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Leasing a car in Scotland and Republic of Ireland

We will be in Scotland for two weeks, Northern Ireland for two days and Republic of Ireland for 3 weeks. We've rented before in Republic of Ireland for shorter trips but think it would make sense, cost-wise, to lease for a trip this long. We're having a bit of trouble getting quotes. Also wondering if there will be any problems taking the car (picking up in Glasgow) to Ireland. Would it be better to rent in Scotland, return in Scotland, and pick up a new car in Ireland? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Posted by
760 posts

I have been leasing for the last 15 years and will be doing so for our trip to Ireland this fall. The problem you face is twofold: 1) The lease plans operate under a loop hole in the French VAT law and there are a limited number of places where you can pick up a lease car and Glasgow has never been on the list to my knowledge. 2) The Brits have spent the last two years making a total botch of Brexit and nobody has a clue what is going to happen. I have been advised that if you lease a car in the UK and take it to Ireland (EU), you will be subject to an import duty of 10% of the value of the car, minimum 2500 Euros when you return to the UK. If the Brits continue to blather and dither until October 31, nothing happens but, if they act you can get screwed. This is why Auto France, for one, has pulled London from their web site as a pickup location.

We had planned on going to London, seeing some of England and taking the ferry across the Irish Sea to Ireland and back to London. I have just spent the last few days re-booking flights, accommodations and ferries to go to Paris and the take the ferry in and out of Cherbourg to Dublin. I guess I will get to see what Notre Dame looks like now. In your situation, I would make separate rental plans for the Republic of Ireland (EU), Northern Ireland (UK) and Glasgow (UK). Remember that unlike a lease car, many rental companies won't let you take their cars on a ferry.

Sorry to be a bit of a downer but I didn't make this mess. I wish us both the best of luck.

Posted by
2949 posts

"Would it be better to rent in Scotland, return in Scotland, and pick up a new car in Ireland?" In a word, yes. And during your time in Northern Ireland, just use public transportation and/or taxi, Uber/Lyft.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for your replies. What a mess. Wishing us all a safe and enjoyable voyage!