Rent a car in Ireland

par Guide Irlande

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If you are not very “public transport”, renting a car is the ideal solution for your stay . Not only does it allow you to discover Ireland as you wish, but it also allows you to come and go easily, without having to comply with restrictive timetables (well known in the bus industry). Here is an overview of your possibilities, and what you need to know before you set off…

Conditions for renting a car :

Car rental companies all require non-negotiable conditions when it comes to renting a car… Among them, it is imperative :

  • to hold a driving licence for 2 years
  • to be more than 25 years old and less than 75 years old

All these conditions must be attested and proven by official papers, such as your driving licence, passport or identity card, otherwise you will not be allowed to collect a rental car.

Rental prices…

Rates vary from company to company, and are often expensive. We advise you to ask for a few quotes before making your choice .

Rental rates generally include the following items:

  • the desired type of vehicle
  • mileage (limited or unlimited)
  • insurance (civil liability, third party, theft, fire…)
  • a deposit check (returned at the end of the rental)

Among its elements, we advise you to subscribe to a complementary insurance: this one can be more than 300€, but it protects you in case of accident, and exonerates you from any repair costs . This option can be interesting, especially if you are not used to Irish roads (where you drive on the left). And as the saying goes: “Prevention is better than cure!”.

On the practical side, you should know that gasoline involves a large budget… First of all because it’s about the same price as in France (so quite expensive), but also because the roads you might take will make you consume a little more… (Some country roads are a bit rough, and will make you alternate decelerations, accelerations, and regular gear changes with the gearbox…). Be careful when you reach the reserve: petrol stations are rare on remote roads…
Most car rental companies are based at airports. This allows you to get your car keys back a few minutes after you set foot on Irish soil. The ideal way to start your stay on the right foot!

If you wish to book with a large company, you should know that it is quite possible to return your vehicle to any of the relays bearing the name of the sign… This way, you will be able for example to take a car at Dublin airport, live your stay and then return the car at another airport. (Check with the company to make sure this is possible).

Good to know

If you are reluctant to drive on the left, don’t hesitate to ask for an automatic car: this will save you from fumbling with your left hand on the gear lever.

Choose a car that runs on petrol: Diesel is heavily taxed in Ireland, so you will save money with standard petrol.

Many hire companies require a credit card (not a debit card). The latter usually block a rather large amount as a deposit. Find out in advance and ask your bank to increase your limits.


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