Rent a Car in Travel Dublin: A Complete Guide for 2023

Renting a car can be one of the most convenient ways to explore Dublin and the surrounding regions. Navigating Dublin’s streets and highways may seem daunting, but this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about renting a car in Ireland’s capital city.

How to Rent a Car in Dublin

Follow these key steps for a smooth car rental experience in Dublin:

Rent a Car in Travel Dublin A Complete Guide for 2023

Compare Rental Companies

Shop and compare rates across major rental companies. Look for deals on car rental booking sites. Consider factors like:

  • Price
  • Vehicle options
  • Pickup/dropoff locations
  • Insurance/fees

Popular companies in Dublin include Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise, Budget, Avis, and local outfits like Dooley Car Rentals.

Reserve Your Rental Car

Once you’ve selected a company, book your rental car. Provide details like:

  • Pickup/dropoff dates
  • Pickup/dropoff locations
  • Vehicle type
  • Drivers’ details
  • Extra services (GPS, child seats, etc.)

Reserve early, especially for peak travel times. Double check reservation details before pickup.

Know the Requirements

Common requirements for renting a car in Dublin are:

  • Valid driver’s license
  • Major credit card for deposit
  • Minimum age, typically 21-25 years
  • Additional fee for extra drivers

Some companies may have restrictions on rental periods, mileage, or crossing the Northern Ireland border.

Pick Up the Rental Car

Arrive at the rental location on time. Complete any remaining paperwork. Thoroughly inspect the car before leaving and note any prior damage. Follow agent’s instructions when exiting the lot.

Driving in Dublin

Here are some key tips for driving in Dublin city and region:

Getting Used to Driving

Irish roads and signs take adjustment if you’re not accustomed to driving on the left. Get comfortable before going on longer trips. Key tips:

  • Drive defensively
  • Follow speed limits closely
  • Yield to pedestrians at crossings
  • Use navigation apps or maps


Parking in central Dublin is scarce. Be aware of restrictions and fines:

  • On-street paid parking has limits on stays
  • Clamping of illegally parked vehicles is stringent
  • Park+Ride car parks on the outskirts have cheap daily rates
  • Hotels may offer discounted parking


Ireland’s motorway system requires toll payment. Rental cars use electronic tag systems like eFlow. Confirm if your rental includes toll access or if you must pay as you go.


Petrol stations are readily available around Dublin. However, stations are limited in rural areas, so fill up when you see one.

Driving Laws

Know Ireland’s road rules and laws to avoid issues:

  • Blood alcohol limit of 0.05% for drivers
  • Mandatory seat belt use
  • Mobile phone usage prohibited when driving
  • Speed limits – 120km/h on motorways, 50km/h in urban areas
  • Headlights on at all times

Where to Rent a Car in Dublin

Major rental companies have convenient pickup/dropoff locations across Dublin:

Dublin Airport

All major rental brands have desks at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 1 and 2. Open 24/7 for easy pickup upon arrival.

Dublin City Center

Europcar, Avis, and Hertz have rental locations right in the city center near O’Connell Street. Walking distance to hotels and attractions.

Heuston Station

Enterprise, Avis, and Budget have outlets at Dublin’s main railway station. Close to museums, distilleries, and entertainment.

Dun Laoghaire Ferry Port

Hertz and Avis have rental sites at this port servicing ferries from the UK. Ideal for pickup if arriving by sea.

Suburban Locations

Look for rental car pickup at hotels, resorts, and other transport hubs in the greater Dublin region as well.

Types of Rental Cars in Dublin

Dublin rental companies offer a range of vehicle sizes and types:

Economy or Compact

Best for zipping around urban Dublin. Models like Toyota Yaris, Nissan Micra, Ford Fiesta. Seats 2-4 people. Least expensive option.

Midsize Sedans

Larger but still easy to maneuver. Choices like Volkswagen Jetta, Toyota Corolla, Kia Cerato. Room for 4 passengers and some luggage.

Standard SUVs

For extra space and versaility. Options like Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Nissan Qashqai. Seats 5, plenty of cargo area. Good for longer trips outside city.

Passenger Vans

For large groups or families. Models like Mercedes Vito, Ford Transit Custom. Seats 7-8 with maximum luggage room.

Premium Vehicles

Luxury cars like Mercedes, BMWs, and Audi models. More expensive but include VIP services. Ideal for special occasions. Limited availability.

FAQ About Renting a Car in Dublin

1. Should I rent a manual or automatic car?

Most rentals are manual transmission, which is easier for driving Ireland’s winding rural roads. Automatic cars are more expensive and limited.

2. What insurance do I need when renting?

Collision damage waiver (CDW) is recommended to reduce financial liability if the car is damaged. Some credit cards include rental coverage.

3. Is a local or international rental company better?

Local agencies like Dooley often have competitive rates and better knowledge of the area. But major brands may have more vehicle options and pickup locations.

4. Where are the best places to park a rental car in Dublin?

The Park+Ride sites on the outskirts provide affordable all-day parking. Or use parking garages downtown, usually €2-4 per hour.

5. Can I take a rental car from Dublin across the Northern Ireland border?

Yes, but notify the rental company in advance. Some companies prohibit crossing or charge an additional daily insurance fee.


Renting a car opens up easy access to Dublin’s lively urban attractions and the beautiful surrounding Irish countryside at your own pace. Booking the right vehicle and pickup location along with attentive driving will ensure you have a safe and convenient experience driving in Dublin. Don’t miss out on scenic drives along Ireland’s rugged coastline and rolling green hills.


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