Renting A Car in Dublin: Personal Guide For 2023!

Renting a car in Dublin can seem like a daunting task as you’re asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who is the best car hire service at Dublin airport or the city centre?
  • Where are the car rental locations? 
  • How much does it cost to rent a car? 
  • What vehicle should I pick? 
  • What documents do I require? 
  • Is driving in Dublin easy? 

Are you still unsure whether it’s worth even renting a car in Dublin or if there may be other ways to get around? 

Having traveled to Ireland myself (and now living here), I know it can also be scary thinking about having to drive on the other side of the road. 

In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about renting a car in Dublin, the best & cheapest car hire from Dublin airport as well as the city centre, age requirements, what insurance to use, and many more helpful tips & tricks. 

renting a car in dublin

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7 Items To Bring On Your Irish Road Trip

1. It goes without saying that a portable charger is a must-have when on a road trip to keep your devices charged up the entire time.

2. Sunglasses are another essential item when on the road to shield your eyes from sunlight and UV rays. 

3. Bringing sunscreen along is never a bad idea as it will protect your skin and hands from getting burnt. 

4. A universal travel adapter is a must-have when traveling to a foreign country, as they might use different electrical outlets.

5. Having a document organizer is super important to keep your travel documents, IDs, driving licenses and passports secure in one place.

6. Ireland’s weather can be a little tricky and it rains almost EVERYDAY throughout the year. Packing a raincoat will leave you prepared for Ireland’s moody weather and keep you dry. 

7. If you will be traveling to Ireland during winter, packing a merino wool top is essential to wick away moisture and keep you warm.

Cheap Car Rentals in Dublin

There are many car hire companies in Dublin city centre as well as car rental locations at Dublin airport. The best and cheapest car hire in Dublin is Discover Cars (my absolute favourite – best value for money!)

How To Rent A Car In Dublin

I know, it can be quite overwhelming to choose from so many different car rental companies!

Discover Cars is the website I turn to when I need to find the cheapest cars QUICKLY, without spending the whole day on the internet looking for the best deal. 

Not only are they the cheapest car rental, but they also provide the best value for money and I never got disappointed using them.

When I have a question, I can simply talk to their customer service and address them with all my concerns. 

I found them to be the best car rental from Dublin airport when I traveled to Ireland. 

renting a car in dublin

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Car In Dublin? 

The price of renting a car in Dublin varies on multiple factors: 

  • The length of hiring a car 
  • If you go in peak time or off-season
  • Pick-up location (pick-up from the airport is more expensive than a more remote location)
  • Pick-up day (during the week or weekends)
  • Whether you stay in Dublin or want to drive to other parts of Ireland
  • Whether it’s a one-way rental or you drop the car off where you picked it up from
  • The car options you choose such as: 
  • Air conditioning
  • GPS
  • Children’s car seat
  • Manual/Automatic
  • Size of the car
  • Model and make of the car
  • Quantity of doors

You can choose anything from luxury car rental Dublin over long term car rental Dublin to cheap van rental Dublin. 

It’s up to your personal preferences, how much you are prepared to pay, and what kind of travel you need the car for. 

Cheap Car Rental Dublin Airport 

Discover Cars have the best deal on renting a car in Dublin for just USD 180 per week (off-season)! That’s around  USD 25 per day! I never found anything cheaper than that. 

For this price, you will get a small-ish car (like a VW Polo or similar), with 5 seats, 5 doors, and room for 1 suitcase.

 The pickup is conveniently located at Dublin airport. The fuel policy is full to full (pick up the car with a full tank, return the car with a full tank). 

Included in the price of USD 180 are: 

  • Unlimited mileage
  • Collision Damage Waiver (Insurance)
  • Theft Protection
  • Third Party Liability (TPL)
  • Airport Surcharge
  • Premium Location Fee
  • Free modifications
  • State Tax

Pretty good, right? Go check them out

renting a car in dublin

Other costs to consider for car hire in Ireland Dublin apart from the car rental fee:

  • Petrol 
  • Parking
  • Road tolls for highways
  • Admin fees
  • Credit card fees
  • Cost associated in case of an accident (depending on what kind of insurance you agree on with your car rental provider – more on that below)

Is It Easy To Drive In Dublin? 

Having to drive on the other side of the street can be quite nerve-wracking when you first get to Ireland. 

Incidents like hitting the curb or scratching the mirror of the car happen quite often.

Luckily, all of these minor accidents are covered by your car rental agreement. 

Here are some tips to drive safely in Dublin: 

  • Don’t drive when you’re tired
  • Avoid driving in the dark (until you get comfortable enough)
  • Choose a rental car with an automatic gear system 
  • Drive slowly and stay focused
  • Make sure to always have enough petrol in your car
  • Concentrate on driving close to the middle line of the road
  • Look out for pedestrians and cyclists
renting a car in dublin

Do I Need An International Drivers License? 

You don’t need an international driver’s license to be able to drive in Ireland, if you’re a citizen of either the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, or the EU. 

These are the only things you need to bring to rent a car: 

  • Passport
  • Credit Card
  • Drivers license from your home country (which has to be current and valid)

Do I Need Insurance To Rent A Car In Ireland? 

You will have to purchase insurance when hiring a car from any car rental provider in Ireland. The CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) coverage is a mandatory insurance in Ireland which in most cases is NOT covered by your credit card.

There are 2 options for the CDW coverage for car rental in Dublin Ireland: 

Option 1: Basic CDW

Choosing this option, the insurance will cover you up to a certain amount that both parties agreed on (this could be around USD 2000 for example). If the damage goes beyond the agreed amount, you will have to bear this difference. 

Option 2: CDW with Excess 

This is an upgrade to the basic insurance and is paid at a per-day rate on top of your rental fees. This agreement reduces the cost you would have to bear to around USD 100 only, or even zero. 

This means that you won’t be responsible for any damage to your car in case of an accident. 

I always choose option 2 when renting a car in Ireland, which gives me peace of mind. 

Age Requirements For Renting A Car In Dublin

Even though you can drive a car in Ireland when you’re 18, you need to be 21 if you want to rent a car. Most car rental companies also charge you an additional fee if you’re under the age of 24. 

renting a car in dublin

Other Helpful Tips For Renting A Car in Dublin

  • Make sure to read the company reviews before renting a car in Dublin and compare prices of different car rental companies
  • Take photos and videos of your car when you pick it up to record any damage done by a previous owner
  • Save money by using Maps on your phone rather than renting a GPS device through the car rental company 
  • Choose a small car as car parks are quite small in Dublin and the roads are narrow
  • Rent your car ahead of time (around 3-6 months in advance) to give yourself enough time to check on the price fluctuations and ultimately save money
  • Choose your pick-up and drop off locations when booking your car (avoid the airport if possible so you don’t have to pay additional charges)
  • Decide on the type of car rental insurance you want to go for (Basic CDW or CDW with Excess)
  • Check for payment options (we found that most car rental companies in Ireland don’t accept cash, so we recommend using an international credit card to avoid having put a large amount of money on hold on your debit card)
  • Check for hidden fees or upfront costs (like extra drivers, young drivers, cross-border fees, etc.)
  • Know the fuel type of your rental vehicle (Diesel is the most commonly used fuel in Ireland)

Other Helpful Tips For Driving A Car in Ireland

  • The Republic of Ireland uses kilometers per hour (km/h), while Northern Ireland uses miles per hour (mph) 
  • No drinking and driving is allowed in Ireland – max. 0.05 % BAC (blood alcohol content)
  • Make yourself familiar with road speeds for motorways, country roads, and townships before you get in the car
  • Have some cash handy for the road tolls on Ireland’s major highways
  • Always have all of your personal and car rental documents ready
  • Remember that you must drive on the left side of the road
  • Watch out for sheep flocks, there are heaps around!

Is It Worth Renting A Car In Dublin?

Are you still asking yourself: should I hire a car in Dublin Ireland? Is it worth the hassle and the cost? 

I love the freedom of having my own car especially since it’s hard to get a taxi at night in Dublin. However, you also need to consider the downsides of being responsible for a car in a buzzing city. 

Depending on what your plans are, it can be great to rent a car or to just rely on public transport. 

Once you leave the city, I would definitely recommend approaching a car rental in Dublin city centre so you can be independent and explore all the beautiful places that Ireland has to offer. 

Best Ways To Get Around In Ireland Without A Car

If you just can’t get yourself to rent a car in Ireland, there are other ways to get around the country: 

The train system in Ireland is pretty good and affordable, so you can travel through the country without having to worry about a car and save money at the same time. 

FAQs on Renting A Car In Dublin

Is An Australian Driving License Valid In Ireland? 

Yes, an Australian driving license is valid in Ireland, as long as your stay doesn’t exceed 1 year. The driving license of your country of residence needs to be current and valid to be recognized in Ireland.

renting a car in dublin

Can You Drive In Ireland As A Tourist? 

Yes, you can drive in Ireland as a tourist. Being a citizen from the U.S. Canada, UK, Australia, or the EU, you just need to make sure that you have a current and valid driving license of your country of residence and that you can only drive in Ireland as a tourist for a maximum duration of 1 year. 

Is Dublin A Walkable City? 

Yes, Dublin is a walkable city due to it being flat and compact. As Dublin is an old city, it was built for walking and traveling by horse and cart, therefore it’s easy and practical to explore Dublin by foot.

Do I Need To Rent A Car In Dublin? 

Should you rent a car in Dublin? It’s not a must to rent a car in Dublin. The city is very easy to walk, traffic can be bad, and parking is hard to find and expensive. 

Once you’re done exploring Dublin and want to travel to other parts of Ireland, I definitely recommend renting a car. 

Can I Rent A Car In Dublin With A U.S. License?

Yes, you can rent a car in Dublin with a U.S. license. There is no need for an international driver’s license as long as your current driving license is valid and your stay in Ireland is for less than 12 months. 

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Car In Ireland For A Week? 

To hire a car in Ireland for a week is on average USD 200, which is around USD 28 per day. I use Discover Cars for all my car rentals, as I found them to be the cheapest on the market.

You can get a car for a week in Ireland for a price of just under USD 100, just keep in mind that you would get a rather small car with not many options included. 

Do You Need Insurance To Rent A Car In Ireland?

It’s a legal requirement in Ireland to have insurance when renting a car. The insurance is included in the rental price when you hire a car through a car rental dealer.

renting a car in dublin

Can You Rent A Car In Dublin And Drive To Northern Ireland?

The answer is simple! Yes, you can rent a car in Dublin and then drive up to Northern Ireland. Car companies allow you to cross the national border, but they need to be informed before you do so, to make sure you are covered in the other country.

Should I Rent A Car In Dublin Ireland? 

If you like to be independent and don’t want to rely on others or have to organize taxis and other methods of transportation, then it can be worthwhile renting a car in Dublin, Ireland. 

You can leave to places whenever you like and come back to your accommodation at times when there wouldn’t be any buses around. However, when hiring a car in Dublin, you need to consider limited and expensive parking spots.

Can You Hire A Car In Dublin

Yes, you can certainly hire a car in Dublin. There are many car rentals to choose from and the pick-up points are conveniently located at the airport. 

My absolute favorite is Discover Cars as they offer the best value for money and I’ve never had a problem when booking through them. 

How To Rent A Car In Dublin Ireland

You can rent a car in Dublin Ireland by looking for cheap car hire Dublin and choosing where you want to pick up your car from, how long you need it for, and where you want to drop it back off. 

You will need to provide proof of identity such as your passport, your driver’s license, as well as a credit card. 

renting a car in dublin

How To Rent A Car In Dublin Airport

Look for cheap car hire Dublin airport and choose from the many car rental companies such as Enterprise, Europcar, Budget, Hertz, Sixt, and more. All these car rentals are located inside Dublin airport which makes it easy for you to pick up your car.

Renting A Car In Dublin Is Entirely Possible !

Have you made up your mind whether renting a car in Dublin is for you or not? If you want to hire a car in Dublin, be sure to come prepared. Book everything before you land and have all your paperwork and documents ready. 

There’s nothing worse than having to stuff around at the airport after a long flight! 

If you want to explore Dublin without a car, that is totally fine as well, as there are many other ways to get around this beautiful city. 

I hope my tips will help you decide how to make your Dublin visit as stress-free as possible. Enjoy your Ireland trip as much as I did!

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