Car Hire in Caithness | Book at Unbeatable Prices

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Experience unrivalled customer service with our car hire company in Caithness. Our friendly and professional team is always ready to assist you in choosing the perfect car to discover the stunning landscapes of this unique region, from the dramatic cliffs of Dunnet Head to the mystic beauty of the Castle of Mey. We pride ourselves on our commitment to customer satisfaction, offering a smooth and hassle-free car hire service.

Car Hire in Caithness

Discover the captivating realm of Caithness, steeped in history and set in stunning landscapes

Sleek city car amidst Caithness landscape with cottages and wildflowers

Caithness, in the northernmost part of the Scottish mainland, offers a unique blend of dramatic landscapes and history-steeped landmarks. You can take a car journey exploring its charming towns, rugged cliffs, thriving wildlife and historical sights. Let's not forget to mention the iconic John O' Groats, famed as the north-eastern tip of Britain's mainland.

Commence your journey with a visit to the magnificent Castle Mey, a royal residence exuding an old-world charm. Just a 30-minute car drive north west, you'll enter the sweeping territories of the Flow Country, one of the world's largest and most intact areas of blanket bog, a real haven for nature lovers.

South of Caithness, you'll find Wick, a town steeped in Viking heritage. Don't miss Old Wick Castle, perched dramatically on a cliff by the sea. The car journey ranges from around 45 minutes to an hour from most places in Caithness. Donning innumerable attractions, car traveling in Caithness is best experienced by making frequent stops, soaking up the breath-taking views it offers.

Car Hire Reviews


Thurso – 02-01-2024. What an unparalleled experience! Hired a compact car and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and neatness of the vehicle. I really appreciate the reasonable pricing, coming from an area notorious for its excessive rates, this was quite a breath of fresh air. Driving through the panoramic Caithness landscape felt like a dream. Kudos to the friendly staff for making the process seamless.


Wick – 16-11-2023. Thoroughly enjoyed the service. Hiring a car was a simple and straightforward process - no hidden fees or fancy jargon. The car was in excellent condition, making our tour of the famous Caithness coastline absolutely delightful. And the rates? Very affordable. Top marks!


Halkirk – 30-09-2023. Great company with superb service! The car was clean, fuel-efficient, and comfortable. The hiring process was quick and the staff very helpful. Prices were quite reasonable compared to other car hire companies I have used in the past. A worthwhile experience, indeed.


Berriedale – 01-07-2023. Flawless from beginning to end! The car was in perfect condition, staff were efficient and friendly, and the hire price was exceptionally good. The scenic drive across the Caithness countryside was just the icing on the cake. I will definitely hire from them again.


Reiss – 03-05-2023. I found the hiring process quite easy, and the staff courteous. The rates were fair and the car was in good condition. Made my journey across Caithness plain sailing.


Pentland – 26-03-2023. Having tried several car hire services in Caithness, I can confidently say this company provides top-of-the-line service. The car was perfect, staff were friendly, and prices were within my budget. Highly recommended!

Caithness Highlights

Unleashing Scotland's Northern Charm

  1. Wick: Known for Wick Harbour, the second largest in Britain, holding the Castle of Old Wick.
  2. Thurso: Northernmost town on the British mainland, with a famous surfing spot.
  3. Castletown: Home of Castlehill Heritage Centre, displaying Caithness's rich rural life.
  4. Halkirk: A charming village famous for its annual Highland Games.
  5. Lybster: A peaceful fishing village on the east coast of Caithness.
  6. Reiss: Home to Sinclair's Bay, a white sand beach, and Reiss Golf Club.
  7. John o' Groats: Known for car hire services and it's panoramic sea views from Duncansby Stacks.

Caithness Road Connections

Important highway links for tourists

  1. Thurso - John O'Groats: A 32.2 km drive via A836 taking approximately 28 minutes. This scenic route takes you through Far North Scotland's iconic landmarks.
  2. Wick - Thurso: Spanning 34.8 km via A882 and taking around 30 minutes, this route provides stunning views of Caithness's coastal landscapes.
  3. Thurso - Dunnet Head: This 21 km drive via B855 takes about 20 minutes and exhibits the stunning cliffs of Dunnet Head, Scotland's most northerly point.
  4. Wick - Latheron: A 28 km trip down A99, taking roughly 23 minutes. Witness the dramatic landscapes and wide, historical streets of Latheron on this route.
  5. Thurso - Latheron: A 52.4 km journey via A9, taking about 43 minutes. This route showcases the wide open spaces and historic landmarks of Northern Scotland.
  6. Wick - Mey: A 45 km drive via A836, capturing the remarkable Castle of Mey. Approximately 40 minutes of scenic driving.
  7. Thurso - Duncansby Head: This 35 km journey runs through A836 and takes about 45 minutes. A road trip to the dramatic cliffs and sea stacks at Duncansby Head.

Drive in Caithness

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which side of the road should I drive on in Caithness?

In Caithness, as in the rest of the UK, you should drive on the left side of the road.

2. What is the speed limit in Caithness?

Speed limits vary depending on the type of road. In built-up areas, the limit is typically 30 mph (48 km/h), on single carriageway roads it's 60mph (97 km/h), and on dual carriageways or motorways the limit is 70 mph (112 km/h).

3. Do I need a specific driving licence to drive in Caithness?

If you have a valid licence issued in any EU country, you are allowed to drive in Caithness. Non-EU drivers might require an International Driving Permit.

4. Are there many speed cameras in Caithness?

Speed cameras are quite common throughout Scotland, including Caithness, and are used to enforce speed limits.

5. What are the most common driving rules I should be aware of in Caithness?

Rules are similar to the rest of UK: drive on the left, respect speed limits, don't use your phone while driving, use signal for lane changes and turns, and always wear a seatbelt.

6. What should I do in the case of a car breakdown?

You should get to a safe place and contact the car hire company immediately. Most companies provide 24-hour roadside assistance.

7. Are there many petrol stations in Caithness?

There are several petrol stations in and around populated area in Caithness, but less so in the rural areas. It's recommended to keep your tank at least half full.

8. Are there toll roads in Caithness?

No, there are no toll roads in Caithness.

9. How reliable are the roads in Caithness?

The roads in Caithness are generally well-maintained. However, in rural areas, some roads can be narrow and winding.

10. How do I know if there is a speed restriction on a certain road in Caithness?

Speed limits will be signposted, but if there's no sign, default speed limits apply depending on the type of road.

11. How should I approach roundabouts in Caithness?

At roundabouts, give way to traffic coming from your right and drive in a clockwise direction.

12. What should I be careful of when driving in rural areas of Caithness?

In rural areas, it’s common to encounter animals on the road, and some roads might have sharp bends and blind spots.

13. What items must be in the car while driving in Caithness?

Car hire companies usually provide all required equipment such as safety triangles and high-visibility vests, but confirm this prior your journey.

14. Is it mandatory to have insurance while driving?

Yes, you must have a valid car insurance. This is usually included with car hire, but check with the company to be sure.

15. Are child safety seats mandatory in Caithness?

Yes, it's a requirement for children under 12 or shorter than 135cm to have an appropriate child restraint when travelling in a car.

Discover Caithness

Top 8 Attractions by Car

  1. John o'Groats: Boasting beautiful coastal scenery, this village is famed as the northeastern tip of Britain's mainland.
  2. Castle of Mey: Visit Scotland's most northerly castle. The Queen Mother's former home offers guided tours and stunning gardens.
  3. Smoo Cave: Marvel at this large, sea-cave in Durness. Offering guided tours, boasting a waterfall and intriguing history.
  4. Wick Heritage Museum: Learn about the rich history of Caithness, with artefacts and displays detailing the coastal heritage.
  5. Whaligoe Steps: Experience breath-taking views descending down the steep, 365 stone steps to the historic port.
  6. Duncansby Head: The most north-easterly part of the British mainland, offering rugged coastal views and a lighthouse.
  7. Thurso River: Explore this world-famous salmon fishing destination, offering picturesque views and abundant wildlife.
  8. Grey Cairns of Camster: Explore the ancient, well-preserved Neolithic chambered cairns in the heart of Caithness.

Caithness Roadtrips

Top Driving Routes in Caithness

  1. North Coast 500: Probably the most famous route in Caithness. The 830-km-long trail takes you through stunning beaches, mysterious ruins, and excellent distilleries.
  2. Caithness Coastal Route: This 160 km route takes you along the dramatic Caithness coastline. Expect fantastic sea views, cliff-top castles and picturesque fishing villages.
  3. John O'Groats to Duncansby Head: A wonderful 20 km drive from the famous John O'Groats to the dramatic sea-stacks at Duncansby Head.
  4. Thurso to Wick: This 33 km drive takes you along a scenic coastal route with the century-old Ackergill Tower standing as a crown piece.
  5. Wick to Lybster: Drive this 20 km stretch to enjoy the stunning natural beauty with a rich historic backdrop of the Whaligoe Steps and Latheronwheel Harbour.
  6. Sinclair's Bay Route: A relaxing 20 km coastal drive, showcasing the pristine white sandy beaches and the historical Castle of Mey.
  7. Orkney Island Excursion: Ferry your car across from John O'Groats or Gills Bay to the Orkney Islands, where a blend of rich history and beautiful landscapes awaits.


Car Hire in Caithness

FAQs about Car Hiring in Caithness

1. How much does it cost to hire a car in Caithness?

The cost to hire a car in Caithness can vary greatly, and it depends on factors such as the type of car, the duration of the hire, and the season. It is generally advisable to book in advance for the best rates.

2. What car model is the most popular to hire in Caithness?

The most popular car model to hire in Caithness is usually a compact or economy car. This is because Caithness has a number of narrow roads and tight parking spots, making smaller cars a practical choice.

3. Where are the most popular locations to hire a car in Caithness?

The most popular locations to hire a car in Caithness are usually in or near the major towns, such as Wick and Thurso. Additionally, Wick Airport and Thurso Airport are popular spots for car hire pick-up and drop-off.

4. Is there a 24-hour pick-up and drop-off service in place?

Some car hire services in Caithness do offer a 24-hour pick-up and drop-off service. However, this often depends on the specific location and the company, so it is recommended to check in advance.

5. Is there a minimum hire period?

Yes, there is often a minimum hire period when renting a car in Caithness. This can vary between companies, but it is commonly around 24 hours.

6. What is the minimum age requirement to hire a car in Caithness?

The minimum age to hire a car in Caithness is usually 25, although some companies may allow drivers as young as 21. Additional fees may apply to drivers under the age of 25.

7. What documents do I need to hire or drive a car in Caithness?

Typically, you will need a valid driving licence, an ID or passport, and a credit card. Some companies may also require additional documentation, so it is advised to check in advance.

8. What is the best time of year to visit Caithness by car?

The best time to visit Caithness by car is often during the spring and summer months. This is because the roads are in better condition and the longer daylight hours allow for extended exploration of the area.

9. What are the main airports in Caithness?

The main airports in Caithness are Wick Airport and Thurso Airport.

10. Can I pick up the car in one city in Caithness and drop it off in another city?

Yes, typically it is possible to pick up a car in one city in Caithness and drop it off in another. However, this often incurs an additional fee so it is advised to check with the specific car hire company in advance.