When renting a car in Dublin, all of the renntal companies charge a surcharge for each day you drive in Northern Ireland. Why? What is the difference?
What is the difference? It is huge. Ireland and Northern Ireland are separate countries; the latter is part of the UK. It is an uneasy border between them.
You might want to read a bit about Irish history, particularly the recent years known as The Troubles, to understand.
The first article was written just 3 days ago, and is entitled “Troubles shadow lingers”.
In addition to the history Lola mentions, I could easily imagine that there might be an insurance difference to take an EU rental car into a now non-EU country.
Or extra insurance for a car with Republic of Ireland plates to be driven in Northern Ireland due to a perceived risk.
I have a rental coming up with Hertz, and their terms can conditions state:
9.4. Vehicles may only be used in the Republic of Ireland and/or Northern Ireland and must not, under any circumstances be taken or driven elsewhere without the prior consent of Hertz.
I'll be disappointed if there's a surcharge.
I am well aware of the troubles. I am also well aware that these are two separate countries. My issue is how does the risk change so dramatically for a car rental company? Do they not require you insure their vehicle? What is their actual risk? How often do rental cars get damaged as a result of sectarian violence?
I have been to Belfast. I have friends who live in Belfast and own homes in Belfast. Insurance companies base rates of coverage upon probability of a covered incident damaging and devaluing their insured's property. Again, what is their actual risk? The fear that something bad might, or could happen? How many actual claims are filed?
The Britannica article recites 3,600 died and another 50,000 were injured during the troubles. I assume they refer to the "modern troubles" which lasted about 30 years, from 1970 until the Good Friday Accord in 1998? Absolutely horrible numbers and terrible times for both sides. No winner, everyone a looser. Also a terrible time for property damage/loss. I am certain insurance companies paid out millions, if not billions during those times.
Since then, these 25 years, very little of the same trouble. Tensions exist to be certain. But acting out, not so much. Along with less violence is accompanying greatly diminished risk and payout for insurance companies. So again, why the surcharge?
Your question “what is the difference” seemed to me to imply you knew little about the bad feelings that still exist. That was the basis of my response. The wording of your question gave me no basis for thinking otherwise. I am sorry if that offended you.
I will add that the opponents of Brexit in the UK feared that this would bring a renewal of difficulties with crossing the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland—-mainly administrative ones. Possibly this bureaucratic difficulty has come to pass. Possibly the rental company has to pay more to insure the car to be driven in both countries, regardless of actual risk. Purely an administrative thing.
Or maybe it is related to EU regulations for cars that are rented within the EU and driven outside the EU.
If you are unsatisfied with the answer suggesting insurance costs, why not ask the rental company for the reason?
My Irish Cousin https://myirishcousin.com/ hire doesn't charge extra for travel to NI. I have a car booked with them this May. I don't plan on driving to Northern Ireland but their rental agreement specifically states there's no surcharge if I did. Haven't actually used them yet but I like the flexibility they offer. They are a little more expensive up front but they don't put a hold on my credit card and have 100% coverage up front also. If I have an accident, they take care of it. I don't have to file a claim or pay a deductible. It's built in. Of course I've yet to see if their marketing matches my experience. But for a first time driving in Ireland, MIC seems to offer a lot of peace of mind for the price.
I have further thoughts to support my previously stated hypotheses, but it sounds like you're looking for an authoritatively clear answer. The companies themselves would be the best (but probably not actually good) source for that.
There must be something difference about rental car insurance in Ireland, because most credit card companies specifically exclude Ireland when offering rental car coverage with their benefits.
the difference is Ireland is an independent republic consisting of 26 counties part of the EU and the euro zone, whilst Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom (England wales scotland and Northern Ireland is the UK), they are two different countries with two different currencies and laws etc
In 2019, I rented with Alamo (booked through Auto Europe). There was no surcharge to drive in Northern Ireland. Maybe check with Alamo.
2019 was pre-Brexit, so Northern Ireland was still in the EU. Things are different now.
I wonder if the OP’s previous rental experiences were also pre-- Brexit.
Seems like an excuse to charge you extra "because they can"! Car insurance policies for those of us living here generally cover the whole island and indeed driving in GB aswell.
You might want to re-read the conditions. My contract with Dollar is a $30 ONE TIME fee for taking the car into Northern Ireland, not $30 each day we're in NI. Here's the wording: " Driving the car into the UK, including Northern Ireland, is subject to a cross border fee of EUR30.00."