Where and What to Hire
There are plenty of car hire options in Glasgow. If hiring a car from the Glasgow Airport there are well known car rental companies including Enterprise, Thrifty, Easirent, Interrent, Right Cars, Arnold Clark, Budget, National Car, 5th Gear, Europecar and Hertz. There is also a branch of Hertz at Galsgow Prestwick airport. In the city centre Sixt and Limo Hire are located near Glasgow Central Station. Enterprise has a branch just off M8 near Glasgow Caledonian University while Sixt has a branch near Argyle Street Station. Budget, Arnold Clark and Glasgow Car Rental all have branches in the Pollockshields area of the city while Europecar, Thristy, Atlas and Hertz have car rental branches near the Glasgow SECC. All manner of cars are available for hire from limousines and vans to small two-door vehicles and family four-door and larger people carriers.
Driving in Glasgow is challenging if new to the area as the city centre is made up almost entirely of one-way streets and pedestrianised areas. There are also over 301 km of cycle lanes of various types including segregated, shared lanes and signed on street lanes. Rush hour in Glasgow is between 7.30am and 9.30am and 4.30pm to 6.30pm. Weekend driving in the city centre almost always means dealing with heavy traffic.
On-street parking is available, some of which is free but time limited but most of which is pay and display. The amount depends on the area. (This information is correct as of 8 April 2015)The Central Zone is pay and display from 8am to 6pm and costs 60p per 12 minutes and is limited to a 2 hour parking time. In the Outer Zone, parking costs 20p for the first 30 minutes then 20p for every 10 minutes after and is limited to 3 hours. There are many underground and multi-storey car parks particularly near shopping centres and entertainment complexes. Park and Ride is a good choice as parking costs just £2.60 for a day and avoids the drive into the centre of Glasgow. City Parking offer 17 car parks in the city centre from £1.80 per hour and the option to pay on the day or to purchase a season ticket.
Where to Go and What to See
While driving in the city may be challenging, it is worth having a car to explore the surrounding area. For those travelling with children, just 11 miles away in Motherwell there are two fantastic places for a day out. Amazonia is Scotland’s only indoor rainforest with lots of fun activities to do and animals to see. There is also M and D’s Theme Park with a huge selection of rides and attractions for kids of all ages. 25 miles from Glasgow and just a 35 minutes drive is the fabulous Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre where flying displays, bird handling and walks make for a great day out. Also in Loch Lomond is a wonderful aquarium with a stunning Ocean Tunnel surrounded by tropical fish, live exhibits like the new Stingray Discovery display and even the chance to feed otters, seahorses, turtles and sharks! In just under an hour it is possible to reach Aberdour where a silvery sandy beach awaits for romantic walks or fun on the local bouncy castle. Just 20 minutes from Glasgow is the Summerlee Heritage Park, a museum of social and Industrial history. Those who love history and architecture should make the 20 mile trip to nearby Stirling to see the famous castle; undoubtedly the grandest in Scotland and the National Wallace Monument which affords glorious views of the countryside from the top. For anyone who wants to experience the thrill of skiing or snowboarding all year round on real snow, there is the indoor Snow Factor, just 3 miles out of the city centre.