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Embark on your Shetland adventure with complete peace of mind, courtesy of our dedicated car hire service. We provide round-the-clock customer support, ensuring your journey to remarkable destinations like the Shetland Museum and Archives proceeds without a hitch. Experience the raw beauty of Shetland in comfort and without worry. At your service, always.

Car Hire in Shetland

Your ultimate guide to exploring the enchanting Shetland Islands by car

City car on Shetland journey, featuring cliffs, wildlife, croft house

Explore the unique beauty of the Shetland Islands, a remote and enchanting area situated to the north of mainland Scotland. Known for their rugged landscapes, shimmering blue waters, and robust wildlife, Shetland provides an extraordinary environment for those seeking adventure. For a complete insight into the Shetland experience, hiring a car is freshingly popular - the islands are relatively small, making it a perfect destination to explore by car.

Start your journey in Lerwick, the archipelago's main town. With its bustling harbour and engaging Shetland Museum and Archives, soaking up the local culture becomes a thrilling experience. Journeying northward, don't miss the chance to see the towering cliffs at Eshaness, carved out by powerful Atlantic waves over millennia. Further on, the prehistoric village of Jarlshof awaits for an awe-inspiring step back into Shetland's ancient history.

With Shetland's compact geography, getting between sites of interest is conveniently short - most car journeys won't exceed an hour. Moreover, authorities have made the effort to prepare helpful driving advice to ensure smooth travel around the islands. So why wait? Take the wheel and embark on a remarkable journey across the Shetland Islands.

Shetland Car Hire

Car Rental FAQs

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

The cost of car hire in Shetland varies depending on the type of car, rental duration, and booking period. On average, the cost ranges from 30 to 60 pounds per day. It's always recommended to book in advance to ensure availability and get the best rates.

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

The most popular models for hire in Shetland are compact, fuel-efficient cars due to the islands' narrow, winding roads. All-terrain vehicles are also in demand for those planning on exploring the more rugged areas of the islands.

3. Where can I hire a car in Shetland?

Car hire services are available at various locations across Shetland, including the main island's airport, Sumburgh Airport, and in the capital, Lerwick.

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

Most car hire services in Shetland offer 24-hour car pick-up and drop-off, but it's always best to check with the individual company for specifics.

5. Is there a minimum hire period?

The minimum hire period for most companies in Shetland is 24 hours. Any less than that and you would still be charged for a full day.

6. What is the minimum age requirement to rent a car in Shetland?

The minimum age requirement is commonly 21 years, some companies may vary and most will have a surcharge for drivers under 25.

7. What documents are required to rent or drive a car in Shetland?

A valid driving licence and a credit or debit card are typically required to rent a car in Shetland. Non-UK residents are asked to provide an international driving licence or passport as proof of identity as well.

8. When is the best time of year to visit Shetland by car?

The best time to visit Shetland by car is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is milder and the scenic routes are at their most beautiful.

9. What are Shetland's main airports?

The main airports serving Shetland are Sumburgh Airport, located at the southern tip of the Island, and Tingwall Airport, near Lerwick.

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

Yes, many car hire companies in Shetland offer one-way rentals, allowing you to pick up the car in one location and drop it off in another. However, it's advised to check this directly with the chosen company as conditions may vary.

Car Hire Reviews

Oliver Kipling

Shetland – 10-01-2024. Brilliant Customer Service. Rented a car from here last week. The car was clean and in tiptop condition, plus the staff were incredibly friendly. I was impressed by their punctuality with delivery and pick up of the vehicle. The icing on the cake, was their fair pricing, which is greatly appreciated especially here in Shetland, considering the distance to mainland Scotland.

Eleanor Bach

Shetland – 27-10-2023. Went on an impromptu trip to Shetland last month and needed a last-minute car hire. The team was extremely helpful with picking a suitable vehicle and the price was not too steep considering it was last-minute. Will definitely use them again. The staff even gave some great recommendations on places to visit.

Lester Whitefield

Shetland – 15-08-2023. Superb car hire experience! As an elderly gentleman, I had some doubts about renting a car, but these guys made it so simple. The pricing was clear and straightforward, with no hidden fees. Definitely a good choice for anyone needing to hire a car in the charming region of Shetland.

Sienna O'Reilly

Shetland – 30-06-2023. Quick and easy car hire. The process was smooth from booking to return. It was also great to explore the quaint towns and stunning cliffs of Shetland with the freedom the car provided. Plus, the prices were very reasonable considering the excellent service they provided.

Hamish Atwood

Shetland – 14-04-2023. Had a good hire experience for my trip to Shetland. Top-notch vehicles at a good price and friendly service from the team. If you're in Shetland, do hire from them and drive around the beautiful region!

Jocelyn Fielding

Shetland – 02-01-2024. Efficient and dependable car hire. I often travel to Shetland for work and this hire company is always my go-to for renting a car. Their values align with mine, fair pricing coupled with quality service.

Explore Shetland

Discover the Archipelago

  1. Lerwick: Shetland's only town, rich in history and culture, housing the Shetland Museum and Archives.
  2. Scalloway: Once the ancient capital, notable for its fascinating Scalloway Castle and scenic beauty.
  3. Brae: A thriving village in northern Shetland, popular for wildlife spotting with hire cars available.
  4. Yell: The second largest island in Shetland, renowned for its exceptional bird-watching opportunities.
  5. Unst: The northernmost inhabited island of the UK, home to Hermaness National Nature Reserve.
  6. Sandwick: An ever-growing rural area, distinguished by its traditional crofting and knitting activities.
  7. Voe: A picturesque village offering enchanting views of the surrounding fjord-like voes.

Shetland Road Connections

Essential Road Connections for Shetland Tourists

  1. Lerwick - Sumburgh: A 42 km drive, taking approximately 40 minutes via the A970. The road is well-maintained with stunning sea views making it a pleasant drive.
  2. Lerwick - Scalloway: Just 10 km and roughly a 15 minutes journey, via the A970 and then the B9074. The road showcases beautiful scenery of the countryside.
  3. Lerwick - Unst: A longer drive of approximately 70 km taking 1 hour via the A970. A ferry crossing is required at Toft. Plan ahead for ferry schedules.
  4. Lerwick - Fair Isle: 45 km to Grutness, then take the ferry. Total travel time is approximately 3 hours. Ferry trips, however, are dependent on weather conditions.
  5. Lerwick - Yell:: About 50 km, you must drive to Toft for ferry, journey lasting about 1 hour. A must-visit for its stunning natural landscapes.
  6. Lerwick - Bressay:: 10 minute ferry ride from Lerwick, with ferries every hour. Though close, it offers a stark contrast to the bustling Lerwick.
  7. Lerwick - Sandwick:: Approximately 25 km journey via the A970, taking around 30 minutes. The road is well-kept, making for an easy drive.

Driving in Shetland

Important FAQs

1. What is the speed limit in Shetland?

The speed limit in Shetland varies depending on the area: in built-up areas, it's typically 30 mph (48 km/h), while on single carriageway roads, it's 60 mph (96 km/h).

2. Are there any speed cameras in Shetland?

Yes, there are speed cameras in Shetland. They are used to enforce speed limits and enhance road safety.

3. Are there any toll roads in Shetland?

No, there are no toll roads in Shetland. All roads are free for use by cars.

4. Do I need a special driving licence to drive in Shetland?

For those from UK, a full driving licence is adequate. International travellers should have an International Driving Permit alongside their domestic licence.

5. What’s the rule on driving sides in Shetland?

In Shetland, as in the rest of the UK, you must drive on the left side of the road.

6. What are some general driving rules in Shetland?

Seat belts are compulsory for all passengers, children must use appropriate car seats, and mobile phone usage while driving is illegal unless you have a hands-free system.

7. Are there many petrol stations in Shetland?

Yes, there are several petrol stations spread across Shetland providing petrol and diesel.

8. Does Shetland have rules on vehicle emissions?

Yes, to limit pollution, vehicles entering some parts of Shetland need to conform to emission standards.

9. Is it safe to drive in Shetland?

Yes, Shetland is generally safe to drive in, but it's always important to observe all traffic rules and road signs and stay alert when driving.

10. What should I do in case of a vehicle breakdown in Shetland?

You should have contact details for breakdown services. Get your car safely off the road and alert other motorists by using hazard lights and warning triangles.

11. Is off-road driving permitted in Shetland?

No, off-road driving can damage the natural environment and is generally not permitted unless on specifically designated routes.

12. What should I do in case of an accident?

If you're involved in an accident, the law requires you to stop. You should then go through the standard procedure of exchanging insurance and contact details with the other parties involved.

13. Is it straightforward to navigate the roads in Shetland?

Yes, the roads in Shetland are well signposted. However, it is recommended to have a reliable GPS or map when traveling to less familiar areas.

14. What is the condition of roads in Shetland?

The roads in Shetland are generally in good condition, though it's always wise to remain cautious as conditions can vary, especially in more rural areas.

15. Is there on-street parking in Shetland?

Yes, there is on-street parking in Shetland. However, you should always observe any local parking restrictions and regulations.

Shetland Highlights

Must-visit tourist attractions in Shetland

  1. Mousa Broch: An ancient iron age round tower offering breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape.
  2. Shetland Museum and Archives: Gives a deep insight into the rich archaeological, cultural and maritime history of Shetland.
  3. Sumburgh Lighthouse: Iconic 19th-century lighthouse offering panoramic sea and cliff views.
  4. Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement: A unique archaeological site dating back to the Bronze Age.
  5. St Ninian's Isle: A stunning natural sand causeway connecting an isle to the mainland.
  6. Fort Charlotte: 17th century military fort providing a glimpse of Shetland's past.
  7. Old Scatness Broch & Iron Age Village: Ancient settlement offering a window into Iron Age Shetland.
  8. Eshaness Cliffs: Dramatic coastline cliffs providing striking views of the North Atlantic.

Shetland Roadtrips

Discover Shetland by Car

  1. Lerwick to North Roe: A scenic 60 km route, driving north of Shetland's main town Lerwick and finally reaching the charming village of North Roe.
  2. Yell and Unst Tour: An exciting 44 km drive, covering the islands of Yell and Unst, that provides splendid views of the sea and a chance to spot some local wildlife.
  3. Sumburgh to Sandwick: An interesting trip of 40 km south from Sumburgh, taking in the beautiful coastal views and passing through the traditional community of Sandwick.
  4. Scalloway to Walls: A fascinating 28 km route from Scalloway to Walls, offering a chance to see Shetland's landscape and the charming fishing village of Walls.
  5. Central Mainland Loop: This 50 km loop from Lerwick covers the attractive landscapes of the Central Mainland, including Tingwall, Scalloway, Weisdale and Tingwall.
  6. Shetland's South Circuit: A magnificent 80 km route, exploring the best of Shetland's Southern islands including Fair Isle and the eastern coastline.