The RDTRIP Experience: Exploring the Scottish Highlands by classic car
Ever thought about hiring out your dream car and heading off on a roadtrip? With plenty of time on your hands, the wind in your hair and that feeling of utter freedom, there are few more attractive prospects that taking off and seeing some of the Scottish Highlands’ most remarkable sights at your own pace – from visiting some of its iconic natural sights to getting lost in a sleepy village for days on end and enjoying quaint tea rooms and leisurely strolls whilst you’re there.
It all sounds rather idyllic, but the one thing that often puts a dampener on the thought of taking off and doing it all is the thought of having to plan your itinerary. With so many places to see along your way, the idea of grappling with maps and trying to work out how to get from A to B can be a stressful prospect – unless, of course, you can have someone do it all for you.
Enter, RDTRIP – a car hire business which offers a range of beautiful modern classic cars for your dream getaway. But, more than just a rental company, these guys have got your entire journey sorted – and their will do all the planning and booking for you.
Owned and run by couple, Stewart and Melanie Dick, RDTRIP can set you up with your perfect car for the trip, with sporty convertibles including a Mini Cooper, MK2 Mazda MX5 and a 987 Porsche Boxster, with plans to expand the fleet. And, with a background in tourism, they are well versed in putting together itineraries that make the most of your time – making that trip you’ve always wanted to take a much easier reality.
“We like to think that we are more than a car hire business,” says Stewart. “What we are really selling is an experience. RDTRIP caters to clients who want more from their experiences; why just tour the roads of the Highlands when you can do it in a convertible sports car? Why simply travel down those roads when you can tap into local knowledge, and experience the best of what this region has to offer?”
It’s a novel idea, and certainly an attractive one to anybody who is all about keeping it simple. In fact, it’s an idea we’re surprised no one has thought of sooner.
So just how did RDTRIP come about? We asked Stewart.
“My love of all things car related and all things tourism related are what brought about RDTRIP,” he explains. “My Dad is a petrol head, so I grew up one too, with watching F1 & Rallying on TV and going to Grand Prix races really kick starting my interest in cars.
“This only continued to grow when I got my licence at 17; I was the typical boy racer schoolboy. Driving around in my 1.1l hatchback with a school blazer on the parcel shelf, the next thing was an obsession with wanting to modify my little Citroen Saxo! Fortunately, my taste has matured rather a lot since then, and I can see the beauty in a stock car.
“At university, I gained a degree in Hotel and Hospitality management, which sparked my interest in tourism. That interest continued when I moved from Glasgow and became manager of a small hotel on the Moray Coast – a move that also led to my absolute love of the highlands, with its spectacular and varied scenery and its incredible wildlife. After leaving the hospitality industry in 2007, both Melanie and I worked in retail, but I found myself missing hospitality and tourism just about every day since.”
Ultimately, it was Stewart and Melanie’s love of travel and adventure that sparked the idea for RDTRIP, and after spotting a gap in the market, they set about making their concept a reality.
“Melanie and I love a road trip. An ideal Sunday for us is getting in the car and heading off to find somewhere for lunch, enjoying the road and the scenery while we are at it,” says Stewart.
“With the popularity of the North Coast 500 and now the North East 250 bringing thousands of people to the highlands to do much the same, we realised that there was a business opportunity. The market is well served with campervan and motor home hire companies, but we wanted to do something a little different; we wanted to hire out cars that would really add to the experience of touring the highlands. The kinds of cars we’d like to hire ourselves to do these trips.”
For those who love both cars and travel, it’s a match made in heaven, and the Dicks’ inspired idea is already beginning to make waves, launching to great applause earlier this summer in time to see a flurry of customers be the first to try out the RDTRIP experience. In just two months, it has already earnt itself a legion of loyal fans, and Stewart and Melanie are gearing up to grow the business over the next year in time for summer 2019.
Whatever the weather, there are plenty of beautiful sights to see across the UK, and it’s never too early to start planning your next getaway. Autumn is a great time of year to take a well-earned staycation and see some of the Highlands in all their glory – think thrilling drives, long walks, warm cosy accommodation – an experience you just wouldn’t get in a campervan.
To find out more about RDTRIP, visit rdtrip.co.uk, or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest under the handle @myrdtrip.