Please help with car rental ireland

May 20th, 2005, 09:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5
Please help with car rental ireland

Hi,Has anyone rented a van or minibus in Ireland. We need a vehicle that seats 6 (4 adults 2 teens) for 18 days of touring the west coast of ireland. I thought a van was similar to the ones in the U.s. but a neighbor told me there much smaller in Ireland and dont hold as much luggage and that I should get a mini bus that seats 9 Each of us will have one suitcase (duffle bag) and a carry on I have looked online at the FORD GALAXY VOLKSWAGON CARAVELLE BUS HUNDAI TRAJET OPEL ZAFIRA AND SEAT ALAHAMBRA THEY VARY SO DIFFERENTLY IN THEIR descriptions and price I am so confused which one would be the most suitable to accomodate us all. Please any help would be greatly appreciated. We are arriving in Shannon July 11 and also need the car to be an automatic Thanks again Barbara
haphouli is offline  
May 20th, 2005, 10:59 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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I've rented an automatic minivan in Ireland (I think it was a Galaxy...I've heard the Opel is very similar) and it was great. It was a bit smaller than its US cousin in the minivan category, but it worked well for six people and their luggage (we combined to only have 4 suitcases and 6 carryons and we had ample room). It was a dream to drive compared to one of the industrial vans we had over there before...and it was pretty good on gas. With the narrow Irish roads and driving on the left, trying to keep the vehicle as small as possible can save the driver a lot of stress. might help you out.

The vans are a bit smaller and hauling lots of luggage in and out of B&Bs can be difficult, so I'd suggest packing for a weeklong trip and taking your clothes to a laundry at some point and ship as many suveniers home as possible if you are running low on space.

If you're really worried about space, industrial-sized vans (like airport shuttle vans) are available. I guess I'd assess the passengers and consider their packing and shopping habits, how easy going they are (will they have a hard time adapting to being stuffed in a vehicle on narrow, winding roads with five other people) and how much travel experience they have...and make the call from there.

Good luck.
yesiree100 is offline  
May 20th, 2005, 01:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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We've just return from 11 days in Ireland with 6 adults: my husband and myself, our two adult (24,28 sons), one fiancee and my husband's 45 year old brother. I'm looking at the bill now so here's the info. the van model was a Zafira, I think it's a kind of Opal. Since my husband and I went on to Scotland (gone a total of 3 weeks) we had fairly good-sized (although medium) suitcases and the other 4 passengers had smaller, but not small luggage. It was a squeeze since the seat arrangement was 2 in front, 3 in the middle, 2 seats in the back--one for a passenger, one for luggage. Unlike some US vans there was not a lot of room behind the last row of seats although we manage to squeeze in an old-fashionsed rectagular (22 x30) suticase that my son and his fiancee shared. We also had various backpacks, etc. and of course coats and purchases that got shoved in. The only way we made it work was to switch off who sat in the far back (usually the person who wanted a nap, since you could't really see much when all of the bags got stuffed in. We rented from irish car and the cost was 799 Euros for the 11 days. That included one extra driver at 7.75/day, Collision insurance and VAT and a fill up on fuel (they insisted on the car being returned empty which was strange but we flew into Shannon and they said people complained because there were no gas stations near the airport so it was hard to return the tank full---whatever.....we never opt for them to fill it up in the US but there was not option---the fill up charge was 74. euors --all of this was part of the 799 euro total)
After the first 2 days when we realized there were larger vans available we called and asked if we could trade. They actually volunteered to bring a larger van to our next stop in Kinsale, but we all decided that it would be harder to drive a larger van on the narrow Irish roads and the fuel costs were killers ($100 per fill up),so we all toughed out the smaller van. It led to some good laughs and as one of the drivers I was glad not to driving anything larger.
The navigator is a really important person on this kind of a trip.. A few suggestions having just returned:
Don't plan on driving far the first day, the left hand driving thing, being tired, narrow roads, all are a challenge; everyone should take responsiblity to remind the drive to "keep left" especially when making a turn....the most likely time to revert to pulling into the right-hand lane...once you get going it's easier to remember to stay on the left; in a dual carriage road (two lanes going the same way) the faster lane,for passing only, is on the right); roundabouts go clockwise and I thought they were great, you just have to wait for a gap to enter and have someone helping you figure out where you want to exit since you might not be familiar with the name of the towns named on your route; when in doubt, just go around again rather than cutting someone off; the roads are NARROW and people travel much faster than we're used to with oncoming traffic and no barriers between us; also there are ditches on the left that are easy to go into if you are intimidated by an oncoming bus or truck (they don't give an inch), so hold your ground and just know that the road really is wide enough, or else just SLOW DOWN when it seems too tight and let the oncoming bus pass; no one behind me seemed to mind and didn't hit me from behind when I did that. BTW car insurance doesn't cover tires or undercarriage damage and I can see why. It's easy to hit rocks on the side of the road if you're not can buy extra insurance for that but we took our chances and were OK.
Given all of these caveats, it was still fun and I'd do it again. Enjoy.
marshacarlin is offline  
May 20th, 2005, 01:19 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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Thanks, marshacarlin, for such descriptive helpful information. We're leaving in 2weeks, and i am already having Ireland driving dreams. Luckily i have a really good navigator. OMIGOSH! 2 weeks!
callalilli is offline  
May 20th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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The Opel Zafira is SMALL -- smaller than most. The VW Caravelle is a US sized VW BUS, should be suitable for 8 (they'll call it nine. I drove one in '99 to places most people would never dare go, without any mishap. In Feb of '02, I had a Mercedes Vito, which was just as big, and maybe bigger. This trip I am renting a Kia Sedona (which is called a seven passenger). Any of these are fine for six with REASONABLE luggage -- our rule is one BIG bag per couple, plus one carry-on per Person. There is usually a BIG price difference between a 7 and 9 passenger AND a MAJOR jump in price for automatic. Dunno how they are as I have always gotten the manual trans.

If you go to you can research the different models of vehicles It is usually MUCH cheaper and easier to pack lighter and drive smaller, but I do believe the Opel will not be a good fit, in any case.
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
May 20th, 2005, 02:12 PM
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You cannot possibly imagine how difficult the driving can be!marshacarlin did a good job describing the conditions but words cannot prepare you for the real experience. Don't know if the van size you want comes in automatic transmission but if so, I'd pay the extra $$ for one less stress. Also, with so many people in the vehicle, you'll have many "back-seat-drivers." Good luck! I still have nightmares.
mkdiebold is offline  
May 20th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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BTW the cost I gave was for an automatic. We went on to Scotland after we got rid of the 4 others in our group and then we had a VW Passat whichwas manual. Although Scotish roads were a dream compared to Ireland, I was glad that had waited until 10 days of driving to switch to the manual. I thought the automatic was worth the peace of mind.
Did I mention that we agreed on the convension of say "Correct" whenever anyone wanted to agree with something someone said, rather that "right", which lead to confusion and sometimes led to the driver swerving into the wrong lane!! It really was important to remember this. Also the navigator needs to read the map carefully and note the towns that are on the way to your destination since they are often the ones listed at the roundabouts, not the town you're aiming for. Also raods don't have North or South, etc. like ours do, so you really need to know where you are headed.
Again,"stay left" became our mantra and it really a matter of fact, I've had trouble since I've returned home staying right now!!!
marshacarlin is offline  
May 20th, 2005, 02:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Hi Barbara,

I am only familiar with the Galaxy and it will hold 6 people plus luggage (only just).

I don't know where you are going in Ireland but can I please recommend you read this web site before you go.

Recently, lots of people have had problems on narrow Irish roads. You will find roads in N'Ireland and the East of Ireland are much better than roads in the West and South.

With so many people, do take care (I am assuming you are not familiar with a non automatic and driving on the left, ignore what I say if I am wrong)I would suggest you take two cars.

Hope you all have a super time in Ireland.

cambe is offline  
May 20th, 2005, 04:14 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5
Thanks everyone for your input. I have driven in Ireland on 3 different occasions. My daughter was studying at UCC in Cork but I have never driven a van over there.yesiree100 what company did you rent the GALAXY from.ITALIAN CHAFFEUR WHO are you renting the kia sedona from , Im looking forward to the trip if I can just figure out this car rental Thanks Again Barbara
haphouli is offline  
May 20th, 2005, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,647 is where I rented the Sedona. My reservation is for 4 June - 15 June, Shannon to Shannon @ 9AM. Price (in Euro) is 480.86 as I am waiving the CDW with my MasterCard. Price doesn't include the 'Airport Fee' (25? euro) or the ubiquitous, mandatory first tank of fuel. Don't know what they are quoting NOW as I reserved this back in mid-Feb, nor do I know if they even offer the Kia in an Automatic.

Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 11:28 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1
Hi, Does anyone know how large a Hyundai Trajet is? celticcarrental for 11 days is only 435 Euros. We also have a group of six and am concerned about fitting the luggage. They say it fits 5 with medium luggage, or 7 with carry on... ? the price seems right compared to other postings and this is for an automatic end of may in shannon.
paradox is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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Per above, go to: for info on Irish vehicles.
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 02:46 PM
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Posts: 1,647
Info from

Make Hyundai
Model Trajet
Derivative 2 litre
Price (Ex Works) €29,000
Road Tax €539
Fuel Petrol
Transmission 5 speed manual
Body MPV
Doors 5
Seats 7
Vital Statistics
Litres Per 100km 8
Euro NCAP Score
Engine Size 2 Litre
Max Torque (Nm) 184.18
Horsepower (BHP) 136
Max Speed (km/h) 192
0-100 km/h 12.9 seconds

Our View This model is still doing great business for Hyundai. Trajet has taken the large MPV market by storm since its launch. The reason is that it offers everything more expensive competitors (Galaxy, Sharan, Alhambra) offer, with good build quality and decent engines for a fraction of the price. This is really a choice for the family that will always use the seven seats as those who need an occassional minibus will probably buy an Opel Zafira, Renault Grand Scenic or Fiat Multipla. Hyundai reliability means that you should have no major headaches. Both petrol and diesel models are available.
The Good Seven very effective seats at a reasonable price.
The Bad Not all that stylish
Our Score

Standard Features: Adjustable Steering, Air Conditioning, CD Player, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Power Steering, 8 Speakers, Sunroof, Front Fog Lights, Colour Coded Bumpers, 15 Alloys, ABS, Central Locking, Alarm, High Level Brake Light, Immobiliser, Passenger Air Bag, Side Impact Bars

The Hyundai is a true "7" passenger mini-van (front buckets, middle and rear bench. The Opel is two buckets middle bench and two "jump seats" that fold out of the floor (in lieu of luggage space) that will fit two adults, IF they can figure a way to get into them! Similar is the Renault Scenic. The Carvelle, Galaxy and Alhambra are similar in layout to the Hyundai, just a little bigger or smaller.

Itallian_Chauffer is offline  

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