Rental Car Advice - Ireland

We are starting our 11 days in Ireland with 2 days in Dublin. We are trying to figure out if we should rent from the airport, and just park it for a couple days, or rent somewhere in / on outskirts of Dublin, or what. What are the logistics of returning a car (we fly out of Dublin as well)? Is it very expensive to return the car to a different place than you originally rented it? I've searched on the boards a bit, and didn't find advice on this. Any tips would be helpful.
Thanks!

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
215 posts

If you're flying into and out of Dublin the easiest thing to do, by far, is to skip picking up the car on the way in and take the bus from the airport into the city. After you've seen Dublin take the bus back to the airport, rent the car and then return it to the airport on your way out. This plan saves you driving the car into Dublin and having the car in Dublin = both of which you really should avoid - as well as 2 days rental you won't be using. The airlink worked for where we were staying and was 6 euros roundtrip and took about 15 minutes. http://www.dublinairport.com/gns/to-from-the-airport/by-bus-or-coach.aspx The airport car rental is also a good part of the way towards Newgrange/Knowth, Bru na Boinne and Trim if those interest you. Have a great trip,
=Tod

Posted by Kate
Denver, Colorado
12 posts

Thanks, Tod. We are doing the Valley of Boynne/ Trim at the end of the trip. Sounds like it will all work out.

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
215 posts

The only thing to ask about is the toll on the M50 ring road. There's no way to pay the toll but they read your license plate and charge "your car". The rental company will have this worked out - Hertz charged the same card separately for the toll - but you should ask. Some of the big highways are tolled but it's the regular drive up booth kind so have some change if you want to use the faster lanes. If you need to return the car with a full tank take the "Swords" exit on the roundabout just before the airport and there's a gas station a few miles down the road. All the car rentals (at least all the big ones) at the airport are in the same giant "pen" outside the airport so just take the rental shuttle from the terminal and your company will be there somewhere along the line. That's everything I can think of - have a great trip!
=Tod PS There are no street signs in Galway so keep that reality in mind if you drive there.

Posted by Ken
Spring, Texas
599 posts

I've found that some car companies charge extra for not returning to the same location a rental is picked up at. Also, airports frequently get hit with a "premium location" fee. Watch for these when you are getting rental car quotes. Since you are starting in Dublin, there are rental locations other than the airport that may be more convenient.

Posted by Kate
Denver, Colorado
12 posts

I'm also seeing many people recommending local rental companies instead of the big chains. What are the advantages or disadvantages of this?
This is the one thing we haven't really arranged yet for our June trip, so I'm starting to feel anxious about getting it figured out.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7675 posts

I rent with whoever gives me the best price when I want to travel. In three of for trips to Ireland, that has been Irish Car Rentals.

Posted by wayner
stevens point, wi, usa
186 posts

Hi, Here is a trick for renting cars. Book a no money down, no charge if not picked up car from a big company. That way you have a rental in your pocket. then when you arrive at the airport yo find the car rental companies arranged from most expensive to least. Go to the next to the least expensive and ask to rent a car. My bet is that you get a bidding war with the two companies on either side. How do you know the expensive end of the line up? Simple they advertise and you recognize their names. The cheap end has names like Treaty, and Limerick, or Dan Rayn. Works for me. Both in Dublin and Shannon. Ouch. And make sure your credit card covers your Collision Loss Waiver Insurance which can be as much as the rental.
wayne iNWI

Posted by Diane
Ottawa
1154 posts

"And make sure your credit card covers your Collision Loss Waiver Insurance which can be as much as the rental." Ah... there's the real issue when renting a car in Ireland... Just short of calling it a scam, expensive "Super CDW" insurance is the most frustrating quirk of renting a car in Ireland. The rules for being able to use your own insurance are sticky and MUST be verified - never assume that what works for you elsewhere in Europe for rental cars also works in Ireland (it generally doesn't). When shopping around, make sure that your pricing includes ALL insurance PLUS any additional driver fees as well. A true price comparison is difficult to get, since the quotes are generally NOT transparent for rentals in Ireland. Dooley's is one company that is often referenced on TA as having the most inclusive quotes. I'm renting from avis.ie. If you do not want insurance, make sure beforehand that : a) the rental agent will accept your coverage, and b) that you have the required documentation (i.e. actual letter confirming the coverage). Finally, be aware that this will likely be the most hassle-prone part of your trip to Ireland.

Posted by Kate
Denver, Colorado
12 posts

Thanks for all the advice. We have a reservation now, but as everyone noted, getting the apples-to-apples comparison was the key. We even spoke to one rep on the phone who said she was giving us quotes in US dollars, not Euros, only to call back and discover that while the number was accurate, the unit was indeed Euros, not dollars.
Dooley's was the easiest to get a full quote from, as someone mentioned. Everyone else we had to keep asking "and...?" We have finally settled on getting our car later on our second day in Dublin (Saturday), so that we can take off early on Sunday. And from the airport it seemed to be worth it to just get it from there. We'll see if we are up for the negotiating when we get to that point!

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7675 posts

So are you renting from Dooley? And what negotiating are you talking about?

Posted by Kate
Denver, Colorado
12 posts

Nancy -- Wayner who posted above recommended trying to pit rental companies against each other to get a better rate -- that's all I meant by negotiating. We did not end up going with Dooley; right now our reservation is with Budget. They were, in fact, the cheapest of those we called.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7675 posts

I'm not sure that Wayner's word can be taken as fact, since he also says you should "make sure" that your credit card insurance will cover your collision damage waiver in Ireland - it will not. It used to on some cards, years ago, but not now. His experience may well have been true, but it would seem it was some time ago. In my mind, the potential savings of this approach, if any, wouldn't be worth taking up my valuable vacation time. One little tip, keep checking around until time for your trip. If Budget does not charge for cancellations, and you come upon a special, you could cancel and rebook.