Travel/Getting Around

by Judy
(Spring, Texas, USA)

Hi May,

First of all, I love your site. It is so useful and chock full of information!

My husband and I are hoping to go to Scotland soon and we plan to see as much as we can. Would it be better to hire a driver or rent a car?


Judy Garza-Smith

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Jun 26, 2008
Good Question!
by: May

Hi Judy
Thanks for your interesting question. I'm sure many folk would be interested in that too. (Thank you too for you kind comments on my site .... much appreciated.)

First of all, regarding renting a car - a lot depends on people's 'fear' of driving on the left. Many people, and indeed many Americans, find the roads here so much narrower (except the motorways) and the speed can sometimes seem faster and often with just one lane in either direction - pretty intimidating; and then there are the famous roundabouts!

Have a read on the 'Getting Around' Page - there's a wee bit of information on driving around Scotland.

However, I hope to have ready soon 'A Guide to Driving on the left in the UK' which will have a small charge but be downloadable. When it's ready, I'll post back here.

Renting a car can give you the flexibility to go where and when you please, stopping where it suits you, taking an interesting wee 'B' road if it seem to show something appealling. You should be able to get the cost of renting a car over the internet from any part of the world and often as a package when you book your flights. Do remember in you costs that the Insurance can be very high, and the wost thing at the moment is the cost of petrol (gas) - at almost US $12 per gallon - it is a crippler for all motorists, but shocking for Americans.

Another negative about renting a car, especially if you are coming from the States, is that you will be very tired on arrival (having missed a night, somewhere in the air!!), and trying to negotiate our roads, road rules and roundabouts when you are very tired can be very daunting as well as dangerous for yourself and other motorists.

Having a chauffeur driven car is something else entirely. If you have a good company they can be as flexible as you want them to be (after all - you're paying!!) If you're looking for this type of transport for the whole of your trip, you might find it very expensive. Have a wee look at the page I mentioned earlier and look at the link to Chauffeur page. If you chose this method, you would not need to worry about the roads, traffic, roundabouts or any other driving laws.

Perhaps, a compromise would be a good thing. If you know where your first place you plan to visit is going to be - you could get a chauffeur/driver to collect you at the airport in style and take you to your accommodation. Recover from the jet lack and hire a car from where you are, and if you are returning the car to the same location at the end of your trip, then arrange for the chauffeur to take you back to the airport 'in style'. You could also hire the chauffeur for some specific tours that interest you, as he/she will probably be able to show you not only touristy bits, but maybe some lesser known thing/places too.

So, Judy, I hope that helps a bit. The bottom line - it is YOUR choice. I hope you enjoy your trip.

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