I have been asking myself for a while now when will an app get designed that l can simply download, rent a car and not worry about waiting at a desk eager to go an adventure, and without having the extra hassle of having to fill out a bunch of paperwork.
Finally, Virtuo Car Rental company have come to Edinburgh, Scotland and they’ve provided just that.
Virtuo are a car rental company that have locations throughout the UK & Europe that make it super easy and efficient to rent a car all by downloading a free app directly to your smart phone. At first l was a tad hesitant about how this works but the instructions Virtuo provide via the app make it really simple. Before l dive in and fill you in about what l got upto during my two days with my Virtuo Car, l will give you a quick rundown of how it works.
First you register via the app, creating an account with a valid ID (Passport or National Identity), your drivers license and a selfie, plus your payment details. Once your account is validated you are then ready to book, this process doesn't take long at all.
Second you choose via the app what car you want to drive, with the options of a variety of insurances to choose from, plus extra personalised options you may want to add and of course an option to select how many days you want the car. Then voila! Your chosen car is reserved and a virtual key will be sent via the app a few hours before rental, along with directions where to collect your car (always in a secure carpark).
Before you can set off Virtuo requires a quick damage assessment of the car, once assessed you then register the condition of your car directly to the app validating the existing damage if there is any and then you are good to go, simple!
My adventures mostly include the Scottish Highlands and Islands, especially escaping the busy city and I had a few places in mind l wanted to go, but a place that l love thats not too far, never fails to disappoint and is a very scenic drive in all types of weather is Glencoe on the west of Scotland. Its an iconic spot for those at home, and visitors from all over the world. Its roughy 120 miles one way, which is nothing considering its a beautiful drive, and its fun to have the option to go explore in a car when you can stop off at any spots that catch your eye along the way.
I had brought my tent with me as l knew l wanted to sleep somewhere remote in the Highlands. It’s easy enough finding someplace remote to camp in many places throughout Scotland (common sense applies about where to camp, and where to park your vehicle), and I always make sure I’m respectful of the space, and take into consideration the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and bye laws.
We have a great country to explore, so let’s keep it that way.
I headed for a place called Glen Etive, a famous Glen in Scotland that the River Etive runs through reaching the sea loch, Loch Etive. Before l reached Glen Etive l stopped at The Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum grabbing a wee bite to eat and some snacks at The Green Welly Stop a few minutes up the road from The Real Food Cafe.
After grabbing some food it was about 8pm, l finally arrived in Glen Etive around 9pm driving between the Glen searching for a good place to park, and then go pitch my tent. It was starting to get dark but the positive thing was in Scotland during the Summer months we can get up to 17hours of daylight. After pitching my tent l made myself a hot brew, tucked myself in my sleeping bag getting a good nights rest before tackling two Munros the following day.
The sun was beaming through my tent, giving me that extra motivation to get up make some porridge and have a nice coffee enjoying the views. I decided to pack my tent up and drive a little further down the glen before making my coffee and porridge. I found the perfect spot with next to zero midges. Midges are small flying insects that are not dangerous but give you annoying bites and can be irritating (midge spray is advised, or midge repellant incense or candles). They also cant fly in windy conditions and don’t handle the sun too well. I had lucked out today, the sun was out, the wind was perfect and the views were jaw dropping.
After enjoying my breakfast l drove further down the Glen towards Coileitir the start point for hiking today’s two Munro’s (Scottish Mountains) Glas Bheinn Mhor, and Ben Starav. When driving down the glen there is a chance that you will see some deer, this always adds to the magical aspect of the Scottish Highlands. The deer are an iconic symbol of Scotland, and seeing them is always an amazing sight.
My day in the mountains went really well, slightly overcast, small shower but then stayed sunny for the remainder of the day. After completing the two munros l started making my way back out of Glen Etive and towards Loch Tulla finding another great camp on the Loch near a back road where l parked my Virtuo Car safely, settling in for the night enjoying some chicken risotto that l cooked on my camp stove
After a lovely quiet night in the tent and waking up again to no midges I then slowly made my way back to Edinburgh, dropping my Virtuo Car at the carpark where l originally picked it up from.
A weekend of hiking and exploring the highlands made easy, hassle free and I would most certainly rent again from Virtuo for a city escape or to adventure around a new city for a day or two. If you need to rent a car to make things easier for your city escape, Virtuo definitely provide the solution.