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Situated on the banks of the River Ness where it flows into the Moray Firth, and famous around the world for its legendarily shy Loch Ness Monster, Inverness is biggest urban centre in the Scottish Highlands – as well as one of the happiest and most welcoming cities in the UK. But while there’s plenty to see in the city itself, it’s also a gateway to the glories of the Highlands. With some of Scotland’s best drives on its doorstep, the best way by far to explore the area is by car.
Inverness Airport (INV) is conveniently located just 8 miles from the city centre. If you’re planning to hire a car on arrival, Avis and Europcar both have desks in the terminal, and it takes around 20 minutes to drive to Inverness proper on the A96. If you’d rather take public transport, the easiest way is to take the Jet Bus service.
Car hire brands available in Inverness include Avis, Europcar, Budget, Sixt and Hertz.
If you're seeking a quiet half-day’s activity, the Ness Islands Railway, a miniature rail line, is just a short drive from the city centre. Nearby are the Inverness Botanic Gardens and the Ness Islands, accessible by footbridges. The islands are the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or a picnic – just be sure to keep your eyes peeled for seals! Driving time: 10 minutes.
Of course, a visit to Inverness wouldn’t be complete without a day trip down to Loch Ness to try and spy old Nessie. For a tranquil and secluded view of the loch, drive south out of Inverness on the B862 for around twenty minutes until you reach the B852. This road traces half the length of the loch’s eastern banks and has some excellent views. An alternative – but busier – route heads out of Inverness on the A82 and runs along the western banks of Loch Ness. On this road, you’ll pass the ruins of Urquhart Castle, which was built in 1509 and now houses a visitor centre and café. You’ll also drive through the major Loch Ness tourist attractions at the village of Drumnadrochit – a necessary stop if you want to stock up on novelty Nessie hats. Driving time: 25 minutes.
Also within easy reach of the city are the magnificent Cairngorms, Scotland’s most famous mountain range and a national park. In winter, people flock here for skiing and snowboarding, but there’s plenty to see throughout the year. The park was named one of the top 20 places to visit in the world by National Geographic’s Traveller magazine. Try out canoeing or whitewater rafting at its watersport centres, visit the Queen’s holiday home, Balmoral Castle, or encounter the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd. Driving time: 42 minutes (to Aviemore).
If you’re a veteran at driving in the UK, you might think that the uncongested roads of the Scottish Highlands will be a breeze. However, there are a few things to be aware of if you’re driving through the Highlands, especially in winter. The weather can change suddenly, so if your route takes you through exposed sections, it’s worth checking the forecast (or even checking with locals) before hitting the road. There are also a number of mountain passes which are not suitable for learner drivers, and which are sometimes closed in poor weather; again, check your route before you leave.
To start organising your trip to Inverness and other parts of the UK, use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
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When booking a rental car via Expedia you can easily compare a wide range of the most popular car hire companies and select the best option for you. There are no extra costs and no cancellation fees involved in booking a rental car with Expedia.
You can book a car rental on Expedia either online or over the phone. You may have the option to reserve now and pay now, or to reserve now and pay later. The payment option will be indicated at time of booking. To collect Expedia+ rewards points for your car rental, sign in to your account before you book or create an account on the Payment page.
Most rental car bookings are eligible for a full refund regardless of when you cancel with Expedia. Not all prepaid bookings qualify for a refund. Review your itinerary for details. If your prepaid booking qualifies for a refund, your booking must be cancelled at least 6 hours prior to pick-up for the refund. If you return your prepaid car rental early, you will not be refunded for any unused time.
To cancel your car booking, sign in or enter your email address and itinerary number. Then select Find itinerary. Under Manage Booking, select Cancel Reservation, then CANCEL THIS RESERVATION. Most prepaid car rental bookings are non-refundable. Pre-paid bookings must be cancelled at least 6 hours prior to pick-up to be eligible for a full refund. To change or cancel a car hire that you booked as part of a holiday, please contact us.
Booking your car from home with Expedia ensures thay you can choose the type of car. You can also compare the different offers and additional services in advance to get the best offer for you. Upon arrival you only need to collect the keys before beginning your trip. In addition, you do not have to start searching for a suitable provider after arriving or reading the terms and conditions at the counter. This will save you a lot of stress.
A comprehensive insurance is a good choice to avoid unpleasant surprises. That way you can enjoy your stay carefree and explore the area with your rental car.
We have a couple different options when it comes to paying for your car rental. Read on and see which is best for you. Reserve now, pay now: This option allows you to reserve your car rental and prepay at the time of booking. You’ll need a credit card to prepay, and can apply Expedia Rewards points to cover all or some of the booking cost. While some car rental companies may let you pay with a debit card, the driver still needs to present a valid credit card to cover the deposit upon pick-up. Reserve now, pay later: This option lets you reserve your rental car without paying in advance. When you get to the pick-up spot, just have whoever's driving present a valid credit card to pay the cost in full. The car rental company will also place a hold on your credit card in the amount of the car rental deposit.
When picking up your rental car, check for scratches or dents on the vehicle. Inspect the car carefully, make sure to take notes of potential damage and let the vendor know before driving off.
Rental car companies can usually be found at airports and various locations in the city centre.
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