Car Rental in Ireland | Traveling in Ireland Podcast Episode 13

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Infinite Ireland

Jody is joined by Stephanie Chastain. Stephanie publishes Infinite Ireland, a site dedicated to helping first-time travelers to Ireland. Join Jody and Stephanie as they discuss the ins and outs of car rental in Ireland.

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Show Notes: (Click on times below to Expand)

About is a site to help people plan their first trip to Ireland. The Chastains have been traveling to Ireland for the past decade.

Car Rental in Ireland:

It can be a surprise, even if you have done your research, how much it costs to rent a car in Ireland. Also, the overall experience is not a straight-forward as it is in the U.S. or even in other European Countries.

Why Driving is the Best Way to See Ireland:

Renting a car allows for more freedom and spontaneity in your travels.
Buses tend to rush through or even pass by many wonderful attractions.
Renting a car and driving allows you to go at your own pace.
Packing kids on a bus can be stressful and sometimes not so fun.

How difficult is it to drive in Ireland?

It's intimidating. You're driving on the left, on narrow roads and watching out for sheep. It takes some getting used to, but having a good navigator really helps with the adjustment.

Tip: Use Google Maps to check out the streets you will be traveling before you go to give you a better idea of where to go.

Which Car Rental Company do you Prefer:

Dan Dooley is one of the most transparent companies. You know exactly what everything will cost.

Tip: Check out the .ie sites for other car rental companies that you are familiar with such as Hertz, Enterprise, etc. These sites will include the minimum insurance requirements for that country to rent a car. This helps give you a better idea of what it will cost and helps prevent sticker shock.

Tip: Typically it is easier to rent through the actual car rental company instead of through a third-party such as Travelocity. It's a lot less hassel if something goes wrong.

What is CDW and Super Collision Coverage?

Collision Damage Waiver is the minimum insurance you have to have to just rent the car. However, we also highly recommend you also get the super collision coverage; which helps cover those little dents and scratches you could get while learning to drive on the narrow roads of Ireland.

Warning on Using Credit Cards to Rent a Car:

Only a handful of credit cards actually cover car rental in Ireland, so call your credit card companies' benefits department beforehand to be sure. Then, 2 weeks before you leave for Ireland, have the credit card company send you a letter, that you will bring with you to Ireland, that will prove that you are covered. The car must be rented with the credit card you are using to cover the insurance.

Warning: Discover Card is not accepted in Ireland. Also be careful with American Express, since they are not always accepted either.

Tip: Take pictures of the vehicle before and after to have proof of any prior damage.

Other Tips:

  • Ask what the policy is for charges on the toll roads for each car rental company.
  • GPS ins't necessary – but a good map is vital.
  • Pay attention to your packing- and the trunk size of your rental vehicle!
  • Use your turn signal on the roundabouts.
  • Follow the brown signs for interesting places.

3 places in Ireland you MUST visit, but need a car:

Closing remarks:

Renting a car in Ireland can be a long and drawn out process, but it really is worth it to explore the country. Just use these tips and do your research.

If you want to connect with Stephanie, check out Infinite Ireland or her Facebook page.

Questions: Contact Jody at [email protected].



  1. This podcast was so very helpful! I’ve read several things about renting cars in Ireland and was a bit worried about it. The information Stephanie and Jody shared about the the CDW excess helped me decide to just purchase it and have peace of mind while traveling in Ireland for the first time. Their tips about driving slowly and navigating the round-abouts was helpful as well. Thank you!

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