (29 miles) southeast of Inverness and can be reached in less than 50 minutes.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car types in Inverness are economy, compact, and intermediate, while the most popular rental cars are the Vauxhall Corsa, the Vauxhall Astra, and the Ford Focus.
- Ben Nevis. Part of the impressive Nevis Range, Ben Nevis is the highest summit in the British Isles. Surrounded by formidable cliffs, its clouded peak can only be accessed by experienced climbers, but even just hiking the lower paths will feel awesome. The summit of Aonach Mòr, Ben Nevis’s neighbor mountain, can be accessed by a cable car. The nearest town, Fort William, is also worth a visit, thanks to both the spectacular nature of its surroundings and landmarks like the West Highland Museum. Fort William is about 106km (66 miles) southwest of Inverness and can be reached in less than two hours.
- Aberdeen. Located on the coast of the North Sea, Aberdeen is often called the Oil Capital of Europe but has plenty to offer even if you’re not interested in the extractive industries. Its unique granite architecture is unrivaled in the United Kingdom, Aberdeen Maritime Museum tells the story of the city’s proud seafaring past and present, and the Union Terrace Gardens, Winter Gardens, and the Aberdeen beach offer a great day outdoors (or even great surfing, if you’re visiting in summertime). Located 167km (104 miles) east of Inverness, it takes less than three hours to reach it by car.
- Edinburgh. With its many castles and churches, unique areas like the Royal Mile and Portobello, and long beautiful coast, Edinburgh is perhaps the most picturesque city in the United Kingdom. Go to a folk concert in the Old Town, visit the National Gallery of Scotland, or explore Edinburgh’s libraries which would make Hogwarts proud. The capital of Scotland is about 251km (156 miles) south of Inverness and can be reached in a little more than three hours.
How can I save money on my rental car?
These are the things you can do to land a cheap rental car in the Scottish Highlands:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Inverness is the cheapest in February when renting a car is about 45% cheaper than the yearly average. Come visit in the Highlands in wintertime!
Top 20 Cities near Inverness
London Car Rentals from $33.17 per day721.3 km / 448.2 miles away
Edinburgh Car Rentals from $14.46 per day181.8 km / 113.0 miles away
Birmingham Car Rentals from $28.27 per day584.4 km / 363.2 miles away
Manchester Car Rentals from $16.73 per day479.0 km / 297.6 miles away
Glasgow Car Rentals from $11.95 per day187.2 km / 116.3 miles away
Belfast Car Rentals from $23.76 per day344.3 km / 213.9 miles away
Luton Car Rentals from $19.57 per day672.8 km / 418.1 miles away
Bristol Car Rentals from $15.49 per day690.3 km / 428.9 miles away
Leeds Car Rentals from $27.42 per day435.2 km / 270.4 miles away
Liverpool Car Rentals from $14.43 per day474.0 km / 294.6 miles away
Newcastle Car Rentals from $15.82 per day314.2 km / 195.2 miles away
East Midlands Car Rentals from $11.83 per day551.5 km / 342.7 miles away
Cardiff Car Rentals from $28.16 per day684.9 km / 425.6 miles away
Southampton Car Rentals from $25.81 per day753.4 km / 468.2 miles away
Aberdeen Car Rentals from $22.29 per day117.0 km / 72.7 miles away
Exeter Car Rentals from $23.76 per day758.1 km / 471.1 miles away
Bournemouth Car Rentals from $30.00 per day765.4 km / 475.6 miles away
Jersey Car Rentals from $35.98 per day934.8 km / 580.8 miles away
491.1 km / 305.2 miles away
Norwich Car Rentals from $28.16 per day638.1 km / 396.5 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Inverness
Inverness Railway Station Car Rentals from $86.16 per day
Inverness Airport Car Rentals from $49.49 per day12.6 km / 7.8 miles away
Aberdeen Airport Car Rentals from $22.29 per day125.2 km / 77.8 miles away
Dundee Airport Car Rentals from $43.76 per day135.3 km / 84.1 miles away
Edinburgh Airport Car Rentals from $14.46 per day177.9 km / 110.5 miles away
Glasgow Airport Car Rentals from $11.95 per day179.2 km / 111.4 miles away
Glasgow Central Railway Station Car Rentals from $39.54 per day180.2 km / 112.0 miles away
Prestwick Airport Car Rentals from $31.63 per day220.2 km / 136.8 miles away
Newcastle Airport Car Rentals from $15.82 per day313.3 km / 194.7 miles away
Belfast City Airport Car Rentals from $23.76 per day334.3 km / 207.7 miles away
Belfast International Airport Car Rentals from $23.76 per day337.3 km / 209.6 miles away
Isle of Man Airport Car Rentals from $64.72 per day378.5 km / 235.2 miles away
Leeds Bradford Airport Car Rentals from $27.42 per day432.7 km / 268.9 miles away
Liverpool Airport Car Rentals from $14.43 per day469.1 km / 291.5 miles away
Manchester Airport Car Rentals from $16.73 per day474.9 km / 295.1 miles away
Humberside Airport Car Rentals from $28.16 per day497.8 km / 309.3 miles away
East Midlands Airport Car Rentals from $11.83 per day548.5 km / 340.9 miles away
Birmingham New Street Railway Station Car Rentals from $28.08 per day575.6 km / 357.6 miles away
Birmingham Airport Car Rentals from $28.27 per day580.7 km / 360.8 miles away
Norwich Airport Car Rentals from $28.16 per day638.5 km / 396.7 miles away
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