We have a detailed Guide to Driving in Ireland, which we send to all our guests who have booked a Self Drive Ireland Vacation with us prior to their departure. However I thought I would share some of the key points in this guide with you here…
Firstly GPS – we do highly recommend the use of a GPS on your Self Drive Ireland Vacation (link please) however they are expensive to rent here and the Irish Rental Car companies will not guarantee their availability – all we can do is request their addition to your booking and you will pay the fee direct to the Rental Car Company. To avoid this fee our recommendation is that you bring your own GPS and download maps before you depart for Ireland. This way you will have the maps for keeps, great if you return to Ireland but nice as a keepsake and reminder of your trip regardless.
Secondly Insurance – while we include all compulsory insurance required for you to drive a Rental Car in Ireland the Car Rental Companies in Ireland do have very high Excesses – ie; you will be liable for a large portion of the damages should something untoward happen to the car you are driving while on your Ireland Vacation. You can see the exact charges for the different car types in our Terms & Conditions. If like me you prefer to be completely covered for a worry free Self Drive Vacation you have a number of options. The one the Irish Car Rental companies want you to take is to purchase their optional additional insurance to reduce the deductible. This is not a great option however as not only is it very expensive they also have that lovely fine print excluding things like tyres and wing mirrors, basically all the things most likely to be damaged in the normal course of navigating those lovely Irish roads! Usually the best option is to ensure your travel insurance covers any damage to your car rental. The only downside with this option is that the Irish Car Rental Company will put a hold on your credit card for the amount of the deductible should you refuse their own additional insurance. This is fine once you are aware of this – I often recommend just taking out a completely separate credit card for this purpose so it won’t interfere with your holiday spending. This way should anything untoward happen you can put any damages on this credit card and file a claim for reimbursement from your travel insurance on your return home.
Finally Drivers Licence – your state licence is just fine for Driving an Irish Rental Car – no need to get an International Drivers Licence for your Self Drive Vacation in Ireland.