Volvo XC90
Destination UK

4 Tips For A Smooth Road Trip In Scotland

Posted on
November 5, 2020

A trip around Scotland is destined to be good fun. The country became populated over 12,000 years ago, and as such, there’s a lot of historical and cultural sights to unfold. 

Experiencing Scotland by car is the best way to see what this country has to offer. As it gives you the means to travel comfortably with your family and safely while having the freedom and flexibility to stop, park up and awe at the different sights along the way. 

But before you set off on your trip, there are a few things you’ll want to check and put in place for a smooth road trip. These are as follows;

Car Checks 

Unless your car is brand new or rented, it’s wise to perform safety checks on used cars before and during your trip around Scotland. 

Through the winter, the weather in Scotland can be ruthless. As such, rain, blustery wind, ice, and snow can all impact the smooth, safe trip you dream of. To make sure your used car is up to the task, use the below checklist to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive;

  • Tires should be free from cuts, bulges and balding, and be pumped up to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer
  • All lights, including brake lights, should be working correctly and visible at night
  • The car should be capable of performing an emergency stop with ease
  • The engine oil should be at the recommended level and free from debris to lubricate the engine
  • Coolant should be topped up to prevent the car from overheating
  • And, the car should have a valid mot, tax, and insurance

Plan Your Journey

When planning your journey in Scotland, you’ll need to think about where you will sleep, eat, and the nearest petrol points along the way. 

Pre-planning will take the stress out of deciding where to go next and ensure you have enough time to visit Scotland’s landmarks, such as Edinburgh Castle, Glamis Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and of course, the Loch Ness in good time without missing out on anything.  

Rules Of The Road

If this is your first trip to Scotland, you’ll need to become accustomed to the road rules beforehand to prepare yourself for your trip. Here are a few of the main rules you’ll need to follow while in Scotland; 

  • Drive on the left-hand side of the road, and overtake on the right
  • Speed limits for each road will be signposted. Residential and built-up areas are mostly 30mph, whereas motorways are 70 mph. Unless you’re towing a caravan, then the speed limit will be 60 mph.

Familiarising yourself with the rules will prevent any mishaps and give you more confidence on the roads.

Safety Kit

In the worst-case scenario, if the vehicle does break down while you’re away in Scotland this winter, having a safety kit is always helpful. The kit should include water, non-perishable food, fluorescent clothing, a torch, and blankets to tie you and the children over until a recovery truck can reach you all. 

Scotland, while scenic and exciting, some locations, mainly through the mountains and hills, won’t have lighting or help nearby in the event your vehicle breaks down. As a result, preparing for the worst is always advised, and making sure your breakdown cover extends to Scotland is helpful too.


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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog