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Car Rental at Dublin Airport

I will be flying into Dublin Airport on May 7 and spending 2 1/2 days in Dublin City then going back to the airport and renting a car for the next 10 days and traveling around Ireland. I could use some advice on the following questions:
1) Which Rental Co. would you recommend in order to get a car that is automatic with a zero deductible insurance.
2) Getting from the airport to our B&B of St. Stephens Green, which public transportation would be best (travel time vs cost)
3) What type of car should I rent? (very small to accommodate the narrow roads or a bigger car for protection??)

The people on this forum are the most helpful of any on the internet, thanks!

Posted by
1878 posts

1) We went with Autoeurope which is an agency, not sure what car company they gave us. But their prices in my experience are better than going direct. Zero deductible CDW is going to cost you, but it's worth it because the deductibles are ridiculously high. Edit: Autoeurope will now allow you to buy the zero deductible when booking now for some geographies. If not they can generally tell you over the phone what it costs. When I have priced out rentals for Ireland recently it has been $80-100 per day total (rental plus zero dollar CDW).

2) Check into the airport bus - worked great for us even staying out in Ballsbridge.
3) We always go with a compact and did not have any problems with that in Ireland.

Also: It's been my experience that car trunks are getting smaller, and that's something to consider. (We have trouble with this on our 2013 U.K. trip when we rented a compact). I have never been an adherent to the idea of traveling with a carry-on size bag, but next time we rent a car overseas I am a thinking about switching to a smaller bag. Just one more pitfall of renting a car overseas, but in Ireland it's a must.

Posted by
16796 posts

I generally get a car rental quote at I also stick with the smallest or second-smallest car, giving more priority to the narrow-road and parking issues. You may or may not be able to buy zero-deductible CDW for a feasible price. Most CDW does have a deductible and you can pay a pretty high rate to add extra "super CDW" coverage, often sold when you pick up the car. See

Posted by
7732 posts

I always use AutoEurope. They are a consolidator. I believe our rental was through Budget when we rented in Dublin. I rented a compact automatic. The smaller the car the better for navigating narrow roads and dealing with small parking places. Ireland requires full CDW.

When I was there (2009), there was a deal you could get at the airport for the Airlink bus. It included the round trip bus into Dublin and back to the airport, and a day on the hop on/hop off bus. We were in Dublin for 3 nights (2 full days) and the hoho was perfect for getting around.

Posted by
1118 posts

i was part of a group of 6 who rented a van in Dublin, did a glorious trip thru northern Ireland, and then headed back to the Dublin airport to deposit car and fly memory of those last few hours was that the airport signs were minuscule and we got hideously lost....... so plan your return carefully

Posted by
277 posts

When my family and I were there this fall, I had booked our cars through Dan Dooley. I was able to take of the booking through their New York ofice, which was handy, and they had our cars ready for us on both of our pick-ups (two of us stayed longer, so we changed out the minibus for the small sedan), although I did have to wait an extra half hour when the automatic sedan wasn't ready--they offered a free upgrade, but I refused since I had wanted and booked the smaller car. I was glad I did, both when some idiot parked way too close for either of us to get into the car at the Avoca shop in Co. Wicklow, and I had to recruit a passing reed-thin Irishman to squeeze in and back it out of the spot for me (he had never driven automatic before, and had to be coached through what to do--so different from us Yanks!), and also when the gps took me on the smallest road I have ever driven on between Avoca and Kilkenny (it was as wide as the car with NO turnout spots in case of oncoming traffic, and even had grass growing in the middle of the pavement!!).

When we ended up in an accident with the minibus, the lady at Dan Dooley handled everything after I called her with the details. We had a bit of extra paperwork to take care when we dropped it off, but we were only out the 100€ deductible.

Posted by
263 posts

I have used Sixt twice in Dublin, and won't do it again. Both times we had one hour plus waits while all the other companies' counters were open. There also can be a wait at their drop-off location to shuttle back to the airport. The crowd waiting is often larger than the bus can handle and you need to wait for the next trip. Whoever you go with, ask if they include a spare tire. It sounds silly, but in England many companies don't and if you get a flat, you have to wait for road service, last summer in England we waited nearly five hours for the road service.

I'd go with the smallest car you can tolerate. The roads are narrow and many bends are blind as the road is bordered by stone walls and/or tall hedges. You'll be glad for the extra clearance room if you meet an iron elephant (tour bus) coming the other way.

Automatic is almost a necessity. I am very comfortable in a manual and usually prefer them, but not in Ireland. Shifting with the other hand while dealing with the narrow roads and driving on the other side is more than you will want to deal with. Unfortunately, it seems the rental companies realize this, and the price of an automatic is usually twice the cost of a manual. We rented a small Mercedes with auto in the UK for about $35/day, in Ireland we paid more than that for a Toyota Yaris. But I was glad to have that tiny clown car instead of something larger. Zero deductible will be expensive. 3rd party insurance isn't accepted in Ireland, and low deductibles will be pricey.

I found a private car/van to be good for getting to/from the airport. The cost is reasonable and you can schedule for when you need it. I have been very happy with

Posted by
2779 posts

I found the best car rental rates to be available through You don't have to fly Aer Lingus in order to benefit from their low car prices.

I've rented with Europcar, Budget and Hertz in Dublin. Only the Europcar car was physically at the airport, in the car park. In all other cases after you line up at the car rental desk you've got to catch a bus to a car park nearby and do the entire check in procedure there again.

Posted by
590 posts

We rented from Avis at Shannon airport, so it's not Dublin, but it may still apply to you.

We pre-booked everything via email with their customer service department. The service agent was VERY helpful and straightforward with all costs. That way we had no surprises at the desk. As far as car size goes, we ended up with some VW four door car. My husband is a big guy so we didn't want the minimum tiny-car size. I wouldn't have wanted too much bigger though because those roads are narrow! We went were more adventurous with our driving, doing Priest's Leap and Gap of Dunloe. It was nice to not have to worry about any damage to the car, and fortunately, we didn't have any. :)

Posted by
913 posts

We usually use AutoEurope; a consolidator. My brother just booked thru them today ( for Ireland) and got the smallest car for nine days for under $70 US, total. You have to use your credit card to cover the insurance, or get a supplemental policy thru an insurance broker. (I used an EU broker when I was there, because my VISA did not cover Ireland at that time. Now they do.) AE currently has a sale that goes thru tomorrow.

I have also heard lots of great reports about Dan Dooley.

As stated, get the smallest car; and get an automatic. The car I rented two years ago was a stick shift, 6 speed. I had one hand on the steering wheel and one one the shift lever. It was horrible.