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-   -   Car Rental Advice (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/car-rental-advice-364350/)

Bridegrl06 May 18th, 2008 06:49 PM

Car Rental Advice
 
Hi All,

My husband and I are traveling to Ireland from June 27-July 9th... flying into Dublin, staying 3 nights, then renting a car and driving the coast to Shannon. I was wondering if anyone has any car rental advice. We've checked websites and the difference between renting an automatic and manual is about $500! I can drive stick, my husband can't, and we heard it is hard to switch sides from the US version. We don't want to spend $800 to rent a car for 8 days... are we going to have to?!

Thanks!

janisj May 18th, 2008 06:52 PM

If you want an automatic, you have to pay premium. That's just how it is.

Itallian_Chauffer May 18th, 2008 08:15 PM

Take a look at:

www.atlascarhire.com

www.dooleycarrentals.com

Bob

JerryLoyd May 19th, 2008 04:29 AM

Just returned from first trip to Ireland. Automatic transmission is very expensive ($400-500 per week)and not worth it my opinion, but you have to decide. Used Avis and rented at their Dublin intown location. On their website the total rate is about $27/day for a intermediate manual shift car with no insurance for your dates. For a foreign rental I think this is very reasonable.
Another major problem to solve is how to handle the collision damage waiver. Most credit cards do not cover you in Ireland and the additional cost from the rental car companies is ridiculous at about $27 per day. The way I solved this was to purchase trip insurance that covered rental car replacement. This came out to be about 1/3 the cost Avis quoted for the collision damage waiver.
If you have a GPS with Ireland maps, take it. I found mine to be very useful.
Have a great trip.
Jerry

JOHNOD May 19th, 2008 05:15 AM

I just checked Hertz by linking off the Aer Lingus website and you can get a Nissan Micra auto with CDW for $503.00 or a Mazda 3 auto with CDW for $552.00. For two people either car would suffice. Remember to link off the Aer Lingus website to Hertz. You can use this as a starting point and check Dooly and Atlas as Bob suggests. I checked with you picking the car up in Dublin center at 10:00 a.m. on the 30 June and dropping off at Shannon at 10:00 am on 9 July. Most people withh tell you that it is smart to drive the smallest car that will fit you. When you get off the beaten path the roads can be very narrow. Have fun

wojazz3 May 19th, 2008 05:38 AM

A few things on car rental:

I find renting a car to be the most painful part of traveling in Ireland. I just have to grin and bear it. I haven't used an automatic since 2000. The price difference is huge.

On switching sides: The only thing that is different is which hand you use. The gears are in the same configuration as are all of the pedals. It takes a bit of getting used to at 1st and it could be trying on your 1st trip. My BiL managed on his 1st try, had a few stalls but was otherwise ok.

On two separate drivers: That will cost a fir amount too. My suggestion is that one drives, the other navigates and stick with that plan.

On insurance: Yup, CDW is the killer. Only World Mastercard and Mastercard business cover CDW in Ireland. There is another company (forgot the name) the provides coverage for a year at a one time cost, or for a small amount, the rental company will give it to you with a huge deductible.

On rental car companies: try kemwel and irishcarrentals.com. I've never found Dan Dooley to be a lower price, so I've never used them. Like most rental companies, they get both good and bad reviews. Also try http://www.irelandtouring.com/index.html (O'Scannlain Tours). They have an all inclusive price with insurance that is usually a bit less than the other companies (if you get a small car). I quit using them because Hertz Ireland just pissed me off. They have a tendency to invent things that you "need" to pay for when you get there.

On what car to rent: Rent the smallest that you can. Though the road system in Ireland has improved dramatically in the last 10 years, there are still lots of little roads that you'll wish you had a couple less inches.

Hope this helps.

Bill

Bridegrl06 May 20th, 2008 09:10 AM

Thanks everyone!!

A few more questions. I went onto the Ireland Tourism site suggested above and found a rate that includes:
Unlimited mileage
Third Party Liability Insurance
Collision Damage Waiver & Theft Coverage
Deductible applies; see CDW Deductible below:
Location Service Charge (LSC)
Breakdown Service

Is this all we really need? I'm just wondering about what kind of insurance. Is it just the Liability or do we need something else (we are already covered by Geico)? Thanks again!!

Bridegrl06 May 20th, 2008 09:15 AM

Another point... I just went onto www.atlascarhire.com and the rate was VERY cheap... and I'm wondering why? Is this a reliablie place to rent from? Thanks again!!

Itallian_Chauffer May 20th, 2008 12:50 PM

Bridegrl06,

I gave you the link to Atlas. They are a smaller, Dublin-based company that's been around for a good while. I've used them twice -- a great experience in April of 2003, and again, in June of 2005. That last time, there was a reservation snafu and they didn't have my vehicle available, so one of their reps secured me a comperable vehicle from a different company, at the Atlas rate.

The bulk of the problem stemmed from the fact that Atlas was trying to service Shannon out of their Dublin base. In 2006 and 2007, they ceased offering rentals from Shannon.

However, a short while back, I received an email from Atlas, presumably because I am a previous customer, announcing that they have signed an alliance deasl with Thrifty and are now offering service not only in Dublin and Shannon, but also in Cork.

Now, I use my Credit Card to waive the CDW and excess, but I was FACINATED to discover that Atlas's Super CDW offering covers EVERYTHING -- including glass and tires. Dunno how long THAT will last, but it seems like a good deal, at the moment, for anyone that needs (or FEELS the need)to purchase the extra insurances.

Ultimately, the decision is YOURS, but YES -- Atlas is as legitimate and reliable a rental company as any in Ireland.

Bob

Itallian_Chauffer May 20th, 2008 01:14 PM

Also, lest I be presumed to be a shill for Atlas --

For my June, 2008 visit, I'm renting from Dooley, something that I've never previously done, because, like Bill (Wojazz3), I never found them to be competively priced. However, Dooley's quote is ALL-INCLUSIVE (rental, location fees, road tax, etc.)-- and they have you PREPAY, at the time of the reservation, locking in the price and the exchange rate.

This trip, flying into Cork, Dooley WAS competitive (particularly in light of the 'No Hidden Fees'). The only company that came CLOSE, WAS Atlas -- but they wanted a 'Late Pick Up' charge of 25 Euro, as my flight doesn't arrive until almost 10 PM, where as Dooley either waived, or absorbed that charge.

Bob

janisj May 20th, 2008 01:49 PM

Note the >>Deductible applies; see CDW Deductible below:<<

Super CDW will cover the deductible - regular CDW normally doesn't

C2BK May 20th, 2008 01:55 PM

<<< We've checked websites and the difference between renting an automatic and manual is about $500! I can drive stick, my husband can't>>>

How many driving lessons could he get for $500?

egailc May 20th, 2008 06:44 PM

Careful about the gas. Most are wanting you to return the car with the gas tank empty since they are charging you up front for it. Read the rental carefully.

LindainOhio May 21st, 2008 07:28 AM

Car rental in Ireland is confusing. Your Geico policy probably does not cover the CDI in Ireland.

We do have a WORLD Mastercard and could waive the CDI. We liked booking with Dan Dooley because all the additional costs(try to figure those out) were included.
We rented an automatic--glad we did and had 2 drivers. The extra driver was only $10/day. The exchange rate was $1.30/1 euro and we paid $430.92 for 9 days.


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