Planning to pick up @ Dublin airport. What are good companys to go with? There will be four adults.
The number of adults has no bearing on which company to use. Just book with whatever company gives you the best price for the type of vehicle you want. You will save money if you book as soon as possible instead of waiting till you arrive in Dublin. And if you want an automatic instead of a manual you should definitely book ahead. Just keep in mind how much luggage you will have and allow for that in choosing what size of vehicle. I almost always use Irish Car Rentals when in Ireland, but I go strictly by price. Check the cancellation policies, but you might book now, then keep watching to see if you spot a better deal somewhere else. Then you could cancel the first one.
I've been very satisfied with Auto Europe, a consolidator that finds you the best rate from among the rental companies with which it has contracts. If you find a better rate on your own, Auto Europe will either match it or beat it. In Ireland my car was provided by Budget and in France it was provided by Europcar, but I booked both rentals through Auto Europe.
We used Carhire3000. They are a broker and so we actually got a car from Budget. We used Carhire3000 stricktly on reviews of their service, and were very happy. After we had booked with them and paid, but before we left, I happened to check Budget's site, knowing we were getting our car from them. The rental was actually cheaper on their site. When I brought this to the attention of Carhire3000, they immediatly lowered their price to below that of Budget's and refunded the money to my Visa right then and there, cheerfully, no haggleing or anything. They also offer a much less expensive Damage Excess insurance than anyone else. We were very happy with them and will use them from now on.
I rented a car three times in Ireland and had very different experience with the rental in Cork. They were all Hertz (because I was afraid of the others) Well Galloway and Belfast were perfectly okay. But in Cork I had a nightmare on my hands. I was flying in from the States via England and my flight was delayed so I couldn't pick up my car on the day the rental was to start. My phone was dying so I called home and asked someone to call the hotel and the car company and tell them that my flight was delay and I would arrive a day late. They called and spoke to a rep who said that they should honor the rate. The car rental guy said they didn't have my car anymore and that they were sold out but they found one car that I could rent for triple what I was originally booked for. I couldn't believe what I was hearing and I said do I look that dumb? He said I am sorry but since you didn't pick up the car we gave your car away and how this is the rate. My phone was charged now but who do you call? So I called home and had someone call Hertz. They said take the car and we will get this worked out. I said but they want me to sign for the triple cost. I got charged at the higher rate but with staying on top of the situation I was able to get it reduced to the original agreement.
It was a bit stressful. I just keep a positive attitude and know it will all be okay. Good luck! Have a great time in Ireland!!! Watch out for the roundabouts! :)