Car Hire in Orkney Islands | Book at Unbeatable Prices

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Our car hire company operating in the breathtaking Orkney Islands provides exceptional customer service. Discover the unrivalled beauty of Skara Brae or the Ring of Brodgar, with the reassurance that our friendly, knowledgeable team are ready to help, whatever the query. We ensure a unique, tailored experience, mirroring the unique charm of the Orkney Islands.

Car Hire in Orkney Islands

Uncover Scotland's Archipelago Gem - The Orkney Islands

City car in Orkney, amongst cliffs, stones and puffins, under Northern Lights

The Orkney Islands are a stunning microcosm of natural beauty and rich history. An archipelago of around 70 islands, located off the northeast coast of Scotland, Orkney's allure goes far beyond its dramatic cliffs, diverse wildlife and quaint villages. Ancient standing stones on the largest island, Mainland Orkney, hark back to prehistoric times, and the remarkable preservation of 5,000-year-old homes at Skara Brae rival the Egyptian pyramids.

Venture the islands by car to ensure you experience Orkney in its entirety. With comprehensive roads network connecting the inhabited islands, the breathtaking vistas and charming local establishments are comfortably accessible. The distance between the top of Orkney's northmost point, North Ronaldsay, to the southernmost point, Burwick on South Ronaldsay, is a relatively short 56 miles - ideal for a leisurely arts and craft trail journey by car.

Essential visits include the dramatic sea stack, The Old Man of Hoy and the medieval St Magnus Cathedral, located in Kirkwall, the largest town and capital of Orkney. Another must-see is the Ring of Brodgar, a vast stone circle that imbues a powerful sense of history and mystery, evoking the tales and traditions of its Neolithic creators. With a car hire, one can experience these and much more from the striking landscapes of Hoy to the bustling harbour town of Stromness.

Orkney Car Hire

Common Queries Answered

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

The cost of hiring a car in Orkney Islands depends on the type of car, length of hire and time of year. On average, you can expect to pay around £35-£50 per day. Off-season rates can be cheaper. Always remember to compare prices from different car hire providers to get the best deal.

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

Due to the rugged and remote terrain of Orkney, the 4x4 model is the most popular choice among visitors. They are perfect for navigating Orkney's countryside and offer greater comfort for long-distance travel.

3. What are the popular locations for car hire in Orkney Islands?

Locations for car hire in Orkney include Kirkwall, Stromness and the Kirkwall Airport. These places have several car hire services for convenient pick-up and drop-off.

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

While some car hire companies in Orkney do offer 24-hour pick-up and drop-off services, it's always best to check with the specific company in advance to ensure they can accommodate your schedule.

5. Is there a minimum hire period?

Yes. Most car hire companies in Orkney have a minimum hire period of 24 hours. For certain larger vehicle types, the minimum hire period may be 48 hours or more.

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

The minimum age to hire a car in the Orkney Islands is usually 23 or 25, depending on the company's policy. Additional charges may apply for drivers under a certain age or with less than a specified number of years of driving experience.

7. What documents do I need for car hire in Orkney Islands?

When hiring a car in Orkney Islands, you will need a driving licence (held for at least one year), passport or a valid ID card, and a credit or debit card in the name of the main driver.

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

The best time to visit Orkney Islands by car is during the summer months (June-August) when the days are longest and the weather conditions are generally most favourable for driving.

9. What are the main airports in Orkney Islands?

The two main airports in Orkney Islands are the Kirkwall Airport and the Papa Westray Airport.

10. Can I pick up the car in one location in Orkney Islands and return it to another?

Yes, most car hire companies in the Orkney Islands allow for one-way hires. However, an additional fee may be required. It's best to check this with the hire company during the booking process.

Car Hire Reviews


Kirkwall – 02-01-2024. Considering the remote location, I was quite surprised by the broad selection of cars available at this hire company. The process was straightforward, and the staff were very helpful. Even being on a picturesque yet relatively remote island like Orkney didn't compromise on service. A tip-top experience! On the pricey side, but for the convenience and service, it's worth every penny.


Stromness Marina – 13-09-2023. Having travelled to Orkney for a sailing event at Stromness, we needed a car for a couple of days to see the local sights. The lady at the hire desk couldn't have been more helpful. The car was in excellent condition, the fuel policy was clear and the price was right. Splendid experience.


Kirkwall – 23-07-2023. Needed to hire a car during our holiday in Orkney. Found their prices a little higher than mainland, but it's expected considering they operate on an island. Staff were extremely friendly, and the car was in perfect condition. The highland cows in the side mirror were indeed a sight to behold!


Stromness Marina – 05-06-2023. The whole process really couldn't have been smoother. Excellent communication from staff, seamless pick-up and drop-off, and reasonable pricing. Definitely put a positive spin on our Orkney experience. Thank you.


Kirkwall – 22-04-2023. The weather was a bit unpredictable during our journey through Orkney. Thankfully, the car we hired was reliable and warm. Had a bit of a struggle finding child seats but the lady at the desk was very helpful. Pricing was slightly steep but overall it was worth it.


Stromness Marina – 07-03-2023. We needed a car last minute for a funeral, and the staff were fantastic - they sorted out everything quickly and with a lot of compassion. Navigation through the winding roads of Orkney was not as intimidating with the car they recommended. Decently priced and top quality service.

Orkney Highlights

Top 7 significant cities in Orkney Islands

  1. Kirkwall: Capital of Orkney Islands, known for its Norse cathedral and the Highland Park distillery.
  2. Stromness: A beautiful harbour town, second most populous town and with a thriving arts community.
  3. Finstown: Provides opportunities to hire cars for exploring Orkney's wonderful and scenic landscapes.
  4. Orphir: A small village featuring historical attractions such as the Round Church.
  5. Hoy: The second largest island in Orkney, famous for its dramatic cliffs and wildlife.
  6. St. Margaret's Hope: A picturesque village with charming old houses and a thriving craft industry.
  7. Westray: Known as the queen of the Orkney Isles, harbours unique wildlife and ancient heritage sites.

Orkney Road Connections

Essential routes for tourists

  1. Kirkwall - Stromness: A 24km journey approximately, taking about 20 minutes via routes A965 and A964. The roads are well maintained and offer scenic views of the countryside.
  2. Kirkwall - Skara Brae: Via A965 and A967, a journey of approximately 40km and takes about 40 minutes. Roads are generally in good condition, offering beautiful seaside views.
  3. Kirkwall - Maeshowe: A short 14 km journey on the A965 with an average driving time of 15 minutes. The road condition is good and the journey provides beautiful landscape vistas.
  4. Kirkwall - Brough of Birsay: This 30km journey, taking about 35 minutes via routes A965 and A966. The roads are well maintained and offer spectacular ocean view.
  5. Kirkwall - Ring of Brodgar: This 21km journey takes about 25 minutes via A965. The road is in good condition, showcasing the beautiful Orkney countryside and its historical landmarks.
  6. Kirkwall - Italian Chapel: At just 10km and approximately 15 minutes of driving via A961, roads feature breathtaking views of the nearby lakes.
  7. Kirkwall - Sanday: Located 63km away, this trip includes a ferry ride from Kirkwall to Sanday, so factor additional time beyond the average 1.5 hour drive.

Driving in Orkney

Frequently Asked Questions

1. On which side of the road do we drive in Orkney?

In Orkney, like the rest of the UK, drivers are required to drive on the left side of the road.

2. What are the speed limits on Orkney's roads?

Speed limits vary depending on the type of road. It's usually 60 mph (97 km/h) on single carriageway roads and 30 mph (48 km/h) in built-up areas. Always adhere to posted speed limit signs.

3. What type of driving licence do I need to drive in Orkney?

You can drive with any EU or International Driving Permit in Orkney. For non-EU licence holders, different rules may apply based on their home country's agreement with the UK.

4. Are there many radar speed checks in Orkney?

Radar speed checks are not common in Orkney, but it's always important to respect the speed limits to ensure safety.

5. Do we have to pay tolls on Orkney's roads?

No, there are no toll roads in Orkney. All roads are free for public use.

6. What are the basic driving rules in Orkney?

You should always drive on the left, use your seatbelt, follow posted speed limits, and avoid using your phone while driving. It's also mandatory to have valid insurance and a valid licence.

7. What about petrol stations in Orkney?

Petrol stations are well spread throughout Orkney's mainland and larger islands, but it's advisable to fill up before you start your journey, especially if you plan to explore the more remote areas.

8. Can I drive if I lost my driving licence?

No, you should always have a valid driving licence with you while driving. If it's lost, report it immediately and get a replacement before driving.

9. Do I need to carry any specific documents while driving?

You should always carry your driving licence, proof of insurance and the car hire agreement when driving.

10. What's the condition of roads in Orkney?

Orkney's main roads are generally in good condition. However, some rural and remote areas may have narrower, single track roads. Care should be taken when driving on these.

11. What are the safety rules for driving in Orkney?

Always drive on the left side, follow the speed limits, keep an appropriate distance with the car in front, and ensure everyone uses seatbelts.

12. Is there an emergency number I should know about?

In case of emergencies, you can dial 112 or 999 for immediate assistance.

13. How are parking facilities in Orkney?

There are public parking spots and car parks available in towns and tourist sites. Always follow local parking regulations to avoid fines.

14. What should I know about overtaking other drivers?

Overtaking should be done on the right and only when it’s safe to do so. Overtaking on the left or in risky situations is illegal.

15. Are there car ferries in Orkney?

Yes, there are several car ferry routes between the islands in Orkney, for which you'll need to book in advance.

Orkney Islands Extravaganza

Top 8 Breath-taking Sights

  1. Skara Brae: A strikingly well-preserved Neolithic settlement potentially offering the best panoramic views.
  2. Ring of Brodgar: A stunningly magnificent henge and stone circle that will transport you back in time.
  3. Maeshowe: An ancient chambered cairn and passage grave, considered one of the greatest architectural achievements of the Neolithic era.
  4. Italian Chapel: A beautiful Roman Catholic chapel built by Italian POWs during WWII.
  5. St.Magnus Cathedral: A unique red and golden sandstone cathedral, featuring a distinctive Scandinavian influence.
  6. Old Man of Hoy: A stunning and iconic sea stack, a must-visit sight for thrill-seekers and nature lovers.
  7. Scapa Distillery: Visit this famed distillery for a taste of truly traditional Scotch whisky.
  8. Orkney Museum: A museum loaded with the islands' fascinating history and heritage.

Orkney Islands Roadtrips

Top Scenic Drive Routes in Orkney

  1. Mainland Orkney North Coast: Starting from the city of Kirkwall. Visit ruins, beautiful coasts and isles. Distance is about 72 km around.
  2. Orkney South Isles: From Kirkwall down to South Ronaldsay. View beautiful beaches and passing by the Italian Chapel. Approximately 48 km.
  3. West Orkney Drive: Driving on the West Mainland visiting Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar. This route is around 56 km.
  4. Kirkwall Town Loop: A short 8 km drive around the charming town of Kirkwall, the biggest city of Orkney.
  5. Orkney Northeast Isles: From Kirkwall to the island of Sanday, visit the Viking history of the region. The trip is about 30 km but includes a short ferry crossing.
  6. Grand Orkney Tour: Cover the whole of Mainland Orkney and the connected South Isles in a trip of 120 km. Perfect for a day of exploration with an hired car.