How to move through Ireland and UK - We want to travel by car, but ferries are expensive and no one-way car rental is allowed. Do we fly into Dublin, rent a car just for Ireland, fly to London and rent again?
The solution you mentioned is exactly what we have done. The one way rentals are very expensive because of the two different countries. We usually fly in rent a car then fly commuter to either UK or Ireland. Try Ryan Air, Easy Jet and British Midland. Better yet - www.sidestep.com.
Another option could be to drop the car at a ferry location in Ireland - ferry as passenger only and see about a new car pick up at the other ferry location (or train to the nearest location).
I'd suggest NOT driving in London. The UK (other than Ireland) is VERY VERY easy to do by train and public transportation. Driving and parking in London is horendous!
Thanks for your comments so far - we're still struggling with logistics, but at least have some direction. Merci, Jona. We have the added joy of traveling with two active 80-somethings, so a car is essential. But of course we'll park it in the London suburbs (although Naples made my husband a fearless driver).
I'm assuming that it's less expensive to book commuter flights and cars in each country ahead of time. That means a rather rigid itinerary. Also, we are leaving from opposite sides of the country - Oregon and NYC, so I 'm not sure how to segue flights so we wind up together once we get to Newark. I guess I'll need a travel agent for that one. Any further hints?
Also a note about London - there are fees for driving into the city. If you do rent from there - be sure you understand how the car rental companies system works. Typically they have a transponder pass.
How does the transponder pass work? Is the pass necessary if we're just driving to/from the airport (Heathrow or Gatwick) and not into the city? We may be doing a one-way rental from Manchester, Liverpool, or Leeds to a London airport. Any hang-ups we should know about? The more research I do, the more the anticipation builds. I think this is almost the most fun part of traveling. Thanks for helping.
Also, since we'll rent a car in Ireland and then another in England, do we get any kind of a cost break by staying with the same rental agency? Any favorite car rental companies? We've used several different ones in the past; they've all been great. No complaints.
On a trip from outside London to one of the airports, you'll be OK. There's an excellent website on the congestion charge, including area maps, at http://www.cclondon.com/index.shtml