- Guide on visiting Ireland
- Guide on visiting Northern Ireland
- Guide on visiting Dublin
- Dublin Airport
- Shannon Airport
- Cork Airport
- Knock Airport
- Kerry Airport
- About Phoenix Park
- About Aviva stadium
- About Bord Gais
- About Croke Park stadium
- About Trad Music
- About Guinness
- About Aran Islands
- Visitng Bunratty Castle
- About Castles in Ireland
How to Rent a Car in Ireland: The Complete List
If you're looking for a practical guide that you can use today, then you'll love this complete guide (2016 update) to renting a car in Ireland and they're all here.
Renting a car is such a common part of the travel experience and being prepared in how to rent a car in advance will help you to have a straightforward rental experience.
Bonus: Download a free checklist that will show you how to rent a car easily listed here.
If youâre thinking âShould I rent a car in Irelandâ, simply let this tourism Ireland survey infographic answer your question-
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Car Rental Ireland Compare
When you are shopping around to compare car hire prices on the internet, there are travel booking sites, aggregators and direct websites options to get a quote. Itâs important to check if there are add on fees for going through third party options.
There are a few things you need to think of, which rental company to rent from, what car to get, extras and locations.
Compare car rental quotes with different providers and check the offers & service you will get, such as service, insurance, location fees and so on.
To avoid misunderstandings, it is advised to read the terms and conditions and your rental agreement what you have agreed to.
The Car Rental Council of Ireland
The Car Rental Council of Ireland is the representative trade organisation for the car rental industry in Ireland. The Council is recognised by Ireland's official boards; Failte Ireland & Tourism Ireland and a constituent member of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation.
Car rental member companies of the Car Rental Council of Ireland are committed to providing a high quality customer service. The objective of the Council is to promote policies that ensure customers of car rental member companies have a positive experience when renting a vehicle in Ireland.
You can view rental companies information on their website; www.carrentalcouncil.ie/companies.html
What do you need to rent a car in Ireland?
Meet the driving licence requirement
Have a credit card in the main driverâs name
Driversâ age and driving licence
Most rental companies require you to be over 25 and have been licensed for at least 2 years. Some companies do rent out to drivers under 25 â there may be an additional fee.
Drivers aged 75 and over will need to provide a printed medical certificate which states that they are fit to drive and a letter from their insurance company stating that they are currently driving and have not had an accident within the last 5 years.
In order to rent a car, you would need to hold a full drivers licence for at least two years and produce this licence at the rental desk when collecting the vehicle.
International drivers licence
Those from United Kingdom, United of States, Canada, Australia and EU member states will not need to provide an International Driving Permit. International Driving Permits where required, must be accompanied by the original domestic licence of the driver.
UK drivers licence
As of June 8th 2015, DVLA announced the UK paper counterpart of the driving licence is no longer valid. Irish car rental companies require all UK licence holders to present a âcheck codeâ before the rental can be released; the âcheck codeâ will be valid for 21 days.
This can be obtained by printing it out from the DVLAâs âShare Driving Licenceâ section - https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence - before you collect your vehicle. See an example of DVLA check code document.
Pick up / Drop off locations
Choosing your locations in line with your travel plans is ideal; such as if you are flying into Ireland then the most convenient place to collect your car is at the airport.
One way drop offSome hire companies will charge a one way drop off fee depending on the pick up / drop off locations, check the car rental companiesâ website for more information on one way rentals.
What car should I choose?
Choose a car that meets your needs, if you have a family with lots of luggage then a large car would be suitable. If youâre just looking for a car to get you to places, then choose the mini or economy car group and save money.
There are premium or luxury car hire for those looking for a touch of class. Luxury cars would generally be an Audi, BMW 5 Series or Nissan Qashqai even.
What does âor Similarâ mean?When you search for a quote on car hire companiesâ websites, youâll see that they list a [brand or similar] for instance âFord Fiesta or Similarâ. This means when you book a car, the rental companies do not guarantee the same model booked for due to availability however you should get car on like for like basis / âor similarâ based on same or higher ACRISS code.
The four letter ACRISS code matrix provides 400 unique vehicle types. The codes are assigned by one letter from each category;
ACRISS code example;
CDMR : Compact, 4-5 Door, Manual Transmission, either Fuel/Diesel, Air Conditioning.
This is standard rental procedure used in the car hire industry in Ireland used by Europcar, Irish Car Rentals, CARHIRE.ie, Hertz, and Budget.
Renting an automatic car in Ireland
Manual gearboxes are most common in Ireland, if you require an automatic you need to specify this to the rental firm at booking, or it will assume youâre expecting a manual.
Rental companies do charge a premium for automatics as well and automatic transmissions are usually only an option on mid-size saloons or luxury cars.
If you do choose a manual transmission, make sure you feel confident with it. You will be required to shift gears with your left hand while trying to negotiate unfamiliar roads.
Car Rental Insurance
Renting a car in Ireland, insurance is where things get a little more complicated. When hiring a car in Republic of Ireland, you are covered against liability and the quotes usually include a Collision Damage Waiver.
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
This is usually included in the car hire quotes and covers you in the event of damage to the rental car; the excess of around âŹ1200-5000 is a pre-authorisation hold on the main driver’s credit card until you return the car.
If unfortunately there is damage to the rented car such as a broken mirror or a scratched door, an amount will be taken by the rental company and the remaining deposit is refunded.
Excess is a pre-authorization on the credit card during the rental and is refunded when the vehicle is returned without damage. As per worldwide banking procedures, refunds can take 3-5 working days to appear back in the account.
There will be an option to purchase a super CDW which would reduce your excess to zero. Check with the car rental provider for more information.
Using your credit card for rental car insurance
Ireland is one of the few countries that credit cards’ CDW often will not cover.
To remove the basic cover with using your credit card insurance, you would have to be a holder of an US issued World MasterCard or Canadian issued Gold/Platinum Visa/MasterCard along with a written letter from the credit card company stating you have coverage for Republic of Ireland. Some companies may also apply an administration charge where credit card CDW is used.
There may be an excess on this, check with the car rental provider and your credit card provider.
Rental companies provide extras to complement your rental needs at additional costs, such as Sat Nav or baby/child seats for families.
There is a legal obligation to ensure passengers under 17 are wearing seatbelts and properly fitted with child restraints in motor vehicles â European Communities (Compulsory Use of Safety Belts and Child Restraint Systems in Motor Vehicles) Regulations 2006 â See legalisation here (S.I. No. 240/2006) If you plan to rent baby or child seats, it is ideal to book these in advance to ensure these are available when you collect your rental. The last thing you want is arriving to collect the car and find there are no baby seats available! Keeping your child safe: Child car seats guide can be found here.
Image credit RSA - A guide to driving safely with children on board
If you are planning to drive to Northern Ireland, you may need to advise the staff at the rental desk. There may be a subject to cross border fee added to your rental to cover the vehicle in the event of a breakdown and tow back into Republic of Ireland.
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Paying for your rental
Forms of paymentMost car rental companies only accept credit card as a form of payment, major credit cards are usually fine; MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club. Debit cards, prepaid cards or cash payments are not accepted.
Credit CardThe main driver must have a credit card in their own name for all rentals in Ireland. The credit card is used as a guarantee for the driver. Accompanying passengersâ credit card will not be accepted if they are not the main driver. For example,
After going through the procedure and signing paperworkâ Rental agreement, credit card authorisation form etc and you will be asked to pay with the main driverâs credit card then be given car keys.
Checking the car
Before you leave the rental depot, check the car for scratches, dents etc and ensure they are highlighted on the rental document they provide. Taking photographs on your phone can come in handy.
Car rental advice & tips
For more tips on car rental, visit this guide.
This should help to explain the rental process, donât be deterred by all the information that precedes this, there should be no reason that taking a driving tour around Ireland shouldnât be an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
OnTheQT.ie trip along the Wild Atlantic WayOnTheQT crew took off on an adventure along the The Wild Atlantic Way, a 2500km stretch of road along Ireland's West Coast. It includes 157 discovery points and 1000s of attractions.
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