Find the best Campervan hire in Scotland

It is becoming extremely popular to hire a VW Campervan in Scotland. With some fantastic scenery, fascinating history, and mysterious legends it is easy to see why.

As if these reasons weren’t enough, Scotland has camping bylaws that are very favourable for travelling by VW camper. Most laybys and pull ins along the route in the remote areas of the high lands especially, being fair game to pull in and stay overnight.

There are a lot of hire companies based in Scotland now catering for cheap VW Campervan hire as well friendly guides providing recommended routes that you can take.

The biggest and most popular route for campers however is known as route 500. If you haven’t already got a guide to Scotland I highly recommend this one which gives some essential travel tips to ensure you have the best time during your visit.

If you are visiting Scotland in the summer months especially make sure you come prepared with specific midge spray. Do not underestimate their power to ruin a trip!

Scotland scenic

Why Hire a Campervan in Scotland?

Chances are if you are reading this, you have already made up your mind that Scotland is your destination and you are looking for the best place to hire a VW campervan. However if you have not yet read about the North Coast 500 route… Read on.

Lockness scenic view

What is the “North coast 500

The North Coast 500 has its own dedicated website on where you can read lots of detail on the route and activities available. It is Scotland’s version of Route 66.

In a nutshell however the route takes you through 500 miles of the most spectacular areas of the highlands (and arguably the most spectacular roads in the UK).

Most guides recommend taking 5 to 7 days to do the complete journey however if time is short or your budget is light.

I can personally say that I did a quick trip last year and covered the route in 3 days. That included one of the days climbing Ben Nevis which is slightly off route!

So a shorter trip is possible but be prepared for lots of hours behind the wheel. And not so many stop offs. Even on a flying visit I was lucky to see some spectacular sights including some wild Ox sat at the side of the road.

Scotland Ox

Most campers choose to start the route at Inverness and wind their way up the East coast of the highlands towards John o Groats right on the East Northern tip of Scotland.

After John O-Groats you take a heading West, hugging the Northern coast line right the way around to the West Coast and then down towards Ullapool. The route swings back inland to re-join the road back into Inverness.

Of course you can pick where you want to start the route and which way you go around it.

Each way is as spectacular as the other and the scenery from East to North to West is very vast and surprisingly varied. It never gets old!

Best time of year for Scotland VW campervan Hire

Prices vary quite considerably between high and low season.

If you can, I would highly recommend avoiding high season  especially during school holidays. Make sure you pack Scotland travel essentials such as Midge spray in the summer months.

This is particularly important if you are intending on doing the North Coast 500 route as it does get quite busy and the roads are very narrow along the northern tip of Scotland making passing places for campers a challenge (and sometimes a little stressful).

Boat house in Scotland

Keep in mind that during the busy seasons, you will find less pull in’s or camp sites available for overnight stops and a lot of the activities will be fully booked (including the campervan hire itself).

What about the weather in Scotland?

If you are asking this question Scotland maybe isn’t the best place to go!

On a serious note Scotland has a lot of rain particularly in the highlands. It is of course thanks to this rain that the landscape is so varied and spectacular. My advice is to dress for all weather, and you won’t be disappointed.

Scotland storm

You cannot guarantee a week without rain in Scotland however typically May, June, September and October are the driest times of the year. This is lucky as this coincides quite nicely with most of the off-peak season.

Where to hire a VW Camper van in Scotland

Below is a list of VW campervan specialists that have a good mix of converted and purpose built VW Transporters available to hire.

Prices vary quite considerably between high and low season and availability often gets booked up over 12 months in advance.

So be sure to plan ahead. – Berwick-upon-Tweed Prices from £770 per week – Edinburgh – Prices from £60 a night – Glasgow – Prices from £75 a night – Aberdeenshire – Prices from £700 a week – Between Glasgow and Edinburgh  – Prices from £90 per night – Hamilton – From £600 per week – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Oban, Inverness  From £90 per night

What are the rules for wild camping in Scotland?

Wild camping in Scotland is legal however there are some areas where you will find signs that request no camping.

Usually the areas that are restricted will either be close to residential areas or will be on narrow roads where passing places or pull in’s are few and far between.

Laybys that are off limits are always clearly marked. As a rule of thumb if there is no sign then you are ok to set up camp for the night

Castle in Scotland

Scotland Camping ethics

Just because wild camping is legal still means that you need to be respectful of other people in the area especially local residents.

Whilst tourism is actively promoted and encouraged in Scotland, over crowding in some areas particularly on the west coast does put pressure on the local facilities.

My advice – where ever possible would be to pick a nice quiet spot away from busy areas where there are no more than a handful of others.

Keep in mind that some campers are there for the peace and quiet and are looking for remote and peaceful camping. Not every camper will appreciate a neighbour!

Be respectful of when and where you camp, ensure that you are well off the road and do not block access to gates/entrances or passing points if the roads are narrow.

Most importantly don’t stray onto private property. If it is fenced or gated then it is likely private land and you would need permission from the land owner to stay.

Ensure that you take your litter home and use raised BBQ’s or stoves rather than fires to cook your meals with.

Be respectful of local wildlife especially at times of the year where birds may be nesting, and wild animals (Deer, Ox, etc) maybe rutting.

Stag in Scotland

Give them plenty of space and observe from a distance wherever possible.


Hopefully that gives you a flavour of where, why and how to rent a VW campervan in Scotland. If you have any photos or recommends of your own experience, I would love to hear from you.

I personally visit Scotland at least 2 to 3 times a year and am never disappointed, whether it is sightseeing, outdoor adventures or winter sports that you are looking for, Scotland has it all.

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