I've been doing some research, but beginning to have great difficulty deciding on a trustworthy car rental company in Dublin. It seems I find so many horror stories! Planning my dream vacation to Ireland is beginning to feel like a nightmare. :-( I definitely want to reserve an automatic, but it appears that it's up to fate whether you actually get that when you arrive? Can anyone out there offer helpful advice, or do's/do not's, when it comes to renting a car in Ireland? I'm leaning toward Dooley, but does anyone have REAL experience with them??
When I have requested one, an automatic has always been available. You don't say when you are traveling, so it might be different during peak season (I travel in shoulder season, usually). My one experience with Dan Dooley was on my first trip, when my rental was part of a package. On three subsequent trips I have used Irish Car Rentals. When I was looking for rentals they had the best prices, and they have a US tollfree number for questions.
Thanks, Nancy. I'm traveling during shoulder season as well (2 weeks of mid Sept). I'll check your suggestion out as well. Most of the horror stories revolve around rental companies charging for complete tire replacement over some sort of nick, or trying to charge for pre-existing scratches, hidden fees, etc.
We rented from Dan Dooley at the Dublin airport in September of 2010 and had no trouble at all. Our automatic car was waiting for us, and everything was as expected. You will want to buy ALL the insurance covered offered. It costs more, but is worth the peace of mind. Your credit card will not cover CDW, etc. in Ireland. Buy "super CDW" and the zero deductible coverage. It will all be straightforward. You should be able to choose all that coverage when you reserve your car. Always mark any scratches or dings on your rental sheet BEFORE driving off with your car, to verify that you did not cause them. The rental agent should walk around the car with you to look for scratches. Don't worry. Everything will be fine!!
Keep in mind, too, that the vast majority of people renting from all companies have NO problems. The only people who go online to report back are those with complaints. You can find a horror story about any company you can name.
Thank you, all! I'm such a worry-wart when it comes to this type stuff. Your words of wisdom are greatly appreciated!
Ed, get a quote from Autoeurope.com, a broker located here in the states. They have always done well by us. We have rented thru them for our upcoming trip in May. If you have any questionsd csll them at their headquarters in Maine. Instead of paying the sky high fees that the rental agencies want; to cover the collision and theft deductable ("excess"), we opted to buy a supplemental policy thru an EU carrier that specializes in this type of insurance. And they cover tires, wheels and windshields, which almost none of the rental agencies will cover.
Steve, I've looked into these EU insurance coverage policies, but it seemed that they would only cover rentals by EU citizens. Which website did you use? This would be a much cheaper option, if Americans and Canadians could be covered. My take is that you can buy the policy, but the fine print voids your coverage...
Third-party policies also require you to pay the bill for damages and then wait to be reimbursed.
Nancy is very correct...the 3rd party insurers DO require you to pay up front...then they re-imburse you. But they cover much more than the "excess" that the auto rental agencies cover. We had good friends that got in a pretty good "fender bender" in Ireland and it cost him mucho $$$ to pay the tow truck, re-scheduling fees for the rental car, etc, and the damage to his tires, wheels was not covered by the "excess" coverage he bought thru the rental agency. And these 3rd party policies are cheap. Rather than paying $16 US/day for excess in Ireland I can get a policy that costs less than $60 US and it will cover me for a year, no matter what country I am in. (they also have policies that just cover just one rental period, etc.) Look at Moneymaxim.co.uk.com, Thomas Cook travel, etc. Diane, sort thru your options at Moneymax and find the ones that cover you no matter what country you are from.