🇮🇪 🍀 Thinking of renting a car in Ireland? Here’s everything you need to know.

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Your guide to renting a car in Ireland…

You’re planning your dream trip to Ireland. You’re considering renting a car to take you off the beaten path. Below are 10 tips and tricks you’ll need to know before hiring a car.

For a full list of all 20 tips; make sure to subscribe to our email newsletter and we’ll send you out the guide.

Driving in Ireland is different from driving in your home country. Ireland has its own traffic rules and customs. Make sure to check out the Road Safety Authority website for more info.

NB: if you’re looking for a fun way to pass the time in Cork city, check out our website RebelCityTour.com. We do Cork’s best walking tour!

Our first 10 tips and tricks for renting a car in Ireland…

  1. Irish garages or petrol stations (gas stations) sell both diesel and petrol fuel. If you have a diesel car – use diesel only. If you have a petrol car – only use petrol. To do otherwise will mean destroying your car’s engine.

  2. We drive on the left in Ireland. A great tip to remember this…roll up your sleeve and ensure you’re wearing your watch on your left wrist.

  3. Your US driving license is valid in Ireland. Always carry it while driving. You don’t need an international license unless you plan on driving on continental Europe.

  4. By law, all children under 150cm in height or under 36kg in weight must use the correct child seat or booster when travelling in a car or goods vehicle. This usually means your child will need to be in a car seat until they are around 12 years old.

  5. Irish roads can be very narrow in places. Spend a little extra to get proper insurance. Don’t get caught out. Try to purchase Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) protection.

  6. If you’ve never driven a manual gear shift car before. Book a car with automatic transmission beforehand. Expect to pay extra, unfortunately. If you burn through the clutch of a vehicle with a manual transmission by driving it like an automatic, expect to pay at least $1,500 to replace the clutch. This will not be covered by your insurance, plus you’ll need a replacement vehicle.

  7. The age at which you can rent a car varies from company to company. Check beforehand.

  8. Some of Ireland’s motorways (highways) are tolled. Carry change with you when you drive, e.g. euro coins.

  9. Inspect your rental car for damage beforehand. Take timestamped photos with your phone. Don’t get caught for damage you didn’t cause.

  10. You don’t need the hassle of a car in Dublin. Rent a car while leaving the city.

Receive 10 more essential tips in our downloadable and printable e-book by signing up to our newsletter to get this car rental guide in your inbox.

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Paying for your rental car

If you choose to go with a third-party insurance provider and your car rental company accepts this. Then there is a great possibility they’ll put a hold on your credit card for thousands of dollars anyway. Just in case your third-party cover doesn’t cover your possible damages.

Generally, we’d advise you to go for Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) protection. This isn’t an area you should skimp on.

Best Deals for car rentals in Ireland

We’ve heard good things about GoCar.ie Ireland’s number 1 car-sharing company. If you find yourself in an urban area and wish to rent a car to visit the beach or an attraction you’d like to see. And you are fine with returning your car to your point of departure, then GoCar is a great option.

Pros vs. Cons of car hire in Ireland

Here are a few of the pros and cons we can think of that might help you decide…

Pros of renting a car in IrelandCons to renting a car in Ireland
1. Independence; you can go off the beaten track.
2. No need to wait for buses, taxis, and trains.
1. It can be more expensive than public transport.
2. Concentrating on the road, you might miss the scenery.
Screenshot from 2023 06 30 18 15 39 | Rebel City Walking Tour of Cork
Route for the walking tour

Final Advice on renting a car in Ireland

The most important thing to remember is that driving in the country differs from driving in the US. In Ireland, we drive on the left; the roads can be narrow and even dangerous in places – if you’re not careful.

Remember to print off the Rebel City Tour Car Rental Tips checklist before you go. You can receive yours for free by subscribing to our newsletter. Bring it with you on your journey!

Have a safe and happy trip!


Rebel City Tours

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