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car rental in Ireland

We are going to Ireland this fall with 5 adults. We will be picking up our rental at Shannon Airport and dropping it off at Dublin Airport. We need to rent an automatic for 5 days.

I keep hearing horror stories about prices, uncharges and cars not being held as promised.
Any suggestions for a good place to rent from?


Posted by
6095 posts

Auto Europe is a US-based broker with a lot of fans here, including me. They work with the major rental companies and have good customer service themselves. They take payment in advance, but accommodate changes as needed. It's true that rental cars are more expensive post-Covid in the US and Europe (I suppose worldwide), and dropoff charges seem to have become the norm over there, sadly.

You'll need a pretty big car for five adults and luggage. You'll be fine on the major roads and streets but may want to minimize using narrow country lanes.

Posted by
6782 posts

Our Fall 2018 trip, we rented from Enterprise. We picked up in Galway and returned it at the Dublin airport, and their price was the best, and either no extra charge for dropping it off at a different location than where we started, or it was minimal. Really a smooth, affordable rental experience. For our upcoming trip next month, though, their prices were so high, we looked elsewhere.

So for this year, I started with AutoEurope. They quoted the cheapest price as Dollar rent a car, cheaper than Dollar showed themselves. After booking through them, we found that Dollar (as well as its affiliated brand, Hertz) wouldn’t let us use our credit card’s coverage for CDW insurance. They were still going to charge us for some coverage at the rental desk. This was a deal-breaker, and AutoEurope let us cancel, for a full refund.

Looking further for a workable rental, Avis is even cheaper than the AutoEurope deal, and isn’t forcing insurance on us, along with the associated additional charges. We’ll have a charge of about $50 for turning in the car at a different airport, but that’s better than having to drive all the way back to our starting airport. Maybe Avis will quote you the best deal for this year, too … check its Website.

Posted by
450 posts

It's always a struggle to decline the CDW at the counter. I'm renting from Hertz next week, and I'm armed with a personalized email from my CC carrier describing my coverage. Many cards exclude Ireland, so check carefully. I've never lost the argument in four Irish rentals, but I think the clerk is on a commission for the CDW coverage, so I've had to resort to walking away (only to be caught in the parking lot by the supervisor). My upcoming rental is $37/day which is outrageous until you see the shorter timeframe prices.

I've think about buying a dang car when I see the prices!

I always use Momondo or Orbita to search for cars, then go directly to the actual website. I've trip AutoEurope, MyIrishCousin, and other consolidators with no better prices.

Posted by
6782 posts

I hadn’t known about MyIrishCousin until a few weeks ago. They want to be very customer-oriented, treating a customer like a family member (a cousin), and make things as comfortable as can be…for a price.

They only include mandatory, full insurance coverage, with no options for anything less. But that means full costs. As nice as they may be, they’re more expensive than many other options.

Posted by
29 posts

Just returned from 9 day Ireland trip using rental car for 7 days. Booked the car with back in December. I find prices on the .eu site are usually less than Kept checking their website for price changes and sure enough in February they had a lower price for the same car. I received a refund for the price difference.

Posted by
6782 posts

Interesting about a better deal on the Website. Rick Steves’ Ireland guidebook mentions both the .com and .eu Websites, but says that the .eu one is probably not going to be cheaper. When I looked, in fact, the .com had a much lower quote.

I pays to check all the options. If there was only one “right” rental company, there would be only one company, and there wouldn’t be any competition.

Posted by
1180 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
Bing, bing, bing...Autoeurope. Try both sites, use slightly different dates.