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Renting a car in Ireland

I am needing 2 cars for a family vacation in July. I was about to finalize my rental when I decided to check reviews on Auto Europe; they are terrible. People talked about hidden fees, not paying claims, etc. This is rental company recommended by Rick Steves. The other rental company I checked, Discover Cars, was almost $400 more for the same rental situation. Does anyone have any reviews of either company?

Posted by
428 posts

Autoeurope is a consolidator, so they show you the best price of various car rental agencies for your location and vehicle of interest. When we rented in Ireland this fall, we ended up renting with Hertz, through our search with Autoeurope. We've used Autoeurope many times in Europe (France, Germany) and had no problems with any hidden fees, etc. I've read some of the reviews you make reference to, but our experiences have been quite different. We've not used Discover Cars, so I can't provide any information on them.

Posted by
32 posts uses Hertz but includes all insurance in the quote (except Tire & Glass which I believe is 6 euro/day). I had a great experience with this company in April 2019 and plan to use again in July 2020.

Posted by
821 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
My first place to shop and generally, almost always where I rent, is Auto Europe. Been doing this at least once a year, every year for 20+ years. I have not encountered hidden fees with them. If yo phone them, they are surprisingly knowledgeable. I have no idea how they can have such detailed information about rental locations. They are a consolidator and most frequently the low cost firm is Europecar.

Ireland is more expensive to rent a car because your credit card won't provide insurance for free. And that means too many accidents by visitors. I guess everyone wants to scrape their rental along the side one of the many stone walls. It is tempting.


Posted by
186 posts

A few years back we used Enterprise Rental in Dublin (not the airport) and they were great--well priced, quick, and friendly.

Posted by
3306 posts

I always rent from Avis in Europe, and did so when in Ireland in 2010, and have never had a problem, and have never come across hidden fees. I’ve never had to make a claim. I always reserve ahead of time. The only possibly changes would be adding the fuel charge if I want to return the car needing fuel, damage to the windshield and theft (if not already included) and the full coverage, zero deductible, insurance.

Posted by
5011 posts

One needs to learn how to read online reviews and apply some filters. A large percentage of "online reviews" (for almost anything) are fake, or are from someone who simply didn't understand something, or are just rants from disgruntled customers, or other random noise. Most happy customers don't bother to post "reviews".

Nothing wrong with Autoeurope. As pointed out above, they are a consolidator, so you're not actually renting from Autoeurope anyway.

I have never heard of Discover Cars so can't offer any insights to them.

I generally get my rentals through, and have generally had good experiences. You tell them what you want, they find what you ask for. In my case, they have often find something through Autoeurope.

Posted by
6 posts

Another place to shop is through Ryanair. We lived in Germany for 3 years and traveled all over and their prices were always cheaper. We bought the insurance through the website once and the car had a little scratch on the hub cap. We had to make a claim. What a pain! That's why I bought the insurance- to be headache free. So, after that, we always bought the insurance directly with the car rental agency once we got there. Hope this helps! Good luck on price shopping!

Posted by
278 posts

When we were in Ireland in 2014, we used Dan Dooley for our rentals. I was able to book on the phone at their NYC office (since it was two consecutive car rentals and more complex then your usual booking, I wanted to deal with someone in person not a website). We got all of the insurance that they offered, thank goodness, because we had an accident with the big van. Since we weren’t at fault, it only took about 15 minutes extra at drop off to fill out the paperwork and pay the 100€ deductible.

When we picked up our second car, they tried to give me an upgrade to a bigger one since they were out of the small sedan I had reserved, but I insisted that they give me what I booked, a small car for the narrow roads. We had to wait about 20 minutes for one to be available, but that was fine with me (Avis had upgraded me in York two years earlier, and I hated the small SUV on the narrow northern England/Scottish roads).

Posted by
2 posts

I booked through Costco Travel of all places for our trip in late April. It was with Alamo and a great deal.

Posted by
36 posts

I used Auto Europe last April and booked with Hertz. Only problem was that I was over confident and thought I could handle a manual shift after 50 years. Realized my mistake before I was off airport grounds (it stalled 5 times) and they were very helpful with exchanging for an automatic. I did use my own credit card, Chase Sapphire Reserved, for the rental insurance. There are very few credit cards that will insure in Ireland and the North so you have to check around. I supplied proof with a letter from Chase and saved quite a bit. Had the car for 3 weeks and everything was fine. Have reservations for this April and will be using the same. This time, though, I'm starting out with an automatic.

Posted by
10 posts

We rented through Sixt when we visited Ireland a couple years ago. We were very satisfied with them; the customer service was good and the fees were straightforward. We did get the insurance through them since it was our first time driving on the other side of the road (and because it'd been over 10 years since I drove a manual). I'd rent through them again.