A Comprehensive Guide to Renting a Car in Ireland

[As I am rereading this post before I publish, I recognize it is long. What was a simple “how-to” became comprehensive guide to renting a car in Ireland. I debated splitting up the content into two posts, but one of the reasons I created Infinite Ireland was to be sure first-time travelers to Ireland would have all the information in one place. It is a lot to take in, but I hope that the information will help you better understand how to rent a car in Ireland. As always feel free to comment and ask questions–we truly love helping you travel.]


Red Rental Car in Ireland

A Bright Red Rental Beauty

To really get intimate, to discover places and meet people, requires renting a car in Ireland. Simply put, we have gone places in a rental car that buses and large tour groups cannot go. We have chatted with locals for hours past closing time. We have eaten amazing dinners in remote restaurants. We have been the only people at some of Ireland’s best attractions.

All because we didn’t have to abide by someone else’s schedule. Because we opted for a rental car.

There are more rules and nuances for renting a car in Ireland than almost anywhere else in the world (I’ve done the research). It can be challenging, but as soon as you understand the lingo and what impacts the bottom line, you can get a good deal and be equipped with the wheels for a great trip.

Demystifying Renting a Car in Ireland

Each rental car website will ask you for basically the same information. These selections decide how much your quote will be so it is a good idea to check these details carefully.

Pick up and drop off location: The easiest and most convenient place to pick up a rental car is at the airport as soon as the plane lands. Airport pickups have a small location surcharge, but I think the convenience of not driving in the city is well-worth the minimal extra cost.

I highly suggest flying in and out of Shannon. The Shannon Airport is much smaller and it sees a lot less traffic. Going through customs, picking up checked luggage, and renting a car should be quick and easy. We have landed and been on the road in less than 45 minutes.

Shannon Airport Departures Area

The Lovely and Often Quiet, Shannon Airport via Sean MacEntee

If you do fly into Dublin and plan to see the city first, pick up the rental car after exploring for a day or two. It is easy to get around using public transport. Plus you will avoid driving in the city (jet lagged and on the left side of the road) and paying for extra days.

Date and time of pick up and drop off: Obviously the longer you rent a car in Ireland, the costlier it will be. I try to time my pick-up and drop off within an hour of each other (e.g. pick up at 7:00 AM and drop off at 8:00 AM two weeks later). In doing so, I am not usually charged any extra/partial days. Working out the timing is usually pretty easy for us as most transatlantic flights arrive and depart in the morning.

Age at the time of rental: Renters between the ages of 25 and 74 will receive the lowest rates available. If you are between 21 and 24, you will likely have to pay an extra fee for each day. Unfortunately those under 21 cannot rent in Ireland. Similarly, seniors over 75 may find it difficult to rent a car.

Transmission: Automatic or manual (stick shift) transmission cars differ greatly in cost. Manual transmissions are much less expensive and are more common among the local drivers. However, if you do not drive a manual transmission vehicle in your daily life, I would “stick” to an automatic in Ireland. While the significant price difference is tempting, the ease of driving an automatic is worth the extra cost especially on winding and narrow roads!

Extra Drivers: The number of additional driver’s increases the cost of your daily rental fee. Most companies charge an extra €10 or $13 US per day. If you think you will need more than one driver to break up the trip or fear someone getting sick, it may be worth the extra cost. In our family, my husband Joe is usually the designated driver and I am the navigator. We don’t typically pay the extra cost per day to have two people at the wheel. But when we knew Joe was feeling under the weather before our last trip, we opted for the extra driver upon arrival.

Vehicle Size: The smaller the better! If you are traveling with a significant other or a small family, there really isn’t any reason you should opt for a size upgrade. You will thank yourself for a smaller vehicle. If you are also bringing Aunt Hilda and Cousin Wilfred along, just opt for the smallest size you think you can get away with.

Currency: Most rental websites will ask which currency the quote should be displayed. It really doesn’t matter if it is in US dollars or in Euros. Just be sure that the quotes you receive from different sites are in the same currency to compare apples to apples.

Extras: A number of extra services are available at checkout such as child seats, GPS, and even a mobile hot spot (from at least one company–Hertz). Some people swear by GPS in Ireland, but we find a good map sufficient.

Rental Car Insurance

Bus, Car and Bike Accident in Dublin

Insurance is Important via Infomatique

Insurance is by far the biggest headache when renting a car in Ireland. There are several different types of insurance in a rental agreement. Understanding which ones to purchase and why to buy them can be really important.

CDW/Collision Damage Waiver/Basic Insurance/LLI/Limited Liability Insurance/CDI/Collision Damage Insurance: Everyone* is mandated to buy Collision Damage Insurance and is the minimum amount of insurance coverage required when renting a car in Ireland. CDW reduces your financial responsibility for damage to your vehicle. After purchasing CDW, you will have a minimum deductible of €1000 for any damage, sometimes more depending on company/larger vehicles. CDW typically does not include tire, window, or undercarriage damage.

The cost of CDW can vary greatly from company to company. Most car rental websites ending in .ie (versus .com) include it in the quote online. If it is not included, call the company to find out the daily rate.

*World Matercard CDW: There is the possibility of one exception to the mandated purchase of CDW, World MasterCard coverage. This seems to be the only credit card that has coverage in the Republic of Ireland. If you have a World MasterCard and would like to use it to waive the purchase of CDW, contact the credit card company and get hard copy documentation that states you are covered in Ireland. Some companies still won’t accept this coverage, others will. Be sure to call the car rental agency to find their terms.

It is very likely that the car company will place a hold or even charge a couple thousand euros on the credit card. The hold will be removed or refunded once the car is returned with no damage. A small administration fee is also usually charged when declining the CDW, about €25-€30.

Excess Insurance/Super Damage Waiver:  This is the ultimate car insurance that will cover all sorts of scratches and bruises to your rental vehicle. By purchasing this extra insurance your liability for the vehicle will be down to €0.00-€300. Car rental agencies usually like to hide how much this is per day. Look in the terms and conditions for this information (usually on the second page of the booking process).  Again always check what is included. Most still don’t cover tires or glass. We always purchase this and have been glad we did on a few occasions. Scratches from roadside branches are inevitable.

Update: If you choose not to purchase the Excess/Super Damage Insurance, a hold will be placed on your credit card usually around €2000.00-3000.00. Many travelers often have a difficult time weighing a big hold on a card vs. the cost of the extra insurance. For peace of mind, I always suggest the extra insurance. Plus, you get to easily drop off your car at the end of your rental without having to wait for the inspection.

Theft Insurance: Theft insurance protects against the obvious, the theft of a rental car. This hasn’t ever been something we have worried too much about. It is often included in CDW/Excess/Super Damage Waiver Insurance (thanks to reader Tony2Phones for keeping our information as accurate as possible!).

Personal Liability Insurance: Personal effects insurance is injury and accidental death coverage for the driver and passengers. My husband and I both have health insurance for injury and life insurance policies for the unhappy death part.

Taxes, Fees:


Money, Money, Money via EnvironmentBlog

The final payment will also include a few other add-ons. Not all rental company charge all of these fees, but you should at least be aware of them.

  • Value Added Tax (VAT) at 13.5% –mandatory
  • Road tax
  • Airport tax or location charge
  • Licensing fee
  • Cross border driving fee
  • M50 toll fee (Toll road outside of Dublin now has barrier free toll—basically you pay rental car company rather than a toll booth)
  • Late fees (returning the car later than indicated on reservation)
  • Cancellation fees


Petrol Station

Petrol Station in Ireland via adrian, acediscovery

Gas or petrol is expensive in Ireland. Really expensive.  The average current price is €1.60/liter.  Silver lining: a fill up in an automatic Nissan Micra can last several days.

When filling up the tank, check which type of fuel the car requires. Accidentally insert diesel and you will not only be in trouble mechanically, but could get into some trouble with the car rental company too.

You should also know your rental car’s fuel return policy—some want it full on return, others want it empty.  Just check so you aren’t charged for extra fuel during check out.

Begin the Search Process

Rental Car Booking Form

First Steps to Freedom–A Rental Car!

So now that you know what impacts the bottom line–how do you begin your search process? Listed below are the rental agencies that I am aware of at the Shannon and Dublin airports.  All the links end in .ie, which is Ireland’s website domain registration. As mentioned above, .ie will usually contain CDW insurance and is therefore a little easier to research total cost.

Select one and insert your travel information. Trips a year or more away may need to wait until six months or closer for some agencies to give a quote. Begin at the airport you plan on flying into, paying close attention to what is included in each estimate.

Again, if something isn’t included, look in the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. Most companies list their prices there, if not don’t hesitate to give them a call to get accurate information.

Shannon Airport    Dublin Airport
Avis Avis
Budget Rent a Car Budget
Dollar Dollar
Dooley Car Rentals Dooley Car Rentals
Europcar Enterprise
Hertz Rent a Car Europcar
National Car Rental (@Europcar Counter) Hertz
Payless Car Rental National Car Rental (@Europcar Counter)
Thrifty Payless Car Rental

I create a spreadsheet to organize my Ireland car rental search. It includes: all of the companies listed; the quote; what is included; what is not included and their approximate costs; and any other details important to that company. This helps me better compare each agency and remember all the details.

We don’t have strong affiliations with any one company, but have used several without any major problems. I always advocate shopping around and checking out reviews online. If something you read makes you uncomfortable, don’t rent with them.

We used Dan Dooley on our most recent trip to Ireland. I was pleasantly surprised of the inclusiveness of their quote. We did not have to pay anything but fuel upon arrival. Using the code “DoChara” gave us a 5% discount. Last year, I detailed all of our Ireland trip expenses including our car rental. This might help you budget the cost of a vehicle for your trip. We ended up booking fairly last-minute and probably could have gotten a better deal with more advanced notice.

Miscellaneous Car Rental Tips:

Cars in Dublin

No Thank You, City Driving

Payment must be by credit card in the name of the primary driver. Cash, check, or debit card are not accepted.

Give your flight information with your reservation. If the plane is delayed longer than two hours, the car rental company may consider you a no-show.  However if they know your flight info, you should be able to walk out with your reserved car when you land.

Don’t worry about air conditioning. It rarely gets hot enough to call for spending extra money on it.

Trunks are smaller, so pack light.

Take copies of your reservation and the total cost you expect to pay to the rental counter. If it doesn’t match up make sure they give you an explanation.

Don’t care about which company? There are websites such as Irish Car Rentals and Argus Car Hire that aggregate the car rental search (similar to Priceline). If you don’t care about transparency and are keen on doing some extra research, these can come with good deals.

Before you leave the airport, check the car for scratches, dings, bulges in the tire, etc., and make sure they are noted on the rental sheet. Take pictures with a date stamp too—just in case you need it after you return.


[Shew! That’s a lot of information!!  Do you have any advice I’m missing or a great Ireland car rental story? Share them with us and join our community of Ireland travel enthusiasts.]   

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161 Responses to “A Comprehensive Guide to Renting a Car in Ireland”

  1. Tony2phones July 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    You have missed the “Hold” when not purchasing SCDW. Irish rental cars must have Theft and 3rd party insurance which should always be included in the basic rate before adding CDW. if not why not??

    When getting quotes Know what has to be paid at the collection desk not just what you pay on line.

    And finally Agencies do not have to include anything more than the basic rate in their quote so if one quote is a lot cheaper, chances are something is missing.. By far the majority of complaints on Ireland travel forums come from people who have tried to save a little rather than going direct to the end suppliers..

    • Stephanie July 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

      Thanks so much for your input Tony2phones! Its great to have experts chiming in. :-) You reminded me of another thought too! Sometimes with “holds” it isn’t just a hold but a charge and then a refund. In the process, you maybe out exchange or international bank fees. Regarding theft and 3rd party insurance–if you are booking on a .com site they aren’t always included in the rental quote. I hope it was helpful including them in the descriptions here.

      Love your tips about knowing what is to be paid at the collection desk and not just to be paid online. I suggest creating a handy-dandy spread sheet and adding a column that details what’s not included in the quote, so you know what you need to pay at the counter.

  2. Bell | Wanderlust Marriage August 14, 2013 at 4:50 am #

    It is also about 6.80 euro per day for a child seat :) it is really expensive here for car rental. The airport pick up fees are really high! Thank you for putting this together, very helpful!!

    • Stephanie August 14, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Yikes–6.8 Euro per day isn’t cheap! We don’t have to worry about this fee ourselves, but it can add up when have one or more children in a car seat still.

  3. Alex-Wanderlust Marriage August 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    Great post! Really comprehensive info on what can be a bit of a complicated issue in Ireland what with airport surcharges, other additional fees and the fact that automatic cars are much more expensive to rent. I rang Europcar the other day about renting for a day in September and they quoted me 50 euro extra for an automatic car over manual…that’s crazy!

    • Stephanie August 14, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

      Renting an automatic can sometimes double the price per day quote. This and and excess waiver can really put a dent in the pocketbook. While expensive, I find both are worth the peace of mind on those tiny Irish roads. :-)

  4. Ronan August 15, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    The picture for the car rental insurance section is pretty grim.

    • Stephanie August 15, 2013 at 8:35 am #

      I suppose it is pretty grim. Accidents are no fun that’s for sure. Glad we haven’t had to worry about it in Ireland (so far).

  5. Dee September 20, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    great information, wish I had read this before renting from Dubiln Airport and certainly wouldn’t have used Sixt – what started out with Sixt at £34 or car rental for 4 days ended up costing £199! Companies like this should detail EXACTLY what the charges on on-line before you book. Still endeavouring to get back the “refundable” damage deposit.

  6. Andrew October 29, 2013 at 10:14 pm #


    I was wondering, if I purchase the Super Insurance and bring the excess to $0, are there any other holds the rental company will put on my credit card? Thank you!

    • Stephanie October 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      If you get the Super Excess insurance. There should not be any extra holds placed on your card. Super excess basically absolves you of any damage to the car (except tires and windshield damage). Hope this helps (and you enjoy your trip to Ireland!).

  7. Dee October 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Still trying to get my refund from SIXT, totally ignoring e-mails, absolute rip-off company, don’t use them!

    • Stephanie November 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

      Good luck Dee! Most car rental companies sure know how to squeeze the money out of ya!

  8. Jackie McKinnis February 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    We already have a tickets bought for flying into Dublin. We will tour the city first by public transportation, but then what’s the best way to get a rental? Are there rental places on the outskirts of Dublin?

    • Andrew February 4, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      Hi Jackie,

      We were over in Ireland this past November and we found that renting a car was the best way to get around the country outside of Dublin. I was really skeptical at first; regarding required insurances and deposits and driving the opposite side of the road but it all worked out well. First, if you buy super excess insurance (meaning $0 deductible), prepay for gas ($55 euros), the only deposit we were required was $100 euros for traffic tickets. Buying this insurance put my mind at ease and not worried about dings and scratches if were to occur. We used Europcar (http://www.europcar.ie/dublincity.html) and everything turned out great. They returned my deposit within couple of days after dropping the car off. Secondly, driving around the country was great. The map the rental company provides you is sufficient and the major roads are pretty well labelled. Good luck and hope this helps!

      • Jackie McKinnis February 4, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

        Thanks so much Andrew. I will check out the website you have suggested, and i appreciate your comments and suggestions!

  9. Http://Emulateurz3Ds.Blogspot.Com February 17, 2014 at 2:07 am #

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  10. Marilyn April 7, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    Hi Joe and Stephanie,
    Glad I found your blog. We have flights to Ireland this September but are trying to put together the rest of the trip. We fly in and out of Dublin but have little wish to drive much in the city. Is it easy to get transport to and from the airport? We thought we would spend a couple of nights in Dublin before heading out to the West Coast. Can we rent cars somewhere in City Center Dublin? Any advice?

    • Stephanie April 7, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      Hi Mailyn,
      Great question! You are on the right track. Don’t rent cars for your time in the city. You won’t use them because it is just rotten to drive around Dublin. We used the aircoach bus: http://www.aircoach.ie/ to get to the city center after our arrival flight. I think a round trip ticket is about 13 euros now, which will be much less expensive than getting a cab there and back. You can also get a single ticket and pick up your rental in the city center, but again that means you will be driving in the city (even to get out of it). We found it relatively painless to get back to the airport and drive out from there. But both are certainly options. Just remember, left side of the road and have someone else navigate, look for on coming traffic and other possible hazards. You’ll get the hang of it in no time. You’d be surprised how your brain is able to flip it for you after a while.

      Good luck! And enjoy it! I am sure you will just love Ireland!

  11. Alexia April 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm #


    I will be traveling to Ireland with my husband and 2 friends. One of my friends will be driving in Ireland and we have been deciding who will be paying. I think my friend who will drive has to pay online. Who has to pay for car rental online?

    • Stephanie April 13, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

      Hi Alexia,
      Most car companies have options for payment. Many give small discounts for people who opt to pay upfront. I say it would be a little odd that she wold be required, unless she wanted to get that extra discount. Check out sites like Hertz.ie or dandooley.ie. Both do not require payment up front.

      Hope this helps and good luck finding a good deal. I know it can be tough!

  12. carolyn April 22, 2014 at 1:44 am #

    We will be travelling in Ireland next March as we will be in a unfamiliar environment I was concerned if we had an accident because e.g. we failed to give right of way. Would super collision damage waver cover that.

    • Stephanie April 27, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

      Hi Carolyn! Glad to hear you are planning for next year already. I think planning is all a part of the excitement (but I’m not sure everyone shares my opinion!). When you rent a car in Ireland you are typically required to take some basic insurances. For example on the Budget.ie site, your basic quote includes the following:

      Third Party Insurance: – covers against damage or injury to a third party.
      Theft Protection: – covers against losses arising out of theft or attempted theft of the vehicle.
      Collision Damage Waiver (CDW): – this cover reduces your financial liability for damage caused to the vehicle from the full value of the vehicle to the value of the excess.

      I think what you are talking about is this “Third Party Insurance.”–covering someone you accidentally hit. You will receive this practically automatically.

      Super CDW is meant only for your vehicle. If you were to be in an accident, and do a lot of damage to your vehicle you will be completely covered to zero dollars (except for windshield, mirror or tire damage).

      I hope this answers your question! Safe travels!

      • carolyn April 28, 2014 at 5:09 am #

        Thanks Stephanie, Yes I know it is early, but I like to have everything sorted out. We are Australian & the travel insurance covers excess costs for car rental but on closer examination I find, if we are in breach of any road rules, we will not be covered so if we had a collision because we failed to give way we would be up for 1200 euro with collision waver damage. At this stage I am thinking of renting from Dan Dooley & will pay the super collision damage cover. We would still be up for 100 euro but would rather do that. I have also read that there can be thorns on the road which could damage tyres so I am thinking of paying 5 euro per day for tyre & glass cover. We are so excited about our trip & the European River Cruise which we will take when we leave Ireland.

        • Stephanie April 29, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

          Ireland and a European River Cruise–you are lucky indeed! I think having the Super CDW is perfect for piece of mind and a choice for anyone worried about driving on the left. We’ve never bought the tyre and glass cover, but again it does take the “what if” out of the equation. I hope you have a lovely time. :-)

        • John Honan November 13, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

          Carolyn. I am considering an Irish trip combined with the European River cruise as well. Would appreciate any feedback on the logistics of your itinerary. I’m from Chicago, USA and would also like to do a trans-Atlantic cruise returning to the States after the whole trip.

  13. Pilar April 27, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    Thanks so much for these useful tips. I’m planning on taking a road trip starting in Dublin this next September. Does anyone know if I can use my Colombian driver’s license or is there perhaps another document I should get beforehand? Gracias :)

    • Stephanie April 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

      Hi Pilar! There isn’t a lot of information for Colombian’s driving in Ireland out there. But most of the language on all of the sites I have looked through has some version of the following:

      1. Have a full driving license for the class of vehicle you are renting. You will be required to produce your license at the car rental desk so be sure to bring it with you.
      2. Drivers aged between 21 – 25 and 70 – 75 are subject to special conditions.
      3. An International Driving License (IDL) is required if your national driver’s license is not in Roman script. International driver’s licenses MUST BE accompanied by the original domestic license of the driver.

      Now most websites I am quote are probably expecting their primary audience to be from the US, UK or Europe. I would do a little more research on your own by calling the rental car provider you end up choosing to confirm the requirements.

      Safe travels from Colombia!!

  14. Heidi April 29, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Hi ! My husband, daughter (18 yrs old) and I will be traveling to Ireland in May for a graduation gift for her. We are so excited, but also nervous as we have never traveled out of the US before. Thank you so much for all the info !! That’s my biggest worry is hidden costs. I am a budget person and like to know there won’t be any surprises. We will be flying into Dublin and staying over night there, then heading West :) We have the first night in Dublin reserved at the Charles Stuart Guest House (anyone been there before ??) And then the second day we will drive(after going back to the airport for our car) to Kilkenney to the Brideview B&B. (We are hoping B&B’s will help emerse us into the culture there more than hotels. We are also hoping they will not be too expensive. Do you have suggestions as to where we should go from there ?? We will be in Ireland a total of 9 days. Would love to see: Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, Kilkenny castle etc… We welcome any suggestions !!!

    • Stephanie May 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      Hi Heidi,
      We have found the most hidden costs have to do with the rental car. Include the excess waiver in your plans up front and that will save a lot of hassle (book with Dooley and you won’t have any, which is nice). If you look at the pdf of our budget on the bottom of this page (http://www.infiniteireland.com/it-costs-a-million-dollars-to-travel-to-ireland-a-million-dollars/), you can really get an idea of all the types of things we paid for in Ireland (including a new tire!).

      As for where to go, you certainly have a good start. Staying in B&B’s is certainly the best way to go, and as Carolyn says below, cost-effective too. I would stay at least two nights in Kilkenny, with one day to explore the town, castle, and cathedral, and another to see the sites surrounding like Jerpoint Abbey/Park, Inistioge, and Kells Priory. I’d move on the next day to the Rock of Cashel, Hore Abbey and possibly Cahir Castle. If you want you can either had south toward Blarney, Cork, or any one of the five fingers (Mizen head, Sheep’s Head, Ring of Beara, Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula. Or go a little north west to the Cliffs of Moher, Burren, Galway/Connemara.

      I don’t think it would be good to go in both directions in 9 days, but you certainly can pack quite a bit in!

      Good luck! It sounds like a great trip!

  15. Heidi April 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    Also, have you ever used Carhire for the additional insurance needed for the rental car ??

    • carolyn April 30, 2014 at 4:47 am #

      Hi Heidi, I forgot to mention, if no one has used this company, I would suggest you read the product disclosure statement carefully. Alarm bells went off for me with the travel insurance co. I am going with. They will cover an unexpected event & if the vehicle is stolen or damaged but then it says “cover does not apply if you are in breach of any local driving laws or rules”. I was concerned that if we failed to give right of way or something we would not be covered, so I sent the firm an email & they confirmed this to be the case. This being the case, I have decided to take scwd as I do not want a 1200 euro bill if we have a bingle & i t is our fault.

    • Stephanie May 1, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

      We haven’t used a third party provider for the Excess Insurance. While they should be relatively reliable. The problem we found with third party providers is that the rental company will initially charge you for any excess damage and then you will need to place a claim to the third party for reimbursement. This may be an easy process, but from what I have read, it often involves a lot of back and forth between the car rental company, the third party and you (who is now probably back home). We’ve decided to ignore the hassle and just book the excess with our rental company for a higher price.

  16. carolyn April 29, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

    Hi Heidi, This will be our first trip to Ireland. I have been doing lots of research on comments. The Ring of Kerry & Dingle Peninsular appear to be very popular. There have been a number of comments saying, if you have to do one or the other because of limited time the general consensus appears to favour the Dingle Peninsular. I have also read that, as there a a lot of coaches on the Ring of Kerry it is better to go counter clockwise. These are just suggestions & I hope someone who knows more will either agree or disagree. We have already booked accommodation for next March.I researched all the reviews for b & b’s & I have picked those with ratings of approx 9. I was also very pleased with the price, ten nights with full Irish breakfasts & we will average $106 Aust. per night .In Australia a standard 3 star motel without breakfast would cost $100 – $110. Prices may be higher in May. Hope you have a great time.

  17. Joe May 4, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Hi, Stephanie. My friend and I are planning our first trip to Ireland in July. We are flying into Shannon from the US and will be focusing on the west coast. I play mandolin and hope to sit in on some pub music sessions, especially during the Willie Clancy Festival in Miltown Malbay. We plan to do a lot of hiking as well.

    Regarding car rental, I have a World Mastercard which carries CDW coverage for car rentals in Ireland. However, in order for it to be effective, I have to waive ALL supplemental insurance offered by the rental company, including the Super CDW. Good idea? Bad idea? Do you have any experience with this kind of coverage? Any pitfalls that I should know about?

    • Stephanie May 4, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

      Hi Joe! Ahh this is a great question. I personally don’t have a World Mastercard, so I haven’t used this benefit myself. So all I can give is insight on what others have said.

      Pros: Not having to pay the Super CDW rate is an excellent benefit indeed, which can add quite a lot on to an already expensive car rental.

      Cons: If a claim needs to be filed you will be dealing with your credit card company and the rental insurance company to be sure it is paid. You will also be charged a deposit during the time of the rental (I think a couple thousand Euros, but you will want to confirm).

      Advice: If an accident or damage does occur, you will want to document, document, document so that there isn’t any misunderstanding and all bills are paid. You will need to have a recently written letter from your credit card company indicating that your card does cover this insurance.

      If you want more reading on the topic here is a very long thread on a Trip Advisor Forum which talks all about it: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k4319428-Car_Rental_Insurance_in_Ireland-Ireland.html

      I know not a definitive answer, but I hope the above will help you make an informed decision that is right for you (and your financial situation). :-)

      Have a great trip!

  18. Carmen May 13, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Thank you so much for this guide! this is my first time renting a car and I am a bit confused by this language. I am planning on renting through avis and their site says they include the basic insurance. In the fine print it says ” For customers who are only taking the basic insurance, but not the additional insurance to reduce the excess to 0, at the time of rental we will take authorisation for the excess amount (€1.200 or €1.800 + VAT) on the customers credit card.” Does this mean the card will be charged that much and later refunded? Or just a hold placed on the card? Is there a company that does not have this policy do you know?

    Also, on the avis website when booking it says pay online and it’s only 112 euro. But the pay at the counter option is 440 euros. Do you know the reason for the large disparity? If I reserve it on my credit card online is it possible they will try to rip me off at the counter and say that in Ireland you have to pay at the counter and online is only reserving it not paying it?

    Thanks so much!

    • Stephanie May 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      Hi Carmen! It is a bit confusing–so I can understand your frustration. First, yes the car rental company will place a hold for the excess amount on your card if you chose not to take the the excess insurance. I do not know of any rental company that does not have this policy. Basically–they want to be sure that they get their money if there is any damage to the vehicle when you return it.

      I am surprised at such a large difference between online and at the counter. Typically there is a difference, but it usually is about 50 euros or so (depending on how long your rental is). Some will say the rental companies are always trying to rip customers off so expect to pay more at the counter. I am not so cynical. However, I would say know exactly what you are paying for now (print the terms and conditions that details what you paid for) and know how much to expect to pay extra at the rental car (petrol, airport tax, excess insurance, gps, car seat, etc). That way they should have no reason or backing to charge you more.

      I hope this helps! I know you will have a great time and the hassle will all be worth it in the end. ~stephanie

  19. Deirdre May 15, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    I have a question. I researched a lot about renting a car before I traveled to Ireland. I used Crawl Trawler to book my car thru Europcar. I had a world MasterCard with a letter and declined the CDW. I also took out an excess policy with another company just in case. When I arrived at the Dublin Airport, Europcar refused my reservation until they forced me to take the out the 3rd party insurance liability insurance. It was late at night and having no other option, I took the car and paid more that insurance then I did for the whole car rental! I was wondering if I really had to take this insurance since I did my research and I had covered everything that was written on previous websites. I believed my world card and the deluxe excess was sufficient. I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Thank you.

    • Stephanie May 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

      Hi Deidre,
      I am so sorry this happened to you. I am sure you did all your research correctly. I don’t think it has anything to do with Crawl Trawler, but rather a change in policy from Europcar. Just this week I was alerted to this verbiage from Europcar from someone who uses the World Mastercard coverage: “Please be advised that we do not accept credit card/ Third party international polices insurance for our vehicles, we only accept fully comprehensive Irish car insurance policies.”

      I can’t find anything on the site that confirms or denies this, but I do think this is a new change that seems to be slipped in rather slyly. I will be doing some follow up, but if you have the terms of your rental printed out with information about the Worldmaster card coverage that should help your case if you want to follow up with your credit card company or Europcar to dispute the charges.

      I wish you the best of luck.~Stephanie

  20. Candy July 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    Wow! Just want to thank you for all of this wonderful information. It has made searching for a rental much easier (sort of….!). Do appreciate all the time and effort that went into this! Slainte :)

    • Kathy July 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

      Thanks for all the helpful advice on renting a car in Ireland. We will be there for three weeks circling the coasts of both Northern and Southern Ireland. Because we are staying in out-of-the-way places and driving on smaller roads, we wondered if a GPS (bringing one or adding one to car rental) might be a good idea. Has anyone used a GPS while traveling there?

      • Stephanie July 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

        Hi Kathy! We have never brought along or added a GPS to our car rental, but rather just used a good map. However, I’d say there are quite a few travelers who swear by them. If you think it will give you a level of comfort that you might want, go for it. It will likely save you some up front hassle of figuring out directions before you go. Good luck and have lots of fun getting lost (with or without the GPS!).

    • Stephanie July 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

      Thanks so much Candy!! We love writing and reminiscing about Ireland so it is easy to do!

  21. Leighton July 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    I know you’re a fan of Dan Dooley… Any others you might have had good luck with? Hertz, Alamo, Europcar? I’m looking for transparency. I wanna know what to expect when I arrive in Dublin to pick up my car

    • Stephanie July 28, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      Hi Leighton! I would say the only reason we like Dan Dooley is because of the transparency. With all of the other companies, you have to do some calculations on your own to determine what the full amount will be at the airport (including super insurance, airport fees, etc). I don’t mind doing the math on my own and we have found good deals with Hertz and Europcar. I am less loyal to the company and more loyal to a good price. :-) If you are getting the full insurance, you won’t really have to worry about anything except the tires, mirrors or windshield. Hope this helps and good luck with whichever one you pick!

  22. Damon July 29, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    I am so glad to have found your blog!
    My husband and I are traveling from the US to the town of Sligo in October. Can you recommend which airport is best /closest to fly into, please? Also, in online searches, it seems that both Dublin and Shannon airports are literally 2 to 3 hours away from Sligo. is that right? Is trying to brave public transportston ( bus, train, whatever the options are) the best way to get to Sligo? it sounds like a hassle toting liuggage and laptops ( part of the trip is business relate). Once in the town of Sligo, what should we make a point of not missing? sincere thanks for any guidance or advice you can give. Also, are private car services from an airport to Sligo an option rather than renting a car ? Thank you again for your help!

    • Stephanie July 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      Hi Damon–The closest airport to Sligo would be Knock Airport in County Mayo, but unless you want a layover in the UK first, it really doesn’t make any sense to travel through Knock. All other airports are about 2.5-3 hour drive to Sligo, which I suppose allows you to decide based upon cost instead of location.

      Bus Eirean is the national bus service in Ireland which will travel to Sligo from Shannon or Dublin. And I have known people who have done their whole trip with their services, but I haven’t myself. There are also dozens of chauffeur companies that will certainly drive you there, which will obviously cost you much more. (A simple google search for Car Hire Chauffeur Ireland brought up several for me).

      Once you get to Sligo, there are so many wonderful sites to see. Benbulbin would top my list, but there are also some great sites about Yeats, Carrowkeel Megalithic structures, and Lough Gill.

      Have fun on your trip! Let’s hope its more play than work! Stephanie

  23. James DeSelms August 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    My wife and I just returned from a wonderful 2 weeks in Ireland. We had a trip full of fantastic food,music, scenery and welcoming, friendly people. Four days into the trip
    we stuck a piece of loose asphalt and blew out a tire and damaged another. We called the Hertz rental at Shannon Airport for instructions and were told “its your responsibility to replace them”. We assured them that was understood, and that we were seeking any guidelines. We were reminded again the responsibility was ours.
    The following day we drove to a tire shop and replaced both tires. Cost =180 eurs.
    Arriving at Hertz drop off, we were informed there was an additional 400 eurs charge
    as the tires were not the same brand as the “orginal” tires. We mentioned we had asked for guidelines and were given “it was your responsibility.” we asked to speak to the manager, we were informed he WAS the manager. When we asked to speak to his supervisor we were told the phones in his office could not be used for that purpose. Have any other travelers encountered such problems? Might I strongly advise? BY PASS HERTZ AT SHANNON AIRPORT!!!!

    four our day

    • Stephanie August 19, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

      Hi James,

      I am so sorry about your experience! How awful. I am quite surprised by response from Hertz regarding the 400 euro charge. During one past rental we also had a flat tire and it fixed on our own, but with no penalty from the rental company. We weren’t renting from Hertz at that time so I haven’t encountered what you experienced.

      Tire damage is usually the responsibility of the renter, but when it happens I think most people call the rental company to have it fixed because they don’t know who else to call.

      Your experience is truly unfortunate and I hope others don’t have the same. I will certainly keep my nose to the ground for similar occurrences. And if you have any updates, feel free to share to help future travelers.

  24. Wendy September 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    Some very good helpful information. Thank you.
    I just do not know what route to take…..get the full insurance or use the world master card. The cost is so high for full CDW and we are going Christmas week so renting is higher. It is almost $900.00 ( need 2 drivers). Like you say peace of mind with full coverage. where my Brother lives it is way out in the country, narrow lanes. I did drive last year.
    any advice would be helpful. To use MC or not?… I got the 5 percent discount with Dooley. Do you know any other specials?

    • Stephanie September 30, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

      Hi Wendy! I feel your pain. This is really a gut decision–if you use your MC are you ok with the hassle and possible lag time in getting the charges from the rental company taken care of? If so then the MC choice is just fine. The only other thing I would suggest is keep checking on your car rental rates up until you leave. Sometimes the rates fall. If they do, you can cancel your booking and rebook at the lower rate. Good luck! I am sure either way, you will have a great time!

  25. Dave November 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    Hi there, I wondered whether you knew of any companies who accept a debit card rather than a credit card (my wife and I don’t use them). We would be looking to pay the “super” cover charge in any event but my wife is concerned that there may be no way to rent a car in ireland without the use of a credit card. Cheers.

    • Stephanie December 1, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

      Hi Dave! Most of the rental companies that I have found do not allow you to use a debit card. Dan Dooley seems to here is the verbiage from their site about it:

      A major credit card is required when you collect your car. We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club. We also accept most debit cards as a form of payment. However, if you are using a debit card you are obliged to purchase the excess insurance as it is not possible to process a “pre-authorisation“ for any damage excess to a debit card. Switch cards, Discover Cards or cash are not acceptable forms of payment. The credit card/debit card used to pay for the vehicle at time of rental must be in the name of the principal driver. At the time of the rental there must be sufficient funds on the card to cover all charges including any insurance excess/deductible amount.

      You will be charged to your credit card/debit card when you make your booking. If there are insufficient funds in your credit card to cover the rental cost and any excess, we will be unable to process the booking or provide a vehicle.

      You may be able to find other companies as well, but with my quick search it doesn’t appear that Hertz, Thirfty or Irish Car Rentals does.

      I hope this helps you on your search for a car in Ireland. :-)

  26. Scott Fields January 3, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    My family is traveling to Ireland in late March and this site is so very helpful with our planning! We have wanted to go since before we were married, then we waited until the children were old enough to appreciate the culture.

    A word or 2 about using the World MasterCard and declining the car rental insurance: I checked with my card issuer (Barclay, US Airways M/C, Premier World) and it states the insurance IS NOT AVAILABLE in several countries and it specifically listed Ireland and Northern Ireland. So, that is settled for me.

    Again, I so appreciate this site because this is something I would have been blind-sided by once we arrived.

    • Stephanie January 3, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

      Hi Scott! I am so glad we have been helpful to you! Almost every credit card now declines Ireland and Northern Ireland—I am sorry yours is included. But I am glad you know what you need to do though. Enjoy your time in Ireland. You and your wife and kids will love it!

  27. Willard Archibald January 22, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

    I want to do a self-drive tour of Ireland and am 75 with an accident within the past 5 years and am having a hard time finding a company that will rent a car to me.
    Can you give me any; advise as to what I can do or should I just forget a self-drive of Ireland?

    Bill A

    • Stephanie January 22, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

      Hi Bill!

      I’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that Dan Dooley does allow for renters above the age of 75 and you are not required to show proof of clean record in the last five years. The bad news is that there really isn’t anyone else that will rent without that proof in the form a letter from your insurance company. It leaves you with only one provider choice and paying whatever they want, but it is at least an option. Here are the age restrictions from Dan Dooley’s website: http://www.dandooley.com/rental_terms

      If you have any trouble booking online you can call their customer service number and book directly with a person.

      I hope this helps you get the type of trip you want! Good luck. :-)

  28. Willard Archibald January 22, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    I want to do a self-drive tour of Ireland and am 75 with an accident within the past 5 years and am having a hard time finding a company that will rent a car to me.
    Can you give me any; advise as to what I can do or should I just forget a self-drive of Ireland?

    Bill A

  29. Ronni January 25, 2015 at 5:09 am #

    Hi Stephanie. Thank you for all the information. I have rented cars in England, but not in Ireland. In London, it’s a fairly straight-forward process. Ireland sounds a little less so. I am flying into Dublin airport. What I want to do is hire the car in Dublin, put it on a ferry to Holyhead (Wales), drive all of the UK, put it on the ferry from Pembroke (Wales) to Rosslare (Ireland), and drive it back up to the Dublin airport. I can hire a car in Holyhead, and forget about picking it up in Dublin, but the return part of our trip, out of Wales, becomes a nightmare if I don’t have the car. The train/ferry/train situation is way too long time-wise, and the puddle-hopper from Cardiff to Dublin won’t permit the amount of luggage we’re taking out of the US. SO-what, if any, are my issues for taking the car out of Ireland and into the UK? Also, are there hidden costs for this as well? Thanks so much.

    • Stephanie January 27, 2015 at 8:00 am #

      Hi Ronni! England and Ireland! What a fun trip ahead for you.

      You’ve done your research and you’re right, you’ve got a complicated itinerary and a tight timeline, which doesn’t give you a lot of flexibility. The biggest issue I see regarding taking the car out of Ireland and into the UK is expense. They will charge you extra fees for the added risk of taking their vehicle on a ferry and to a new country.

      From doing a little research it appears that not all companies will allow you to do it. Of those that do, be sure that you rent a vehicle with a major company that also has service in the UK. In case something were to happen, you still have support in country. Perhaps you might consider renting two vehicles, one for your time in Ireland and one for your time in England. Then using a driving service to take you from Rosslare to Dublin. You will have to compare the costs, but this might another option.

      If you decide to take your rental to the UK be sure to call the rental office and get confirmation of all the potential fees associated with the ferry and travel in the UK. Take note of who you talked to and when so you can have that at the ready if you get resistance or a different quote when you are at the rental counter.

      I hope this helps rather than confuses. Let me know how you get on. :-)

      • Ronni January 28, 2015 at 3:28 am #

        Actually, Dooley Car Rental will let me float the car to and from the UK. They told me to contact AA about the insurance, which make an immense amount of sense. I’m going to check Triple A here, and the woman at Dooley also gave me two websites. According to The Guardian, the best way to insurance your car is with a third party–it’s a lot cheaper. So, this looks like it will work out. Also, Dooley tells me the AA insurance will insure the car while it’s on either ferry. I appreciate the help.

        • Ronni January 28, 2015 at 3:29 am #

          To insure your car–that is…

        • Stephanie February 1, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

          Oh good. I am so glad you got the direction you needed! :-) I have always been impressed with the service that I received from Dooley. I hope you are too! Have a wonderful trip!

        • Frankie May 14, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

          In August 2015, I am renting a car at shannon, taking car via ferry to UK then returning car rental back to Ireland – via ferry – to Shannon.
          Just wondering:
          Did Dooley work well for your trip?
          Which websites did you find helpful on insurance/coverage on vehicles rented in ireland, and ferried to/from UK?
          What costs should I anticipate beyond car rental?
          Any helpful hints or advice you can share would be greatly appreciated.

          • Frankie May 14, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

            Any advice you can share regarding my previous post would be truly appreciated.

          • Stephanie May 14, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

            Hi Frankie,
            Dan Dooley seems to work well for us, but we always get full insurance so we don’t have many problems generally. I can’t help you too much with ferrying your vehicle to the UK. Generally, I have heard the best advice being to call up your rental agency directly to ask questions about their policies. A tip I thought was helpful is to be sure the co. you are renting from has presence abroad so that if you come across any issues you can also have a local contact. Good luck with your trip to the Isles! :-) -Stephanie

  30. Maura February 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    Check out if you can take out alternative insurance for the car hire excess (super insurance). If you can, this will reduce your costs considerably, from $10 a day down to $2 or $3p.d. Sites like this are a useful starting point, though there are others http://www.direct-carexcess.co.uk/

    Also, in some places you can rent the car from an ‘off airport’ location which is cheaper, and the company will come and collect you from the airport. It can be a bit fiddly, especially if you are jet lagged, but the advantage is that it is cheaper and usually means you are starting your drive from a rural location, rather than driving headlong into the traffic on a motorway :)

    • Stephanie February 3, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

      Thanks for the tips Maura! I am usually hesitant to suggest the off site insurance agency for the sheer fact you will have to work with the third party and the rental agency if there are any problems–which also means that the rental agency might charge your credit card in the meantime. However, it is certainly worth checking int at cost savings you mention! That can really add up!

      Amen to not driving in cities right off the bat! :-)

  31. Hope February 3, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    We will be visiting Ireland in June and renting a car for 12 days. A friend informed me that their rental cost $4000 by the time they were done with all the extras/insurance!! This is unbelievable. However, I haven’t read any mention of an approximate cost so I have no idea what to expect. I thought my credit card company/insurance would help me to avoid having some of these additional costs. What is a round-about figure of the cost?
    Thank you.

    • Stephanie February 3, 2015 at 7:23 pm #

      Hi Hope! I do hope that your friend was in Ireland for a really long time with that rental cost! Yikes!! Certainly you will find that a car rental isn’t cheap, especially when you add in extra fees like full insurance. Your credit card unfortunately will not likely be helpful on saving anything because most companies will not insure in the Republic of Ireland. :-( But to give you a good estimate, I would anticipate spending around $1000 for two weeks in the smallest automatic vehicle with all the insurances. No matter what I think you will be pleased with renting car versus a tour–its worth the cost. Trust me. :-)

  32. Mary February 8, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    I am from the US and not familiar with the car models and sizes. Can you recommend one or two that would accommodate 2 and take into account that my hubby is very tall! It must be an automatic transmission. Thanks.

    • Stephanie February 19, 2015 at 9:09 pm #

      Hi Mary! We always rent an economy size car. My husband is 5’10” and is pretty comfortable, but you might want to spring for something a tad bigger than that if he is really tall. However, I wouldn’t do too much bigger as you will find there are plenty of advantages for having a small car in Ireland–particularly on those tiny roads (and another car is coming at you on the other side!). A compact is the next size up and I probably wouldn’t go any bigger if it is just the two of you. I hope this helps! :-)

  33. Lee March 3, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    A very excellent summary of the issues to expect when renting a car in Ireland. In doing research for my April trip, I came across this website, http://www.easytourireland.com, which apparently is an agent for Hertz rentals. It appears you’re getting a car from Hertz that includes everything, CDW, super cover (but not tire and windshield coverage), location charge, in the quoted price. Driving into Northern Ireland does not cost extra, but that information was buried in the terms and conditions for the rental and is not prominently displayed as the other goodies are. And the quoted prices I’ve seen seem competitive, if not lower, than any other site, including Dooley and Hertz.

    Further Google searches led to threads on Tripadvisor and another board that gave generally good reviews with several people noting no additional charges at the rental counter at pickup and no credit card charges even if the vehicle was returned with damage, suggesting the super cover is legitimate. Some posters especially praised the customer service from contacts at Easy Tour. In addition, I found several expired promo codes that indicate that Easy Tour occasionally offers renters a free GPS or free additional driver. In fact, a promotion that just expired on February 28 offered both.

    I was able to rent a five-door Ford Fiesta for eight days at Dublin airport for 240 euro with everything above included. For an equivalent rental, the Dooley and Hertz websites were quoting a little over 300 euro for the same rental, same period. Something does feel a little too good to be true about this, and I’ll try to remember to come back to this post with a summary of my experience as soon as possible after the end of my trip, especially if my experience falls short of the impression I got through my research, but I felt that this was an option that others might want to consider.

    • Susan Dixon March 13, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

      I have followed your suggestion to consider renting from easytourireland.com.
      I have not booked yet, and am wondering if a car from this agency would be picked up at the Hertz desk? Also, I’m looking at either 2 day or 4 days renting from the Dublin Airport, and it is much more expensive, 150 euros for 2 days, and 280 approx. for 4 days. I did cancel a reservation with Sixt after reading about the SCDW being charged when the car is returned, so definitely appreciated that shared information on this blog.

      • Susan Dixon March 13, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

        I will be renting May 10-14, 2015

      • Stephanie March 14, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

        Hi Susan! Yup, if you rent with Easy Tour you will pick up and drop off at the Hertz counter. Rental cars are usually pretty expensive. We usually budget about $70 per day which is exactly what it would be for your 4 day rental. I think they charge more for two days just because they can, unfortunately.

        I am so glad the blog has helped! Enjoy your trip in May (not long now!). :-)

      • Lee March 16, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

        Unfortunately, short rentals are ridiculously expensive. On a 2012 one-day rental out of Dublin, I found the prices absurdly high, well over $100 for a day. My friends were committed to a trip outside Dublin that trains could not service, but we only had a day, so there was no alternative. To some extent this is also true in the US–if you rent a car here for two or three days, you’re just as well off renting it for the week.

    • Lee April 29, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

      As promised, here’s my experience with my Easy Tour rental. Picked up the car at the Hertz counter at the Dublin Airport on Sunday, 4/19. Mostly a smooth process although the Hertz rep tried to get me to upgrade to a diesel model “for just a few euro more per day” because “you know the car you rented will only get 20 mpg.” Blew that off since I figured it wasn’t worth it, and I had a hard time believing that a subcompact of any type would get such lousy mileage.

      Ended up getting a Fiat 500 two-door instead of the four-door Ford Fiesta I was hoping for–like a lot of companies, when you rent, you can specify a type of car but the only guarantee is that you’ll get a car of that car class, not that you’ll actually get that car, so Hertz was within the terms of the contract by doing that.

      At the end of the trip, I dropped off at the Hertz location at the airport on Monday, 4/27. Easy process, lasting less than five minutes, despite the fact that there was minor damage to the left front wheel where I ran up on the curb on a narrow street when a bus squeezed by on the other side. No issues, super cover apparently took care of this, and no extra charges on my credit card almost 72 hours later.

      In summary, a very good experience. I’d definitely recommend checking Easy Tour’s prices against the competition. There does seem to be a good option with World Elite Mastercard coverage that has the potential to save a lot of money, but if you don’t have one of those cards or you want the absolute assurance of super cover insurance and a relatively hassle free experience, I’d give Easy Tour a thumbs up.

  34. Ursula March 4, 2015 at 9:01 am #


    great website with lots of information. I am planning to visit Ireland next month and was thinking of a rental car, but I do not have a credit card. Are there any other means of payment or do all companies insist on credit cards? I only have an ATM card.

    Thanks :)

    • Lee March 4, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

      I don’t think any agency is likely to rent with a non-credit card form of payment, even if you buy super cover. Most agencies want the ability to put a hold on your credit card for a certain amount over the amount you pay for the rental. When you look closely at the terms and conditions for most rentals, it’s actually specifically stated that the credit card you use should have a sufficient reserve to cover the hold.

      There may be some off-airport, locally-owned companies that would accept cash only for a rental, but I don’t know specific names. I also suspect there’d be a premium charged by the company, if allowed.

    • Stephanie March 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

      Hi Ursula,

      There is a way to book a rental with a debit card, but you will being paying in full and will be required to take the super excess insurance. Here is the language from one of the rental companies in Ireland.

      A major credit card is required when you collect your car. We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club. We also accept most debit cards as a form of payment. However, if you are using a debit card you are obliged to purchase the excess insurance as it is not possible to process a “pre-authorisation“ for any damage excess to a debit card. Switch cards, Discover Cards or cash are not acceptable forms of payment. The credit card/debit card used to pay for the vehicle at time of rental must be in the name of the principal driver. At the time of the rental there must be sufficient funds on the card to cover all charges including any insurance excess/deductible amount.
      You will be charged to your credit card/debit card when you make your booking. If there are insufficient funds in your credit card to cover the rental cost and any excess, we will be unable to process the booking or provide a vehicle.

      I hope this helps!

  35. Marco Zandrini March 15, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    My wife and I are headed to Dublin in April. My Master Card credit card (United Mileage card) is issued by Chase Bank . This card will now cover ALL car insurance requirements when I rent a car in Ireland (AND Northern Ireland, Israel and Jamaica!) using this credit card. Call Card Benefit Services at 800 356-8955 to obtain a letter that states that Chase is the PRIMARY insurer. The Card Benefits agent will email the letter to you. Print it on a color printer. Also, retain a soft copy in an e-mail, your smartphone, etc. I recommend that you call the Card Benefits number less than 2 weeks before you leave for any of the aforementioned countries. Why? Some car rental agencies require that the letter be dated less than 2 weeks before the car rental agent reads it.

    • Stephanie March 28, 2015 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Marco!

      Its so great that your card covers Ireland now. Not many cc companies do, but let’s hope this is a new trend! :-) If you get a chance, let us know how the rental process goes with your card for primary coverage. Have a great time on your trip in April! :-)

  36. Ray Hogan March 22, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks for all the great information. Over the years I have rented cars in Ireland and the rules seem to continually change. Mostly a great way to see Ireland on your own terms however.
    On question: I am planning on renting a car in Dublin and would like to return it in Cork a week later. I cannot find a typical fee for this. Any ideas?

    • Stephanie March 28, 2015 at 11:04 am #

      Hi Ray!

      I am finding now that most rental company’s aren’t charging for one way rentals, which is really nice. I think the most common route is Dublin to Shannon or vice versa. What you want to look for is a One Way rental fee in the terms and conditions of your rental agreement. Often times, even if they don’t charge a fee, they will have some language in there about one way rentals. I hope this helps and you have another great trip to Ireland!

  37. Patrick Dundon March 22, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    There is SUCH a big difference in cost from “carhire.ie” that I wonder if there is a catch. 71 euro for a 19 day trip? What do you think?

    • Lee March 24, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

      Got to get this to apples to apples, Patrick. Carhire.ie doesn’t include a location fee of 28 euros in the quoted price but that will be added when you pick up the car. Sounds like you’ve declined CDW, which makes sense in the US but may not in Ireland (solid proof will be required as Marco notes two posts above yours about coverage afforded by your credit card otherwise they won’t rent to you without adding in the CDW), and the price definitely does not include super cover, which generally runs 16-20 euro per day.

      If you can assure the rental company of total coverage from a credit card insurance policy and don’t mind a huge hold being placed on your credit card (at least several thousand dollars), you probably can get away with this, but unless you’re really familiar with Irish roads, I’d pay more for the peace of mind in case your car gets damaged. Or your Irish vacation could easily cost you several thousand more dollars than you imagined.

    • Stephanie March 28, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Patrick,

      Yeah, there definitely is a catch. 71 euro for a 19 day trip isn’t the total cost. Even if you were to get a manual and waive the insurance if you have credit card coverage, I would be surprised at that total cost.

      Because CDW is required to purchase in Ireland, you will want to be sure to have that included in your quote. Then you will want to read the terms and conditions to see how much Super CDW would be (to get your liability to as low as it could be). As Lee mentioned that is usually 16-20 euros additional each day. I would venture to guess you would be looking at $1000 for rental costs with those included.

      No matter what with Carhire.ie, you will want to read the terms very carefully because you aren’t booking directly with the rental company. This can make changing your booking or filing a claim a little more difficult because you have a third party to go through. I am not saying that is a bad thing, just know everything you are getting before signing on the dotted line.

      I hope this helps and you can snag a good deal! :-)

      • Stephanie March 28, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

        Oh P.S. The terms and conditions are usually located on the final booking page. :-)

  38. Bruce April 1, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

    Excellent website and wealth of information for our trip to Ireland in October! My wife and I and our two friends are traveling together for two weeks and our friends would like to rent a van considering four people (my friend is on the large side) and luggage. What are your recommendations? I’ve gone over many car rental websites and seem to come away more confused than the last time and I was thrilled at finding your site! (I’m going to try your spreadsheet idea) Thanks for any info….

    • Stephanie April 16, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

      Hi Bruce! I can understand the frustration. Renting a van shouldn’t be a problem–but it will likely be expensive. However you’ve got great reasons to upgrade and if you are splitting the expense with the couple then it shouldn’t be too bad. The best advice I have for you to simply get the full super collision damage waiver insurance. Most companies don’t tell you how much this is out right, so you will have to calculate it on your own. Find it by reading the terms and conditions of your rental (usually on the last page of the booking process in small print). I hope this helps! Enjoy your trip!!

  39. Jack Noll April 14, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

    Thanks for the wealth of info. My wife and I will be in Ireland in May and plan to rent a car in Kerry and drop it off in Dublin. It sounds like the best idea is to get the SCDW coverage. The only problem is that I’ve not been able to find, on any of the several rental sites I’ve looked at, how much extra I should expect to pay for it. Am I missing something, or do I really need to wait until I pick up the car to find out how much extra I’ll be paying?

    We’ll be renting the smallest vehicle possible, if that helps.

    • Stephanie April 16, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

      Hi Jack,

      I’m not surprised you’ve had trouble finding it. I think most of the rental companies try to hide it so you don’t read about those extra charges. The best way to find it is to go through the booking process all the way to the last page (before you confirm). There you should find a link for the Terms and Conditions. Super Collision (and any other fees) will be listed in the Terms and conditions. Usually it costs between 16-21 euros per day. If you check out Dan Dooley, they have it listed on the very first page. All you need to do is click Yes on the Excess drop down. I hope this helps! Have a great trip with your wife Jack! :-) -Stephanie

      • Jack Noll April 17, 2015 at 11:13 am #

        Thanks a lot, Stephanie. I figured that the companies would let you know right before you finalized the transaction…just hated to give them all of my personal info before even knowing how much I’d be paying.

  40. Scott April 26, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

    Hi, Stephanie!

    I surely hope you are getting something wonderful for all of your efforts here ;-). Good karma coming your way!

    We’ll be in Dublin this August, and I think we’ll use the bus to get to the City Center area (thanks for that link somewhere above). Since you mentioned what a headache it is renting a car from the center of town (we will need one for part of our trip) due to traffic, is there any other area to rent from?

    We are staying near the Jameson Distillery …


    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

      Hi Scott!
      Aww, thanks so much for the kind words! I will take all the good Karma I can get! :-)

      I would definitely head back to the airport and pick up your rental car there. It’s not too far of a ride from the city to the airport and it will save you a ton of hassle from driving in the city. We have used cabs before, but we really like the Air Coach service: http://www.aircoach.ie/

      Have a great trip in August!

  41. Jennifer May 14, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

    Hi! I found this article super helpful as I am a little worried as to what I should do…..pertaining to renting a car or not renting a car. I just had one question I am confused about- when they say if you are from the US or UK of permanent residence you dont need an international Drivers License, coming from the US, do i need to show proof of a license or will my passport suffice? I only ask because although I have held a license for 12 years, I lost my License while in France-Yikes! and I cannot renew a license online wihtout an audit number-aggravatingly printed on your license, which I do not have! So, Unless I mail in an application, I cannot get a license unless I am in person, which I will not be before I go, as I am still in france…. I do have a photo copy of my license and also my driving record…do you know anything about how this all works!!?? Thanks!

    • Stephanie May 14, 2015 at 9:02 pm #

      Hi Jennifer! I hope you are enjoying France. :-) Unfortunately, I don’t think I have good news for you. I am pretty sure all car rental agencies will require that you actually have a copy of your driver’s license and won’t be able to use your passport to rent you a vehicle. You could certainly try with copies–I’d email the rental counters directly and explain your situation to see if you can get a sympathetic ear. Good luck (and enjoy your travels!!). -Stephanie

  42. Jay May 14, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    Great info!! Just wanted to share on the Chase insurance topic. I can confirm that my Chase Sapphire Preferred does cover ireland car rentals up to $50,000 including theft, tires, windshield – even total destruction of the vehicle (hope we don’t need that! Just got my letter from Chase benefits with my name and last four digits of the card number and statement of coverage. They were extremely helpful. No deductible. VERY IMPORTANT: you MUST decline the CDW offered by the car rental company or Chase will NOT provide coverage.

    Itinerary: Dublin 2 nights at The Shelbourne, then pick up car on the am of day 3.
    Day 3 -Drive down south to visit Powerscourt for a short look and then continue down the east coastline till we cut west over to Waterford Castle for the remainde of the day and night.
    Day 4 – Get up early and drive straight over to the Dingle Peninsula to two full days and nights in Dingle town. We deliberately decided to do the Dingle Area instead of Ring of Kerry. I know it gorgeous but I have heard the Dingle area is also stunning and less touristy which is what we prefer most often unless something is exceptional and touristy- they are not always mutually exclusive
    Day 6- early drive up to Ashford Castle for the weekend, doing the falconry, some horseback riding and exploring the Cong / County Mayo area and Lough Corrib
    Day 8 – back to Dublin for a flight over to Scotland for three days and nights in Edinburgh at The Caledonian.
    Day 11 – depart Edinburgh by train for a trip down into the lakes district of Cumbria UK. Two days and nights there exploring the lakes area and my wife’s ancestral home.
    Day 13 – take another train back down into London for three days before flying back out of LHR on day 16.

    This is a really special trip being wifes 50th and our 25 anniv, so I’m going all out. Your site has been tremendously helpful and I know we will have a great time thanks to many of your awesome tips. Thanks!!!

    I would be happy to share follow up after the trip.

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

      Thanks so much for the follow-up Jay! For everyone else that has a question about the CDW with Chase–scroll down to Jay’s next post! Very helpful! :-)

  43. Brian May 16, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    I think your explanation for SCDW could cause some confusion.
    You state that SCDW is “… car insurance that will cover all sorts of scratches and bruises to your rental vehicle.”
    It would be clearer to state that SCDW is an optional insurance against being charged the agreed Claims Excess amount on any Collision Damage insurance claim.

  44. Emmanuelle May 23, 2015 at 7:16 am #

    Hello Stéphanie,

    Thank you for your great blog about planning a trip to Ireland. I am planning on renting a car for 8 days in Ireland in August. I am French and unfortunately, they do not accept my French credit card insurance. So I will have to take a CDW. I don’t plan on taking an excess insurance. And I want to rent the car in Dublin city center (not at the airport).
    I have started to do some search and I see that from one website to another, the price doubles. Ex : on irishcarrental.com they give me a price of 315€ and on dan dooley it is 726€???? I don’t get it.
    Thank you

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

      Hi Emmanuelle,
      I am sorry that you are in the same predicament as us in the states with the credit card insurance. I am not sure exactly why there would be such a big difference in the prices between the two companies other than checking to see what was included in the cost. It isn’t unusual to find big swings in price from one company to the next. Good luck with the rental!

  45. Caroline June 2, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    I will be renting a car for only 8 days in September. I have looked at Easy Tour Ireland and at Hertz and the rental for similar cars (each offer different models under the same category, I kid you not) is entirely different. I am VERY interested to hear back from Marco and Jay about the Chase Sapphire Preferred CDW coverage with the letter from the bank. Thank you for starting this blog, and as you can see from your responses over the years, this is a hot topic that has little or no guideline information online.

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

      Hi Caroline! I am so glad you found the blog helpful. How strange the cars are completely different models–since it is essentially in the end Hertz the one renting the vehicle for both online quotes. I think you’ll find Jay’s response really helpful and I hope it helps you plan your trip a little better. Have a great time in September!

  46. Anthony in Halifax June 7, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    I got a quote on line through Irish Car Rentals. They claim there are “no hidden fees” and no surprises at the counter when you pick up the car, everything is in the price. But in small letters at the bottom of my quote well below where my rental fee quote total is shown, they mention that there is an additional 28 euro location fee for picking up at the airport, even though they know that is the pick up location, they still don’t show that cost added to their quote.

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

      Hi Anthony!
      You were so smart to read the fine print. It sounds like the airport pick-up fee that everyone charges, usually at the counter. I am surprised if Irish Car rentals would be able to give an all inclusive rate for things like super collision damage or gps rental. Those are almost always charged directly by the provider. If you decide to go with them–let me know how it goes! :-)

  47. Arnie June 12, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    Hi Stephanie,

    My daughter-in-law is from Tipperary, so she, my son and the 3 grandkids moved back to Ireland from NY last year. So my wife and I have visited Ireland a dozen times over the past 4 yrs., 6 times in the past year. Our last trip was for 29 days in May. I try to plan our trips 4-5 months in advance and I scour multiple websites to find the best car rental price. So I’ve rented from Alamo, Budget, Avis, Hertz, Europcar, and National at both Shannon and Dublin airports. I’ve never paid for CDW or any other insurance. I have two credit cards through Chase that cover the insurance, the Sapphire Preferred and the United Mileage Plus Explorer. I hate to sound like a commercial for these cards, but for the small annual fee the benefits pay for themselves many times over for anyone traveling to Ireland (and initially I think they both offer mileage bonuses which we’ve used for free flights, but that’s another thread). Pros: Their insurance has no deductible. Even if you pay for the rental company’s best insurance, there is often a deductible. There are also no international fees and I closely monitor the exchange rate and I haven’t found any way to get a better exchange rate than using these cards (always make sure the charge is in Euros, not dollars. If you charge in dollars, their bank makes the exchange and always charges 3-5% more than Chase). Cons: You have to call the number on the back of the card and ask them to email you a letter stating that they cover the CDW in Ireland. I do this about every six months and have never had a problem. They are happy to do it. I keep a copy of the letter on my phone and print out a couple of copies and hand it to the agent at the desk with my driver’s license and credit card. Some companies have charged an “administrative fee” of 25 or 30 Euro, other companies have not. They all put a “hold” on your card. The most hold I have experienced was 2000 euro. I’m neurotic and anxious about damage so I always photo any damage to the vehicle as others have suggested, and if there is any damage that isn’t noted on the invoice, I go back in to the office and tell them. I’ve been lucky that I’ve never returned a vehicle with any serious damage. I have had small nicks and dings that I don’t think were on the vehicle when I rented it, but I think the rental companies are generally pretty lenient about small nicks and scratches. I did see someone else returning a vehicle to Hertz at Shannon and they tried to charge him for a new tire because there was some damage to a tire, but he objected and the supervisor relented and didn’t charge him. The other con is that if there is damage, you will be charged for it and then you have to deal with the credit card company. I had a blowout (hit a pothole on a back road) and Europcar insisted that I purchase a new tire (no pro-rata, even though the blown tire had 37,000 km). I bought a new tire at a local shop for 80 euro and I’ve put in a claim to card benefits. I had to send them all the receipts and fill out a claim form just last week. Haven’t heard from them yet. I’ll let you know.

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

      Hi Arnie!!

      Thanks so much for your detailed post! I actually love the chase cards too! I am working on an updated guide for renting a car in Ireland and the Chase benefit is front and center. The cards are so accessibly and the added bonus is the Ultimate Rewards points to help earn a free flight. We actually just used the card in France and had a pretty significant scrape. We are working with the benefits dept. and so far so good. I’d love to hear how you get on with your claim. Please keep me posted! :-)

      • Arnie June 30, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

        Got the check. I had to send them 5 documents, and then they sent me a letter. The letter said they “carefully reviewed” my documents, but obviously they hadn’t because they requested more documents for info that was already provided. But once I submitted them, the check was in the mail within 2 weeks.

  48. Ken Browne June 12, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    Hope to be touring Ireland, Scotland, and England starting in Shannon and ending there. If we rent a car and travel to Scotland and England, what is the likely charge for travel outside Ireland? Our itinerary has us returning the car where we pick it up…at Shannon airport.

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

      Hi Ken,
      It might be best to leave the car early and fly over to your destination–if it works better to keep the rental. I really suggest a phone call with the rental agency to discuss their specific policies. Every company is different and will charge different fees for travel outside of Ireland. I always suggest working with a company that has a presence in Ireland as well as Scotland and England just in case you encounter any problems while you are out of the country. Either way, sounds like a fantastic trip! Enjoy your holiday!

      • Jay July 1, 2015 at 10:27 am #

        Hi Ken, my wife and I just spent several weeks in Ireland, Scotland, and England as you will be doing. It was amazing.

        Regarding the car hire, a couple of things you might want to consider (in no particular order):

        * If you will be spending time in Edinburgh, any time paid for a hired car will be mostly wasted unless you plan on doing many activities that would be more than 10 or 15 minutes outside the city proper. Driving in Edinburgh city is a mess as it’s such an old city with many one ways, tiny streets, construction areas etc..& it’s so much easier to take public trans / taxis. But even if you were OK with the driving part, the parking would be expensive, complicated & in many areas impossible.

        * I found hiring a car in the UK to be a bit less expensive than IE so when you consider the extra cost of IE care hires plus the fee that you will pay for out-of-country usage, Stephs advice on leaving the car in IE should be well considered.

        * Have you booked your flights between IE & the UK already? If not, you may consider flying into Shannon then flying to the UK from Dublin so you don’t have to circle back to Shannon after your IE travels. Then fly back home out of London rather than all the travel back from UK to IE to get back to Shannon. If you already have your return trip booked this probably won’t work for you but I say this after realizing how much of our trip was eaten up by the way I booked out flights.
        We used Amex flights for Virgin Upper Class as it was a very special trip for my wife’s birthday and our 25th anniversary, but in retrospect I would have rather done it differently. Since Virgin didn’t have a direct flight to Ireland, we flew JFK to London, then later that day from London to Dublin where we really started the trip. We hired a care after 2 days in Dublin (no car necessary there) to drive around to our other destinations in IE and then circled back to Dublin to fly over to Scotland. After Scotland we took a train down into England into the Lakes District, and then a few days later another train back down into London where we flew home from LHR.

        It was a fantastic trip but too much down time for the flights:
        a. We had to fly from South Carolina up to JFK, so to guard against cancelled flights as best I could I booked a 9.30pm flight from JFK to LHR. We left SC at 10am and got to JFK at about noon so we have a very long downtime, 9hrs +, waiting for that 9.30 Virgin flight.

        b. When we got to LHR at 9.00am the next day, our flight to Dublin was at 2.30pm so that was another 5+ hours of downtime. I could have booked an earlier flight to Dublin but with international flight so often delayed I didn’t want to risk missing the connection to Dublin.

        c. Since we flew in AND out of Dublin, and spent out last two nights over on the West coast of IE, we had the drive back over to the Dublin airport which was again about 4 hours of driving.

        At the time I planned it, the schedule seemed OK as we were making a big circle and seeing lots along the way. But with 16 days planned, we really lost close to 3 effective days to travel. Because we loved it so much, next time we want every minute we can squeeze out of it to be used enjoying the people and the country, giving as little as possible to the travel back and forth.

        I hope this is helpful to you and I know you are going to have an amazing time. Let us know how it goes!

        So, all in all, knowing what I know now, next trip will absolutely be direct into IE from the US and

  49. Jay June 13, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    So we are back from our trip! Good news: WOW. OMG. HOLY CR@P!!!!!

    Bad news: I am suffering from post-holiday depression after being separated from the most beautiful people and places I have ever experienced in my life!

    Good news, we can – and WILL go back. I travel as often as possible and consider it one of the greatest privileges in life to do so. So after planning this trip for my wife’s 50th for the better part of 16 months with very high expectations I have to say that those high expectations were dwarfed by the amazing and fabulous reality of the experience.

    I will be taking time over the next few weeks to write all of my of Tripadvisor reviews for the time I was in Ireland, Scotland, & the UK. If you are interested in reading any of them you can fine them under my profile at http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/jbs1963

    I will be covering hotels, restaurants & attractions from: dublin, new ross, waterford, mallow, dingle, ashford castle, cong, edinburgh, kendal, bowness on wendermere, and london. Now back to the topic at hand

    First of all MANY MANY thanks to STEPHANIE and JOE and all of those who took time to contribute here on InfiniteIreland. It was very helpful to me in planning for the car rental which by far was the most intimidating part of planning the entire trip based on the nightmare reviews and postings I read prior to booking.

    My car rental choice in Ireland was Europcar. I selected that agency after calling the local Ireland offices in Dublin of several agencies to find out their exact policies on accepting Chase Sapphire insurance. I was quite please with Dooley’s representative but their car selection for the period I needed was somewhat limited. They told me they would accept the Chase coverage with a 3000euro hold on the card. Europcar had a 2000eu hold, competitive daily prices and a very good car selection. They also offered a pickup in town just about a mile from The Shelbourne where we were staying. As Stephanie has suggested, we did not want or need a car for our time in Dublin so the city center pickup with airport drop off was ideal for us as we could head straight back to the airport, drop the car & catch our flight to Edinburgh.

    Europcar rep told me I would just need to bring the letter of coverage with me and present it at the time of hiring the car. Chase was accommodating and actually emailed me the letter within an hour of the call. I did end up calling them again a week before we left as I had read that some agencies require the letter to be dated no more than 2 weeks prior to help ensure coverage was still in effect. Chase again replied within and hour with the email info. Be sure to ask Chase to specify your name and the last 4 digits of the card you will be using.

    When you rent using the CHASE Sapphire care (and I believe this is true with the few others that offer coverage in IE) you must decline ALL agency-offered CDW insurance options. DO NOT LET THEM TALK YOU INTO ANY OTHER COVERAGE as you DO NOT NEED IT. With Chase, you are fully covered for theft, damage, windshields, tires, etc. On my card it’s up to $50,000 usd (about 44,400eu at this writing). Check the coverage for your card type and account level.

    The ‘Excess’ most agencies pitch is to reduce your deductible cost in case of accidental damage, but with Chase there is no deductible anyway so no need to take it from the agency. It’s a money maker for them and they reasonable do try to push it. Just to clarify the point again – if you ACCEPT the CDW from the agency, Chase will NOT provide ANY supplemental coverage – so DECLINE everything.

    As long as you are ok on your available credit to handle the 2000 euro (currently $2250usd) temporary hold on your available credit limit, then this is a great option for those who have Chase or another card with similar benefits. I generally use American Express Platinum for all of our travel expense so I was really surprised that Chase offered coverage in IE but Amex did not. Chase’s other travel benefits are excellent also as I believe Arnie mentioned earlier, so check it out if you have good credit. (Disclaimer- I do not work with/for or have any association with Chase other than being a cardholder).

    EUROPCAR: Other than the 45 min or so it took me to actually get in front of the Europcar agent and get processed (there was a queue of about 10 minutes and another 35 minutes of processing the paperwork, going through very lengthy explanations of policy, upselling me to a bigger vehicle, etc) my experience at Europcar was absolutely fantastic. The rep was lovely and not at all nasty when I provided the Chase letter and declined the CDW (I have read numerous reports of other agencies customers being bashed, intimidated, insulted, etc when they try to decline CDW!). She just pointed out the 2000eu hold policy and made sure I understood that & had the credit to also do whatever else I needed to on the card.

    I had requested a VW Golf but we had 5 bags with us and she suggested upgrading. (Note to self and others: WE OVERPACKED BY A FACTOR OF 10!!). 2 large suitcases, 1 roll on overnighter case, and 2 carry ons) so she suggested we upgrade to a slightly larger car. She put us into a grey Mazda 6 diesel. (http://www.powericare.com/wp-content/uploads/2015-Mazda-CX-5-Desktop-Background-Wallpaper.jpg)

    It was gorgeous, new and really an excellent ride. I think it added maybe 10eu/$12 a day. I cannot recommend highly enough that you get a good diesel. We drove almost all the way around Ireland for about $70 in fuel expense! Same driving in the US in our MKX would have cost several hundred USD.

    It was still a little bigger that I would have liked for the small roads but we still did OK with it. Next time with less bags we will go much smaller.

    So, in summary, the rep at Europcar in Dublin (1 Mark St) could not have been any nicer. Faster yes, nicer- no! So after the 45 mins or so we were off and heading out of Dublin down towards New Ross and Waterford.

    Same with the dropoff at the Dublin airport. The guy who checked us in was fast friendly and had us on the airport shuttle within about 10 minutes of pulling into the drop lot. There were a few light surface scratches on the sides but he overlooked them as I am sure they would easily buff out with compound.

    BTW- expect some scratches on your hired car! The small roads have brush and shrubs growing in walls literally all the way out to the roadside and when an oncoming car comes along there’s no way to avoid pulling over and into those branches. If you happen to brush one of the larger ones you can definitely scratch up the sides. Make sure you know what the policy is for that type of wear and tear.

    Other than being able to give a good first hand review of the agency here are a couple of tips that will be helpful:

    1. Get all the car you need but no more – the SMALLER THE BETTER.
    As you have probably read some of the back roads in IE are literally like US footpaths- barely as wide as a single car. Often if it’s 2 lane traffic you WILL have to pull off to the shoulder to allow other oncoming cars to get past you. After we were on the road and into some of the smaller backroads my wife and I laughed hat I had originally planned on hiring a Range Rover or BMW SUV! SOOOOO glad I wised up.

    2. Get a diesel. The new diesels are powerful, clean, fast starting, and EEEEEEEFICIENT! With fuel costs around $6.50/gallon in IE it makes sense. I’m estimating we got around 45- MPG

    3. Get a GARMIN GPS if you plan on doing any backroads, off the beaten path, out of the way exploring. Our car in IE came with the Garmin portable that you sitck on the windshield and it was SPOT ON for every destination we threw at it from Dublin all the way out to Dingle and all the way up to tiny little Cong and everywhere in between. BTW- based on the cost of the GPS at around $10 a day I thought I would just buy one in the US and load IE maps on it but never got around to it. Next time I will probably just buy an IE version online and have it shipped to my hotel.

    Yes, it ‘might’ have been kind of fun to get a little lost in the countryside as Steph and a few others have mentioned, but you can still do that with a gps. Just turn it off, hang a left somewhere and drive. When you have had enough adventure & want to get back on track the Garmin will get you there. There are some pretty remote areas once you get outside of the larger cities and I could have lost hours of precious time easily if we had not been using the GPS

    Note- I specifically mention the Garmin because over in the UK in Cumbria we hired a car that had a built-in GPS and it was not nearly as easy to use or view as the Garmin. In fact it really sucked. It got us where we needed to but just entering the basic info was not at all intuitive like the Garmin. The Garmin would allow you to zoom out the viewscreen so you could see what was coming up as far out as 8-10 kilometers for food, fuel stops (aka-toilets), points of interest, etc. And the turn-by-turn voice guidance was exceptional. With the first full day or two of left-side driving being a little stressful it was also quite helpful that the Garmin had a very clear presentation of how far until your next major turn or intersection would be as well as the direction you would be turning so you could prepare well in advance.

    Others have mentioned that a good old map will do fine, and they are right, but it’s just my personal preference to recommend a good GPS after having such a good experience with it in our travels in IE. (Disclaimer #2: I am not associated with Garmin! In fact, probably any of the portable devices are probably good, but this one was exceptional. Important point is that the built-in units in the other cars were not good at all.)

    #4 Pack light. Stephanie has mentioned it in her writing here on the site & she gets to shout out a big ‘I TOLD YOU SO’ whenever she wants. I packed enough clothes for a 5 week visit. We were gone from home 16 days and other than the nights we had very formal dining at Waterford Castle and Ashford Castle, I wore the same 3 shirts, and same jeans. I could easily have packed everything I needed in my roll-on small suitcase other than my dinner jacket which I wore on the plane both ways.

    On a side note: I have to mention the WEATHER. We had prepared ourselves for a nearly continuous downpour in Ireland. So I was amazed as we neared the Dublin airport to see sunny skies with just a light mix of fluffy white clouds! That was on Sunday 24 May, 2015. For the next 15 days, including the UK, we had a total of about 3 hours of daytime rain. And even that was like 15-20 minutes then the sun would pop out again. Most days were a mix of intermittent clouds mixed with sun. I would guesstimate, and our photos support it, most days were 70% sunny to 30% cloudy with the exception of our Thursday in Dingle and even that was only for about 4 hours of cloudy mist and a light occasional drizzle as we drove around Slea Head and about an hour of light rain and drizzle when we were riding bikes from Ashford Castle down into Cong through the nature trail.

    When locals would ask where we were from and we told them south carolina they often remarked that we must have brought the sun with us because it was exceptionally beautiful almost the whole time. I know this is not typical but we were SO grateful it worked out this way.

    In summary, please forgive my wordiness but it’s driven by an experience that has forever changed us. It was wonderful beyond all my expectations. The physical beauty of the land; the wonderful people; the history… I want to thank Stephanie and Joe for a great site. I can now see why they do this. Ireland is an inspiring place and we are already making plans for to get back there as soon as we can reasonable do so!

    To those of you planning to go I hope this is helpful and I hope your experience is as mind-bendingly wonderful as ours was. Feel free to ask any follow up questions. I’ll try to respond as I can.

    Best, J

    • Stephanie June 25, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

      Hi Jay!

      Can I just start out by giving you a great big Thank You!!! What a wonderful summary and such helpful information!! I’ve got a plan for an updated post for renting a car in Ireland and the Chase benefit will be front and center! Your firsthand experience is invaluable–thank you! We’ve actually just got back from France using the Sapphire card and had a few scrapes we entered a claim for. I will be really interested to see how that pans out but so far so good.

      All of your other tips are fantastic too. I can just feel your energy and excitement. It is pretty hard to deny the travel bug once you get it and I think the bug that bites in Ireland is especially strong. :-) I think we are kindred spirits. Can’t wait to hear all about your next trip. :-)

      • Jay July 1, 2015 at 11:10 am #

        Stephanie, Thank you for the ‘Thank You!!!’ I’m so grateful for the assistance your site provided, so it was easy to take the time to make it a post worthy of those who love IE as much as we do now.

        One thing I forgot to post: TOTAL COST OF THE CAR RENTAL:
        We picked up the car early Tuesday morning, 26 May and returned it early evening Sunday around 5.30PM so we had it the better part of six full days.
        Our original quote was for $276USD including the GPS but our final total was $432USD. That included the $75 in pre-paid fuel (I chose that option so I didn’t have to worry about finding petrol as we were returning it to the airport) plus $13.50 per day for the upgrade to the larger car.

        As I said the an earlier post, the upgraded car will definitely not happen next time. If they have a tennis show with wheels on it I’ll take it!

        I would definitely do the pre-paid fuel again. The price per litre was fair & saved me the hassle of dealing with it on the road.

        InfiniteIreland ROCKS!

        It’s funny about our next trip – Dona & I both agree that even though there are still some really big targets on our bucket list for travel, we think we might have to go back to IE again before we do anything else.

        I’ll be sure to let you know!

        ((BTW- I havent had a moment to even start writing my Tripadvisor reviews but I’ll be sure to let you know & also))

        • Jay July 1, 2015 at 11:12 am #

          postscript- sorry I just noticed all kinds of typos in my posts! sorry, but I get so excited I type too fast!

          tennis show = tennis SHOE!
          care = car..!

          etc etc…..

          • Stephanie July 6, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

            Hi Jay! Thanks for letting me know the full cost of the car. I am completely with you on the upgrade of the car. The smaller the car the better. Even the locals seem to think so too. You don’t find too many very large vehicles. Vans seem to be the biggest “common” car. Unless you have lots of people, a smaller car is usually much easier for everyone.

            I can’t wait to see your Trip Advisor reviews. It looks like you are quite a prolific reviewer—my favorite and usually the ones I trust the most! :-)

          • Jay July 6, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

            I will for sure let you know and definitely prolific when I have the time! I know how much I appreciate it when I read other’s reviews and they take the time to really give helpful info so I try to pay it forward.

            I promised Dona I would finished organizing the photostory slide show for us before I do the TA reviews so I’m mid stream on that right now.

            I put together a very brief (4min) video of one of our mornings at Ashford Castle’s Ireland’s School of Falconry. Magic..
            (Note- I’m trying not to let it make me sick, but I dropped my video camera first day we got into IE and something in it broke that caused the colors to be almost sepia and very washed out. Especially sad because of the amazing sunny weather we had almost the whole time– Oh well, better than nothing and still pretty good even as-is).. Thanks!!

            YOUTUBE: Ireland’s School of Falconry /Jay & Dona 2015

          • Stephanie July 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

            I love this! I have been on the fence about doing a Hawk Walk in Ireland, but everyone who does them seems to love it. Ok–a crazy question for you: Birds eat mice. I am terrified (no phobic is a better description) how are the birds fed–nothing live right? Sounds silly even as I type it, but I have to ask. Your answer will determine my destiny with a Hawk Walk! :-)

          • jay July 18, 2015 at 10:54 am #

            They are fed little bits of meat. Nothing live ;-) I think you should definitely do it. We did a single hawk, and we were out just over an hour. It was $100 total for the two of us. Guide was Alec – if you go to the one at Ashford Castle you should ask for him. He was fantastic.

  50. dan omalley July 17, 2015 at 5:34 am #

    Hi Stephany ,
    Jo Ann and I have visited Irland three other times besides the soon to be trip the 1st week in August . We very much enjoy the freedom that a car gives us not to mention the
    freedom from unpleasant people on the tour .
    We turn 75 the week before we land in Shannon and thanks to the $100 deductable on our car collision policies I have had several minor scratches and tailgate dings from the farm fixed . Now I am concerned that the “accident report” may cause car rental problems ? We think that maybe enterprize does not ask for my insurance
    company’s accident report , but they are considerably more expensive .
    Suggestions ?

  51. Jillian July 18, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    Thank you so much for your great advice. My family and I are traveling to Ireland in September and renting a van from the Dublin airport (Sixt) as there are 6 of us in total (won’t be traveling to Northern Ireland). I am now starting to really put all plans in place, and was reading through the fine print of my booking and nearly passed out when I saw the excess fees. But I didn’t understand that these would be in place of waiving insurance coverage – so I do feel a bit better. That’s a lot to place on a card when you’re traveling! I did see above that you recommend the super full coverage, which I am looking into – since the cost is being split between 6, I definitely feel okay about taking it. Any additional tips or advice you can pass along would be so welcome! Thanks so much!

    • jay July 20, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

      Hi Jillian. You should get insurance according to your level of comfort based on, budget, available credit on your card. Several participants in this forum, including me, have used the insurance that comes with the Chase Sapphire card which allowed us to completely decline all coverage which saved us a fair amount of money.

      The downside for some people of course is that the rental agency places a security deposit hold on the card for $2000-$4000 on average until the car is returned safely. Also, in the event of damages, the agency will bill your card for all repairs and you must then go through the process of filing claims with Chase to get reimbursed.

      Other people choose the full coverage including the excess waiver / reduction fee & have been pleased with the results. So it’s up to you.

      Only other thing I would reiterate would be to get the smallest possible van that will comfortably and safely accommodate 6 people. The roads are often quite tiny once you get off the main highways.

      Have a BLAST!!!

      • Stephanie July 21, 2015 at 10:51 am #

        I would have to agree with everything Jay has said. :-) It really is up to how comfortable you are with having charges on your card that may need to be reimbursed by your credit card company if there is any damage. With six people renting a vehicle, the super collision damage should work out to less than three dollars per person per day–so it may not be as a big of deal than if you were going at it alone. Enjoy your trip to Ireland! I think you’ll love the experience with you family in September (our favorite time of year!).

  52. dan omalley July 20, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    Is it too soon to expect follow up answers to my concern regarding age and accident limitations to renting a car in Shannon ?

    • Stephanie July 21, 2015 at 10:48 am #

      Hi Dan,

      Good news! Dan Dooley doesn’t have an upper age limit. http://www.dandooley.com/rental_terms

      Most of the car companies (For example, Budget & Hertz) allow for renters over the age of 75, but they require a letter from your insurance policy to state that you haven’t had any accidents from the last 5 years, which it sounds might be difficult.

      You would need to call up Hertz in Dublin or Shannon directly to determine what their policy is as it doesn’t explicitly say on their website.

      I hope this helps a little! Enjoy your trip to Ireland in August–not long now! :-)

  53. Mary July 24, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    Hi Stephanie, i booked a car in Cork for about 12 days and i am 21 years old. Do you know how much will i have to pay in additional because of my age? Thanks

    • Stephanie July 28, 2015 at 10:34 am #

      Hi Mary!

      It depends on who you booked your car rental through as the costs can vary, but on average I think you should expect to pay about 40 euros more per day. However, some agencies include that cost in the quote when you booked, so check and see if it is already there. Have a great time in Ireland Mary!

  54. Robert Hof July 26, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    Great resource here, my thanks as well. I’m looking at a five-day rental starting in Dublin city center ending at Shannon Airport. I’m curious why Dan Dooley’s fee (a little over $500) is about $100 higher than Europcar’s, when I specified the Super CDW and otherwise similar criteria for both (such as no personal injury insurance). I see a lot of horror stories about Europcar elsewhere, so I’m leery of them, but this is a rather significant price difference. Anything unexpected I might get hit with by Europcar? (For what it’s worth, we’re going through Northern Ireland, but neither asked about that for the quote. Dooley terms and conditions say no extra for crossing borders “except one way” so it’s not completely clear, while Europcar says it’s a 34-Euro charge–which still brings us to a lot less than Dooley overall.)

    • Stephanie July 28, 2015 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Robert,

      You must be excited about your upcoming trip! It’s my understanding that the Europcar quote that you receive online doesn’t include the Super Excess insurance. It is typically about 18-20 euros extra per day. Double check your Europcar’s quote’s terms and conditions. This would probably make up the difference. If it does include the excess insurance, great. You may have gotten a good deal. However, just running a quick search through the Europcar site myself, it wasn’t included.

      I hope this helps you a little & I hope you have a great time in Ireland! :-)

  55. Karen Tinsley August 4, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    I’m traveling solo to Ireland this fall. Dublin to Cork to Westmeath to Dublin airport. Can take public to Cork, but seems easiest to rent for Cork to Westmeath-Dublin airport legs. I don’t have a credit card. Are debit cards not accepted at all? Some sites say Budget will accept if u get the Super CDW. Is this correct?

    • Stephanie August 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

      Hi Karen!
      Solo trips can be great fun in Ireland. I am sure you will enjoy yourself. Unfortunately I don’t think there are any rental companies that allow you to rent with a debit card, even if the super CDW is purchased. Here is the line item on Budget’s rental terms: Budget Car Rental accept all major Credit Cards. The renter must present their Credit Card at the time of picking up the car. Debit Cards or specified value pre-paid Credit Cards will not be accepted.

      Your best bet is to get a credit card if you can before you leave. Or use the bus system in Ireland which is pretty reliable (although may not be the most convenient). Have a great time!

  56. GIANNA MERRIMAN August 5, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    Great Article. Thanks for the info. Does anyone know where I can find a blank “Credit Card Form” to fill out?

    • Stephanie August 15, 2015 at 10:53 pm #

      Hi Gianna,

      Would you like to open credit card account? My favorite fore the points and the insurance benefits is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The sign up link is here: https://www.chase.com/online/sapphire/sapphire.html

      I hope this helps!

  57. Evonne August 8, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    Great blog. So much to consider when renting a car.. thanks for all your information. I didn’t see anyone mention that some car rentals will not let you travel to Northern Ireland. Any reason for this? We will be doing a full circle tour of Irleand and that includes NI. Also, we are going to switch to an international phone plan. Can’t I use my google maps for navigating around Ireland rather than purchase the $$$ GPS?

    Finally, 2015 has been a bit cooler than normal I understand. What clothing would you suggest we pack besides jeans. Are people wearing wools in September? Would a wind-proof jacket lined with a light flannel/fleece be adequate. I hate to pack tennis shoes, regular shoes and hiking boots. Your suggestion?

    • Robert Hof August 8, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

      Dooley allowed us to go to Northern Ireland (it’s possible they had a charge for that, but I don’t think so), though we didn’t start or end there. (One negative for Dooley is that its locations are not convenient or well-marked at either the northern, off-airport site in Dublin or in Shannon.)

      As for GPS, get a local SIM card for your (hopefully unlocked) cell phone from Meteor or another store–they’re only 10 Euros to start for data-only and you probably won’t need more (you can call using Skype or Hangouts). Streets are often not well-marked and sometimes have the same name except for Street, Road, etc. Google Maps will not provide detailed enough maps and location unless you have an Internet connection, as we found out to our dismay.

      And as for weather, we ran into cold, wet, and windy weather just last week (first week of August). Locals said it was November weather and I believe it. So I’d check just before you go and bring adequate clothing if it looks cold, though umbrellas are cheap everywhere and of course you can always pick up a nice Irish wool sweater. Wouldn’t count on only one pair of shoes if there’s going to be any rain.

      • winetripper August 15, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

        Hi Stephanie – the time it took to read through the 2 years of posts to this site was well worth it. Many thanks to you for the excellent initial information and to other posters, especially Jay, who added new data and their own real life experiences.

        We’re planning a 3-week trip starting later this month (August). I have a couple of questions/comments:

        1) My auto insurer – Chubb – tells me they will cover me for any shortfalls in insurance on my Ireland car rental. What should I get in writing from them, and will this be acceptable to my car hire company (not yet booked)?

        2) Which of the car rental companies that you list for Dublin have counters in each terminal? What are the their hours (we arrive at 18:30 on a Sunday).

        3) On a trip last year to Italy, France and Spain, I very successfully used Google Maps as my GPS and TripAdvisor to find nearby restaurants – both on my iPhone. I purchased local SIM cards and data plans from Vodaphone, so I used the cell network and didn’t have to be on line. Will this work in Ireland?

        4) As I’m 73, age is an issue, and the various firms have differing policies. Most are available on their websites, but a phone call to confirm could save a lot of hassle at the counter.

        5) After your trip, CHECK YOUR CREDIT CARD STATEMENT to be sure you were charged only the amount on your final invoice. Be careful if you return a car and no one checks you in. On a Norwegian cruise, after I left a 1-day rental at dockside per a previous arrangement, I discovered the Hertz franchisee had changed the invoice and forged my signature on a bogus contract. I went straight to the top at Hertz with a letter to the president and was given high level attention. Not only did they void out my whole 1-day rental, but they sent me a $300 credit towards a future rental!

        I look forward to your feedback on my questions.

        Thanks, Stephanie! Don (Winetripper)

        • Stephanie August 16, 2015 at 12:02 am #

          Hi Don,
          Thanks so much for the kind words! I am really glad you’ve found the site helpful!

          As far as using your current auto insurance in Ireland, it is probably too good to be true. You will need to get from them in writing within 2 weeks of your rental a formal letter stating that they will cover you in Ireland.

          Here are the car rental counters in Dublin: http://www.dublinairport.com/gns/to-from-the-airport/car-rentals.aspx

          Dan Dooley doesn’t have maximum age requirements, but several other companies do–your gut is right to double check before you go.

          You should be perfect with a sim card in Ireland like you did in France. If you are planning to go to Northern Ireland, you may need to switch to another card while you are there.

          Good for you for paying attention your statement! How unfortunate that happened with Hertz, but I am very glad to hear they made it right!

          Enjoy your time in Ireland Don. It sounds like you are ready for a great trip! :-)

    • Stephanie August 15, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

      Hi Evonne,
      Robert has given you some great advice. Most rental companies don’t charge to drive through Northern Ireland so you should be all right there!

      Unless you have an international data plan on your phone, you won’t have great luck with google maps. Honestly, the way we get around is good old fashioned maps. Our favorite maps are Ordinance Survey Ireland maps and can be found in most tourist offices.

      Yes, people will be wearing wool sweaters, rain jackets and something light underneath–to take on and off as needed. I think that a water-proof jacket and a fleece is better than wind proof and a fleece. If you aren’t doing a lot of hiking I’d leave those home. Two pairs of shoes should be good, so that you can switch on and off.

      September is a great time to go! I hope you have a wonderful time!

  58. Madi August 26, 2015 at 12:12 am #

    This may be an obvious question, but are you required to purchase CDW even if you purchase Excess? I’ve noticed on some sights it gives you the option to put both.

    Also, have you used Hertz? I’m ready so many conflicting reviews, so I felt like it was best to go through a company I’ve used in the U.S. Also, is it better to book through the .com site or .ie?

    Thank you for this post!

    • Stephanie August 27, 2015 at 9:23 am #

      Hi Madi! Those are actually great questions. Once you select Excess or SCDW, you shouldn’t be able to refuse CDW and should be required to purchase CDW. So I suppose to answer your question, yes you should have to get CDW in order purchase Excess. I have rented through Hertz via Easy Tour Ireland, which does give the option to purchase Excess upfront. However With Easy Tour you are essentially booking through a third party instead of directly with Hertz. Some people really like the comfort of booking with an American company, but I’d suggest using the .ie version of the site so you know CDW is included in your quote. Read the terms and conditions to find out how much SCDW will cost you at the counter. I hope this helps! :-)

  59. ash September 12, 2015 at 11:28 pm #

    Hi Stephanie, i have a question that im not sure about and was wondering if you could clarify for me. I am going to ireland next year and have been researching all about renting a car, i was looking at budget car rental, it ays if u tick the box to decline the cdw, it is already iincluded, but the they put a hold on your card for around 1350 euro, to avoid that i was going to get the excess reduction option of 268 euro, does that mean they dont need to hold an amount on your master card? And if the car is returned the way i got it do u know if u get that excess of 268 euro refunded? Would greatly appreciate it if anyone knows:)

    • Robert Hof September 15, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

      You won’t get that 268 Euros back, though it’s likely that it will eliminate the need for a hold. Still probably worth it if you’re not experienced driving there.

      • ash September 16, 2015 at 4:24 am #

        tanks for the info Robert, I thought that would be the case, better safe than sorry I suppose, id rather pay the excess reduction that have them have access to my credit card of 2300 dollars :)

    • Stephanie September 16, 2015 at 9:48 am #

      Hi Ash! Robert’s right, you won’t get 268 euros back for the excess, but you also won’t have that big hold on your rental. You’ll be able to turn in those keys and walk away with no unexpected charges, which is quite nice if you ask me! :-)

      • ash September 17, 2015 at 12:35 am #

        hi Stephanie, i agree much better way to do it, no stress, just give the keys back :)

  60. Miranda Hansen September 15, 2015 at 3:36 pm #


    Is it possible to rent a car in one city, and drop it off in another city in Ireland? Is it more expensive to do this?

    Thank you for all your information. It is very helpful.


    • Stephanie September 16, 2015 at 9:49 am #

      Hi Miranda! Yes you definitely can drop of your car in another city or airport. Some rental companies charge an extra fee for this–look for one way rental feel in the terms and conditions to find out how much. I hope this helps! Have a great trip!

      • Sally September 17, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

        I read thru every blog here. Did someone answer the question of getting insurance to cover the OTHER car in case of an accident?

        • Stephanie September 21, 2015 at 9:25 am #

          Hi Sally–all of the terms and conditions for rental agreements include terms only for the vehicle you have rented. Of course I would check with your rental provider to confirm this or determine what time of insurance would be available for any additional vehicles involved in an accident.

      • Kelly November 29, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

        Sorry if I have missed this in the previous posts- I did try to read them all but this is quite the hot topic! I am planning to rent a car with my husband to travel around Ireland for 6 full days. When getting the super insurance, for say 133 euros, is this instead of or in addition to the CDW of say, 103 euros. The total being 236 euros above the cost of the basic rental?

  61. Evonne November 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    We have returned from our trip to Ireland and wanted to let you know that your blog was a great help to us when selecting a rental car. That being said, I wanted to share our experience with Dooley Car Rental in the Dublin Airport. We visited the kiosk at the airport and gave them our reservation number for a Ford Focus, Class C. He asked where we were traveling and we only mentioned that we were visiting cousins just north of the city. We did not tell him our entire itinerary which included the western coast and Cliffs of Moher, etc. When we arrived at the rental office, we were surprised that they were giving us a standard sized car. We told them this would not be easy for us to drive in areas best suited for smaller cars. They said they did not have any more Ford Focus available. They then brought out their smallest economy car a Class A which we had to wait for while they cleaned it up. In the meantime, the couple who arrived much after us was given a Ford Focus. I asked them where was ours? They again said they had no more. In their defense, I believe they upgraded our car because they thought we were only traveling the 40 minutes to our cousins and not the usual tourist locations that could be difficult to navigate. However, if they had a Ford Focus as we saw they did, they should have given that to us and not assumed where we were traveling. Finally, they gave us no refund for the difference in the cars. When we returned to the states, I had to request it. I calculated that it was a $50 difference based on my quotes, however, they only wanted to give us $28. This is poor customer service and I would not recommend Dooley Car Rental.

  62. Meaghan November 28, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    If I wanted to rent a car in Ireland, would I need a driver’s license from Ireland? Or does my US one suffice??

    • Jay November 29, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

      Hi Meaghan,

      Ireland recognizes US drivers licenses for car rentals/hires. Beware there may be surcharges for drivers under the age of 23 in Ireland. If you haven’t already you should take your time and read through this fantastic thread on hiring a car when you are in Ireland.

      You should also take some time to check out some youtube or other videos on driving in Ireland. It’s an amazing way to see the country but the roads, once off the very nice highways, range from ‘very tight for two cars passing’ to ‘someone has to pull off the shoulder and wait for the other to pass’

      Harrowing as it may be for the first day or so, it’s not to be missed and sooo worth it!


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