Driving in Southern Ireland

Old Feb 16th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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Driving in Southern Ireland

We are renting a small, automatic car from Avis in Dublin and driving south and west, returning back to Dublin (2 weeks). Any driving tips???? The rental car through Priceline is indeed pricey! $ 829.
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 09:10 AM
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I think automatics are always pricey. I always rent the standard transmission, but when I've looked into renting an automatic, I've always found them really expensive.

However, it's just money, and if you're used to driving on the left side of the road, an automatic seems like a good choice. It's one less thing to worry about.
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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Automatics are top price, Avis are Top price, US licence holders are top price. Two of those can be changed but Insurance is always the hammer.
Try Easy tour Ireland who merchant Hertz and seem popular http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowTopic-...s-Ireland.html
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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I would never consider getting a standard shift when driving on the wrong side of the road - get automatic costs more - but it's worth it.

The main thing to note is that when off the major highways (most of your driving) you will find they are very narrow and their are a lot of animals - mainly sheep, everywhere - esp on the road. Assume your average speed will be abuot 30 mph off major roads.
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 10:01 AM
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Living in rural Ireland I can assure visitors that the chances of having sheep in the road is limited to a few mainly open areas.

Anyone capable of driving with any degree of confidence at home will have no problem adapting to having the steering wheel in a different place and changing gear left handed.
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 02:01 PM
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Rent a standard shift. The way cars are geared today it is almost impossible to stall out and if you miss a gear while shifting on the fly it is not a big deal. If you get off the beaten path (and I hope you do) you might find a sheep or goose in the road but you will not going so fast to worry about it. I have in the past few years rented from Hertz, linking off the Aer Lingus web site. There is no surcharge for using the insurance that comes with my World Master Card. Your biggest challenge will be clearing Dublin airport and getting on the road south. Buy an Ireland map for you GPS and one person concentrate on driving while the other navigates. In the pat ten years the major roads in Ireland have been greatly improved and when you get off the beaten path just slow down and enjoy the scenery the southwest is famous for. Have fun
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 10:23 AM
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As always, thank you all for the sage advice! We know it will be a little odd at first, driving on the opposite of the US side, but we are excited to see all the beauty Ireland has to offer. We are going to stick to an automatic, better not to tempt fate!! Going to visit both The Ring of Kerry and the Dingle area, beacause both sound so picturesque
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 11:22 AM
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Not living in rural Ireland, I can assure visitors to Ireland that Tony2phones is massively exaggerating the likelihood of finding sheep (or cows, or goats or even dead birds) on the road.

Most proper driving in rural Ireland is along relatively wide, almost empty and spectacularly animal-free roads: one of the odder inheritances of a history of foreign control (the London government and hundreds of conscience-stricken Irish, mostly Protestant, affluent private citizens funded an enormous, economically unnecessary, but slightly life-saving, road building programme in the mid-19th century, while the EU largely funded a motorway programme in the early 21st century that's taken traffic off most of the country's inter-town routes).

It all gets a bit more interesting (and often beautiful, at least very near the sea) on true back roads. But even there, the critters know their place - and these days you've really got to make a conscious decision you want to drive those back roads.

Once you've mastered driving on the proper side, you'll want to try those narrow tarmacked tracks between uncontrollable fuschias. Within an hour or so, driving in Ireland becomes an exuberant (if still erratically signposted) pleasure, as long as you stay out of its few really built up areas.

Just remember that there are good technical reasons why SatNav systems aren't always reliable, that getting temporarily lost is part of the fun and that EVERYBODY in Ireland (unless they're Lithuanian) speaks English better than you. Even, these days, the Poles.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 11:52 AM
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In both England and Ireland, my sister and I had a system. I would drive, and she would gasp when I came too close to a stone wall or some other potentially car-scratching object on the right side of the car.

In Ireland, we lost three hubcaps. It would have been four, but some kind soul hailed us and told us we'd lost a hubcap. No problem. We bought another set, and Avis kindly accepted the replacements.

I do have a question. In the past, most credit cards were not accepted for insurance in lieu of the collision damage waiver. The only card that was accepted was a World Mastercard. I obtained a Citicard World Mastercard to cover the CDW.

Is this still the case?

P.S. While we were roaming around somewhere in the south, we came into a Gaeltacht area, where the signs were in Gaelic only. We were utterly lost until we happened upon a Polish truckdriver, who may not have spoken English, but who led us out of the Gaeltacht area and onto a major road.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 12:58 PM
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Think you might find I was saying it was unlikely to come across lose creatures except on remote Borhen's I am not prone to exaggeration on any matters.

Apart from the "most picturesque" described Kerry which other areas are you considering? You might find that some places become just ..so so.. once you see some other places.. You might want to consider Beara peninsula rather than the Invaragh (Ring of Kerry) as to get the best from there means getting off the main road. Beara though, unspoiled by tourism is one area where you might well come across sheep in the road.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 02:54 PM
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The Beara peninsula sounds like an excellent recommendation and close to one of our hotels.
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 02:01 AM
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There is an excellent piece on driving Beara http://www.tripadvisor.ie/ShowTopic-...unty_Cork.html

Personally and I often get in trouble for saying so, Beara is Dingle how it used to be before it became tourist central, get there and see it as it is whilst you still can.
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 03:16 AM
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You are doing a very similar trip we embarked on in August 2007. Our experience driving extensivley on Southern Ireland countryside was that the chances of having sheep in the road is limited to a few mainly open areas. Narrow roads, do not estimate more than an everage of 30 miles/hour when planning your sightseeing. Get to the stone circles; my favorite part while driving the Ring of Kerry. If you can get to the Beara Peninsula, I loved Drumberg Stone Circle.
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 07:37 AM
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In '11 we stopped for more cattle on the roads than sheep. Still have to stop!
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 08:19 AM
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More great info! Thanks!
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 08:52 PM
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Well.I do wish folk would stop saying all is well on Irish roads all the time.. makes it harder for visitors. re sheep etc. There are sheep on almost every rural road, period. In large numbers. The farmers allow this for grazing. And every kind of wild life also. One day this week there were sheep, deer, hares and pheasants. And wild goats. Oh and collies chasing cars is another phenomenon. Not talking re remote roads either..Ring of Kerry is not a remote road and just take driving slowly and think left at all times.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 01:32 AM
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Would you really think that a farmer wants their sheep knocked down costing and loosing a lump of income
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Old Feb 22nd, 2013, 05:42 PM
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I know you have rented with Avis but do think about Easy Tour Ireland. I have had really good experience with Hertz and just saw they are offering a special for a free driver or free GPS on the website. http://easytourireland.com/
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