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Renting a car in Ireland – Read our guide before renting a car in Ireland

Ireland is a country rich in traditional and cultural heritage. A country which is one of the 4 countries that constitutes the United Kingdom, located just off the Northwestern coast of Europe. Ireland is known to be one of the islands that makes up the British Isles. Dublin, its capital city as well as other major cities in the country such as Limerick, Cork and other of its cities possess a lot of historical attraction which makes this country an excellent place to spend leisure time and cool off from the stress of hard work while learning a few Interesting histories. Ireland is home to the famous Shakespeare, The Beatles, and other famous figures. While on a holiday in Ireland, be it a short or long one, one would definitely have to visit some historical and fun places such as the Rock of Cashel, the Hill of Tara and so many other places which are scattered throughout the length and breadth of the island. Whatever place you choose to visit, transportation is key.

The major transportation means in Ireland includes the train and also by public buses. For a tourist, these means of transportation could have their own disadvantages –the trains are somewhat expensive for short distance movement. Although the buses are a more economical way to tour the cities, it could be crowded and not too comfortable. Moving around the city in a car could by far be the best option because one is sure to be comfortable while visiting different places. What better way for a tourist to tour a city than to get a car rented. People may be skeptical about renting a car, but for these persons, here are some tips to guide you while renting a car in Ireland.

Would it be a bad idea to rent a car in Ireland?

Renting a car in Ireland could be a better option to navigate the cities and also getting to those wonderful historical spots that are off major destinations and cannot be reached by the trains and buses. In Ireland, the trains usually pass only through the major cities and destination points –being without a car means jumping from one train or bus to the other or even having to walk short distances. This could be frustrating at times as time is wasted while trying to get to a destination than spending quality time at the place intended.

Car rental issues in Ireland

While renting a car in Ireland, be sure to go for smaller cars, ‘the smaller the better’. Roads in Ireland are known to be narrow, so to avoid unnecessary scratches on the car which may incur an additional cost from the car rental company, it is always advisable for tourists to always get smaller cars. Another vital thing to look out for is the insurance policies covering the car, be sure to fully understand the terms and conditions of these insurance fees to avoid being surprised by the bills you would have to pay. Also, while using a third party service to rent a car which is very common in Ireland, make sure to double check that the amount you are billed is what you actually pay in the end and not higher.

Best and worst car rental companies in Ireland

Similar to renting a car in any country, it is quite important to have as much knowledge as possible on the available car rental companies before making any choice on which company you use. It is necessary to compare and contrast their mode of service to know the one that suits you and also generally look out for those companies that render poor services. Be sure to stay clear from these types of companies.

Best car rental companies

  • Irish Car Rentals –This Company is very affordable and provide one of the best prices in Ireland.

  • Hertz –They have very good services. You don’t have to get an upgraded car or a damaged vehicle. Very good customer service.

  • Dan Dooley –Highly recommended by lots of past users and are sure to give you a good experience when in Ireland.

Worst car rental companies

  • Sixt Car rental –‘Their Company in Ireland is an apology’ says a customer. They provide damaged car and charge

Renting a car in Ireland: Manual vs Automatic

Similar to most European countries, driving is usually on the right. As a tourist, you may be faced with the challenge of which type of transmission to use. Well, the answer to this, lies mainly on the individual. Car rental companies in Ireland gives you both options. You usually find more manual cars than the automatic ones. Getting an automatic car usually costs more but if you are already used to driving a manual, this may be easy for you once you get used to shifting gears with your left hand as you could save more money. But if you have a few more bills to cover, then the automatic transmission could be your best option as you could concentrate on navigating the narrow terrain instead of trying to get used to shifting gears with your left hand.

Is a credit card compulsory when renting cars in Ireland

Most car rental companies would normally ask for a credit card from the renter to complete the hiring of any car. This is necessary because they use the credit card as a form of basic insurance such as Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) etc. against theft or even damage on the car. Only very few companies accept debit cards but this could mean that a temporary hold may be put on your funds.

What is the Max and Min Age to Rent a Car in Ireland?

In Ireland, the age range within which a person can rent a car is between 21 to 75 years. For persons below 25 –ages 21, 22, 23, and 24 –if you are above ages between 71 to 75 –an additional insurance surcharge of 25 Euro per day billed per day. Persons who are below 25 must have had a viable driver’s license for at least 24 months.

What is the average cost of renting a car in Ireland?

The cost of renting a car varies greatly. There is no specific amount when it comes to renting a car in Ireland as the price fluctuates regularly depending on the present economy. Variation in prices could also occur due to the car type: economic vs minivans or SUV, transmission type: manual vs automatic etc. The major determinant on the price of renting a car is the insurance plan covering the car. You can make a budget for petrol at €4.54 for one gallon.

In peak summer season, renting a car for a week will cost about $278, spring might cost you about $167, autumn season will cost about $198 and winter is always expensive due to cost of buying gas –an estimated $310 would get you a car.

Road Laws domineering Ireland as a tourist when Renting a Car

Certain laws to be followed while using a rented car includes

  • Using of the front seat belt is mandatory

  • The driver must have an international driving permit.

  • Always drive within the stipulated driving speed limit.

  • Drinking and driving is prohibited and could attract the penalty of imprisonment.

  • Horns are not to be used between 23:30 hrs and 07:00 hrs.

  • One must be up to 21 years to use a rented car

  • Use of mobile phones while driving is not allowed

Documents needed to rent a car in Ireland

In order to rent a car in Ireland, you will need a valid current driving permit and a credit card. Passports are usually required as a form of ID. If there are additional drivers ensure you provide their details. Reserve your car on time to ensure you get the car you want at a reasonable price.

Toll gates and other information

In Ireland, there are about eleven toll gates and you are required to stop at ten of them to pay your toll fee. The payment can be done in cash or with your credit card. The eleventh one known as the M50 does not require you to stop. This toll uses an electronic system which makes use of video and sensor capture system to take note of your registration number. This toll fee can be paid online or at designated pay points.

Renting a Car in Ireland as an American Driver (USA)

As an American driver in Ireland, one of the things you should take note of is the nature of the roads. The roads are narrower than what is obtainable in the US. If you are using a manual car, a problem that could be encountered is getting used to the right-hand driving system.

What NOT to DO When Returning a Rental Car in Ireland

One wouldn’t want to get into problems with the car rental company, so make sure the car is returned in the same condition as it was rented. Be sure that there are no scratches or damages on the car.

Tips to avoid car rental companies RIF-OFFS

One way to rent a car and avoid the numerous issues that rental companies could give is to book on time –check for times that the rental fees are as low as possible and make reservations during this period. Always have a proof on the state of the car while renting it –a picture of the car can serve. Try to always use a credit card to rent a car as this would be less stressful on you.

Important Contact Numbers

Useful links

Police station

Fire service

Hopefully, this information given above would guide any tourist to comfortably tour around the cities of Ireland and have a wonderful time, which is the essence of the holiday without having to bother about unnecessary issues which could hinder you from experiencing the fun-filled, rich cultural and historical heritage of the country.