I don’t think it is a secret that we usually rent our car in Ireland from Dooley. It was the only locally owned operation in all of Ireland’s major airports. They were also the only ones to offer upfront pricing on everything from insurance to GPS and WiFi. Plus, they were gracious about the minor scratches on our cars (thank goodness because…yikes…those roads). We always had good cars and great customer service.
(Oh and I should say that Dooley has no idea how much I like them or how often I send people their way. I don’t get paid for mentions or sponsored posts).
At the time Enterprise bought Dan Dooley, we were due to pick up our rental in just a couple of weeks for our trip. I wondered if the buyout would impact anything on the ground for us. Luckily, the only change we encountered was in returning the car, which happened at Enterprise’s on site Shannon Airport location instead of Dooley’s old spot in a business park a few blocks away.
Now that we are a few months into the Enterprise/Dooley buyout, I wondered how the transition was going and what other changes customers might expect. I’ve been getting lots of emails from first-time visitors who are worried about their upcoming rentals or are deciding whether they should book with Dooley.
Not being on the inside, I reached out to Laura to ask her all my questions (you may know her as the person who responds to your messages and comments on the Dooley Facebook page). She seemed as upfront and honest as she could be. Here’s what she said…
Enterprise bought Dan Dooley, here’s what you need to know:
Q: Are existing reservations with Dan Dooley valid?
A: We are still running under the Dooley brand, with our own desks, etc. All bookings are valid and under no circumstance will that ever change. In areas where we never had a desk or we have had off site locations, Dooley car rentals is now serviced by Enterprise. So the likes of Northern Ireland/Cork, etc.
Q: Can you expand on how Dooley Car rentals will now be serviced by Enterprise in Northern Ireland/Cork, etc. Does that mean that they can get a quote online through the Dooley site, but pick up at the Enterprise counter?
A: Correct, when they do the quote online it will be redirected to the Enterprise site; and pick up and return is at Enterprise desk.
Q: Can individuals still reach out and get custom quotes through Facebook and email?
A: Correct! All emails/FB mail, etc. are still active. Our website is remaining so booking, etc. will all remain the same.
Q. Will customers still be able to purchase everything upfront online, including Super Collision Damage Waiver, before arriving to pick up the rental?
A: Yes, each customer is free to choose whatever insurance options they would like on booking. No changes at all for the customers
(And yes…that is Laura’s emoji not mine…although her answer does make me happy).
Q: Will you continue to run under the Dooley brand for the foreseeable future or, worded another way, is there any discussion of the Dooley brand being phased out altogether?
A: Decline to answer as the merge is still in process, so no more info can be given at this time.
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😞 I knew she couldn’t answer that last one, but I had to try.
I recognize there are some things that have yet to be divulged to the public and that changes are still being worked out, but what I really want to know is how long I will have the luxury of renting from Dooley (cue pouty face).
At the time of my most recent rental in May, 2017, the folks at the counter really didn’t know what was going to happen–if a true phasing out would occur or if Enterprise would become something more of a parent company. The latter wouldn’t necessarily be unusual. Many of the big rental companies own others that have a presence at both the Dublin and Shannon Airports (Hertz owns Thrifty and Dollar, Avis owns Budget, etc.). Perhaps it is just wishful thinking, but I do hope they go this route.
It seems, however, that since Dan Dooley isn’t ardently saying that they will not be phased out there is a strong possibility that Dan Dooley will eventually discontinue.
So what’s my plan?
I’ll probably still book with Dooley for as long as I can. I checked on their site and, for the moment, they have vehicles available to rent as far out as this time next year. I figure the worst thing that would happen is that my rental turns into an Enterprise reservation.
If Dooley does eventually go to rental car heaven, I’ll be comparing prices and checking out third-party rental options. Since I don’t have a strong affinity to another company, the bottom line will likely be my decider. I’ll be reading the fine print and tallying it all up (like the cost of SCDW, tire and glass insurance, airport fees, one way rental fees, etc.). Most of the time I go with the full insurance option so I am completely covered. This means regardless of who I rent from (or what happens to the car), I shouldn’t have to deal with them much after I return the car anyway.
What’s your plan now that Enterprise bought Dooley? Does it make any difference to you? I’d love to know.