Irish Car Rentals

Has anyone had recent experience with the company, Irish Car Rentals? We are four women who will be renting a car for eight days in August. We are considering a compact (Ford Focus) or an intermediate (Ford Mondeo).
The intermediate would give us more room, but how much more difficult will it be to drive on narrow Irish roads? None of us have ever driven in Ireland.

Posted by VS
Palo Alto, CA, United States
785 posts

We drove in Ireland on our 2002 trip (and on about seven or eight other trips to Europe in various countries). I would say that with four people in one car, you are going to want to go with the larger one just to fit the luggage in. Even then, pack very light. In Ireland you want to fit everything in the trunk without anything showing to make stops en route (but still, don't leave anything but clothes in the car when you get out). In August things will be a lot more crowded than they were for us, as we were there in April which was a great time to go. I did not find the narrowness of the roads to be too much of an issue, but you will contend with buses on the Ring of Kerry and similar spots. Follow Rick's advice on timing of your visit, if you are going there and you will minimize the pain.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8729 posts

Mine is not very recent experience, but I have used Irish Car Rentals on three of my four trips. You will probably be more comfortable in the larger car. You need room for your bags without anyone having to keep anything on their laps. Roads can be narrow in rural areas, but most roads you encounter will be ok with an intermediate size car.

Posted by Steve
Gaston, Oregon, USA
908 posts

Kathy, for four people (and luggage!) you are going to want a decent size car. A Ford Focus is not going to be able to hold three people and luggage (go down to the Ford dealer and give it a go.) But a Ford Focus wagon will do the job, and do it well. It will not be any wider, and should be able to handle the norrow lanes. We have rented one (or similar wagon ) in many EU countries, and never had a problem with narrow roads. The Mondeo may also be too small for your group......when you consider luggage. Make sure that you practice driving on the roundabouts....that is where you can get into trouble! Check rental prices on, Dan Dooley rentals, and Kayak. Make sure that you cover all! of the deductable(excess) You might cause some damage to a mirror, etc.,and you want to be fully insured.

Posted by Lianne
4 posts

Driving in Ireland is not a problem, some roads are narrow but with driving experience & knowledge, you'll be grand! Lots make a noise regarding driving on Ireland roads when it's not a problem. I've hired a car with Irish Car Rentals & Thrifty, had no problems with both. Irish car rentals does fully inclusive prices which helps to know that everything is covered.. As most people mentioned, bigger car would be more comfortable. Hope it helps

Posted by Melody
Lakewood, Colorado, United States
4 posts

I drove in Ireland this past October on my daughter and I's first trip out of the country. If you arrange the rental here, don't get drawn into paying for insurance through the arranging company (like Expedia). I don't know about Irish Car Rentals, we used Hertz (last minute change by the company as I all of a sudden had doubts about shifting with my left hand! - One thing to drive on the other side and use the opposite feet but that one I knew was going to be a problem and changed my reservation to an automatic)The car rental company will treat it as though you have no insurance and require a credit card to cover the entire amount of the car. As to the driving - it was easier than I expected. Even on back roads out in the country the signage is absolutely wonderful. The roads definitely are narrow and you can't just stop on the side of the road to take picture like you can here in the states - there's no shoulder, except out on the main highways. The best advice I was given about driving in Ireland was don't drive into Dublin and I would pass that on. Don't do it! Take a cab or the bus - they have a great bus system.

Posted by Julia
Jericho, Vermont, USA
143 posts

We rented last spring from Dan Dooley company and were very happy with them. They're about the only rental place that gives you ALL the charges upfront, rather than telling you at the pick-up desk. They also have a US office so you can call and talk to them. Go to for all kinds of good info on Ireland and driving. Julia

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8729 posts

"Even on back roads out in the country the signage is absolutely wonderful." That is the first time I have ever heard anyone say that about Ireland!

Posted by Cynthia
Gig Harbor, Washington, USA
1280 posts

"drive on the other side and use the opposite feet "....Frightening mis-information - the accelerator and brake pedals are in the same positions as they are in an American car.

Posted by Kaz
Santa Clarita, CA, USA
59 posts

Kathy, About 6 years ago, I rented a car & drove through Ireland, at it is definitely the way to go. You will be able to see things and go places that public transportation cannot. I was driving by myself, which was a challenge, but overall I am glad I drove. This was my first time driving outside of the U.S. Here are some tips based on my experience: 1) Do not drive in Dublin. Rent a car as you are leaving. 2) Purchase the Zero deductible Super CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) Insurance. This is more expensive, but will give you peace of mind as you travel. 3) Rent a car with an automatic transmission. This will cost more, but will allow you to concentrate on the road & not have to worry about shifting. 4) On narrow roads, and driving in general, drive slowly. If you see many cars behind you, find a spot to pull over and let the cars pass you. The Irish drivers will waive & honk in appreciation! I found Irish drivers to be very courteous. 5) Have one of your travel partners act as a navigator with a good map, sitting next to you.
6) The "spokes" of a roundabout only show the next town over, not your destination. Thus, before entering a round about, have your navigator look up correct "next town". This will allow you to exit the roundabout correctly and head the right direction. The hardest thing I found was judging the distance between the passenger side and the curb. I hope this helps. Have a great trip!