Roadtripping in Ireland
After around 10,000 kms of road-tripping over the last year in India, was looking at exploring roadtripping in Ireland options.
Road-tripping in Ireland is going to be fun as well as a bit of costly affair if not carefully planned as you need to focus on the huge insurance costs that would come with a car rental. I recently had been on a journey myself and I booked an #AvisIreland vehicle.
Interesting fact: all drivers should have individual insurance on their name to be eligible to drive a vehicle in Ireland
Top tips to book a self-drive vehicle in Ireland
Few considerations to look for when you book a self-drive:
- Carefully choose your vehicle
- Ensure that your driving licence is valid in Ireland which in most cases is (Indian nationals can drive with their Indian Union Driving Licence)
- Ireland as you get into the country side would have narrow roads so smaller vehicle is a better choice
- There is an excess that you need to look for and ask on how to minimize your excess which is blocked on your credit card for vehicle (accidents) and theft. this is called (CDW – Collision Damage Waiver)
- My recommendation would be to opt for a Super CDW for which you need to pay by the day (no. of days of hire and the fees upright) but your excess comes to zero (no additional charge)
- You should also be careful for any extras that might be sold to you, opt for them only if you feel you need, else, don’t opt however tempting the deal may be
- Fuel is sold in liters and fuel stations are self-service (fill in from the station and pay inside the outlet)
- Go for online booking but only after having discussions with the car rental on what your package covers and what are the exclusions
- The car rental would block a fuel excess but would be waived if you honor the full 2 full
- Ensure you take a picture / video during the delivery of the car at the pick-up point to ensure you are protected in case of any prior damage
Interesting fact: Ireland unlike other western or European countries drives on the left side of the road with right handed driving.
Criteria for ensuring that you have a valid driving license
A individual holding a full Driving Licence issued by any European or US countries are authorized to drive in Ireland (for visitors). If you have relocated to Ireland, you would then need to apply for a fresh licence or exchange yours with certain criteria.
More details on license can be found at Discovering Ireland.
Interesting fact: You must be above 21 years of age to hire a vehicle and should have a valid full driving license if a visitor of more than 1 year validity
Roadtripping in Ireland – My Experiences
Having done research over a couple of weeks before start of my business tour and also an opportunity to travel over the long weekend, I decided to explore Ireland by road at my own pace.
There are many major / international players in the car rental business in Ireland. Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Enterprise, EuropCar to name a few are constantly on the look to offer the best possible offers to customers.
A few of my colleagues and myself made the booking from Dublin airport on the Saturday (prior booking on internet a few days before).
We boarded a Aircoach (prior booking) to Dublin airport (by far the cheapest mode) to reach in around 40 minutes.
We then went inside the terminal (T1) to the Avis rentals (our booking was done here).
After the paperwork, all the conditions were explained and I asked for a Super CDW so the excess block on my Credit Card could be zero.
The total fare, add-ons were swiped on the credit card.
Note: Only credit cards are accepted for transactions at any of the car rentals
You should also note that a further Fuel charge is blocked on your credit card and released when you return the vehicle with full fuel tank.
We booked for a Opel Corsa (Diesel) and got an upgrade to Toyota Corolla.
- Price: $$
- Fuel: Diesel
- Customer interaction: (at the kiosk)
- Vehicle condition:
- Air-conditioning: (could have been better)
Few points to remember:
- There are no horns whatsoever, don’t honk unless the hell is breaking lose
- Always follow traffic signs and don’t deviate
- People are generally comfortable driving at their own pace and waiting for others to pass and give way
- At roundabouts and cross roads, the main line is priority, wait for the traffic to be clear before you proceed to merge to main line
- Google Maps would be the best alternative to the navigation option provided by car rentals,
- Download offline map version of Google Maps
- Opt for diesel vehicle as it is relatively cheaper
- Fuel in Republic of Ireland is cheap than Northern Ireland
- Try to fill up at the Fuel station near airport (after you cross the airport rentals board, head straight and the fuel station would be on your left inside with prominent sign boards)
- Please be wary of the speed limits – Motorways 120kmph, Main Roads 80kmph, Internal roads 60-80kmph
- Designated toll plazas which accept coins or have manned rolls to collect fees (carry exact change)
- M50 has cameras which captures images of license plate and the incumbents of the car. You need to pay this toll online at M50 Toll Payment Site before 2000 hrs of the day to avoid penalty
- Ensure that you carefully read the fine print and also on all the inclusions and exclusions of the contract with the car rental company
Overall, the experience of driving in Ireland has been a great experience and until I come back with my day wise itinerary, this is Srikanth signing Off!
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