Self drive electric car holidays
in Scotland

Environmentally conscious but want the freedom of a self drive holiday? With countries the world over pledging to outlaw gas-guzzling motor vehicles in the near future and an ever increasing range of electric cars (EVs) on offer there’s no better time to take the plunge. Head for Scotland, for example, and you can test out your EV capabilities through the city streets of Edinburgh or Glasgow as well as in the wild landscapes of the Highlands and the West Coast, with itineraries carefully planned so that you have easy access charging points and don’t have to succumb to ‘range anxiety’ (in other words, running out of charge).
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Low carbon or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

What’s the deal with electric cars in Scotland?

Scotland has committed to ending the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 and offers incentives such as EV loans and grant support for charging facilities – though only 6 percent of new cars sold in Scotland in 2018 were ultra low emission vehicles (comprising both hybrid and EVs).

What kind of car will I be driving?

Think electric car and you might picture an unattractive, compact motor more suited to the school run than a wilderness adventure. On self drive holidays in Scotland, though, you’ll take to the roads in high-end style in a sleek, leather-lined Tesla Model S (though other models are available if you like, just ask your operator), which has the size, pace and even range to compete with a petrol or diesel powered rival. As well as good looks, there’s plenty of tech to keep you happy, including a large touchscreen at the centre of the fascia. This provides all the details on battery charge and energy consumption as well as working as a sat nav, audio system and control panel. Perfect for nervous newbies.

Where will I go?

Driving an electric car doesn’t mean you’re restricted to short distances or in-city trips. Yes, you’ll need to pick up your car in the big smoke (either Edinburgh or Glasgow) but our electric car self drive holidays in Scotland allow you to appreciate the country’s wild beauty to the max, with empty roads and dramatic scenery aplenty – made even more enjoyable without that pesky engine noise.

You could make for the Highlands, driving along the banks of Loch Tay, or following the Cairnwell Pass between Glenshee and Braemar, which, at 670m above sea level, is the highest main road in the United Kingdom. You could also experience the spectacular white sandy beaches, towering mountains and islands of Scotland’s west coast, perhaps visiting Oban or the fascinating prehistoric sites of Kilmartin Glen. These trips can also be adjusted according to your budget, interests and timescale – you just need to have a chat with your holiday company.

Where will I stay?

You’ll stay in a range of accommodation, from a spectacular castle perched on a hilltop, to a country house hotel on its own private island. All are locally run businesses carefully handpicked to take you away from well trodden tourist trails, allowing for a more authentic experience than a night in an anonymous chain hotel.
All of the hotels and guesthouses you’ll stay in serve fresh, local produce, and offer stunning local walks right on their doorstep, whether on their own grounds or on trails through the surrounding countryside. These holidays are also about enjoying the Scottish landscape in comfort, so you’ll find on site perks such as spas, high-end restaurants and plush rooms.

What about charging?

Robert Kidd, from our Scottish holiday specialists, McKinley Kidd:
“The EV charging network is growing in Scotland, but is still somewhat sporadic, especially in rural areas and away from the main cities, so careful planning is required – which is where a tour operator comes in.”

There’s no need for range anxiety on our self drive holidays in Scotland. Trips are carefully planned in advance by our specialist holiday companies to ensure that you can access charging points at your accommodation, so you can hit the road the next day with plenty of power for the journey ahead. You’ll also receive personalised information including recommended routes and charging points, just in case you want to top up along the way.

When should I go?

The best time for an EV road trip in Scotland is March to October, when the weather conditions are best for driving. If you’re looking for the quietest roads within this time frame, then spring or autumn is your best bet.
Written by Nana Luckham
Photo credits: [Page banner: Blomst] [Tesla: Jp Valery] [Tesla speeding along: Jp Valery] [Scottish highlands: Antoine Fabre] [Best time to go: George Hiles]