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GoSee the Emerald Isle with Ireland car rental
Pick up an Ireland rental car and discover a land of rolling green hills, folksy pub culture, and fascinating history. Whether you’re enjoying pints of Guinness in a local tavern or visiting ancient castles in the countryside, the Gaelic charm of this small nation is soul-stirring and unforgettable. From secluded beaches and wild coastal cliffs to hearty meals and live music, Ireland is so much fun to explore. Get a deal on Ireland car rental and experience it all.
Popular rental car locations in Ireland
Picking up Ireland car rentals
Many visitors will reach the Emerald Isle via Dublin Airport, the largest airport in the country and the most accessible transport hub via international destinations. Most cities and attractions are reachable from this central east coast city within a day’s drive.
Some Ireland travel tours will bring visitors to Dublin via Liverpool Airport with a stopover at Isle of Man Airport, the small island on the Irish Sea between Ireland and the UK.
Travellers may also head to Northern Ireland at the top of the island and hire a car from Belfast International Airport. While the currency is pounds and the street signs are in miles, Northern Ireland is very much Irish. Upon arrival at Belfast City Airport, you’ll find a rejuvenated, thriving city ready to shed its troubled past, and a plethora of sightseeing opportunities from north to south.
Top tips on driving a car rental in Ireland
Here’s a quick bullet-point summary of the things you need to know about driving your car hire in Ireland:
- Ireland’s main roads are pretty well maintained but if you’re heading into the country (as you certainly should at some point during your trip!) be aware that rural roads can get pretty narrow, and you may encounter slow-moving tractors or livestock, so patience is required. These roads can also get icy in the winter, so always drive to the conditions.
- Roundabouts (also called traffic circles or rotaries) are a common feature of Irish roads. The essential thing to remember is to give way to vehicles coming from the right, and to always turn left when entering the roundabout.
- Refuel when you can. If you’re heading into rural areas, petrol stations aren’t very common and might not be open at all hours so make sure you have enough fuel to make it to your destination without relying on a possible top-up.
- Unlike most of its fellow EU members, Ireland sticks to the same left-hand driving convention as the UK. One difference between UK and Ireland roads however is that speed is measured in kilometres per hour in the Republic of Ireland rather than miles per hour. Default speed limits are 120 km/h for motorways, 100 km/h for national roads, 80 km/h for regional roads and 50 km/h for built-up areas. There may be a number of different reasons for the limit being lower than the default, so keep an eye out for speed limit signs that will tell you exactly what the rules are for a given stretch of road.
- The blood alcohol limit in Ireland is a strict 0.05%, so just one drink could mean you’re not legally permitted to drive—designate a sober driver before heading out in your rental car to enjoy one of Ireland’s fine drinking establishments.
Top spots to GoSee with Ireland car rental
Here’s what you can expect when picking up your car hire from the main cities in Ireland.
Dublin car rental
When it comes to urban playgrounds, Dublin is right up there with the best. This is one of the youngest cities in Europe and it shows—the nightlife is the stuff of legend, there are several top-notch shopping districts, and the city’s colourful history is on display wherever you look.
Cork car rental
From the strangely-christened English Market (the oldest covered food market in Europe) to the hipster cafes and old-school pubs, Cork is a fantastic place to tuck in to the flavours of Ireland. It’s also handy to the famous Ballycotton Cliff Walk, so you get a firsthand taste of Ireland’s windswept southern coast.
Killarney car rental
Flying in to Kerry Airport in Killarney puts you in the perfect position to drive the Ring of Kerry - arguably Ireland’s most well-loved road trip route. When and where you stop will be up to you, but make sure to set aside enough time to really luxuriate in the beauty offered by the many small towns and ancient ruins along the way.
Knock car rental
Once upon a time, Knock was an entirely unremarkable village, but that all changed in 1879 when a heavenly apparition was reported by more than a dozen locals, and Knock became home to one of the most important Roman Catholic shrines in Ireland. Aside from its status as a pilgrimage site, Knock is also the gateway to exploring the low key rural heritage of County Mayo.
Shannon car rental
Shannon itself isn’t the most fascinating locale in Ireland, but picking up a car hire from Shannon Airport does allow you to wander County Clare and the historic city of Limerick (complete with a stunningly preserved Norman castle). The Lough Gur Visitor Centre a little to the south is also well worth a detour for its comprehensive archaeological view of Ireland’s storied past.
Waterford car rental
When you land in the oldest city of Ireland, make sure to visit the Viking Triangle—one of the best places in the country to delve into Ireland’s Middle Ages history. American visitors might also be interested in a short drive to the east to see the Kennedy Homestead, which to this day is still farmed by the relations of the famous Kennedy clan.
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Rent a car Ireland: Frequently asked questions
How much does it cost to rent a car in Ireland?
The cost of rental cars Ireland will vary from location to location, and fluctuate based on season and vehicle availability. Typically, you can get a better daily rate if you rent a car Ireland long term for a week or month. For the most up to date quote, type your dates and destination into the search function on this page and compare rates across multiple rental companies in Ireland. Be reminded that car rental insurance coverage is a separate matter to deal with.
What is the most popular rental car in Ireland?
Economy size and compact vehicles tend to be the most popular car rental in Ireland, likely due to the narrow roads common throughout the country as well as better fuel efficiency. However, this can vary depending on a variety of factors. Economy size vehicles include Toyota Aygo, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai I10, and similar.
Why is car rental in Ireland so expensive?
Car rental rates in Ireland are the result of a variety of factors such as supply and availability that can change. As such, prices can fluctuate. The type of car hire can also impact price—a cheap car rental Ireland will not be the best car rental Ireland you can get. Check current prices by typing in your desired dates and even include the car rental agency into the search function on this page.
Can you rent a car in Ireland with a US driver's license?
Yes, you can rent a car in Ireland with a US driver's license as long as you meet the age requirement and bring your full and valid driver's license, passport, and a credit card in your name. License requirements are similar to most other countries and car rental locations.
Which site is cheapest for car rental?
Our website allows you to compare car hire in Ireland across multiple sites at once, giving you access to car rental deals and saving you from scouring the internet to get quotes from individual rental car company websites. Budget car rental Ireland is most easily found right here.
What is the cheapest rental car agency in Ireland?
The cheapest car rental prices in Ireland fluctuate, but you can usually expect to find excellent rates from Avis, Europcar, and Carhire. Keep in mind that all-inclusive car hire Ireland will likely cost a bit more and is usually offered by the higher priced brands. Find great deals from your desired car rental company using the filter options as you go through the booking process.
How old do you have to be to rent a car in Ireland?
The absolute minimum age required to rent a car in Ireland is 21 years old, but you will find that the selection of car rental deals is limited until you reach age 25. Drivers under 25 will likely run into restrictions and/or surcharges.
Is it worth renting a car in Ireland?
Renting a car in Ireland allows you the flexibility to see everything you want to see, and go a little off the beaten track. Getting out of the city into the countryside is a must when visiting the Emerald Isle. You can also opt for one way rental car Ireland—picking up in one city and dropping off in another. Plan your next trip to Ireland with GoSee!
What is the cost for week-long car hire in Ireland?
Weekly rates for Irish car rentals vary due to a variety of factors. You can usually get the cheapest rental cars when you book longer rental periods. Check the current prices by typing your desired destination into the search function on this page and comparing offers from multiple car rental companies.