Your quick travel guide to Galway

Car Rental in Galway: driving the City of the Tribes

Visit Galway to see more of Irish life than the average tourist. For good food, scintillating nightlife, and excellent tours of West Ireland, make Galway your starting point to a more intimate experience of Ireland. Book your rental car today and plan numerous drives throughout this beautiful area.

Ireland has a fairly consistent temperature year round, with lots of rain. Summer weather is unlikely to reach more than 20 degrees Celsius, and temperatures in winter only drop to below freezing at times. May, June, and September are particularly beautiful months to visit Galway.

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.

Galway is in the Greenwich Mean Time Zone, or UTC+0.

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 a good idea.

Automobile hire is available in 3 locations throughout Galway, the Galway Railway Station, at Ballybrit, and downtown.

Whether you plan to visit the nearby Aran Islands, the Burren, or the Cliffs of Moher, you will find that the drive through West Ireland is as enjoyable as the destination itself. A drive through Connemara along the Wild Atlantic Way is well worth your time. Connemara National Park is located about 80 km northwest of Galway; if you’re planning on returning to Galway after your visit, be sure to take a different road home to take the most advantage of the sights. Consider visiting, for instance, Cong, in County Mayo, on your drive back to Galway, located at the northern tip of Lough Corrib, 40 km from the city.

Visa Regulations

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.

Driving in Galway

Central Galway is very walkable, so consider only renting a car when you plan to leave the city in order to save yourself the price of parking. For exploration of the countryside around Galway, however, a car is certainly the most comfortable and convenient means of transportation!

Left-Hand Driving

  • Traffic proceeds on the left-hand side of the road throughout Ireland.

Speed Limits

  • In the city: 50 km/h
  • On regional roads (R-roads): 80 km/h
  • On national primary (N1 to N50) and secondary roads (N51+): 100 km/h
  • On motorways (M-roads): 120 km/h
  • Traffic congestion is becoming increasingly worse in Galway, making morning and evening rush hours particularly uncomfortable times to be on the road in the city.

Other Regulations

    1. Parking is typically expensive in Galway. If you can’t book a hotel with complementary parking, take advantage of a number of free or inexpensive overnight parking lots, though do note that you may have to move your car by 6 am in order to get the best deal. You can also typically park near the cathedral for around $5 a day.
    2. Your domestic driver’s license should be sufficient for your self-drive visit to Ireland.
    3. Most motorways throughout the Republic of Ireland are tolled, and the vast majority of them only accept cash.
    4. 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 Galway

    Automobile hire in Galway typically starts at around $20 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Galway:

    • Volkswagen Polo or similar (economy class) – $21/day
    • Ford Focus or similar (compact class) – $22/day
    • Toyota Avensis or similar (intermediate class) – $24/day
    • Ford Ka or similar (mini class) – $28/day
    • Vauxhall Insignia or similar (standard class) – $29/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 Galway

    While you can typically find rental cars in Galway for around $20 a day, prices may skyrocket or drop depending on the season; for instance, rentals can be as expensive as $38 a day in August or as low as $16 a day in December.

    For the most availability, book your rental car from agencies such as Enterprise and Payless Car Rental located in downtown Galway. Be sure to keep an eye out for discounts of at least 8% that make car rental even more affordable.

    You can also often save at least $1 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.

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    Car rental companies in Galway

    We have prepared a shortlist of top rental companies in Galway. To save both time and money compare offers on to find the best deal.

    9.7 /1 review
    Available in 1 location
    Time it took to drop your car off10.0
    Cleanliness of the car10.0
    Overall condition of the car9.0
    Time it took to pick your car up10.0