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Ireland: Rental Car Suggestions


Would anyone kindly suggest the following for a Ireland Kerry Airport rental car:

(1) reasonably-priced and trustworthy rental car company? (2) type of car for 2 people (we can drive a stick shift)?
(3) Do we need collision damage waiver in Ireland?
(4) Any other things you would suggest?

Many thanks to the kind fellow travelers on this message board.


Posted by
19 posts

I used they are a broker and we got cars in France and England at several hundred dollars savings, the cars were from Alamo, but the price was alot better. Check them out.

Posted by
8700 posts
  1. Auto Europe is a consolidator that finds you the best rate from among the companies with which it has contracts. If you find a better price on your own, AE promise to either match or beat it.

  2. The smallest car that will accommodate your luggage, keeping all of it out of sight when you are away from the car.

  3. World MasterCard is the ONLY credit card that provides collision damage coverage for rentals in Ireland. You will need to provide written verification. See the Master Rental Agreement. However, some people have reported problems with claims even with written proof of coverage. If this won't work for you, you will have to purchase either CDW coverage or super CDW coverage.

  4. You will need a detailed map. I have found the Michelin Ireland map to be detailed enough. You can buy it from

Posted by
9363 posts

I have always found Irish Car Rentals ( to have the best rates when I was looking for a car. They also have extremely friendly and helpful staff (and a tollfree number to an office in NY, for questions either before or after your trip).

As for the CDW, I'm one of the ones who had Mastercard refuse to cover an accident even after verifying my coverage before my trip. I would never trust a credit card for coverage again.

To echo what Tim has said, get the smallest car that will handle your luggage. On our last trip, my son and I had a tiny Opel. It was a great car for the roads, but its trunk was tiny, too. We could not get our two 21" bags in it. On driving days we just had to be cautious about leaving it.

Don't plan on taking a car into Dublin. Parking is scarce and expensive, and public transportation is very good (but the city center is very walkable, too).

Posted by
1358 posts

I use, but the rate you get from any company will vary from day to day. I assume you are searching the web for rental companies. Spend the time and shop as long and as hard as you can.

Read the webpages or call several agencies every day for several weeks and note the variation in rates.

You will see a trend and then known which one to rent from. I sometimes use toll free numbers to talk with an agent

The size of car depends on the amount of luggage you carry. The webpage will show you the number of passengers and number of bags each car will handle.

Of course you should be comfortable with driving on the left side. That will be your greatest challenge if you have never experienced it. That takes much concentration while you drive.

For Ireland I suggest the smallest car you can fit everything into because of the narrow roads and streets. I usually request a compact or economy size.

Opinion varies about the CDW. Depends on how comfortable you are with the risk. I find driving conditions in Ireland more hazardous than driving on the continent.

Posted by
655 posts

Hi Johathan,

A small car is OK IF it has a large enough trunk to hold all the stuff you are taking locked and out of sight.

People who can drive a stick shift often elect to rent an automatic in Ireland because driving is on the 'wrong' side and can easily lead to confusion.

As noted above, driving in Ireland is (to me) much more hazardous than most other countries. I suggest, for this trip, DO NOT cut corners on insurance.

I've used Hertz in Ireland but would not reccommend them. I would try Auto Europe and see what they suggest.

Please don't let these warnings discourage you. Ireland is a wonderful trip. It is just the driving part that can be difficult.

Posted by
111 posts

yeah...small car is better. We had a Toyota Corolla hatchback for 3 people- 3 adults- and my golf clubs. Some of those 100kmh roads are pretty crazy.

my part of the driving was from Wicklow to Cobh to Ring of Kerry...It wasn't as hard as I thought but you do have to concentrate. It helps following the other cars too! Judging the right side of the car was a little tough sometimes. Not a lot of room on the side of the road with the stone walls in many places. Some of the road signs were a little tricky. People told me to keep the steering wheel next to the center line. I think 1 time maybe near Waterford I went the wrong way in a roundabout but there were no cars. We have some traffic circles or roundabouts in the DC area so they were not really a big deal.

I remember one of my friends telling me they keep all the cars for Americans together. You can tell because they have marks on the right side. I could see why.

Posted by
31 posts

We loved driving in Ireland - it is gorgeous and added to our experience. I totally agree with the advice to not have a car in Dublin, but we found that everywhere else, it was easy. Biggest advice I would offer???: bring a GOOD GPS that you have downloaded the most recent Ireland maps. Don't rely on the rental car company. We met a number of people there who had reserved a GPS with their rental car, and when they picked up their cars, they didn't get a GPS. We had a tiny Nissan Micra and loved it - on those narrow roads, you don't want a big car!