Ireland Car Rentals What do I need to know about renting cars in Ireland?

Ireland Self Drive Car Rentals

Ireland Car Rental Basics:

  • How to choose the right size car rental size for your group.
  • What is Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and do I need it?
  • Is it easy to drive around Ireland?

Car Rental Sizes

When it comes to renting a car in Ireland, we recommend getting the smallest car possible to reduce costs, fuel and the ease-of-driving the small Irish roads however clients always try to go smaller than they should. Trying to fit three adults in an economy car is going to save, say $50, but make your trip miserable!

We list the recommended number of adults per car with all of our rentals and this is a good general rule for trips of 6 nights or less. If you're planning on a trip longer than 6 or 7 nights I would highly recommend upgrading to the next size car to accommodate the additional luggage and souvenir room as well as leg room for those stuck in the back.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

If the vehicle or any of its parts or accessories are damaged other than by theft, attempted theft or vandalism, while on rental, CDW limits you liability to the amount of the non-waivable excess, if any, which applies in each country provided that you have complied with all the terms of the Rental Agreement. CDW in Ireland does not cover any damage caused as a result of theft, attempted theft or vandalism.

Ireland car rentals are inexpensive, until you add all of the insurances to the rental! When you check in for your rental car you could be presented with even more options to pay when you get there -- and you do because you are on the spot and feel you need it.

We want to give everyone as much information about Ireland car rental insurance as possible before you go to Ireland so that you can make a sound decision before you're standing at the counter, nervous about driving for the first time... and buy everything.

Please keep in mind that we deal with one car rental company in Ireland, which is Irish-owned. There are many different car rental companies out there and we can reserve any of them for you -- we just may not know all of their policies and add-on insurances. Our Ireland car rental partner gives us "inclusive" rates so you know what you are paying for upfront and don't get miscellaneous charges while on vacation.

Please note that all references to amounts are subject to change and given as a guide only.

Read More - CDW Insurance

Fuel Refill Program - SCAM Alert!

This program is still out there and it looks like everyone is trying to sell this to everyone who checks in for their rental with most renters opting for it because they don't have time to think about it and are weary from red-eye flights. It's a scam so this is one thing we 100% recommend you skip!

For us, the rental agent asked us if we wanted to pre-pay the first tank of petrol/gasoline for 88 EUR and I quickly declined. He politely followed up with, "How will you know where to fill up before returning it?", trying to pressure me slightly into purchasing it. "No worries, we'll return it full."

While I suspect the rate changes based on the tank size of the vehicle, it will always work in the rental agency's favor. Driving in a foreign country, you will never let the tank get close to empty as you don't know where the next petrol station is, right? We let our tank go down to 1/4 tank and filled it back up and it only took 75 EUR, which means the rental agency would charge me 88 EUR if I returned the car. I wouldn't let the tank go any lower than that, especially when we were in more remote areas.

GPS - To Rent or Not?

I've changed my stance on this over the years as GPS has become more integrated into certain cars while also having access to Goolge Maps on our phones. You can be charged 10 EUR or more, per day, for accepting GPS in the car.

I tend to not reserve GPS these days for a few reasons. Firstly, I pretty much know where I'm going when traveling town-to-town however it is VERY beneficial when trying to find an exact location. Secondly, my photo has Google Maps and I enabled foreign service so I can use that if I need to. Finally, there are three of us traveling so I tend to upgrade the car and at that point, GPS is typically integrated into the car. For instance, we reserved a Toyota RAV4 and got a KIA SUV - brand new with GPS! They asked if I wanted GPS and I politely declined -- knowing it was integrated into the car.

Economy and compact cars may not have GPS but your phone will work just fine!

Driving in Ireland

People always hear stories that it is impossible to drive in Ireland and not to try. The roads are small, narrow and dangerous. The reality is that the roads have been widened over the past 15 years and traveling around Ireland has never been easier. Going with the self drive Ireland vacation also allows much more flexibility to allow you to see and do what you want ... when you want.

To begin, many of the Ireland road signs are the same. Red lights, stop signs - they are international standards so driving in Ireland isn't quite so different than driving at home.

The biggest piece of advice we can give everyone is to take your time while driving around Ireland and relax. We tend to put more pressure on ourselves driving abroad because we think it is so different when, in reality, it's just an adjustment. The Irish are extremely patient and don't beep their horns and flash their lights if you're going too slow... they'll simply wait for the right time to pass and leave you in the dust.

Read More - Driving in Ireland

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