Ireland Car Rental GPS

Jan 3rd, 2014, 01:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 20
Ireland Car Rental GPS

Hi All,

I'm trying to book a car rental in Ireland and all I've read and heard about is how the road system is unreliable. So is it worth it to spend $15 extra a day on a GPS? Or if I get an international data plan and can use google maps on my phone as a GPS instead? Because I believe that would be much cheaper considering I'm planning on staying there over 3 weeks as long as google maps or apple maps works well in Ireland.
dcahill22 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 165
Last year while in Ireland, we travelled with family and rented 4 cars... Let me tell you we all had GPS that we took from home here in Canada. If you don't bring your own, is def would rent one. We have used them while travelling anywhere in Europe or North America for that matter! Total peace of mind and the bickering factor goes way down! Good luck and have a great Irish adventure!
ctoner is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 15,767
Have you considered buying a GPS with European maps before leaving? That might be more economical. Tom Tom has good maps of Europe.
basingstoke2 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,842
€10 will get you a good map.. The roads are better than they were a few years ago and are well signed. I seriously doubt that you will be planning to get off the main tourist routes so you will be fine the old fashioned way. If you do get lost wind down the window and ask directions,, we don't usually bite..
Tony2phones is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,368
If you have iPhone or other smartphones, download free UK and Ireland maps at or Google Store for android phones. It doesn't use data so completely free.
Alec is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
We've done 2 driving trips in Ireland just using a map and it worked great both times. We got turned around once on each trip and a quick question to a local got us back on track. Not only do the locals not bite, they are such a joy to talk to. You might want to intentionally get lost just to have a reason to ask for directions!

Don't waste your money on GPS, international data plans, etc. Just buy that 10 euro map!
longhorn55 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 02:48 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 70
We were in Ireland for three weeks this summer and drove all around the country. I'd been to Ireland a number times before -- all without a GPS. We rented the GPS this trip and I found it very worthwhile. Enjoy your trip.

JeffTWA is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 07:01 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 192
Here's another option. Don't go for an international data plan from your US mobile provider, you will pay way too much. Instead, if you have an iPhone 4S or newer (or an AT&T version), look into getting a SIM card when you arrive in Ireland. I haven't looked into Irish mobile rates, but if they're anything like what's available in the UK, you can save a lot of money and still use your phone. The only downside is that you will have a different phone number while using the local SIM card. Prior to traveling, you will most likely need to contact your provider. For example, Verizon has what they call "Global Unlock" for their 3G devices (4G are unlocked by default for this purpose).

That link describes what Verizon offers, be sure to confirm with your specific provider. Again, expect to pay a fraction of what we pay here in the states for mobile data coverage.

But... Ireland is not a densely populated country, so there may be large areas with limited coverage. Before selecting a SIM card provider, check their coverage maps.

Also, be sure to plan for situations where data coverage just won't be available. If you plan on a lot of driving, I would order a good Irish road map prior to departing. Scout out your routes ahead of time, take the change to get familiar with road naming conventions and street signs.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask directions. Ireland is one of the friendliest countries you're likely to visit. I'm not the most outgoing person, but I soon discovered how easy it is to ask directions in Ireland.
griz_fan is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,216
"all I've read and heard about is how the road system is unreliable. "

Codswallop. Complete and utter bunkum.

I doubt anyone, ever, has called any road system "unreliable". You've dreamt this up. What on earth is an "unreliable" road system? Show me a single travel writer or blogger who's ever said anything so unutterably silly.

Almost as silly as even wasting time asking advice about forking out $15 a day for three weeks (that's $320!!!!) on a glorified map.

If you can't read a map, buy a Tom Tom at home and take it with you.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 07:18 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,218
During our 34 day trip to Ireland, we found that the combination of a great map (the spiral bound detailed one) and a GPS (lent to us by a friend) worked great. I wouldn't have wanted to rely on either one alone.
abram is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 986
Geez, flanner, he asked a reasonable question.

If I remember correctly from your other posts, dcahill, you will be alone, which makes using a paper map somewhat more difficult. I like having that navigator with me. I would not want to travel alone in Ireland without a GPS with Europe maps, AND my road atlas.

There was also the time when the lads and I were staying in a farmhouse B&B and headed there from town after dark and got horribly lost. And no friendly Irish people by the side of the road to ask for directions. (We finally were rescued at a c-store back in town by a lady who had us follow her out to the farm). Had we programmed our "home" into a GPS (or SatNav) we would have not had those long minutes of panic.
jaja is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,522
Buy your own GPS before you go and learn how to use it. You can buy them cheaply using eBay, craiglist, kijiji etc. I bought a used TomTom 930 with N American and European maps on eBay for 80 bucks. These things need no be expensive.

I also have Navfree on my iPhone as mentioned by Alec above... free and works just fine. I prefer the bigger screen and more features my TomTom offers though.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jan 4th, 2014, 03:49 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,218
I mentioned this thread to DH: he agreed that both a map and a GPS are best, but if he had to choose only one, it would be the GPS. We did not always see names or route #s, so knowing where to turn would have been challenging with just a map.
abram is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Dec 18th, 2017 09:39 AM
Jul 6th, 2013 08:18 AM
Oct 9th, 2012 02:47 PM
Feb 16th, 2012 05:03 PM
Oct 3rd, 2009 09:11 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:40 PM.