Questions we’re often asked about our vehicles & equipment
Absolutely! Each vehicle comes with a concise but detailed User Guide, which gives step-by-step instructions for using all of the main items of equipment, and tips for driving our vehicles both on and off road. We also provide a full briefing when we deliver the vehicle to you, which generally takes about 20 minutes.
Yes, we do. Please note though that it’s mandatory to hire the Dog Package, and that dogs aren’t allowed in the tents. Also, dogs can only travel with a maximum of 2 people, since the dog ‘hammock’ renders the rear seats unusable for other purposes. Please also refer to the Outdoor Access Code for guidance with respect to the responsible handling of dogs in Scotland’s wilderness.
As it’s important to us that our clients respect the interests of locals, landowners and the environment, we restrict the maximum group size to one car / 4 people. We feel that larger groups of vehicles and people can undermine the principles of ‘treading lightly’.
- Do you allow stag / hen parties?
Unfortunately we don’t hire vehicles for the purposes of stag and hen parties.
If you’re looking to drive big mileages on dirt roads, unfortunately Scotland will disappoint. Almost all of Scotland’s main public roads are paved (indeed Macadam-type road construction was pioneered by a Scot). But the benefit of a 4×4 is that it allows setting up camp away from the road. Drive down onto the beach with a confidence you could never have in a 2 wheel drive camper van. When choosing a campsite, a small distance can make a big difference to the quality of your evening: a few meters across some open ground could reward you with a spectacular vantage point you wouldn’t otherwise get.
- How many people can the vehicles accommodate?
The vehicles can legally seat five people, but due to the limits of the tents and the amount of equipment we can pack in, the maximum group size is 4 people.
We don’t. The time and effort of fitting a roof tent, plus limitations of insurance, mean this is something we do not accommodate.
We don’t. We want to avoid any risk of specific camping spots becoming overused.
- Would a single large 4-person tent or the twin 2-person tents be more suitable for a family?
If you have young children who may need tended to at night, we would generally recommend the single large tent. But if older and prone to squabbling, we’d recommend the twin 2-person tents! The twin 2-person tents are separate units, and access to each tent is only possible by using the separate ladders provided (it isn’t possible to go from tent to tent on the roof).
All vehicles are fitted with Foxwing awnings as part of the standard kit. The Foxwing unfolds, concertina style, to shelter one side and the rear of the vehicle.
If you’re likely to be setting up camp in one location for a couple of days or more, or to give added weather protection, you may wish to add the Hannibal awning as an optional extra (in addition to the Foxwing awning). This awning provides a fully enclosed space underneath the roof tent, and is provided with a gas heater for additional comfort. Note that the Hannibal awning can only be used with the single large 4-person tent configuration. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes to erect and the same to dismantle.
Opening the roof tent/s takes approximately 5 minutes, and closing takes roughly the same amount of time. You can leave your bedding inside when closing, liberating space in the luggage area.
A full tank of fuel provides a range of around 500 miles. In Scotland’s far North and on the isles, we generally recommend filling up if you see a fuel station and you have less than a third of a tank. The fuel consumption of the vehicles (combined urban / extra urban) is about 25 mpg. At current prices, filling the fuel tank costs roughly £90. All of our vehicles run on diesel.
There is no mileage limit as such, but we charge a £0.40 per mile for the extra miles over and above an average of 200 miles per day. We find that our clients typically average 100 – 150 miles per day.
All of our vehicles have manual (stick shift) gearboxes.
- What about toilet facilities?
The standard kit includes both a portable toilet and a foldable shovel. We leave it to the client’s discretion which they use! We also recommend that clients follow the advice in the Outdoor Access Code with respect to this.
We’ve tested our equipment in strong winds, and can proudly claim they can withstand a bit of a battering. The tents in particular are very heavy duty. We do however urge our clients to be sensible: if a hurricane is forecast, maybe check into a B&B! The awnings are also strong once erected and firmly tethered to the ground, albeit the Foxwing awning can be vulnerable during set up in strong winds if precautions aren’t followed. They are however generally repairable should the worst happen!
As with any tent, for safety we have to recommend leaving it and getting into the car. We also recommend removing the bottom section of the metal ladders to the roof tent(s) so that the only thing connecting the vehicle with the ground are the tyres.
- What are the earliest and latest possible collection / return times?
Collection and return can be arranged for any time between 09:00 and 18:00, 7 days a week.
No, we provide this as part of our standard equipment. All you should need to pack are your clothes and toiletries: we provide the rest.
- How do you calculate the hire charge?
The hire charge will depend upon the time of year and the duration of your hire. Please see the Hire Rates page for details. We calculate according to the times that you opt to collect and return the vehicle. So for example, if you collect at 09:00 on the 1st of the month, and return at 16:00 on the 6th of the month, that would equate to 5.3 days. The basic hire charge would then be 5.3 times the hire rate.
Depends on how many you are: family of four will need to be a bit more ‘efficient’ with their packing than a honeymooning couple! But with 4 adults travelling, there is space in the luggage area for four large hold-all type bags. We don’t recommend bringing hard-shelled suitcase type luggage.
Our insurers require that drivers of our vehicles are no younger than 25 years old, and no older than 75 years old: they will consider making exceptions for people outside this range, but it will require specific approval, and it’s entirely at their discretion whether or not to grant it. An additional premium may also be applicable if approved.
- Which driving licences do you accept?
Our insurers will readily accept most UK, EU, US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand driving licences without prior referral. Other nationalities of licence may also be used, but will generally require our insurers approval first. International licences are also acceptable. In all cases, drivers must have held their licence for at least 2 years.
Absolutely, and we thoroughly recommend that you do. Wild camping opportunities are usually especially numerous on the islands. A benefit of our vehicles over motorhomes is that they qualify for cheaper ferry charges: they are typically the same rate as a standard car.
- Can we take the vehicles beyond Scotland?
You are welcome to use our vehicles throughout the mainland UK and the Scottish isles, though if leaving Scotland for England / Wales, we’d ask that you inform us of your intention to do so first. We do not permit the vehicles to be taken overseas. Overseas in this context includes Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland.
- What category do the vehicles fall into for ferry bookings?
As stated above, our vehicles are generally charged at the same rate as normal cars on ferries.
Smoking is not permitted in the vehicles or within the roof tents or closed awnings.
Bikes yes, canoes no (unless of the inflatable type). For bikes, we offer a bike rack as an optional extra which will accommodate up to 4 cycles. Unfortunately we’ve yet to figure out a way of strapping a canoe to our vehicles given the (lack of) space available on the roof rack. Our insurance prohibits our vehicles from towing trailers, so a canoe trailer isn’t an option. However, we can recommend various canoe hire outfits throughout the country.
- Can you store luggage for us while away?
Unless you are both collecting and returning the vehicle at our base, we cannot store luggage for you. A luggage storage service is available at both Edinburgh airport and the main Edinburgh railway station.