Car Rental Information, Dublin
I would not rent a car to visit Dublin but if you are starting your tour of Ireland from Dublin and heading straight out of the airport, then there are a few things you might want to know
1. Irish rental cars are notoriously dinged and dented, you should take a before picture of any damage to your car in case a dispute comes up later. Check for missing gas caps and mirrors.
2. If you are used to declining CDW because your credit card covers it, think again. Ireland is carved out of most credit card's CDW program, I've read that the only exception is a World Master Card and I believe the rental agencies require proof from your credit card that you are covered.
3. When I rented this car, this was the 1st time I had ever heard of Super CDW, basically if you take the Super CDW coverage, it limits your loss to 100€ instead of 1000€ (the amount varies by company). It was 12€ per day and we declined it, they will put a hold for the 1000€ on your credit card for the rental term.
4. If you are traveling on M50 from the airport, there is a barrier free electronic toll that needs to be paid which is currently 3€ each direction. You can purchase at the airport, pay online or at news agents. The barrier free toll is between exit 6 and exit 7, the toll must be paid before 8pm the following day or you may incur penalties which I assume the car rental company would pass along to you.
5. As with most European countries, most of the rental cars are manual. Expect to pay A LOT more for the luxury of not having to shift with your left hand
We rented from Dan Dooley based on recommendations on travel boards and had no problem with them, what I liked about them was that their quote included everything except for Super CDW and that there would be no haggling over insurance at the airport. Be careful to check that CDW is included in your quote, you will need that coverage. They did make us put down a 50€ gas deposit which was refunded at the end of the rental when we returned it full, we even made about 60 cents on the exchange rate fluctuation.
On our 2nd trip we booked through Aer Lingus Vacations and they also use Dan Dooley, this time the CDW was not included and we had to put up a €75 gas deposit which was refunded on return of the car with a full tank.
Things to know about renting a car in Ireland BEFORE you pick up your car:
In Ireland, the car hire industry is based on a “bait and switch” model. Sales people are encouraged to add additional charges to your rental bill (sometimes with, but most times, without your knowledge). You are no longer a customer paying a fair price for a product, but rather a victim of aggressive and deceptive marketing techniques.
Here are some do’s and know’s in order to get the fairest price:
• Understand that the salesperson is not there to be helpful
• Be clear and tell the salesperson that you would like to decline all insurances and charges that are non-mandatory
• Have a Citibank world credit card so that you can decline the CDW coverage and do not let the negative reaction of the salesperson dissuade you
• Be polite and assertive, but question EVERY charge that you see BEFORE you leave with your car – the salespeople really do not like this and will become agitated and roll their eyes
• Realize that this is a scam and there is no way to 100% protect yourself because the car hire companies have been allowed to deceive clients foor years and they are very skilled at getting their money
• The car hire company can charge you for declining CDW (most companies charge 30.00 for declining insurance and you won’t know until you pick up the car)
• The car hire company may require a letter from Citibank stating that you are covered when you decline the CDW
• The car hire company will hold 5,000K on your credit card if you decline the CDW even if you have a credit card that covers you
• The car hire company will try to add extras on your bill and they will not advise you honestly or explain the charges
• The quote that you receive online will NOT be the price that they will try to charge you when you pick the car up
Recently after renting 2 cars from 2 different companies in Dublin airport (July 2014) I was so upset that I complained to Paul Redmond the CEO of the Car Council of Ireland (an organisation that supposedly helps the Irish government contribute to the national tourism policy). Redmond responded to my valid complaints about deceptive and aggressive marketing techniques by explaining to me that car rental companies have been forced into these practices in order to compete with internet-based brokers. Really? So there you have it - car hire companies are allowed to take advantage of unsuspecting customers because that is the only way they can make money. What a shameful way to treat tourists! Way to go Irish Tourist Board and Car Hire Council of Ireland, céad míle fáilte! Customer beware! Good Luck!
DAN DOOLEY Ireland's largest independent RENT-A-CAR company.
"If you require an economy or a luxury Self Drive Hire Car we are ready to cater for your needs.
Even though we are now one of the largest car rental companies in Ireland, we take great care to provide the personalised attention and reasonable rates of a family owned enterprise.
Our increasing volume of repeat business and referrals by satisfied clients are testament to our commitment to providing an efficient, yet caring service to our customers."
Their words.......give it a try!
All of the major car rental firms have locations at Dublin Airport. Before you go to pick up your car rental, have a clear idea about what insurance you want and whether you would be interested in an upgrade. I rented my last car (a Hyundai I30 which was very nice) from Thrifty Car Rental. I found them to be helpful and the whole renting process was extremely quick.
We got the cheapest rate at Budget Rental at Dublin Airport. (Ask them for any other car than a FIAT SEICENTO though ;)
But if you are just staying in Dublin a car is like a ball on a chain at your foot!!! Only get one when you want to drive around the country!
For those of you coming from the UK and using 353 car hire.
a) they have by far the longest queue (took me half an hour to get to the front)
b) I booked online in advance through a 3rd party website, and finally when I got to the front of the queue was told that my Credit Card and Drivers License was not enough. They require the 'endorsements' section (for UK only) of the license. And they aren't polite about it either.
There is a wide choice in Dublin Airport of Irish and International car rental companies. Bookings can be made on line before your arrival at the airport. www.visitdublin.com. Driving is on the left hand side of the road. Safety belts must be worn both front and back of car. The metric system is used in Ireland. Speed limits are as follows: Mototways 120km. Build up areas 50km. National roads 80 to 100km.
The car rental market in Ireland is highly competitive and prices can change daily. Spend time looking around at different rates and when you see what you want book it. As you get closer to the pick up date, prices will tend to go up, and availability will go down so you may have a problem getting the car you want.
I'm a frequent business rental car user and have booked hundreds of times with all of the major companies over the last 8-9 years. I recently booked a car for two weeks at Dublin airport on Travelocity with a guaranteed rate of about 140 Euros (a good rate by the way). I always waive the insurance on rental cars since I have private insurance that covers this. At the kiosk I discovered that they charge a 28 Euro administrative fee to waive insurance plus block 2K on the credit card. I understand blocking the credit card since they need to recover payment in case of damages, but the hidden administrative fee is abusive.
Other reasons to avoid this company include inconvenient pickup and drop off locations. Their lots are typically located much farther than their competitors and you have to wait longer for their shuttles. It's so frustrating to stand there and watch all of the other company shuttles go by again and again but no sign of the Thrifty shuttle.
They also inevitably provide you with an old beat up car. On this trip I was provided a car with 40K miles, covered in small dents and scratches and with a broken volume controller on the inside.
They also wanted to charge my card for a fuel deposit of about 120 Euros, that they promised to return if I brought back the tank full. That's about twice the price of a tank full of diesel. Additionally, charging a card in a foreign currency then reimbursing it later results in conversion fees both ways. I had to prepay a tank of gas at the regular fuel rate to avoid this silliness.
Finally, they charged my card in US dollars instead of Euros without my permission or my request. This resulted in what they called "their best guaranteed currency conversion rate". However, their rate is 2% higher than the rate most credit cards will charge which is about 3%. So I ended up paying a 5% currency conversion fee on top of the other charges they added.
I rent an average of 100 days per year and this is the last time I use Thifty. Learn from the experience of others and avoid this second rate company.
Not enough BAD things can be said about Dan Dooley. Let me start by saying, we encounted several other people on this trip that had this exact SAME experience with Dan Dooley. HORRIBLE customer service both before and during our trip. We booked TWO cars with GPS & NO GPS was available when we arrived (we had TWO paid for, as did several others in line who also did not receive even ONE!). The reps were incredibly rude both in email & in person. We did not encounter 1 rep that was nice in any way. They are unapologetic and unhelpful about not giving you what you reserved & paid for, and the wait in line for the car is hours! We had to call & go out of our way back to their office to retrieve a GPS on our 2nd day, when we were again given the run-around, and the car that we were given had a broken cigarette lighter fuse & the GPS was dead before we even reached our first destination. The car we were given also had one broken headlight. No attempt was made by Dan Dooley to make any kind of refund or even an apology for these things. We did not choose this company, but it was included w/an Aer Lingus vacation package. This company is a nightmare!
On my April 11 trip I got a rented car from Thrifty through Argus - the online search engine. They have an office in Terminal 1 arrivals - quick, helpful and efficient - but then it’s the shuttle bus to their site somewhere on the periphery.
Having said that, we didn’t have to wait either on arrival or departure, and it’s only a 5 minute trip. The formalities of pick up & drop off were also fast and efficient.
As usual, the quoted price ends up doubling when you add on the “excess elimination” insurance, but that’s better than being stuck with a €1,000 bill if some clown dents the car in a car park.
Prices - Here's the fun bit. When I booked the "all in cost" was to be €43. On arrival, I was told that leaves me exposed for the first €1,000 (yes, 3 zeroes) of a claim. So, to get rid of that it was an extra €51. Cute, huh?
I did once have the experience of having a rented car bashed in a station car park while I was away sightseeing, so I do believe in being fully insured. I just wish they'd be honest about the costs.
Anyway, those costs were from 9am Friday to lunchtime Sunday, so 3 days. €30 per day.
We rented this car at the airport, but the best way to getting around is to take the bus or a tram. And in the city centre, just walk around!! =)