If you’re planning a visit to Edinburgh, hiring a car can be an excellent way to explore the beautiful city and its surrounding areas at your own pace. Renting a car provides convenience and flexibility, allowing you to venture beyond the city limits and discover the stunning landscapes of Scotland. However, before you book your car rental, it’s important to understand the cost of hiring a car in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Skyline

Factors Affecting Car Rental Prices in Edinburgh

Several factors influence the cost of hiring a car in Edinburgh. By considering these factors, you can better estimate your expenses and plan your budget accordingly:

1. Seasonal Demand

Seasonal demand plays a significant role in car rental prices in Edinburgh. During peak tourist seasons, such as the Edinburgh Festival in August or the Christmas and New Year period, prices tend to be higher due to increased demand. If you’re visiting during these times, it’s advisable to book your car rental well in advance to secure the best rates.

2. Rental Duration

The duration of your car rental affects the overall cost. Rental companies usually offer daily, weekly, and monthly rates. Generally, the longer the rental period, the lower the average daily rate. If you plan to explore Edinburgh and its surrounding areas extensively, opting for a weekly or monthly rental can be more cost-effective.

3. Car Type and Size

The type and size of the car you choose will impact the rental price. Edinburgh car rental agencies offer a variety of options, from economy cars to SUVs and luxury vehicles. Economy and compact cars are typically the most affordable, while larger vehicles and luxury models come with a higher price tag. Consider your travel needs, the number of passengers, and the amount of luggage to choose a suitable car that fits within your budget.

4. Additional Services and Insurance

Additional services and insurance options offered by car rental companies can add to the overall cost. These services may include GPS navigation systems, child seats, additional drivers, or comprehensive insurance coverage. While these extras can enhance your experience and provide peace of mind, they come at an extra cost. Evaluate your requirements and choose the additional services that are essential for your trip.

5. Rental Location

The location from which you rent the car can also impact the price. Car rentals at Edinburgh Airport or in the city center may have slightly higher rates due to convenience. However, exploring rental offices in the outskirts or nearby towns can often lead to more competitive prices. Consider different rental locations and compare prices to find the best deal.

Average Car Rental Prices in Edinburgh

The cost of hiring a car in Edinburgh can vary based on the factors mentioned above. As a general guide, here are approximate price ranges for different car categories:

  • Economy Cars: £20-£40 per day, £140-£280 per week
  • Compact Cars: £25-£50 per day, £175-£350 per week
  • Mid-Size Cars: £30-£60 per day, £210-£420 per week
  • SUVs: £40-£80 per day, £280-£560 per week
  • Luxury Cars: £80-£150 per day, £560-£1,050 per week

Please note that these prices are estimates and are subject to change based on the rental company, time of year, and other factors.

Tips for Saving Money on Car Rentals in Edinburgh

To make your car rental experience in Edinburgh more budget-friendly, consider the following tips:

  1. Book in Advance: Reserving your car rental early allows you to access better rates and ensures vehicle availability, especially during peak seasons.
  2. Compare Prices: Take the time to compare prices from different car rental companies to find the most competitive offer for your desired car type and rental duration.
  3. Consider Pick-up Locations: Renting a car from locations outside the city center or popular tourist areas can sometimes result in lower rental prices.
  4. Check for Special Offers: Keep an eye out for special promotions or discounts offered by rental companies. They may have exclusive deals that can help you save money.
  5. Read the Terms and Conditions: Before finalizing your reservation, carefully read and understand the rental agreement, including any restrictions, fuel policies, and additional charges.


Hiring a car in Edinburgh gives you the freedom to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace. The cost of renting a car depends on factors such as seasonal demand, rental duration, car type, additional services, and pickup location. By considering these factors and following the money-saving tips provided, you can find an affordable car rental option that suits your travel needs and budget.


  1. What is the minimum age to rent a car in Edinburgh?
    • The minimum age to rent a car in Edinburgh is usually 21 years old. However, some car hire companies may have higher age restrictions or charge a young driver fee for drivers under 25 years old. It’s important to check with the specific rental company for their age policies.
  2. Do I need an international driving license to rent a car in Edinburgh?
    • Visitors from the United Kingdom and European Union countries can use their national driving license to rent a car in Edinburgh. If you are from a non-EU country, an international driving license is generally required along with your national driving license.
  3. Are there any toll roads in Edinburgh?
    • No, there are no toll roads in Edinburgh or Scotland as a whole. However, be aware that parking fees may apply in certain areas of the city.
  4. What should I do in case of an accident or breakdown?
    • In the event of an accident or breakdown, contact the car hire company immediately for guidance. They will provide instructions on the necessary steps to take and may offer roadside assistance if needed.
  5. Can I drive a rental car from Edinburgh to other parts of Scotland?
    • Yes, you can drive a rental car from Edinburgh to other parts of Scotland. It’s a great opportunity to explore the stunning Scottish countryside and visit attractions outside the city. However, be sure to inform the rental company in advance and check if any additional fees or restrictions apply.
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