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Must-Read Tips Before You Rent a Car in Dublin 

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Ireland is a beautiful country, and driving across it is one of the best parts of visiting. This travel guide will include everything you need to know before renting a car in Dublin.

If you’re planning a trip to Ireland, renting a car is a great way to see the country. Driving across Ireland allows you to explore the lush green countryside, charming towns, and stunning coastline at your own pace. Dublin is a great starting point for your road trip. From here, you can drive to some of the most beautiful destinations in the country.

Renting a car in Dublin

What is required when renting a car in Dublin? 

Book your Car in advance. 

By booking ahead, you’ll also have a better chance of getting the Car you want, especially during peak travel seasons. DiscoverCars.com offers exclusive deals and discounts, making your trip even more affordable.


Deposit on your card

When renting a car in Ireland, it’s important to note that the rental company will place a significant hold on your credit card. This is a precautionary measure to cover potential damages or additional charges, such as fuel fees.

The hold amount varies depending on the rental company and the car type, but it’s not uncommon for it to be several hundred euros. To avoid any unexpected financial issues, ensure you have enough available credit on your card to cover the hold. This way, you can fully enjoy your trip without worrying about unforeseen expenses.

Car rental insurance

When renting a car in Dublin, it’s important to consider Car rental insurance. While it’s not mandatory to purchase insurance when renting a car in Ireland, avoiding unexpected costs and damages is highly recommended. Car rental companies offer a range of insurance options, including collision damage waiver (CDW) and theft protection, which can provide peace of mind while on the road.

It’s essential to read the terms and conditions carefully and understand what the insurance policy covers. Choosing the right insurance coverage can save you money and stress in the long run. Just make sure you read all the fine print before you get there.

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Things you need to know once you arrive

Once you’re ready to hit the road, there are plenty of amazing destinations to explore in Ireland. One of the most popular routes is the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,500 km scenic drive along Ireland’s west coast. Along this route, you can visit charming towns like Galway, Killarney, and Westport and see breathtaking natural wonders like the Cliffs of Moher and the seaside village of Cork.

As you travel across Ireland, remember to take your time and enjoy the journey. Stop at local pubs (like the oldest pub in the world, Sean’s Pub) and restaurants to taste traditional Irish cuisine, visit historic sites like castles and abbeys, and take in the stunning scenery that makes Ireland a special place. With a rental car, you can explore Ireland on your terms and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

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Picking up your Car

The rental car companies at Dublin Airport are located in the Car Rental Village, which is just a short shuttle ride from the airport terminal. The Car Rental Village is located on the airport grounds and is accessible via a regular shuttle bus service, which operates every 10-15 minutes.

The shuttle bus stop is just outside the arrivals hall of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Once you arrive at the Car Rental Village, you will find all the major car rental companies, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt. The rental car village is easy to navigate, and plenty of staff are on hand to help you with your rental car needs.

Driving on the left side of the road

Before you start your journey, you should have a valid driver’s license and insurance. You should also be comfortable driving on the left-hand side of the road, which can be an adjustment if you’re used to driving on the right. If you need more confidence driving in a foreign country, hire an automatic car, as changing gears on the opposite side can be tricky.

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When driving in Ireland, you’ll find that most tolls are similar to those in the other countries, with drive-throughs being the norm. However,  one notable exception is the M50 highway that encircles Dublin. 

To pay the toll for this road, you can pay online or at a gas station in person. It’s important to remember to pay the M50 Toll on time, as there is a penalty fee for late payments. The deadline for payment is 8 pm the day after you drive on the M50. To simplify things, you can visit on your phone or laptop, enter your rental car license plate number, and pay the toll with your credit card. There’s no need to waste time and energy paying for it in a gas station.

Narrow roads 

It’s important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, as many rural roads are pretty narrow and winding and may only allow one Car to pass at a time. Be prepared to pull over, let oncoming traffic pass, and watch for pedestrians and cyclists as well.

It’s also a good idea to rent a smaller car, as larger vehicles may struggle to navigate narrow roads. Lastly, remember to take your time and enjoy Ireland’s stunning scenery!

Frequently asked questions

Is it worth renting a car in Dublin, Ireland – My answer is a definite yes! If you plan to spend time outside of Dublin, the countryside is beautiful, and you can go on many day trips if you are basing yourself in Dublin, too.

Do I need an International Drivers licence? – If you possess a driving licence issued by any EU or EEA member state, you are permitted to drive in Ireland with that licence as long as it remains valid. However, if you are a visitor in Ireland and your driving licence is issued by a state outside the EU/EEA, you can drive using your current and valid driving licence for up to one year.

Do I need Car rental insurance in Ireland? – My answer is always the same: in any country, it is worth the extra for peace of mind if anything happens. 

Is it better to rent a car or use public transportation in Ireland? – If you plan to stay in Dublin and not venture out, public transport and taxis are fine. However, to explore outside of the city centre and neighbourhoods, renting a car is the best solution.

How do you avoid being taken advantage of by Car rental companies in Ireland? -Read the fine print and book beforehand, and ensure the company has no hidden clauses. 

What do you recommend for someone travelling to Dublin for the first time to do and see? -I have an entire article that you can read with all the must-do places to visit for first-timers in Dublin

15 Best things to do in Dublin in 2024

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  • Paula Barreca Barnes

    So 17 years ago, my husband and I set off with our little family in tow, embarking on a short-term assignment in Taiwan. Although without any knowledge of expat life or the Taiwanese culture, we took the chance and decided this would be an exciting little adventure; little did we know it changed the direction of our lives forever.

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1 thought on “Must-Read Tips Before You Rent a Car in Dublin ”

  1. Thanks, this is a really great post for my travel goals! I have Ireland also on my bucket list as well. Hopefully one day I can make it there 🙂

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