IrelandYes ~ Top Rated Ireland Forum ~ by Tourism Ireland



MICHELE'S BOOK     ~    BLOG    ~    IRISH SHOP    ~    PLAN MY TRIP    ~    TWITTER


Members Login
Post Info TOPIC: A LENGTHY DISSERTATION (RANT) ON CAR HIRE


Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 1429
Date:
A LENGTHY DISSERTATION (RANT) ON CAR HIRE


It's a dreary, rainy and gray day, here in North Florida.  Nothing much on TV of any interest and the Mrs. is suffering through a rather severe bout of vertigo, so I'm kinda relegated to moping about the house.  All-in-all, it's a rather depressing vibe to the day.  hmm hmm

      furious  So -- Let's talk about Car Hire in Ireland, shall we???  furious

Now, in regards to that subject, I've been around the block --  a FEW times.  This July will make an even dozen visits there over the last eleven years, but my very first, during the High Season of mid-to-late July.  Most of our visits, excluding the one abberation of February, 2002, have been in either April (typically, for nine days), or June (usually for 15-16 days).  This year, we wanted to extend our time out to three weeks though, and that meant that our only viable option would be mid-July until August first.  I'm familiar with the old saw about Peak Season means PEAK demand and therefor, PEAK prices, so DESPITE the current economy, it was obvious that CAREFUL planning would be required, to make the trip as affordable as possible.  I figured that I was up to the challenge, though, as all of our previous trips were  self-drive and I've made the arraingments for each and every one of them. 

         biggrin biggrin biggrin     Pity the Fool.    biggrin biggrin biggrin

Over the years, I've used Sixt, Enterprise, Europcar, Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Atlas and Dooley, both directly and through Consolidators, like Kemwell, Autoeurope, IrishcarRental and CarRentals.com and I've been horribly mistreated, highly disappointed and grossly over-charged by unexpected "Extras", but I have ALSO been treated honestly and fairly and sometimes ---  I've even been been pleasantly suprised.

         bleh bleh bleh     Not REAL often, though.  bleh bleh bleh

Car Hire is THE bane of Irish Tourism.  I have likened the process to "Kissing The Frog" -- suggesting that it is THE worst aspect of the planning process, after which, all the rest is smooth sailing and realatively pleasant, in comparison.

This year is shaping up to be even worse than ever before.  The ITIC Report ( http://www.itic.ie/fileadmin/docs/ITIC-Car_Rental_Fleet_Shortage_and_Tourism.pdf
  ) is offering DIRE projections for 2010 and my own research has pretty well substanciated their prognosis.  furious furious furious

Here's a timeline of how the process usually unfolds, for me:

Our approximate dates are usually settled upon around the end of November -- at which time I begin the process of searching out a SENSE of available options.  Doing so gives me an approximate range for my budget and lets me be aware if any true bargains happen to materialize. 

I usually settle upon purchasing airfare first, as all other details are dependant upon the specific dates of my flight.  After that, I usually secure some, if not MOST of my lodgings.  Only THEN, once I've determined the NATURE (Lots of road Time?  Bigger car.  Mostly Sedentary?  A smaller car will suffice.) of the trip, am I prepared to face the morass of the mindfield known as car hire.

                        evileye evileye evileye evileye evileye disbeliefdisbeliefdisbelief evileye evileye evileye evileye evileye

This year, we're arriving at the Cork Ferry Port, in Ringaskiddy, about 7 AM on 15 July, via the all-new Fastnet Lines Swansea to Cork overnight ferry.  We are departing Shannon at 1300 on 1 August.  Our car rental period is for 17 days.  Our flight is from Orlando (MCO) to Cardiff, via Dublin, on Aer Lingus.

Here's a chart of some of the 'Usual Suspects' of Irish Car Hire.  All rates are for same dates and times and based upon Waiving CDW by using my BankofAmerica World MasterCard.  Where that is NOT possible (certain websites), I have tried to NOTE that fact.  Bear in mind that a change of dates and/or length of rental, or of car CLASS makes all this information irrellivant --

This is only done as a 'SNAPSHOT' of the state of things, under VERY SPECIFIC circumstances.  Therefore, it is NOT intended as an over-all endorsement OR condemnation of any particular company or companies!!!  

    confuse Sorry that the chart doesn't want to format clearly. confuse

COMPANY               WEBSITE                 REFERENCED MODEL          DOORS         EXTRA FEATURES            PRICE QUOTED - In Euro unless shown as other.


        
ARGUS            www.argus-rentacar.com          Fiesta             2/4                                        448.17
  Fiesta                   5                                         456.22

   Golf                    4/5                                       546.71      

   Golf                     5               AC                        584.42

   Avensis                  4               AC                        735.23

   Golf                4/5              AC / Automatic            886.04

    Fiesta                  4/5                   Automatic            1039.42

    Avensis                  4               AC / Automatic            1225.40

     Micra                   2/4                   Automatic            2951.97


AVIS     www.avis.ie    NO CDW Waiver    ( www.avis.com   ) (NO CDW )                                                                                        

Corsa                    5                                         997.53                     ($979.21)
Focus                    5                                              1087.51               ($1058.92 )   
Micra                    5                     Automatic           1262.54               ($1298.05)Focus                    4                     Automatic           1359.43              ($1458.83)


THRIFTY        www.thrifty.ie                    
  (Affiliated with: ATLAS )                     
               www.atlascarhire.com             

Polo                     3                                         916.20
Yaris                    5                                         938.57
Focus                    5                                         1050.4
Passat                   4                       1.6 litre         1262.93
Passat                   4                       1.8 litre         1363.57
Micra                   3/5                      Automatic         1385.94
Corolla                 4/5                      Automatic         1497.80


KEMWELL      www.kemwell.com                    

Hyundai I30              4                                                         $930.62
Golf                     4                                                         $959.79
Focus                    4                  AC                                     $988.96
Astra                     4                                                         $1183.98
Hyundai Accent        4                        Automatic                        $1484.93
Nissan Note              4                        Automatic                        $1543.27
Astra                    4                        Automatic                        $1572.97 

BUDGET       www.budget.ie                      

Polo                     2                                          497.9
Fiesta                   4                                          522.10
Golf                     4                                          546.40
Mondeo               4                                          643.60
Yaris                    2                        Automatic         935.00
Auris                    4                        Automatic         1105.00

 HERTZ   www.hertz.com    No CDW                       www.hertz.ie   (No CDW Waiver)  
                                                
Ford Ka                 2/3                                         822.52
Focus                   2/4              NO  AC   1.4 litre         951.07
Mondeo                  4/5                  AC                     1131.06
 Mazda 3                                           Automatic         1259.63
 Mazda 6                 4/5                  Ac / Automatic         1336.79          


This was actually the CHEAPEST quote that I found:
www.carhire.ie

Vehicle Type: Compact   Models Include: Opel Astra, Peugeot 307, Citroen Xsara or similar
Pickup Date: Thursday, July 15, 2010
Pickup Time: 09:00
Pickup Location: Shannon Airport
Return Date: Sunday, August 01, 2010
Return Time: 09:45
Return Location: Cork Airport
Child Seats: 0
Extra Drivers: 0
Cost: 669.27  -- Includes a One-Way Fee of $81.53
Currency: USD

From the "Terms And Conditions" page, though, came these disturbing caveats:

"Transaction Processing Fee
A transaction processing fee of 10 is applicable for the purchase of any product or service.
Premium Location charge
There is a charge of 28.00 (incl. VAT) for pick-ups at airport and downtown locations
Vehicle Licence Fee (VLF)
VLF is 1.32 (plus VAT) per day
Fuel Policy
Fuel is paid on commencement of the rental. Your rental vehicle is supplied with a full tank of fuel at a discounted price and should be returned with an empty fuel tank. There is no refund for partial fuel tanks.
One Way Rentals
One way fee is 60 plus VAT. "

So -- In ADDITION to the Quoted price of $669.27, there APPEARS to be a FEW 'EXTRAS' -- Airport Fee - 28 Euro -- Transaction Fee - 10 Euro -- VLF (Road Tax/Licence Fee) - 25.5 Euro (1.32 per day X 17 days, plus 13.5% VAT) -- Totaling 63.5 Eor, or approx $87.63 more, PLUS the Initial Fuel charge, which is difficult to determine as the vehicle fuel tank sizes can vary so much.

Still, the 'EXTRAS' only raise the quoted price to $756.90.  BUT, when you add in the ASSININE 'Return It Empty' Fuel policy and this (VERY DISTURBING) 'Terms And Conditions" item:
  "353 car rental CDR cover
It is a mandatory requirement for all renters to purchase 353 car rental's CDR cover. 353 car rental does not accept the renter's credit card as CDR cover. "
  --

      furious  I HATE 'Airport Suprises', so I find THAT ambiguity to be a Deal Killer. furious

Now there are a BUNCH of other players and if I had the time, energy and enthusiasm, I could go on and and and on.  Instead, I will spare you more numbers (and ME, more effort) and PRESUME that these are FAIRLY REPRESENTATIVE.  They give a SNAPSHOT of what the Car Hire landscape looks like, given the dates of my search and the parameters of my SPECIFIC needs. 

These prices are NOT inclusive of all 'Local Charges and Fees', of course, NOR do they include the charge for the initial tank of fuel (or the arcane RULES as to whether the car needs to be returned Full, for a refund, or Empty, as no credit is allowed). 

I finally settled upon using Budget, even though their quote of 546.4 Euro does NOT include 25E + VAT for an 'Administration Fee' applied because I am waiving the CDW via my World MasterCard, or the 28E (VAT Included) Airport Surcharge.  (At least they DO offer a REFUND of the fuel charge, if the car is returned with a Full tank!)  Their words also state:  "A deposit of EUR 2000 will be required on pickup for damages."  Theoretically, my total expense SHOULD be approximately 605 Euro PLUS the Initial fuel at +/- 100 Euro (which I EXPECt will be refunded, as I will return it full -- with MUCH cheaper fuel than they would charge!), NOT counting the 'Deposit' and any expenses related to THAT. 

I HATE that they charge a DEPOSIT, rather than a HOLD, but I ONLY use that World MasterCard for car hire in Ireland, so a deposit or Hold does not adversely affect my travel -- but, the 3% Foreign Transaction Fee ( and MasterCard's 1% ) must also be factored in.  Assuming an exchange rate of 1 euro = $1.38, that 700 Euro initial charge will cost me $966.  If that is correct, the Foreign Transaction Fees will work out to $38.64 -- and a total of just OVER $1000 as a total. 

My decision may come as a BIG shock to those of you that are familiar with my opinions.  I've been a big fan of Dan Dooley the last few years, due mostly for their no-nonsence, "No Suprises" marketing model, coupled with reasonable and competitive pricing.  This year?  Not so much.  Absolutely NOTHING makes sense!!

Dooley still seems to embrace their 'No Hidden Fees' Policy, but they don't SEEM terribly COMPETIVE in their pricing.  Here's a breakdown for a Ford Focus Manual , waiving CDW, all with Drop Off at Shannon Airport, but varied by Pick Up LOCATION.  Note that all are for my exact terms -- Start on 15 July and End on 1 August.

                 WEB SITE                          PICKUP  LOCATION              QUOTED PRICE

         www.dandooley.com                        Cork  Airport                     $1410.27

                                                                   Dublin Airport                   $1396.30

                                                                   Belfast Airport                  $1015.84

                                                                   Cork Ferryport                  $1522.01

Just for chuckles -- Same car, same dates, with Pick Up AND Drop Off at Belfast, shows a quote of $792.37 !!!  A Belfast to Belfast quote from Kemwell priced out at 418.63 USD for a Focus and ONLY 462.73 USD for an Opel Astra AUTOMATIC!!!  Kemwell's quote does NOT include the 'EXTRAS', but they should net out at LESS than $200!!

Now, I interpret the ITIC report to SUGGEST that the Car Hire companies are trying to pressure the Irish government into extending and even enhancing the Tax Breaks and Incentives that they have traditionally enjoyed and I also understand that those same companies exist for the purpose of earning a profit, but, SERIOUSLY, guys!  Do you NOT realize that you are Biting The hand That Feeds You?????  the Airlines are trying THEIR best to force traffic into and out of Dublin.  With Belfast only a relatively short bus or train ride away, with an opportunity of saving Hundreds of dollars on offer there, you are opening the door for Tourism Suicide.  Once people have made their way to the North in search of bargains, How are you going to LURE them back????

I'm Not making any threats here, mind you ---

I'm just SAYIN'.....   confuse confuse confuse

Bob





-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Monday 12th of April 2010 09:57:13 AM

__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 610
Date:

You have just spelled out my headache... and you have the research to back it up. IT IS A HEADACHE.

This summer I've decided to focus on Ireland by Rail for the Irish Fireside. I hate giving up the flexibility of a car, but my financial situation requires that I travel with fixed costs.

Car rental prices have been a moving target... the rates never seem stand still until you get the keys and even then surprises can appear on the credit card statement.

__________________
Corey
www.IrishFireside.com


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 62
Date:

Bob,

Sorry for your dreary day and frustration, but your research and taking time to write it all out really is informative. I am still trying to decide whether to pick up in Belfast and return in Dublin if that will save a significant amount of money.

We don't have a World Mastercard or any other credit card that covers Ireland so I guess we don't have to worry about the hold? But will pay a premium!

Thanks for your help and I hope you have a better day today.

Erin



__________________


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 128
Date:

Bob-

How different is the car rental different in the North?
Do CC companies consider it the UK,and a regular CC will cover insurance ?

Susan


__________________


Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 1429
Date:

Susan -- I'll know for CERTAIN in July, as I have a car booked through Kemwell for pick up and return in Cardiff, Wales ... biggrin biggrin

They let me pre-pay with my AMEX card, while waiving the CDW.  Dooley's site pops up the same warning window about "Certain US MasterCards and Canadian Visa cards" when you 'TICK' the 'Waive CDW' button, but they ARE an Irish company, after all.

www.budget.com    'Terms And Conditions states:
            
              " Coverage: Customers may be asked to leave a deposit to cover damage responsibility if collision damage waiver (CDW) is not taken. Damage responsibility for the United Kingdom is full value of the vehicle.. If CDW is accepted this will reduce the responsibility to the excess applicable at the renting location. Car groups A, B, C, D, E, J, K, F, N, and O have a damage excess of GBP 550.00. This can be reduced to GBP 100.00 for a fee of GBP 5.50 plus tax per day. Car groups G, H, I, L, M, have a damage excess of GBP 750.00. For car groups G, I, L and M, the excess can be reduced to GBP 250.00 for a fee of GBP 6.50 plus tax per day. There is no excess reduction available for car group H Car group P offers a CDW of GBP 750.00. The excess can be reduced to GBP 250.00 with a fee of GBP 5.50 per day plus tax. This does not apply to US and Canadian customers where coverage is supplied by the credit card issuer. US and Canadian renters where coverage is supplied by third party are subject to GBP 1000.00 deposit and stand liable for full value of any damage. Renters under 25 can not reduce the excess. Renters over 70 can no reduce the excess."

My World MasterCard's 'weasle-words' specifically say "the Republic of Ireland"  .  AMEX is a little more vague, as it says that they exclude 'IRELAND', with no qualifier ...

You would have to contact Visa or MasterCard or AMEX to determine how they define their Ireland exclusions on YOUR card.  Not all Mastercards or Visa  are the same -- the terms DO vary!!

Looong Pause ----

Just got off the phone with AMEX as you got me thinking about it all.  Amex rep is going to email me a copy of my coverage, but the nice lady INSISTS that even though coverage is NOT available in the REPUBLIC of Ireland, rentals from Belfast WOULD be covered as, "Belfast is part of the UK."   biggrin biggrin biggrin biggrin

ANOTHER Looong pause as I do the 'Happy Dance'  ! !  biggrin biggrin biggrin biggrin

She ALSO said that AMEX covers under-carraige, mirrors and windshields -- and MIGHT cover tires, if they were damaged by potholes, etc... -- but NOT for punctures or leaks.

ANOTHER 'Happy Dance' !!!!!  biggrin

Now, I'll REALLY believe it when I see the words in black and white (or, at least, Greyscale !) but I am Cautiously Optomistic at THIS juncture.

Still don't know how all that applies to Visa and MOST MasterCards, though ...  So, you would STILL need to call to find out for yourself.

Bob


-- Edited by Itallian Chauffeur on Monday 12th of April 2010 05:00:15 PM

__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 536
Date:

Bob,

After reading all of the above, I have come to the conclusion that we should talk about a subject that is a bit more pleasant..... like....."cancer"blankstare!!!  but that wouldn't be appropriate on a blog about "Ireland"!   

Seriously, we  do appreciate all your efforts to share valuable information about this topic on this web sight as well as others that I frequent.  I have been bummed out,  because,  short of winning the lottery, I will be unable to get back to Ireland in 2010....hopefully we will have enough credit card points to go in 2011, and maybe this rental car mess will be fixed by then.smile   Dan

__________________


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9831
Date:

Bob,

You are preaching to the choir. We all agree with you. Car rentals in Ireland have been a free-for-all as long as I've been traveling there. That's over 37 years!

There is no incentive to change things. The only way change happens is when pressure is put on politicians. Most Irish people do not rent cars in Ireland. They have their own car. Thus they do not know about the problem. Since they don't know or care, they will not pressure their representatives to regulate the car rental industry. It simply has no impact on them.

Writing to the minister of tourism and other bodies will get you a nice form letter. What is their incentive to change things?

I think an open letter to the various Irish newspapers might open up the debate - if it was published. Perhaps comparing rentals all over Europe and showing how Ireland will lose out if tourists decide it is too much trouble or money to rent in Ireland.

A few complaining tourists are easily ignored. The car rental companies have no reason to change. In the big scheme of things Ireland is more concerned about bankrupt banks, zombie hotels and the economy than with the car companies.

We just need to get used to it and work the system as best we can.

Michele

P.S. Tourism to Ireland was down by 900,000 visitors in 2009.



__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 128
Date:

Bob-

I don't want to throw a banana peel into your happy dance but....

Last year I had to inform the nice AMEX lady on the phone that they didn't cover The Republic of Ireland.So who knows about the North,and what happens when you cross the border.Covered in the North but not when you are in the South???

Read the fine print and bring a copy with you!

Susan

 

__________________


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 62
Date:

I started my rental car research, hoping that since we were going in September rates would be lower. Doesn't seem to be the case at least with insurance, which we need. Here's what I found [ all with dropoff in Dublin or DunLaoghaire and Ford Focus or similar].

Hertz through Aer Lingus site:
With insurance from Belfast: $910.36/week
With insurance from Dublin: $557.83/week
Without insurance from Dublin: $367.69/week

Dan Dooley [dropoff at Dun Laoghaire]:
With insurance from Belfast: $776.19/week
With insurnce from Dublin: $1035/week

Kemwell:
With insurance from Dublin: $837.55

Contrast with Autoeurope for 2 weeks from Holyhead to London: Focus is $344.02 basic rate.

Now we are re-thinking our entire Ireland trip. Unless rates come down, it may be too expensive to rent a car there. We may just spend the entire 1 weeks in Great Britain.

I guess our alternative would be to get a World Master Card or Capital One Card. But then we have to deal with the 'hold'.

Frustrating! frustrated.gif

Erin



-- Edited by egnolive on Tuesday 13th of April 2010 09:22:54 AM

__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 596
Date:

Bob, have you done any research into www.insuremytrip.com? Some of the insurance packages offered there DO cover car rental insurance. From what I've been able to tell (cursory research only) it adds very little to the overall cost of trip insurance. If you're getting insurance anyhow for the trip, the added amount for $50,000 of car coverage is minimal. Could this be the back door option?



__________________
May the light be your guide and the darkness be your comfort!


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9831
Date:

Christy, 

Irish car rental companies have the final word on the type of insurance they will accept. I wonder if they will allow any from trip insurance? Yet another thing to research! hmm

Michele



-- Edited by Michele Erdvig on Wednesday 14th of April 2010 12:26:10 AM

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 1429
Date:

Michele -- You are OF COURSE quite correct.  I KNEW, going into this that going in July was going to be substantially MORE expensive -- but it was the only time that we are able to go, this year!  hmm

I thought that my little excercise might prove useful to RE-ITERATE just HOW convoluted and Midn-boggling the whole Car Hire process really is.  confuse confuse


Erin -- I posted a suggestion about YOUR situation over on your post about your trip plans along with a bit of info on the ferry.  Hope that helps. smile smile

I wrote a lengthy reply to a similar querry on a different board that I hope is also appropriate to add, here.  I THINK it applicable????  confuse confuse


The following is neither a CONDEMNATION --  nor is it exactly what you might call an
ENDORSEMENT for Budget.  It is merely an explaination of why I made the choice that I made. It also HINTS at the disturbed frustration level that results from having to investigate so carefully over something that SHOULDN'T be so *#@!&*!! DIFFICULT! furious



I have a reservation with budget.ie, for 17 days, in July. I am WAIVING the CDW, using my World MasterCard.

My rental quote (in THEIR words): "Includes compulsory insurances (excluding CDW), Gov. Tax, Unlimited Mileage, and 24hr Breakdown Cover."

FYI: I take THAT to mean Theft and Third-Party Liability ARE included, due to the use of the plural, 'insurances'. However, that ASSUMPTION is probably incorrect -- see below.

What is NOT included are: Euro 28 as a "standard airport surcharge" -- Again, THEIR words. I find it curious that they ALSO have a 'City Center Premium Surcharge' !!!--- Just how many rental locations do they have that do NOT charge a surcharge -- Have you ever even SEEN a Car Hire office located in the middle of a country pasture?????  
      wink            wink                             wink
What is NOT clearly detailed on the Reservation Form, but implicit from their 'Terms and Conditions - Republic Of Ireland' page, is:


"You may only decline CDW/Theft Protection where you have arranged CDW/Theft Protection cover yourself (certain Gold/Platinum cards allow this). An administration fee of EUR 25 + VAT at 13.5% will apply for the use of this option. A deposit of EUR 2000 will be required on pickup for damages. It is the responsibility of the renter to ensure that the credit card insurance is adequate to cover any loss/damage to the vehicle. Otherwise, the renter must assume full financial responsibility. "

SECOND FYI: Notice that Budget NOW states that it is "CDW/THEFT" that is being waived -- an ambiguity....   confuse confuse

It IS clear, however, that I will be charged ANOTHER 28 Euro for the "Administrative HEADACHE" of requiring me to initial the 'Renter Declines Insurance' box!!!

It ALSO tells me that Budget will place a 2000 Euro CHARGE against my MasterCard -- in ADDITION to the Rental, Fuel cost and 'Local Fees' -- that I will doubtless be charged a 'Foreign Transaction Fee' for. I just wonder if I will get 'Socked' with a SECOND one, when Budget REFUNDS my deposit???

In my case, "the renter must assume full financial responsibility", but, for those who DO purchase the CDW, but NOT the 'Excess', and is therefore resonsible for between 1200 - 2100 Euro, Budget CLEARLY states: "Budget reserve the right to charge a deposit equal to the excess if the renter declines the Excess Waiver. The Excess Waiver provides complete "Peace of Mind" cover."

FYI #3: At the risk of sounding SNARKY, For WHOM is the 'Excess Waiver' INTENDED to provide Peace of Mind"???

The ONLY items listed as EXCLUDED from coverage IS tires (or, to be more precise -- 'tyres'  biggrin )but ...

Lost keys are NOT covered -- damaged caused by using the wrong fuel is NOT covered and there are doubtless MANY others that fall under the 'Umbrella' exclusion of "Negligence" on the part of the driver ...

Furthermore, there is the Initial Fuel Charge -- but at least Budget DOES offer a Refund Credit, if the car is returned Full!  biggrin

"For your convenience your car will be supplied with a full tank of fuel which you will be asked to pay for when picking up the car. If you return the car full you will be refunded the cost of the fuel."

The truth is that there are large enough 'LoopHoles' in the POSTED 'Terms and Conditions' to drive your rental car through. Doubtless, there is a detailed, in-depth, tiny-print, multi-parragraph collection of lealese on the actual contract that DOUBTLESS "Supercedes any and all other terms, implied or otherwise" ....

At some point, you just have to bite the Bullet and take a LEAP of Faith.

Either that, or Give Up and Stay Home -- and I REFUSE to do that!   disbelief disbelief disbelief

Getting to spend time in Ireland really IS worth it.


Bob

__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9831
Date:

Bob,

This is a good discussion. It helps people look at the various rates and compare. Now if only the fine print was the same with them all we would have no homework to do.

I rented from Budget.ie in spring 2009. I was charged the 2,000 euro deposit. I was blindsided on that one because they had just changed the rules. I did receive a credit back at the end of the trip but it took me all summer to use it up again. I was not happy about it and will not rent from Budget again till they change their rules. Plus they charge to decline CDW. That's really pushing it.

It will be interesting to see what other "charges" they feel they can hit tourists with before Tourism Ireland learns that lots of tourist stay away from Ireland because of such shenannigans.

Michele

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 536
Date:

Bob,

You hit the nail on the head:  "getting to spend time in Ireland really I$smile worth it!"biggrinbiggrin

Dan

-- Edited by murphy on Thursday 15th of April 2010 12:09:52 AM

__________________


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9831
Date:

Bob, 

Nice chart on the Fireside. That took lots of research. If anyone wants to see Bob's chart: http://irishfireside.com/2010/04/13/a-look-at-car-rentals-for-2010/

Michele

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 1
Date:

thank you so much for posting this (and the great discussion). for our family, i have a disability and so a car is completely necessary. we're headed to ireland in the fall and will be staying in kenmare. i am exploring belfast now, but am still really confused. thanks to everyone for chiming in!

__________________
Dr. Jessie Voigts Publisher, http://www.WanderingEducators.com


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9831
Date:

Jessie,

Welcome to my forum. If you plan on declining CDW and using your credit card for insurance coverag you should read this post: http://ireland.activeboard.com/index.spark?aBID=65127&p=3&topicID=29313409

If you have any specific questions let us know. But be advised that car rental in Ireland is the hardest part of trip planning. It can be done if you persevere. Best to know everything in advance so you are not surprised on arrival.

Michele

-- Edited by Michele Erdvig on Friday 16th of April 2010 02:16:15 PM

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 48
Date:

Bob, I certainly appreciate you posting the results of your car rental research. My husband and I will be taking our first trip to Ireland in September.

I never expected so many complications with a car rental that I see in Ireland, for us first time visitors, it certainly does place a pall over our planning exitement.

We just received our BofA World Mastercard specifically for our Ireland trip, even though if we use it we will have the additional conversion charges this card assesses rather than our Capital One MC that we usually use in Europe.

I have also considered contracting an insurance policy with a company we use when renting in the UK, insurance4carhire to keep the rental cost within our budget. We will be renting our car for 17 or 18 days in and out of the Dublin airport.

I've been pleased with all the arrangements we've made so far and I've been putting off working on the car rental because I want to hold on that pleasant planning feeling a little longer!!

thanks again for the info and I wish you a wonderful trip with nary a car rental hiccup!!

Deborah

__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 10
Date:

I am so glad that I found this board--and thank you, Bob, Michele, and everyone else, for posting so much about how opaque and Byzantine the car hire process is.  My mom and I were going to rent from Budget, where we found the cheapest price, but now I'm scared of doing that because of the 2000 euro "deposit." 

So I have these questions for the veterans:
* Since I'm only renting the car for the week, could the 2000 euro "deposit" be painless, charged and refunded with nary a blink from the credit card company?
* Or should I stick with a company like Dan Dooley who is honest, though perhaps not as competitive as would be desired?

And the drumroll question:
*I drive a MINI with a manual transmission, so I am very at home with a stickshift and actually prefer it.  Is it too much for a driver accustomed to a manual transmission to switch not only driving orientation from left to right but also shifting from right to left?  My read on Irish roads in West and Northwestern Ireland is that one must drive slowly because of the roads themselves and possible sheep and sheepdogs, and since I'm starting in Galway and not in Dublin, well, I'm thinking that it would be better for mastering the lefthand shifting--am I crazy???  Anyway, I'm wondering if it's worth the risk of adding the manual transmission to an already quite foreign driving experience.  An automatic from Dan Dooley for one week minus the excess waiver (do I need that???) is 486 euros, while a manual with everything else the same is 204.  That's ridiculous, of course, but hits me right where I'm budget-minded.

One other question, related but not exactly on-topic:
*How much do I need to worry about this car I rent?  Should I not stay at B&Bs that only have street parking, for instance?  How likely is it that I'll get some damage?  I've read that it's insane to park a rental on the street in a big city, and that damage is likely in parking lots.  How real are these concerns?

Thanks!
Kristin

__________________


Moderator

Status: Offline
Posts: 1429
Date:

Kristin --

I, too normally drive a manual trans vehicle, here in the States --- though the Mrs.' / 'Family' car is an Automatic .

I do ALL the driving while in Ireland and have, on all 11 visits since 1999.  I have driven everything from 5 door compacts, like the Ford Focus Alfa 146, and Opel Astra, to 5 passenger People Movers (Opel Meriva), to 7 passenger Renaults and 9 Passenger People Movers like the VW Carravelle and Mercedes Vito.  In 2007, I drove a VW Passat over 1800 Kilometers around Ireland.

ALL of them were Manual shift.  I have NEVER driven an Automatic in Ireland -- though a couple of my wife's cousins DO actually own cars that are automatics. confuse confuse

I find the transition (TRANSMISSION-wise biggrin ) to be NO problem, what-so-ever.  The RH driving doesn't usually bother me too much either -- but, curiously, I OFTEN have an 'Ireland Moment' (at LEAST once), shortly after having returned home to the US.

Dunno what THAT is all about?????    Do you suppose it's 'Wishful Thinking'???

     biggrin    biggrin    biggrin  confuse  biggrin    biggrin    biggrin

If you are comfortable with a stick, I think the HUGE premium is probably NOT worth the expense.

That's MY (rarely) Humble Opinion!!

Are you planning to buy the CDW, or Waive it?  'Excess' is ONLY an option IF you DO buy CDW.

As to only 'eating' the charge for one week -- I guess it would all depend on the date of the rental AND the closing Date of your Billing cycle ...

If you buy the 'Excess' -- or a Third-Party alternate -- you Don't need to worry EXCESSIVELY (I'm sorry-- I just COULDN'T resist!  aww aww ).  Like anywhere, bad things CAN happen and spending a few hours dealing with getting a Police Report due to a minor side-swipe or smash-and-grab car burglary is best avoided, so MY preference is to take off-street parking whenevever possible. 

It DOES, of course depend upon WHERE -- a big town or city,  versus a small, rural village ...

 

Bob



__________________

Bob

Help Us to Help You.  The more you tell us about your plans (dates, interests, budget), the better we can tailor our advice to suit!



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 10
Date:

All right, I'm convinced--I'll try the manual.  My mom will be there to help keep me sorted, so that makes it easier, actually.

And I guess I still don't understand the CDW and excess waiver, but I'm going to ask my mom if she has a credit card that would help out (mine are all Visa).

Thanks!

__________________


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 62
Date:

Kristin,

I too drive a manual transmission here in the US. We are a dying breed, I think.

I've driven manual in Ireland and I think you should have no trouble adjusting to shifting with your other hard.  And Bob is right about the price difference.  Go for it!  Its the least of your worries as far as the driving and car rental go.

Erin


__________________


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9831
Date:

Kristin,

Take a look at my Car Rental page also. If your mother has a credit card that covers Ireland you should know that the name on the card must match that of the driver. Your mother could rent the car as primary driver with you as a secondary driver and you would be covered. However, there is always an extra charge for a second (or third) driver. Any way you look at it they gottcha.

Michele

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 10
Date:

Thanks, Erin--and yes, we are a dying breed!  :)

Michele, I talked at length to her about the whole process, and even if she has the credit card, neither one of us thinks it's worth the cost to have two drivers.  I talked her through all the fees, etc., on Dan Dooley's site and Budget, and we both think that Dan Dooley with the excess waver is the better bargain in the end, since we plan to go to Northern Ireland--Budget is sneaky about that, actually!  The terms and conditions are for Republic of Ireland, but there's an International one-way fee if you drop the car in Belfast, SO--the lack of clarity combined with the fact that the prices aren't that different once you add that International One-Way Fee means Dooley is the obvious choice for a trip that crosses into Northern Ireland (well, at least compared to Budget).

Before we discussed the cost of the second driver, my mom offered to drive the manual, too--this from a woman who maybe once a month drives my step-dad's stickshift truck!  I think she's braver than I am.  :)

k

__________________


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 32
Date:

Nothin' like learning how to drive in a manual transmission car to have that ability for life. biggrin  I remember being 17 and literally crying with frustration when I got stuck at a stoplight on a hill and had cars piling up behind me... with me inching backwards instead of forwards... *shudder* disbelief

After seeing the prices on automatics over there, and with all the advice to rent the smallest car possible, I have never been so glad to have these driving skills! 



__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 536
Date:

     On our first trip to Ireland in 06, we opted for the automatic. I thought it would be enough stress just driving on the other side of the road. That stress was only severe for about 2-3 hours, and by day 2-3 on, driving on the other side was almost 2nd nature. I Know what you mean Bob, about Ireland moments in the US later, esp approaching a round-a-bout!
     Last summer, we rented a manual trans car. The first 4 vehicles I owned were manuals, and I put on over 400,000 miles in them. The transition to left hand shifting was easy for me....the worst was grinding the gears once in a while, the first day or 2, AND the worst part of THAT was the evil eye from my map-reader/navigatorevileye!!  She didn't say anything, or she knew I might invite her to drive!biggrin  So....go for it! I think it is worth the savings!    Dan

-- Edited by murphy on Saturday 17th of April 2010 09:18:53 PM

__________________


Host

Status: Offline
Posts: 9831
Date:

Kristin,

Glad to hear you have made a decision. Sometimes a good discussion about things can make all the difference.

Michele

__________________

"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 596
Date:

I am used to automatics, and had only driven stick shift for about a year before trying it in Ireland the first time. Other than a tendancy for your right hand to grab for the gear shift with your right hand (and thus banging it into the window, since the DOOR is right there!) you should be fine :)

__________________
May the light be your guide and the darkness be your comfort!


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 10
Date:

Booked--and paid for--my Dooleymobile today, manual transmission, class B (the size of a MINI and the same price as Class A, which are a bit too small), with excess waiver, $420 for seven days ($315 before excess waiver). 

I had a really interesting talk with the woman at Dooley.  First off, you can call them directly stateside and book, thus avoiding exchange rate fees (1-800-331-9301).  Not sure what those fees are, but it's always nice to save a little cash.  Second, she said it's the Irish government, NOT the car rental companies, that requires all the insurance--she said they make about $20 a day on a car after all the insurance is paid.  Most of the rental companies aren't Irish, so they find ways to compensate for the cost outside of the system that are still legal (see my previous comment about crossing the border into Northern Ireland being ENTIRELY UNMENTIONED as a fee at all--I had to have read that Dooley was only company that included Northern Ireland in its rates, I had to be aware that the terms and conditions were labeled "Republic of Ireland," AND I had to see the fee emerge when I said I'd drop the car in Belfast).

I agree with Michele that everyone has a different situation when it comes to their travel abroad and what rental deal is best, but I think that anyone planning to rent a car and drive it into Northern Ireland is *probably* best served by Dan Dooley.  I admit I am an ardent supporter of local businesses, but in this case, I was entirely budget-driven in making my decision.  Well, and the fact that everything was so up-front with Dooley made me more comfortable--I am also risk-adverse.  La!

-- Edited by Thursday Next on Monday 19th of April 2010 05:22:39 PM

__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 197
Date:

Folks' this is IRELAND.

Believe nothing you hear from anyone.

Especially not when  they blame the govt.

Everyone is after your money, simply. 

Outwitting them is part of the Irish experience. 

Wehn we came in from the UK with a UK car, as residents,it "imported" was incredibly complicated.

The biggest tax fiddle here is to live South and use a Northern car. They are in the middle of a huge  crackdown on this just now.



__________________
http://www.xanga.com/sistersofgraceofchrist
http://www.xang.com.anchoressnun
http://www.iol.ie/~anchorhold
1 2  >  Last»  | Page of 2  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us

make custom gifts at Zazzle