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Car Hire - Pick up Dublin, drop off mainland UK

Car Hire - Pick up Dublin, drop off mainland UK

Jul 31st, 2012, 04:14 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Car Hire - Pick up Dublin, drop off mainland UK


I intend to fly in to Dublin, hire a car and tour around Ireland for a couple of weeks. Then ferry across to Wales and drive for another few more days before finishing up in London for a week or so (probably drop car off in Cardiff or the like and train to London).

Anyway, my question is: has anyone hired a car in Dublin and been able to drop a car off in mainland UK? It being a separate country and all.

I've tried a few car hire sites and, while I'm easily able to pick up in Dublin and drop off in Belfast or pick up in Belfast and drop off in Cardiff, I can't pick up in Dublin and drop off in Cardiff (at least it won't let me do it on-line).

I can easily get to Belfast from Dublin airport and start from there, but it is a couple of extra hours on top of a flight from Adelaide and therefore not my preferred option. BTW my only direct flight into Ireland is into Dublin.

Hopefully not too convoluted for y'all, but I'd thought I'd try the collected wisdom of Fodorites before I had to hop on the phone.

broin is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 04:47 PM
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Whatever the convolutions, you probably cannot take the car on a ferry, and if you can, you will probably incur high cross-border drop-off fees if picking up the car in Dublin and dropping it off in England or Scotland (don't know about Northern Ireland).
Michael is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 04:52 PM
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OK with drop off fees (within reason). I will need to check, of course, whether hire company will allow ferry crossing.
broin is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 05:39 PM
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Have never seen the request in this direction - but have seen someone requesting to rent a car in England and drop in Ireland - and it turned out that no agencies would allow it - no matter the price.

Not sure if the problem is the ferry or differences in equipment regulations - but that OP ended up renting a separate car in each country.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 06:15 PM
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Many thanks ny.

I had thought if the ferry was the problem, then Belfast to Cardiff wouldn't be allowed. It must be something else then.

At the moment, price isn't the issue, just the "do-ability". Price would be factored in depending on whether it could be done.
broin is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 07:03 PM
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but that OP ended up renting a separate car in each country.

which probably is cheaper, which is relevant unless you have money to burn.
Michael is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Thank you Michael.

I didn't mean to sound dismissive of your input. It may be that we do end up hiring a car in both countries.

We don't have money to burn but sometimes the trade-off to be made is cost versus convenience. It might also be that we save on a drop-off fee somewhere and have a nice nosh-up in Paris.

Ultimately I will look at how much saving is to be made and factor that into the cost of the whole trip. Bear in mind that this trip will likely be 7-8 weeks and flights alone will probably take up a quarter of the budget.

But thanks again, all input appreciated.
broin is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 07:56 PM
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Sorry, not sure if the meaning implied in my last post was clear.

It's just the price of flying from Australia is a huge part of any European travel budget, and the cost of any other part of the trip has to be seen in that context.

On a previous trip though, when we were flying out of Zurich, we dropped the car off at Mulhouse and caught the TGV to avoid the drop-off fee. So it's all about what works best a the time.

At the moment though, it's still about seeing what's do-able.
broin is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 10:57 PM
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You can't separate doability from cost. And the issue isn't about "allowability"

Your plan, as written, will call for:
- your paying the cost of the ferry (usually pushing £200 for a car)
- your paying a stonking one-way supplement (hundreds of pounds)
- your paying whatever insurance/admin fee the hire company dumps on you (who knows? Anything, though the fee in your direction is probably lower than the other way, which is what people usually plan.)
Together these supplements will cost roughly the same as a return flight to Australia from any competent London travel agent.

In addition, your plan requires at least several hours pointlessly staring at boring grey waves (except for two nanoseconds just before entering Pembroke Harbour or as you dock on the Mersey, all Irish Sea ferry routes are about as scenic as an airport departure lounge) and several more hours on some of the dullest roads in Europe. All Irish Sea ferries, apart from those between Merseyside and Greater Dublin, take you from somewhere it takes hours to get to to somewhere it takes hours to get away from. Merseyside is, of course, the centre of the world's culture - or that's what Allen Ginsberg claimed - but if you're inexplicably not a fan of the best architecture and pubs anywhere, even the ferries to Liverpool needlessly take hours out of your life.

Your plan adds both unnecessary cost and wasted time to the sensible option of separate car hires and a flight between the two islands. Practically every strip of land on both that's got space is an airport with near-endless, heavily discounted flights to the other island, a car hire depot inside the terminal and a ten minute drive to somewhere really interesting to visit (current list at http://www.discoverireland.com/gb/ir...-there/by-air/. For ferry connections: http://www.discoverireland.com/gb/ir...-there/by-sea/

By all means cost it up: no-one here's going to waste energy on a tedious chore you can easily do for yourself. But do understand that your plan is BOTH the expensive and the pointlessly inconvenient one.
flanneruk is offline  
Jul 31st, 2012, 11:01 PM
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Thanks flanner

Maybe I'll just do the Belfast to Cardiff option for 400 quid then.

broin is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 03:43 AM
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Still doesn't answer the question of WHY you would want to do that given that it's going to cost you at least a day of your holiday and ferry fares on top of the £400 one way drop off fee and that for £400 you can get lots of flights
alanRow is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 04:45 AM
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Sorry if it wasn't clear.

The 400 pound was for the car hire (25 days) from Belfast to Cardiff.

The cost of the ferry for the car is 80 pound (on top of what it would be if we were just foot passengers).

As for the ferry trip itself - it takes 2-3 hours from Dublin to Holyhead, and I quite like the idea of a ferry trip.

We've been on the Dover Calais ferry and it was over almost before it began. Also travelled overnight from Portsmouth to St Malo, and didn't get to see or experience much because we we were sleeping.

Extraneous information I know, but it's just to explain that the ferry trip itself wouldn't be a burden - in fact we'd probably prefer it to flying.
broin is offline  

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