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Car Rental in Ireland
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Car Rental in Ireland: a magical country for those who really love road trips
Ireland should be at the top of any frequent traveler’s list, but it is an especially good country for lovers of the road trip. Whether you circumnavigate the entirety of the Republic of Ireland or just take your time following the Wild Atlantic Way along the east coast from Cork in the south to Londonderry just inside Northern Ireland, your visit to this magical country can only be its best with a rental car. Book today to start your adventures.
Ireland has a fairly consistent temperature year round, with lots of rain. Summer weather is unlikely to reach more than 20 degrees Celsius, and winter weather freezes only intermittently. March to May and September to October are particularly beautiful times of year to visit. Bring a raincoat, regardless!
The first official language of Ireland is Irish, which is spoken by 55% of Ireland’s inhabitants. English is spoken everywhere. Many road signs will also be bilingual, in both Irish and English; if you’re planning on driving through more remote areas, it will be prudent to have a grasp of Irish in order to read possible monolingual signs.
The currency in Ireland is the euro, and cash machines are widely available in both city and country. While you can expect most stores to accept major credit cards, having some cash on hand for smaller transactions is quite prudent.
Ireland is in the Greenwich Mean Time Zone, or UTC+0.
Don’t underestimate driving distances or times! The entire length of the Wild Atlantic Way from Londonderry, Northern Ireland to Cork is over 700 km (435 mi) long, and driving can be slow, particularly on rural roads between smaller villages and towns. Dublin is located 250 km (155 mi) northeast of Cork and 200 km (124 mi) due east from Galway. The iconic Cliffs of Moher are located 75 km (46 mi) south of Galway, making them a possible sight for a day trip if you’re staying in Dublin, but taking your time in and around Galway is also highly recommended.
Cheap car hire in Ireland is available in over 20 cities, especially Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Kerry, and Galway. Interested in car hire in Northern, Ireland? It is also available! Book your car to pick up directly from the airport at which you land, particularly in Dublin, Cork, or Shannon, for the cheapest price and the most convenience.
While Ireland is a member of the European Union, it is not a member of the Schengen Agreement. Nonetheless, nationalities of many countries can visit Ireland visa-free for up to 90 days. Double check requirements for entry to Ireland for your nationality on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website, as you may need to apply for a tourist visa before you depart for Ireland.
Driving in Ireland
Motorways make for very comfortable driving throughout the Republic of Ireland, and regional roads are also generally well maintained, though quite narrow. Be alert while driving the narrow roads of rural Ireland and prepare to make space for oncoming or quickly overtaking local traffic.
- Similarly to the United Kingdom, traffic proceeds on the left-hand side of the road throughout Ireland.
- In cities and towns: 50 km/h (31 mph)
- On regional roads (R-roads): 80 km/h (50 mph)
- On national primary (N1 to N50) and secondary roads (N51+): 100 km/h (62 mph)
- On motorways (M-roads): 120 km/h (75 mph)
- Parking is regulated by time and fee throughout Irish cities and towns. Have a parking disk on hand to indicate when you’ve arrived in car parks that are limited by time alone, or park in parking lots or garages to avoid these concerns.
- Your domestic driver’s license should be sufficient for your self-drive visit to Ireland.
- Most motorways throughout the Republic of Ireland are tolled, and the vast majority of them only accept cash.
- While the minimum driving age in Ireland is 17, you will have to be at least 21 years of age to rent a car in Ireland. You are also likely to face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
Cheap Car Rental in Ireland
Car hire in Ireland typically starts at around $10 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Ireland:
- Ford Ka or similar (mini class) – $10/day
- Opel Corsa or similar (economy class) – $13/day
- Toyota Corolla or similar (compact class) – $16/day
- Volkswagen Jetta or similar (intermediate class) – $16/day
- Hyundai Ix35 or similar (standard class) – $20/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Ireland
For the cheapest prices, book your car from major airports, such as in Dublin or Cork.
Car rental prices are particularly low in the off-season; there’s a minimum of a $8 difference in daily rental price between winter and summer months.
Flizzr Rent a Car often has car rental offers at half the price of other companies; rent directly from the Cork Airport for your convenience and for the cheapest prices. Easirent is also typically an especially cheap rental option.