Self-drive tours in Scotland
Enjoy Scotland’s treasures at your own pace. When the scenery is this incredible, you’ll love the freedom to take all the photo breaks you want. Self-drive tours of Scotland include rental car, accommodation, maps and more, but the road trip music is up to you!
Book with confidence
Plan your travels with peace of mind
Trusted local travel experts
Excellent service provided by knowledgeable experts
We are proud of our reviews and customer satisfaction
Car Insurance Included
You’re protected with our zero liability waivers
We plan your whole trip and 24-hour help is on hand
Flexible tour options
Our tours are customisable to fit your needs
Rest assured you’ll have a good night’s sleep
Full financial protection
Your payments are protected with financial safety as standard
BOOK & TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE
Only 10% deposit required : Cancellation insurance available : Covid entry test refunds
20 tours available
SELF-DRIVE WITH YOUR OWN CAR - DISCOUNTED RATES
UK road trippers, do your Scotland staycation holiday in style with a route planned by Edinburgh-based travel experts.
What do you get? Personal travel consultant. Tried-and-tested accommodation. Personalised map & travel guide documents.
Contact us for a quote
About Your Driving Tour of Scotland
Discover Scotland by taking the wheel and leading your own journey through the sweeping landscapes, rugged isles and stunning coastlines. Like our many happy self-drive customers, you’ll come back with unforgettable memories of a trip to treasure for a lifetime.
When you book a Nordic Visitor self-drive package, you can expect:
• A dedicated travel consultant who’ll arrange your expedition
• A hand-noted, personalised itinerary and route
• 24/7 phone support during your adventure for peace of mind
• Excellent accommodation at your chosen price point
• Car rental with GPS, unlimited mileage and CDW Insurance
• Special seasonal tour itineraries for summer and winter
To start your adventure with Nordic Visitor, simply follow the following steps:
1. Pick your favourite Nordic Visitor tour
2. Confirm (or customise) your package
3. Check your confirmation email
4. Book your flights
5. Get ready for your trip
Why choose Nordic Visitor
Book with confidence
Plan your trip risk-free with Nordic Visitor's cancellation insurance. Add it to your booking to enjoy flexible terms and peace of mind. Purchase it with your package or secure it free of charge by booking a tour with 20% deposit or more. Terms & conditions apply.
Trusted local travel experts
Established in 2002, Nordic Visitor creates unforgettable travel experiences across the Nordic regions. Our consultants test all our packages, including important areas like accommodation quality. Their in-depth local knowledge of all aspects of your itinerary mean you’ll take home unforgettable memories.
Our dedicated teams deliver excellent service quality, and this is reflected year after year when TripAdvisor awards us with their Certificate of Excellence. We also take great pride in our customer feedback: 97% of our travelers say they would recommend us to friends and family.
Car Insurance Included
The best part of an adventure is that you never know what’s around the corner – but with our rental insurance, unpredictable does not mean unprotected. Our collision damage waiver and excess waiver means liability is reduced to zero.
We plan your trip for you before you arrive, meaning all the practicalities are looked after. You will have a detailed itinerary, booked accommodation and a hand-drawn map with the main attractions and our favourite hidden gems.
Flexible tour options
Nordic Visitor packages are created to delight guests on their adventures and our travel experts can customise tours to suit your wish list. Whether you’d like some extra nights or a special diversion to a must-see attraction, we can change your travel itinerary the way you want.
There’s nothing like a good sleep after a day of exploration, so one of our top priorities is providing the perfect home-from-home where you can recharge your batteries. We carry out regular inspections on hotels and guesthouses for all our tours. Rest easy knowing your accommodation is high quality.
Full financial protection
With Nordic Visitor, you have peace of mind knowing your holiday arrangements with us are 100% financially protected. Your payments are safeguarded with an insurance protection that guarantees you a refund in the unlikely event of insolvency.
Our Self Drive Customer Reviews
Here’s feedback from our wonderful guests who have driven across beautiful Scotland.
AMAZING. We stayed in hotels we probably would not have booked on our own and the host were fabulous and told us that... read more
AMAZING. We stayed in hotels we probably would not have booked on our own and the host were fabulous and told us that Annie was a pleasure to work with when booking our stay. All the hotels knew who we were and expected us. When our ferry got cancelled Annie made sure to call the hotel and notify us of a change of plans and gave us a very detailed route and got in contact with our next hotel to notify them that we would be late. We were very impressed!
We had a very successful trip and I attribute a lot of this to the preparations put into place by Nordic. It was nice... read more
We had a very successful trip and I attribute a lot of this to the preparations put into place by Nordic. It was nice to know everything was laid out for us and a map highlighted with our trip and hotels marked was a great thing to have. Also, the suggestions of things we might like to see was great!! Once again, thanks for a great trip!
Certificate of Excellence
Scottish Driving Holiday Highlights
You’re at the beginning of your Scotland expedition, driving to the Highlands. The window is down and you can smell the sea air. Soon, you could…
Walk along the shores of the famous Loch Ness
Visit the renowned Edinburgh Castle and learn its secrets
Tuck into tasty fresh and locally caught seafood in the fishing town of Oban
Drive the enchanting Royal Deeside Tourist Route, and photograph the stunning landscapes and local wildlife in Cairngorms National Park
Immerse yourself in the history and charm of The Orkney Islands
Discover Fort William in the heart of the West Highlands, the famous backdrop of films such as Harry Potter and Braveheart
Taste delicious Scottish whiskies at the many independent distilleries
Advice For Self Guided Tours
Raring to go? Read over our driving and travel guides so that you’re prepared for the Scotland road trip of a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Scotland Self Drive Tours
You may have a few questions about your Scottish self-drive holiday package, so we’ve collected and answered the most important ones for your peace of mind. You can also find more detailed answers in our Scotland Travel Guide. Or, if you want to know more about our processes and payment details, check out our FAQ page.
Driving around Scotland is a great way to see the country and at your pace, meaning you can stop and capture every bit of scenery and wildlife you see. To stay safe though, you need to follow the rules. Here are some pointers but do refer to our Scotland driving guide for more information.
- Urban areas: general speed limit is 20 or 30 mph (48 km/hr)
- Single carriageways: 60 mph (97 km/hr)
- Motorways and dual carriageways: 70mph (113 km/hr)
- Drive on the left side of the road except when on dual or multi-lane roads, where you drive depending on your speed of whether you are turning-off
- Do not drink and drive as there are zero tolerance laws in Scotland
- Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving is illegal, but you are allowed to use it when fully hands-free
- Seatbelts are compulsory for both the driver and passengers
Driving in Scotland is a must-do due to the variety of stunning views you can see when travelling. Our travel consultants have driven around the country and have added their favourite routes to each package. See below for favourites and recommendations.
- North Coast 500
- Deeside Tourist Route
- The Golden Road
- Glen Coe
- Kilmartin Glen
- Trossachs National Park
- Trotternish Peninsula
We may be biased but we think there is beautiful scenery across Scotland. Even the drive to your next destination will mean you pass by mountains, lochs and rolling hills. However, the most visited sights are found in the Highlands and islands, and along the coasts. Why not check our recommended Scottish attractions to see what Scotland has to offer?
The best scenery in Scotland includes:
- Cairngorms National Park
- Loch Lomond
- Isle of Skye
- Shetland Islands
- Orkney Islands
- Loch Ness
- The Borders
The North Coast 500 (also known as the Scotland 500) is Scotland’s answer to Route 66 and is the ultimate Scottish road trip. It’s a secluded route that takes you along the stunning North Coast and through the Northern Highlands, where you’ll experience the natural beauty of Scotland.
If you’re keen to see what makes this journey so famous, look at our Classic Scotland & the Orkney Islands or Complete Scotland tours.
Read more in this North Coast 500 driving guide.
You can indeed drive to England from Scotland and vice versa. This is true of Ireland, too, although you need to take a ferry across the Irish Sea. If you are starting or ending a driving tour of the UK and Ireland in Scotland, we're happy to organise the Scottish leg of your journey.
Good to know: we also offer Scotland and Ireland driving tours.
Deciding when to visit Scotland depends on the sights you want to see. Famously, Scottish weather is described as “four seasons in a day”, so you can’t always depend on a clear forecast.
However, in spring and summer months you can typically expect more sunshine, and brighter, greener landscapes. And in August, festivals such as the Fringe Festival and the International Festival bring the capital, Edinburgh, to life.
If you’re more keen on brisk walks and snow capped mountains, though, autumn and winter are ideal. Scotland is equally beautiful with golden leaves and frosted fields. Plus you will find special festive activities such as Edinburgh’s famous Christmas Market or the Hogmanay street party.
Discover which of our tours suit you best by using our tour filters to choose packages by seasons or dates. Come rain or shine, you’ll enjoy all that Scotland has to offer.
Exploring Scotland by car is a pleasure and if you have a valid driving license you can travel freely. If you’re visiting from outside the European Union (for example, from USA, Canada, India, or Singapore) you have permission with a valid license to drive any small vehicle (cars included.)
If you’re visiting from within the European Union with a valid license, you can also drive any of our rental cars.
Need more information? Check out our Driving in Scotland page.
When in Scotland, and the rest of the United Kingdom, you should drive on the left-hand side of the road. This means that you’ll be using a right-hand drive car, and changing gears on your left side.
If it’s your first time driving in the UK, we recommend you consider renting an automatic for ease of use. If you can, take advantage of our two-driver allowance. That way, you can both take breaks to enjoy the scenery as well as drive on some of the most stunning routes in the world.
The amount of time it takes to drive around Scotland depends on the sights and attractions you want to see, as well as how long you would like to spend in the cities and villages like Edinburgh and Ullapool.
For a comprehensive tour that allows you to travel across the country and to many of the Isles, we’d recommend taking two weeks, so you’re not rushing through. Longer tours showcase the best of the coasts, lochs, national parks, and places like the famed Orkney archipelago.
If you’re looking for a shorter stay, but want a trip full of attractions and areas, then we also have tours that take one week or less and show you the most popular Scottish sights such as the the stunning Isle of Lewis and Harris, Loch Ness and more.
When you rent a car for your self-drive tour of Scotland with Nordic Visitor, there are some requirements that you should be aware of.
To rent a car in Scotland, you must hold a valid and full driving licence for a minimum period of 4 years. This reduces to 1 year if you are over 23 years of age.
Drivers aged 23 or 24 can take a self-drive tour with Nordic Visitor, subject to a young driver surcharge of £25 per day. You can hire vehicles in our rental car groups A, B, C or F.
The minimum age to rent a car in Scotland is 21. So if you're aged 21 or 22, we would be delighted to arrange your tour and provide you with information on how you can arrange your own car rental with specific suppliers who can cater to those aged 21 and 22.
If you are aged 80 or above, you can rent a car in Scotland so long as you provide medical proof that you are fit to drive. Please note this should be issued no earlier than 4 weeks before your travel date. You can hire vehicles in our rental car groups A, B or C.
Learn more about vehicle groups and car rental in Scotland on our travel guide.
When you’re planning your driving vacation, factors such as insurance and mileage can come to mind. We’ve got you covered, though, as all the car hire essentials are included in our Scottish self-drive packages. Read our rental information for the full details.
In short, you receive a collision damage waiver (CDW) and an excess waiver to reduce liability to zero. On top of that, you enjoy unlimited mileage, authorisation for two drivers, and a GPS navigation system for peace of mind. We don’t cover your road trip music: that is all up to you!
Our local experts have a wealth of knowledge to pass on to you, ensuring every sight or attraction you visit is one that you won’t forget. When creating packages, our consultants plan routes extensively with this in mind, so that our guests see the best of Scotland.
Should there be anything in particular you’re keen to see, or areas you want to visit, though, you can get in touch with us so that we can add it. We can also include extra nights at any location you choose, so you can see more of Scotland.
Alternatively, you can request a customised tour and, depending on the timescale and sights, your travel consultant will work with you to create your ideal road trip across Scotland.
Thinking about seeing the highlights of Scotland while someone else does the driving? Look into our guided small group tours, with maximum 15 travellers. Or you can request your own private tour of Scotland, so your family or friends enjoy a personalised experience from your guide.
We’d advise that you look over flights for timings and dates, but hold off purchasing until you’ve booked your preferred tour. Once you’ve had a confirmation email from your personal travel consultant, you should then choose and pay for your flights.
Why? Once you’ve been introduced to your travel consultant, you’ll have all the information you need to make informed choices on timings. If you have any questions, you can always contact your consultant for advice.
Get in touch if you have a question about our self drive tours, or if you want help creating a customised travel package. We’re happy to help so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Our main phone number is
+354 578 20 80
How about a live chat with one of our local travel experts?