About Glasgow International Airport (GLA)
Address: Car Rental Centre Campsie Drive, Paisley, Pa3 2sg
Glasgow International Airport (GLA) lies roughly 16 km (10 mi) west of central Glasgow, conveniently located along the motorway M8. Follow the signs to the Car Rental Hall and pick up a car hire from one of many major airport rental brands, including Alamo, Avis, National, Enterprise, Sixt, and more.
First-time visitors to the U.K. may worry about driving on the “wrong side” of the road, but getting around Glasgow is very simple once you master the roundabout. As long as you remember to yield to traffic coming from the right, you should be good to go. Now, even though you’ll encounter traffic during peak times in the city center, there’s only one downside to driving in Glasgow: parking. It isn’t easy to find and it certainly isn’t free. Otherwise, you’ll be really glad you chose to rent a car — especially if you’re headed north on the Whiskey Trail.
Glasgow has utilitarian public transit for a major city but a car hire is highly recommended for accessing top regional destinations like Loch Lomond (33 mi / 51 km) or Edinburgh (46 mi / 72 km.
Choosing your car
You’ll find a comprehensive selection of (GLA) airport car rentals, so choosing your car should boil down to necessity. You’ll find great deals on Volkswagen mini and compact cars, Opel economy 4-door sedans, and Toyota SUVs. Meanwhile, Opel standard and intermediate cars are ideal for road tripping on the Castle Trail. Ford estate wagons, Mercedes-Benz fullsize sedans, and Citroen 7-9 seater minivans accommodate families and larger groups.
Tips and advice
Because a network of national highways and roads — not freeways, connects Scotland — route planning is key to any successful trip. There are at least three serviceable routes to Loch Ness, for example. The route of shortest distance (157 mi / 252 km) runs along the west coast through Glencoe — a 3.5-hour trip at minimum. You can save about an hour (and probably some navigational headaches) by sticking to M and A highways that run through the central Highlands (181 mi / 291 km).
Be sure to confirm whether your car hire uses diesel or unleaded petrol, and pay attention at the pump. Standard petrol nozzles in Scotland have a green handle, while diesel is dispensed from a black handle — which may be the opposite of your home country.
Beware of animals on the road, especially north of Glasgow and throughout the Scottish Highlands. Sheep are the most common animal pedestrian, but you’ll also see cows and red deer.
Quick tips: Seat belts are required for all passengers, hands-free mobile devices are permitted, and children under 12 must be seated in child restraints.
Fuel stations in cities are generally open 24/7, but that’s not the case throughout the countryside, where petrol stops are also few and far between.
Home to the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow has a strong college town vibe that turns toward tourist trap when students are on leave. Locals say prices tend to spike when school is not in session.