Car rental Ireland
General information and regulations
Ireland started using the metric system in 2004. This is why distances are shown in kilometers. Road signs showing miles can be found though not very often.
Although the minimum age for driving in Ireland is 17 years, in order to rent a car you have to be at least 21 years old (age may vary by car category) and have held your license for 2 years. Drivers age 23 and under and over the age of 70 may incur an additional fee locally.
Traffic travels on the left and the driving wheel is positioned at the right. For non-UK residents this will take a while to get used to although the only crowded area is Dublin. Half of the population of Ireland resides here and outside of the city, the roads are quiet.
Pay attention to the speed limit for cars with a cart or caravans, which is 50mph/80kph. Other speed limits are: on open roads 60mph/100kph and on highways 75mph/120kph. Seatbelts are mandatory and children younger than 12 have to sit in the back.
Driving in Ireland with a rental car
A car is essential in the green country of Ireland. The country is a gem of Celtic history and surprising scenery. Dublin is an excellent starting point. Many buses run from Dublin to Galway, although this will take a lot of time. Buses stop at several small towns and not all are worth the visit.
With the use of a rental car, you can have your pick of the sights in Ireland. The trip from Dublin to Galway is a nice one. This will take about 3 hrs and 15 minutes (209 km) which seems like a lot of time. Meandering roads and rough terrain have to be conquered in order to go from Dublin (Eastern Ireland) to Galway (Western Ireland). Galway is often referred to as a 'backpacker's paradise' and numerous hostels & camping sites confirm this title.
Those who enjoy the outdoors and hiking will certainly enjoy the (Gaelic) region and camping sites can be found in the village of Spiddal (and Galway). The cliffs of Moher remind oneself of those described in a fantasy novel (they offer magnificent views). A completely different atmosphere can be found at about 291 km from Dublin, in the town of Waterford. The southernmost point of Ireland can be reached in 4 hrs. A lovely village near Waterford is Tramore. This town would almost seem Caribbean (albeit quite some degrees colder). Despite the cold weather, the beaches are lovely.
Renting a car in Ireland
The prominent car rental companies are situated in the crowded area of Ireland: Dublin. Rental companies such as Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and National are present at the airports. Shannon Airport and Cork Airport can be used to pick up your rental car as well.
In order to get a clear view of local rates, you can use EasyTerra, a website that shows the prices of well-established car rental companies for your convenience.