Renting a car in Ireland: An Easy-To-Follow Guide

renting a car in ireland
Photos via Shutterstock

I‘m going to be honest (and blunt) – renting a car in Ireland is a pain in the arse when you’re doing it for the first few times.

I’ve rented 3 or 4 cars from car rental companies in Ireland and, honestly, it can become a massive headache, especially when it comes to the insurance side of things.

The guide below has been researched and written with one purpose: to take the pain (and the BS) out of renting a car in Ireland for your road trip. So, grab a coffee, kick back, and let’s demystify car rental in Ireland once and for good!

EDIT: I’ve just finished researching and writing this guide and I’m p****d off. Researching ALL of the ins and outs of car rental in Ireland (with the many ridiculous charges) took 12 hours… 12. Damn. Hours.

All to find information that should be (BUT THAT ABSOLUTELY ISN’T) clear and transparent.

I’m now fully convinced that this process is deliberately made confusing to get as much money from people as physically possible. Take your time and read the below in detail to avoid being shafted!

Renting a car in Ireland: Some speedy info

renting a car in Ireland guide
Photo left: grafxart. Right: Michael Via Images (shutterstock)

OK, some I’m going to bang out some quick points that quickly outline some of the aspects of renting a car in Ireland that tend to cause people the most trouble.

In the section below, you’ll find info on insurance in Ireland, when to book, credit card insurance, pick up locations and more. I’m going to touch on these points briefly first, for your convenience, and I’ll give you more detailed info 1/2 way down the page.

1. Deciding whether or not you need a car to get around Ireland

I’ll level with you – I can’t imagine exploring Ireland by public transport (unless you’re sticking to cities, e.g. Dublin or Belfast). In a nutshell, having a car provides you with convenience.

You can go where you want when you want on your road trip. The biggest benefit of exploring Ireland by car/bike is that you can head off-the-beaten-track.

Tour companies tend to go to the more frequented tourist attractions, like the Cliffs of Moher. Having your own mode of transport gives you the flexibility to see anything you want to!

2. Insurance and extras are confusing

I’m not sure why, but 90% of rent a car websites are so damn sketchy when it comes to insurance costs. Why not make it nice and clear? Is it to trick people into spending more? I’m not sure, but the lack of clarity makes me lean towards this being the case.

Getting your head around insurance for your rental IN ADVANCE OF BOOKING is crucial to ensuring that you’re 1, adequately covered to drive on your road trip and 2, not shafted with a crazy rental bill. I’ve covered car rental insurance in detail later in this guide.

3. You may be hit with a charge for entering Northern Ireland

When I rented a car with Europecar, I just happened to overhear an argument at the counter next to me where a guy was disputing a fee of around €120. Apparently, many car rental companies charge if you enter Northern Ireland.

Now, the amount of time you spend in NI doesn’t matter – you could be there for three or thirty minutes and you’ll still be hit with this charge. They use GPS on the car to determine whether or not the car has crossed the border.

With Europecar, if memory serves me correctly, the charge for crossing the border was around €30 and this wasn’t covered in the car rental insurance.

Related read: Understanding the difference between Ireland vs Northern Ireland before you arrive.

4. The cheapest option usually isn’t the best option

If you research renting a car in Ireland online, you’ll find HUNDREDS of horror stories. You’ll usually find them on the Google or Facebook review page of a car rental company, like Hertz or Europecar.

Now, I’m sure some of these negative reviews are completely justified. However, a lot of the time, in my experience, anyway, people rent a car in Ireland (and elsewhere) without properly understanding what they’re paying for.

Renting a car isn’t like finding a hotel room – the cheapest option for the company with the best review score on Google isn’t necessarily the best one to go for. More on this in our guide to understanding hidden fees and charges.

5. Take reviews with a pinch of salt

Regardless of whether the review of a car rental company in Ireland comes from a friend or whether you read it on a forum or on a social network, you need to take reviews with a pinch of salt.

One person may have had an amazing experience with X company. Will that mean you can just go with that company without any research and you too will have a positive experience? Absolutely not!

6. Time Spent Reading your Ireland car hire Ts&Cs is Worth its Weight in Gold

I HATE reading Ts&Cs – hate it! However, when it comes to car hire in Ireland, the little bit of time you dedicate to understanding what you’re paying for is absolutely critical before renting a car in Ireland.

Many (not all) people that have negative experiences with rental companies do so due to a lack of research, plain and simple.

Before you swipe your credit card or hit ‘book now’ on that website, MAKE SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT’S INCLUDED AND WHAT ISN’T.

7. Book in advance for a better rate

Yep, as tends to be the case with many hotels and airlines, the price of car hire tends to skyrocket when you book closer to the date of collection.

If you can, book your rental as far in advance as possible. Just keep in mind that some car hire companies in Ireland will charge a hefty cancellation fee.

8. Beware of ‘comparison’ websites

A friend of mine from Edinburgh had a bit of a mad issue a couple of years back. He rented a car through a comparison website. The price included insurance.

When he arrived at the counter he was then told that the insurance provided via the comparison website wasn’t actually valid with the rental company, so he had to take out insurance with them

Now, he managed to get a refund for the insurance off of the company he booked through via the comparison site, but it was an unnecessary hassle.

9. Beware of the (hidden) M50 Toll

Ireland has a number of toll roads scattered across the country. All but one is your standard tool – i.e. you approach the toll and you can pay with cash or card.

Dublin’s M50 motorway is what’s known as a free-flow tolling system. So, there isn’t a toll booth, but when you drive past it your car reg is recorded and a charged is placed against it.

You can pay this charge online or in some stores (more info here). If you don’t pay it, you’ll rack up fines and you’ll be liable. Now, some rent a car companies cover this. You’ll find more info on this later in this guide.

10. Manual vs Automatic

The majority of rental cars in Ireland are manual (AKA ‘shift’). Now, while automatic cars are available from most companies, they’re not in wide supply.

If you can only drive an automatic, make sure that you book well in advance to avoid disappointment and crazy rental fees.

11. Airport collection fees

This one is a bit of a farce – yep, there’s a charge of €22 that’s only added to the cost of the rental when you collect your car from an airport.

This won’t be listed in the fee that you’re quoted online – it’s added when you pick up the car and it’s payable upon arrival at the airport.

Requirements for Renting a car in Ireland

Requirements for Renting a car in Ireland
Photo by Iuliia Laitinen/shutterstock.com

Section two of this guide offers an insight into the various different requirements that apply to those looking to rent a car in Ireland.

According to the Car Rentals Council of Ireland, there are a number of key legal requirements when it comes to car rental:

1. A valid drivers licence

Hopefully, this goes without saying, but you’ll need a valid drivers licence to rent a car. If you have a US driving licence, you’re covered to drive car rentals in Ireland.

According to the US Embassy in Ireland: ‘U.S. citizens are permitted to drive in Ireland for the duration of a visit up to 12 months as a tourist. If you wish to apply for an International Permit for use during your visit you can apply through the AAA in the U.S. – you can find more information here’.

2. Car rental and age restrictions

If you’re 20 years old or under, you won’t be able to hire a car in Ireland. If you’re between 21 and 25 years old, you’ll be able to rent a car, but you’ll likely pay higher rates.

If you’re over 75, you’ll still be able to rent a car but, similar to those in the 21 to 25 bracket, you’ll have few options and you’ll likely have to pay higher rates.

3. Valid I.D.

Car rental companies require a valid I.D. at the time of collection. A valid drivers licence and/or a passport is more than sufficient to satisfy this requirement.

4. Using a credit card for payment

Some companies allow you to rent a car in Ireland without a credit card, but you need to do your research. For example, Enterprise allows you to use a Debit Card, but only at non-airport locations.

Many rental car companies won’t accept debit card and require you to have a credit card with you when you arrive at the counter.

5. The signing of a rental agreement

You’ll be required to sign what’s known as a ‘car rental agreement’. This is standard across the world, but it’s incredibly important that you’re aware of what it is you’re signing.

The rental car agreement details everything from insurances and waivers to the various costs involved in the purchase.

Our Checklist for Renting a car in Ireland

car hire Ireland checklist
Photos via shutterstock.com

Now, a quick disclaimer – I can’t stress enough that, when it comes to car rentals, you need to do your own research to ensure that no stone is left unturned.

Below, I’ve popped in a checklist, of sorts, that tackles before renting, when you collect your car, during the time that you have the car, and when you’re dropping it back.

I’ve tried to make this as comprehensive as possible, but please do keep in mind that you should read all Ts&Cs as thoroughly as physically possible to ensure that you understand the ins and outs of the rental agreement.

Section 1: Before hiring

The first section tackles things you need to do before you hit that ‘book now’ button. Pllllleeease take this section seriously as it’ll ensure that you’re not starting your trip off on a sour note.

Being fully knowledgeable will also ensure that you get the best deal possible and that you aren’t hit with any nasty hidden charges.

1. Direct vs price comparison sites

Personally, I always recommend that people book direct. That way, you’re not landed with headaches if things do go wrong. Often, the tiny saving that you can get via third party websites is outweighed by the potential headache.

Now, don’t get me wrong – car rental agencies can still be an utter nightmare to deal with directly but, in my experience, it’s easier to deal direct.

2. Your Itinerary and pick up point

Decide where and when you’re going to pick up the car and drop it off. This sounds obvious, but if, for example, you’re flying into Dublin and spending two days there, you shouldn’t need a car as you can use public transport.

You could easily get the bus into the city, do your bit of exploring over a few days and then collect a car from a location near the city. This way, you’ll avoid the sneaky airport collection charge that costs around €22.

3. Clarity on what’s been paid and what’s left to pay

When you’re booking your rental online, BE VERY CLEAR on what’s included in the price you’re paying online and WHAT STILL HAS TO BE PAID when you arrive at the counter on the day.

Many people just book the cheapest ‘deal’ and then go on to discover that there are a million ‘hidden’ charges that are left to pay when they arrive to collect their car. More on this in our section on understanding car rental insurance and fees.

4. Understanding the extras

The cost of extras can make renting a car in Ireland insanely expensive. This is where you need to be savvy with your research phase – get out a pen and paper and spreadsheet and compare the different costs.

For example, adding a car seat could cost you an extra €40 while adding an additional driver could cost twice that. It’s these extras that’ll ramp up the price, so take your time and do your research.

5. The fuel policy

BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THE FUEL POLICY. Personally, I’d avoid the ‘Collect Full, Return Empty’ policy as it means that you could end up dropping the car back with fuel that you’ve paid for, thus losing money.

There’s also the ‘Collect Full, Return Full’ policy. This means that you have to drop the car back with the same amount in the tank as what was in it when you collected it.

Now, some rental companies will also offer you a service where you can return the car back to them and they’ll fill it on-site at a ‘discounted rate’. DO. NOT. TAKE. THIS. It’s cheaper to just find a petrol station (you’ll have no trouble finding one) and fill the tank there.

6. Cancellation policies

Before booking, you’ll also want to be clear about the cancellation policies. Some rental companies charge a small fee while others charge in excess of 15% of the overall booking.

7. Charges for leaving the Republic of Ireland

When I took out a rental car from Europecar last year, I was surprised to hear that I’d be charged for crossing into Northern Ireland on my trip (read our guide to the differences between Ireland vs Northern Ireland).

I was even more surprised to hear that the charge would cost (I can’t remember the exact amount) in and around €30 PER VISIT.

Yes, some car rental will charge you for crossing over the border from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland. This can be a pain, as I discovered.

I was driving from Dublin to Donegal and I wanted to take a shortcut through County Fermanagh (Northern Ireland). To avoid the charge, I had to add an additional 40 minutes onto my journey… not ideal.

Section 2: Collecting your car

It’s at this point that if you didn’t thoroughly review the Ts&Cs of your booking that you can be hit with unexpected fees that’ll ensure your trip is started off on the wrong note.

If you fully understand EXACTLY what you’re booking along with what you’ll still have to pay at the counter, there’ll be no surprises at this stage. However, there are some things you need to watch out for.

1. Inspect the car in detail

So, one of two things will happen when you’re handed the keys to the car. You’ll either be handed a few pages detailing the rental agreement and explaining the damage present on the car, or the person dealing with your booking will accompany you to your car.

If you’ve been handed a sheet that has a diagram that shows the damage on the car, verify that it’s all correct. Then ensure that there’s no unaccounted for damage INSIDE OR OUT.

2. Get snapping

For added insurance, take out your phone and photograph all damage that’s currently inside and outside of the car. This ensures that there’s no issue when you’re dropping the car back.

3. Toll payments

Check in advance if your car comes with a ‘Toll Tag’. Toll tags are little devices placed on your windscreen that allow you to use the ‘fast lanes’ at toll barriers.

Translation: you won’t need coins and you can drive up to the barrier and it’ll open automatically. If your car doesn’t come with one, and you’re going to be driving on the M50 in Dublin, ask who pays the toll.

The M50 motorway has a free-flowing tolling system which reads your registration if you pass through it (more info here) and places a charge against that car.

If the charge isn’t paid (you can pay it online), a fine is applied. Some car rental companies take care of this for you, but others don’t – check in advance.

4. Breakdown policies

Hopefully, you’ll already be aware of the various policies attached to your rental car, but just double-check at the counter so you’re crystal clear.

If the car breaks down, are you covered? Who do you call? It’s best to iron all of this out in advance to avoid confusion down the road.

Section 3: while you have the car

Hopefully, as you travel around Ireland, you won’t have any hassle and you won’t need to get in touch with the rental company.

This would be the ideal. Unfortunately, it’s common that it’s not the case. It’s important that you’re aware of the below in advance of renting a car in Ireland.

1. If the car breaks down

If your car won’t start or if it breaks down, ring the rental company immediately and ask them to advise on what to do next. DO NOT ATTEMPT to fix the car yourself or to have someone else fix it.

2. If there’s an accident

Hopefully, your time in Ireland will pass without any accidents or injury. If you follow our guide to driving in Ireland, you should have a strong understanding of the rules of the road and what is and isn’t allowed.

However, if you do have an accident, ensure that you record the names, addresses and insurance details of all of those involved in the incident and then ring the rental company and inform them.

If there’s a dispute over who’s responsible for the incident, or if the other person(s) leave the scene, contact the police and the rental company immediately.

3.  Fuel

Be really clear from the beginning about what fuel your car takes. The last thing you want to do is to put diesel in a petrol engine or vice versa. Most rental companies place stickers on the fuel cap to indicate which fuel the car runs on.

Section 4: When you return the car

Annnnd last but not least, the retuning of the rental car. Hopefully, you’ll have arrived at this point without any hassle. Keep in mind, however, that you need to be vigilant to the very end.

I’ve heard of PLENTY of people that have dropped a car back to a car rental agency in Dublin and in various others across Ireland and have discovered a random charge on their credit card weeks later.

1. Checking the car

A member of the rental company will walk out and check over the rental car. They’ll check the inside and the outside of the car for any damage that wasn’t present when you picked it up.

If the employee disputes something that was already there when you collected the car, whip out your phone and show them the picture you took when you collected the car rental.

Keep in mind that the condition of the vehicle needs to be confirmed by the employee and signed. Ensure that you get a receipt before leaving.

2. Returning the car outside of working hours

If you have to drop your car back outside of normal working hours, check with the company in advance to ensure you’re fully aware of the process (there’s usually a dedicated area to leave it in).

Any time that I have to do this, I take a picture of the car in the designated drop off area just to avoid any hassle in the event of it being stolen

3. Keep an eye on your credit card

I’ve a friend who rented a car from a place in Dublin for two days recently, as he wanted to travel over to Kerry to meet a mate that we were in college with.

All was fine with the car and he dropped it back after his trip. Two weeks later he noticed a random charge on one of his credit cards from the car hire company.

When he queried it, he was told it was for tyre damage. Luckily, he had a video that he took before he drove the car that showed scuff marks on the alloy. They eventually accepted that he didn’t cause the damage and refunded him.

It pays to be vigilant!

7 Steps to Understanding Rental Car Insurance and ‘Hidden Fees’

rental car insurance ireland
Photo by Conor Photo Art/shutterstock.com

Insurance is arguably the most confusing aspect of picking up a rental car in Ireland. It’s also what tends to skyrocket a price from ‘a great deal’ to wayyyyy more expensive than you initially thought.

What I mean by this is that when you see a cheap price for car rental, it tends to mean that you have less insurance coverage. This means that you’re at a higher risk financially.

Adding ‘better’ insurance/cover will bring down your financial risk if something does happen, but it’ll make the rental rate increase.

Car Hire Excess (you need to understand this first)

Before we dive into the below, I want to explain what’s known as ‘car hire excess’. Excess is a set amount which the car hire company WON’T COVER if you have to make a claim.

When it comes to excess, it’s all about how comfortable you are with financial risk: personally, I’m not, so I tend to take out insurance to ensure that I’m not liable to pay anything if something goes wrong (info on this below).

If you’re happy enough with the financial risk that you may incur if something happens that you’re not covered for, you don’t have to worry about this.

Step 1: Understanding the coverage included in the price

You need to understand what’s included in the price of the rental and if you’re comfortable with what’s covered. You want to be crystal clear of what you would have to pay if the car was damaged.

Often, you’ll see negative reviews online for rental companies that charged some crazy additional fee when the person arrived at the counter. This usually happens when the person booked the cheapest rate and didn’t look into the Ts&Cs.

My 2 cents

I HATE reading Ts&Cs. The only time that I read them cover to cover is when I’m taking out rental cars, as the hidden charges and conditions can be costly.

Step 2: Third-Party Cover (TPC)

By law, third party insurance is included in your car rental price. This isn’t an add-on; the car rental companies are required by law to add it in. This is also often called ‘Motor Liability’ or ‘Legal Liability Insurance’.

In a nutshell: third party insurance is the minimum level of cover that’s legally required to drive a car in Ireland. It covers you if you damage someone else’s car or their property and it also covers any injury you cause to the person.

What this type of insurance doesn’t cover is everything from any medical or legal costs for your own injuries along with the cost of the car that you’re driving if it’s in any way damaged.

Now, you NEED TO CHECK the full details of this cover with the rental company that you’re going with. Some add on theft to their coverage but others don’t. With some companies, you won’t be covered for your car rental being stolen or destroyed by fire.

My 2 cents

Personally, I’d never be comfortable taking out a rental car with just this level of cover as the exposure to financial risk is too high (more on this below).

For example, let’s say you swerved to avoid a car on a narrow road and you scraped the whole side of your rental car – you’d be completely liable for paying for this to be fixed.

Step 3: Understanding Collision Damage Waiver

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is generally where a good chunk of confusion is caused. A CDW is basically an additional bit of insurance coverage that you can take out on your hire car in Ireland (or elsewhere).

It’s completely optional and the cost is generally charged on a per-day basis. Now, it’s also worth mentioning that the cost will vary dramatically.

Everything from the type of car rental you take out to where you plan on driving the car will affect this. For example, the CDW for an Audi is going to be much higher than the CDW for an Opel Corsa.

What it covers

Again, you need to do your research and be crystal clear about what your CDW covers. They generally cover damage to your rental.

What if you decline taking it out?

If you say no to the CDW, you’ll have to sign a contract that states that you accept that you’re fully responsible for the value of the car. Yep, this means that if the sh*t hits the fan you’re replacing the car.

Aside from being fully responsible for the car, the rental company will place a FAT hold on your credit card. This will vary depending on the type of car but can go as high as €5,000.

Cover via your credit card

Some credit card companies will give the carrier collision damage cover on rental cars in many countries. However, less and less credit cards are offering this in Ireland these days.

If you’ve checked the fine print and your credit card gives you cover, you’ll need to check with the rental company in advance to ensure that they definitely accept it.

If they do, you’ll need a letter of authorisation from your credit card company that you’ll have to present at the rental counter when you’re collecting the car. Some companies only accept this in printed form and others require it to be issued within 14 days of you picking up the car.

Keep in mind that they’ll still place a hold on your credit card that can go as high as €5,000. This is a killer if you have flights and hotels already on your card. They won’t release this money until the car is returned and it can take up to 10 days for the money to hit your account.

Step 4: Understanding Super CDW

OK, so you’ve got your rental and you’re covered, to an extent, for major incidents, however, you’ll still be liable for minor ones.

Now, this will depend on the company, but you could end up being liable to pay the first €600 or the first €2,600 if something happens to the car.

When you’re told this at the rental counter, it’s easy to panic. It’s at this point that the person behind the counter will tell you about Super CDW.

How much is it?

The cost of SCDW will vary HUGELY depending on a number of factors. I’ve just put through a quote for Hertz on a VW Golf for a week in June.

They’ve quoted the SCDW at €22.70 per day. That’s an additional €158.90 in total for the week, which isn’t cheap by any means.

Pros and cons of SCDW

So, if you take out SCDW with Hertz, for example, you’ll have zero excess which means that if something happens to the car you won’t have to pay anything.

Hmm… sounds great… then you read the fine print which says that their SCDW doesn’t cover:

  • Hertz Wifi
  • Hertz NeverLost SatNav units
  • Broken or lost keys
  • Wheels and tyres
  • Contamination of fuel

Step 4: Looking at alternative (and cheaper) cover

Instead of forking out for SCDW, you should look at the cost of taking out an annual insurance policy that covers you when you’re renting a car in Ireland or elsewhere.

This will cost you a fraction of the price that car rentals charge. I’ve just run a quote on the Hertz website and for €49.99 it covers:

  • Excess Reimbursement    
  • Personal Accident           
  • Lost Key Cover               
  • Personal Effects Cover    

Step 5: Don’t be conned

As was revealed in the Irish Times, Ireland car rental companies have been known to push back against people that arrive to the counter with their own cover.

In incidents mentioned in the Times, agents working at the counter tried to tell the person that the cover that they had wasn’t adequate, even though it was.

If you opt to go for coverage, as mentoned in step 4, be fully knowledgeable of what it entitles you to. Note that, if you decline to pay for the extra cover, they’ll likely still hold an amount on your card to cover the excess.

We’ll dive into some other ways that you can save money on your rental below.

How to Save Money When You’re Renting a car in Ireland

Healy pass cork
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

OK, so you’ve now (hopefully) got a good sense of the various bits and bobs involved with car rental in Ireland. Below, you’ll find some advice on how to save yourself some money.

Now, these points won’t be applicable to everyone (e.g. the credit card tip), but they’re worth exploring as they can often save you a few quid.

1. Discounts

Some credit card and businesses offer discounts to their customers/employees for certain car rental companies. These discounts can range from anything from 5% upwards.

It’s well worth checking in advance of booking if you can avail of any form of discount as this can often take your car rental cost from bad to good.

2. Pre-booking

Yes, booking your car rental in advance will save you money. If you can, try and book your rental as far out as possible to avail of the best price.

Now, keep in mind that you should absolutely be checking what the companies cancellation policy is in case you do need to change your plans.

3. The collection point

The collection point can have a massive effect on the price of your car rental. If you choose to collect at an airport, as mentioned above, you’ll pay an additional fee. Check out a number of different collection points when you’re shopping around for a quote.

4. Credit card insurance

Some credit cards offer collision damage insurance for the driver of a rental car, however, you need to do your homework and find out one, if the credit card does offer this and two if it’s valid with the rental company that you’re going with.

If you’re going to use this insurance, you’ll need to have a letter of authorisation from your credit card company that has been issued under 14 days of when you collect the car.

The letter needs to be printed and it should outline the coverage. If the rental company reads the letter and deems the coverage outline to be insufficient, you’ll be fully liable for the value of the car.

FAQs About car rental in Ireland

I’ve had more emails and messages from people about renting a car in Ireland that I can even begin to count. In the section below, I’ve tried to include as many of these questions as possible.

If there’s a question that we haven’t tackled, feel free to ask it in the comments section at the end of this guide.

Do you need a car to get around Ireland?

I’ve spent a good chunk of my time off over the last 15 years on holidays in Ireland. Aside from trips with friends to Galway when we were 18 and none of us had a car, I’ve/we’ve always driven.

Having a car/bike gives you the flexibility to see what you want when you want. Public transport in many parts of Ireland, usually those outside of the main towns and cities, leaves a lot to be desired.

If you were flying into Dulin Airport, for example, and you wanted to see the Cliffs of Moher first before exploring a good chunk of the Wild Atlantic Way over the course of a week, you’d have a pain in your arse doing it via public transport.

Having a car or a bike gives you the flexibility to go to places that lay off-the-beaten-track and that you won’t be able to get to if you’re relying solely on public transport.

Is driving in Ireland hard?

This question gets asked A LOT and it’s a tricky one to answer. I’ll often chat to people who say that they rented a car for a road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way and although they had no accidents, it was terrifying.

Personally, I don’t see how this is possible if you take your time and drive carefully. MANY people drive in Ireland for the first time and have absolutely no hassle.

If you read our detailed guide to driving in Ireland, you’ll discover everything from the rules of the road to the different road signs that you’ll encounter.

It’s often the narrow country roads that tend to worry those driving in Ireland for the first time. Country roads, like every road in Ireland, shouldn’t cause you difficulty if you drive carefully.

Does every rental in Ireland include the same stuff?

NO! You really need to read the fine print of a rental agreement before you sign anything. Understand EXACTLY what you’re getting at the time you book on the phone.

You also need to read the fine print to understand what you have left to pay when you collect the car. For example, if you pick up the car from Dublin Airport, or any airport, for that matter, you’ll be hit with a charge.

Are the roads in Ireland really that bad?

The roads in Ireland, like every other country in the world, tend to vary greatly depending on where on the island you are. Many roads are absolutely perfect. Others are, like these ones, a little bit unique.

Let’s say, for example, you’re flying into Dublin Airport and you’re spending two days in the capital before driving up to Belfast. The chances are you won’t come across any ‘bad roads’.

Now, for example, let’s say you’re heading off on a road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way – the chances are you’ll come across some very narrow roads at one point or another.

Don’t be worrying, though – read our guide to driving in Ireland, understand the rules of the road (and the road signs!) and just take your time when driving bikes or cars in Ireland and you’ll be fine.

Am I better off renting a car from Dublin Airport or Dublin City?

If you can avoid it, never rent a car from Dublin Airport, as you’ll get hit with an extra charge (between €20 and €28) for collecting the car from the airport.

If you can, try and arrange it so your collection point is from Dublin City. Now, keep in mind that if you’re only exploring Dublin City and the wider county, you really don’t need a car.

Have a question about renting a car in Ireland? Ask it in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to help!

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.