Our Experience with Sixt Rental Car Ireland
Wednesday, June 1, 2022 | Categories: Ireland Travel Planning; Car Rentals;
When Dan Dooley sold to Enterprise, we were left scrambling to find a replacement that offered the rates, inclusions and family-oriented service that we became accustomed to. Unfortunately the service is hard to replace, but we keep looking.
Our new provider is Auto Europe, offering discounted rates with many different major suppliers, allowing us to compare inclusions and make sure we get you the best rate, including basic insurance. Because each rental agency has their own rules, you'll need to make sure you read the contract to ensure you know the ins-and-outs of what they will be offering you. We make all of this information available to you online - Ireland Car Rentals.
We Booked With Sixt - Apr 2022We have found that Hertz was offering the best inclusive rates however Sixt was the best rate for our trip in April 2022. We used them for Portugal in 2019 and we received a free upgrade at the airport so we decided to try them again.
Check-in was a bit slow at the Dublin Airport, mainly because the two people at the counter were not knowledgeable about their rentals, one having pre-booked and the other walking up for a rental. Arguing that their car insurance policy at home covered them, the agent had to educate them about that as well as their credit card insurance. It was frustrating to watch and another reason we try to include what is absolutely necessary and educate everyone prior to travel.
Once I was up, the process was fairly quick, aside from trying to talk me into a 20 EUR/day upgrade to a sports car which "just came in last week." "No thank you", didn't stop the attempt until I made it clear we travel there every year and what to book. There were no upsells for additional insurance but there was an attempt to lure me into the prepaid gas which is a complete joke - more on that next!
Pre-Paid Gas Scam
We've talked about this so many times over the years, it's second-nature to me however I heard another woman purchase it. It was hard not to lean over and tell her it's a scam but I think that's over-stepping.
For 88 EUR, I can simply return the car and they will fill it up for me and I'm sure that rate varies by the type of car and size of the tank. How far are you willing to drive, in a foreign country, and allow that gas gauge go to empty? My bet is that you may let it go to 1/4 tank, at best, before you fill it up and that is what the rental agency is betting on as well.
I turned down this "service" but the agent followed up with, "Do you know where a petrol station is when returning the car?" "I'll find one, we have Google Maps." End of that conversation.
We did let the tank go to down to 1/4 and filled it up with diesel, costing about 75 EUR -- which would have given them an additional 13 EUR profit. Not much but what about those who still have 1/2 a tank or more because they couldn't plan how to leave that tank empty?
Finding the Car
Dublin car rentals are all on the ground floor of the parking garage so take the elevator down, find your rental agency's sign... and the # of the car, which is prominently displayed. That's it!
The hard part is adjusting to the car and finding all of the features before you get on the road. For instance, I had a manual Kia SUV but couldn't find the parking break -- every car has one, including automatics, right? Turns out the new car has an automatic parking break so when we turned it off, it engaged... and off when I put it in gear.
Return to Dublin City Centre
I broke my own rule on this, telling folks to return the car to the airport because it's outside the city centre and easier. We were traveling from the southeast and the airport is north of the city so it seemed easier to drop it just outside the city and allow GPS to navigate us to where we needed to be.
Approaching the city from the Wicklow Mountains, it seems like we were thrown right into the city as it has spread right up to the edge of the mountains. We stopped for petrol, filled up and knew we were just a few kilometers from the rental return, which was right in the city centre, off O'Connell Street (should have looked that up first!)
The rental car GPS didn't find the location but our Google Maps was able to locate and navigate us to the garage, albeit winding our way all throughout the city's one-way streets. It was fairly nerve-wracking as it was noon on a Saturday, gorgeous weather and people everywhere.
We made it to the parking garage, orange Sixt sign prominently displayed so we took a ticket and entered. Signs pointed us to the 5th floor which was the roof and there was not a single Sixt representative there or a sign on what to do. We parked the car, emptied our luggage and I proceeded to not only take photos but video as well to prove that we returned the car without any damage, inside or out.
Back to the lobby we found the office for those picking up rentals and stood in line while others would walk past, go in and drop a key and walk out. I wanted to speak with someone and get confirmation I returned the car with no damage but after 30 minutes, I walked in and did the same, knowing I had video/photos. The gentleman said that there would be no problem, they will process the car and I will receive an email. Trust... this is trust and please know that they do not know I am own a travel agency - I'm a regular person when I travel.
A few days later I received my confirmation that the only charge was the 30 EUR to drop it downtown and not the airport! No damage or any incidentals that we all hear stories about.
Overall Impression of Sixt
The check-in process was fine with slight pressure to upgrade the car but being firm and letting the agent know I know what I am doing simplified the rest of check-in. Returning the car was a bit frustrating but now I know and will help others so it's fine; photos and video are easy to take and doesn't cost anything!
I'd definitely rent from Sixt again.