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    Car hire in Prestwick - For the Best of South-west Scotland

    Blessed with a long sandy beach, and very close to some of Europe's most famous golf courses, Prestwick is a small, attractive town idyllically located on the Clyde coast in the south-west of Scotland. Sandwiched between Ayr to the south and Troon to the north, it is situated about 30 miles (50 kilometres) from Glasgow, one of the most exciting cities in the United Kingdom.

    Prestwick grew up as a golf resort in Victorian times by hosting the first Open Championship golf tournaments from 1860 onwards. Despite being a small place with a population of only 15,000 people, there's lots to do both in the town and the surrounding areas of Ayr (the largest town in the vicinity) and Kilmarnock a short drive to the north.

    The town is served by Glasgow Prestwick Airport which is connected to many European destinations mostly by popular low-cost airlines such as Ryanair. Golf is a major draw to the area, but Prestwick is also synonymous with some very important chapters in Scotland's history, such as the time Robert the Bruce (who was King of Scots from 1306 to his death in 1329) was cured of leprosy by the waters of the well in a local church.

    Located on the south side of Prestwick, this famous church called St Ninians can be visited today and the famous well still exists. The town has several other interesting attractions, including the old Church of St Nicholas (originally built in the 1100s) where there are strong claims that some Knight Templars, who were guardians of the Holy Grail, are buried on its grounds.

    Golfers won't want to miss the chance to visit Prestwick Golf Club where the Open Championship was born, as well as many of the other top championship courses located in the area, most notably Turnberry Golf Course just 18 miles down the coast. With a cheap car rental in Prestwick you can explore the rest of beautiful Ayrshire, which was home to Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns.

    One of the leading car rental companies since 1954, Auto Europe will always be able to find you the very best deal for your next low-cost car hire in Prestwick and elsewhere in Scotland. Use our state-of-the-art booking engine to search through all the cars we have available for you, whether it's something small and economical for getting around town or something more sumptuous for that road-trip of a lifetime down the spectacular west coast of Scotland.

    For help with your travel plans, please feel free to call our award-winning rental specialists on +441233225114 and they will provide you with all the assistance you need for an enjoyable trip.

    How is the traffic in Prestwick?

    Prestwick is generally a calm and peaceful place with a nice long sandy beach running parallel to a pleasant seaside promenade stretching from one end of the town to the other. Traffic problems are rare, even during the morning and evening rush-hours. Nevertheless, on warm sunny days many of the local people head for the coast to join overseas visitors holidaying in the region, so you can expect to find a bit more traffic, especially on the A77 which by-passes the town. Similarly, Prestwick Airport (located very close to the town) is currently Scotland's fifth-busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic, which means that traffic on the approach sometimes increases during peak travel periods.

    Where can I park my car hire in Prestwick?

    There are plenty of good options for parking your car hire in Prestwick at any time of the day or night, including the weekday rush-hours. On-street parking is very well organised in Prestwick and the rest of Ayrshire, with pay-and-display systems employed in busier parts of the town centre and free parking possible in more outlying areas. Several municipal car parks also cater for longer stays, including the large car parks located in Station Drive and Crofthead Road in the centre of Prestwick. The town's large international airport, likewise, offers excellent short- and long-stay parking possibilities just north of the centre.

    Prestwick Airport

    Prestwick Airport first opened in 1934 as a training airfield and has since grown into one of the largest airports in Scotland, serving both the Prestwick area and the city of Glasgow. It expanded over the years and for some time it was the only Scottish airport allowed to operate transatlantic flights due to it being right on the coast with very little fog. Today it is a fairly busy airport with regular and charter services to mainly spanish destinatiosn such as Alicante, Malaga, Tenerife, Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Palma de Mallorca and Murcia.

    Prestwick Airport (PIK)
    Telephone: +44 871 223 0700
    Address: 107 Glasgow Prestwick Intnl Airport, Prestwick KA9 2PL, United Kingdom

    What to do in Prestwick

    Bright and airy, the charming town of Prestwick sits right on Scotland's glorious south-west coastline. Small and compact, the town punches well above its weight in terms of high-calibre tourist attractions, with some of the country's top sites located either inside or very close to Prestwick town centre. Here follows a selection of some of the things you won't want to miss when visiting Prestwick and its surroundings;

    • Bruce's Well: This major tourist attraction in Prestwick marks the spot where Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, was cured of the leprosy that he contracted in later life by drinking the waters of this well. Located on the grounds of St Ninians church, the well is located just behind the church, which is also well worth visiting.

    • Prestwick Golf Club: A mecca for golf fans, the history of Prestwick Golf Club stretches back over 160 years to a time when golf was in its infancy. A simple stone cairn to the west of Prestwick’s clubhouse marks the spot where the first Open Championship tee-shot was struck in 1860 and identifies the opening hole of the original 12-hole course and the place where golfing history began.

    • Scottish Maritime Museum: Situated in Irvine a short drive north of Prestwick, the award-winning Scottish Maritime Museum comprises a national art collection and the Scottish Boat Building School. Housed within Scotland’s ‘Cathedral of Engineering’, visitors can see some of Scotland’s most historic vessels and the series of inventions that influenced maritime history across the world. Other highlights include SY Carola (the world’s oldest seagoing steam yacht), a 100-year-old yacht called the William Fife III and BOLT18, an all-electric boat and yacht tender that holds the current British Water Speed Record (Unrestricted Electric Runabout Class) of 32.77 mph.

    • Dundonald Castle: Located a few miles from Prestwick, imposing Dundonald Castle was built in the 1370s by King Robert II to mark his succession to the throne of Scotland. He used it as his royal residence which was subsequently continued by his son, King Robert III. There is a visitor centre at the foot of the hill which consists of a café, souvenir shop and a well-organised interpretive exhibition illustrating the castle's history with detailed models of the site.

    • Robert Burns Birthplace Museum: The excellent Robert Burns Birthplace Museum offers visitors a rare and very unique encounter with Scotland’s favourite son. Comprising the famous Burns Cottage where the great poet was born, this historic landmark a short drive south of Prestwick marks the spot where this famous literary genius spent his first years inside an elegant manor-house and gardens created in his honour, which today features a museum displaying the world’s most important collection of his life and works.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Prestwick

    Green and wild, Ayrshire is a largely rural area incorporating plenty of farmland and a batch of small, picturesque towns. Visitors who rent a car in Prestwick have the entire west coast of Scotland at their disposal, with an abundance of day-trip options available including pub lunches and freshly-gathered seafood platters overlooking the Firth of Clyde, one of the most scenic parts of Great Britain.


    One of the United Kingdom's most interesting cities, Glasgow has grown in recent years from an industrial city on the River Clyde to a major Scottish cultural centre. Packed with first-rate museums, art galleries and concert venues, the city has several key tourist attractions, most notably Glasgow Cathedral (built in the 12th century), the state-of-the-art Glasgow Science Centre and the Gallery of Modern Art, one of Europe's best.

    Paisley Abbey

    A landmark building to the north-east of Prestwick is Paisley Abbey, an ancient and very historic building located in the heart of Paisley, a large town situated in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. Some surviving parts of the abbey date from its original construction in 1163 and visitors' highlights include a tour of the choir stalls and a leg-wrenching walk up almost 200 steps to the tower to enjoy some fine panoramic views.

    Culzean Castle and Country Park

    Easily accessible by road from Prestwick, Culzean Castle and Country Park is a wonderful tourist attraction cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. With gardens, beaches, woods, trails and adventure playgrounds to explore, it's a great place to take the kids who will find plenty to keep them occupied for most of the day. The park's main feature is a cliff-top castle of monumental size built by Robert Adam in the late 18th century.

    Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park

    Located in the Renfrewshire hills north of Prestwick, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park is in area of wonderful scenery that includes the heather hills of Misty Law and Hill of Stake (522 metres) and head-spinning moorland views. Besides lots of fantastic wildlife watching opportunities, visitors can explore the disused Barytes mine and enjoy child-friendly walks to the volcanic plug of Windy Hill (316 metres) which affords vast panoramic vistas over the Clyde and towards the city of Glasgow.

    How to get around Prestwick

    It's easy to get around with a car rental in Prestwick. Whether travelling from the north or the south, the best way to approach Prestwick is using the A77, from which there are turnings for the A79. Visitors travelling to and from the nearby town of Ayr can also use the A79. Taxis are a brilliant way to get around Prestwick city centre with very little stress and are not too expensive. Prestwick Train Station is located in the centre of town and less than a 10-minute walk from Prestwick Beach. Prestwick is on the Ayrshire Coast Line that runs between Glasgow Central and Ayr a few miles south of Prestwick. Three trains per hour throughout the day call at both Prestwick Town and Prestwick International Airport, with additional services at peak times. Glasgow is less than an hour's train travel from Prestwick and the line continues south to the port of Stranraer on the Wigtownshire coast (with a change of trains at Ayr normally required).

    Useful links

    Prestwick Tourist Info