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How important is an automatic transmission for an American driving in Ireland

How important is an automatic transmission for an American driving in Ireland

Mar 31st, 2006, 10:05 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 50
Thanks everyone for all of the advice.

fuzzylogic (love the name), I'm serious about the GPS. I fell in love with it on my last trip to Maui. I got to watch the scenery instead of spending my time searching for road signs, reading maps or worrying that I was going the wrong way. Makes for a much less stressful experience for those of us who are "directionally challenged"
mom929 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 179
The real issue for me was getting used to the location of the rear view mirrors. Checking the rear view is a very frequent, reflex (almost subconscious) action and my first trip to the UK had me nervous for the first hour or two because I was not getting my clues about cars behind me. I didn't figure out what was the cause of my nervousness until much later. If you're sitting in the right hand seat the main rear view mirror is high and left (rather than high and right) and the side RV mirror is low and right (rather than low and left) I caught myself several times wondering why I found my self looking at my wife's knees and feet and why I was looking at the second story of buildings along the street!

Has anyone else ever done that ??
Fibonacci2358 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Fibonacci - No, I don't do that. But anyways, it will take one some time to adjust to the control and traffic. That's normal. Just be careful for the first day or two. By day two, I think most drivers should be pretty comfortable with the left/right thing. [Now, narrowness of roads is a different matter.]
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,459
My husband aslways gets a manual; he says shifting with his left hand reminds him that he's not at home and to stay on the correct side of the road.
Underhill is offline  
Mar 31st, 2006, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 347
In order to save a little money we reserved a manual transmission on our trip to Ireland. We would not do it again if we could avoid it. We flew into Dublin and had no place to practice driving before getting onto the highway. Changing gears with the "wrong" hand and driving on the "wrong" side of the road and then later driving down VERY narrow roads was stressful. We will avoid that unnecesary headache if at all possible in the future.
DebInTN is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 9
We just got back from our first trip to Ireland - loved it! Anyway, just as I went up to the desk to pick up our rental car, I panicked and asked if I could upgrade to a automatic. They didn't have any... After hitting the door with my right hand a couple of times (reaching for the gear shift), I adjusted. Adjusting to the manual was easy compared to driving on the left. Larry is right, be ESPECIALLY aware when making turns. When I wanted to make a right hand turn I had a tendency to drift into the right hand lane before making the turn. Even when I stayed left I was always turning to look behind me because I felt like when I was making the right turn someone would come up along the right lane and hit me. Luckily I had my two older children with me talking me through the turns. They were very patient and only yelled, "Whoa, Mom!!" a couple of times. Good luck and have fun! Deb
DebraV7419 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 06:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 125
I was in Ireland 2 weeks ago and got the GPS from Hertz. We drove a manual transmission with no problem for our second time. The GPS system made such a difference in our enjoyment of the trip and ride. It was an extra 10E a day. Well worth it!!!
rshersnow is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,077
Hi - about the GPS. Mom, I'd never thought about it that way. Interesting. I'm a map freak - love 'em - but even so, it can be seriously stressful trying to work out where to go and drive the car at the same time when there's just one of you.

So I'll remember your tip for future reference!!
fuzzylogic is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
What tip?

That a GPS continuously pinpoints your position on the map? That it tells you where to turn? That it recomputes your route instantaneously whenever you deviate from the plotted course?

Gosh, I believe there's some serious consciousness-raising needed in this area!
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My husband drives a manual and has for over 30 years, never an accident. When we went to Ireland he opted for an automatic and took the $1000.00 deductable insurance since he's never had an accident. Well, we made a mistake on the insurance. The roads are very narrow with stone fences on the sides of the road. That poor little rental car hit a lot of those stone fences! I can only imagine how much worse it would have been with a manual. We even backed into a castle! Turned the car in with a broken windshield (which was another car's fault but it doesn't matter, we were still responible) We had hit a hole in the street and blew a tire, all three sides had small dents and the side view mirror had targeted another person's side view mirror. Like I said, the roads are very narrow. Soooo my tip would be that no matter if you get an automatic or manual, have full coverage insurance. We ended up paying that $1000.00 deductable.

Still had a great time!
cd is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 07:04 AM
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I feel pity for your rental company. Couldn't you tell them in advance that you aimed to trash the car. ;-)
logos999 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 07:19 AM
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Robespierre - what are you trying to say exactly?

I can't tell from your post whether you think anybody who doesn't use one is an idiot, or anyone who does should remind themselves that being able to compute and make complex decisions is what marks humans out from apes.

I've never had a car that had one fitted - never seen the need. I sort of prefer to do my own thinking - but, hey, I could be missing something.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
The choices you present are:

1) Anybody who doesn't use one is an idiot, or

2) anyone who does should remind themselves that being able to compute and make complex decisions is what marks humans out from apes.

Have you considered a third possibility? I use a calculator to sum bank deposits, and a spreadsheet to compare various strategies. Isn't it better to have a machine crunch the data so you can get on with your life?

I use a computer to file my taxes. I enter my income, download dividends, interest, and capital gains from the brokerage, and transmit the results to the IRS electronically. The software does the loss carryback (if any), taking into account [heh, heh] the tax law changes every year, and tracks my deductions. Sure, I could do it by hand, but I'd rather get on with my life.

Do your really want manually to compute the distance, average mpg allowing for various speeds on different roads, and diversions for construction over every possible route between A and B? I'd rather let my mapping software do that while I get on with my life.

I don't call anyone an idiot. I was just slightly taken aback by your apparent ignorance of what a GPS was for (in terms of getting on with one's life) as opposed to what they do.

p.s. I find that my cockpit workload is reduced dramatically when I fly a GPS-equipped plane. It takes care of the navigate task, so can concentrate on the aviate and communicate tasks (particularly which is especially useful in a high-density environment like the L.A. basin).
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 169
We drove from Dublin to Skibbereen and the roads got narrower and more winding the further south we went. The huge trucks and tour buses in the oncoming lanes made us have to squeeze close to the stone walls and hedges (the bleeding heart hedges are gorgeous and we didn't destroy even one flower). Getting used to the opposite side for everything in the car was stressful, and the first time my husband went to use the turn signal he hit the windshield washer knob and we JUMPED as we were startled by the water. He did that several times and I had to bite back the laughter.
mahlquist is offline  
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