Spotlight on Arnold Clark
We’re shining the spotlight on our partner, Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental this month!
Starting in Glasgow in 1963 with just 12 cars in their rental division, the company has grown over the past 57 years and now has branches all over the UK, although they still like to retain that personal touch as well as great local knowledge. We caught up with Liz Gray, Supervisor at Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental’s Inverness Branch, to find out what they can offer visitors doing the North Coast 500.
1. Hi Liz, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental?
I’ve been with Arnold Clark for almost 17 years now and I’m the branch supervisor here in Inverness. My main role is to assist our very capable team in making your trip one to remember for all the right reasons, whether that’s with welcome hosts assisting you with great places to visit locally, or rental operators making your car rental experience quick, smooth and efficient in keeping with the values of this family-run company.
2. So tell us, why choose Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental to travel the North Coast 500? What’s included in the rental?
The quote you receive from us includes your rental, VAT and insurance. Not only that, but we have vehicles to suit all journeys or requirements, we’re well located with branches throughout the country including all of Scotland’s airports and we include roadside assistance as standard. We also offer the opportunity to reduce your insurance excess right down to zero for a small extra fee per day – great for giving you peace of mind on your travels! We’re quite unique because we offer a one-way hire system, too, so you can start and end your trip wherever you like. We’ll even help you programme your GPS!
3. What added extras can you offer visitors doing the route?
We offer a wide range of extras at reasonable prices. We can meet you at the airport and take you to the branch. We have sat navs and dash cams for hire, and we also offer child car seats from £1.
4. You offer a 15% discount for NC500 members, how would they take advantage of this?
If you’re a member of the NC500, just quote ‘NC15’ when you make your booking online or over the phone, and then show your membership confirmation email at the time of collection to claim this offer.
5. Do you have any advice you can offer visitors driving the North Coast 500?
First and foremost, allow plenty of time. Not just because the roads are narrow in places, but if you want to make the most of your trip and see all of the beautiful sights, allow yourself between five and seven days. If you get lost, don’t worry; the locals in the Highlands are very friendly and will be happy to help you on your way. Don’t forget to share your photos with us using the hashtag #RentalRoadTrip.
6. If you were driving the NC500, what vehicle would you choose and why?
I would choose one of our SUV’s. They’re spacious, leaving plenty of room for luggage, and the added height gives you more opportunities to see the breathtaking views, especially on the Bealach na Bá.
7. If you had to pack one essential item to take with you on a road trip around the NC500, what would it be and why?
I would bring a lightweight waterproof. As you know, in Scotland, the weather isn’t guaranteed to be sunny but the good news is that I can honestly say that the scenery is just as striking in the rain as it is in the sun, especially the mountains of the west coast and the cliffs of the east coast. Whatever the weather, get out there and explore!
8. Have you any exciting plans for 2020 you can share with us?
Without giving too much away, you’ll see some exciting changes at Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental over the coming months. Personally, I am taking part in my first half marathon this summer and have chosen to do this on the Isle of Skye. I am hoping for good weather as I also hope to visit the Fairy Pools which are stunning in the sun – and to make it to the finish line! Although not part of the North Coast 500, perhaps you could come back and visit the Isle of Skye on a subsequent trip – you won’t be disappointed.
9. And finally, do you have a favourite place to visit along the North Coast 500?
I come from the North East originally and that remains my favourite place, although it is all beautiful. I love to visit the Whaligoe Steps. To fully appreciate this location, I’d recommend to do some research on it first. They’re made up of 365 steps (a bit fewer now) cut into the rock that women used to carry baskets of fish up several times a day. I suspect the modern woman may struggle with this! Please do take care however, the steps are quite uneven.