When it comes to organising a holiday in Ireland, car rental is going to be one of the most important things to get right. Currently, the car rental industry is very competitive.

Things worth Knowing Before You Rent

Car rental companies compete on price first and foremost and therefore the lower the price is, the more likely you are to book. Add into the mix the multitude of car rental brokers who are also bidding for your business. The matter is further complicated by the differences between inclusive and exclusive insurance rates and the geographic location from where you are booking your car. With all of this in mind, it is not hard to understand why the normal person booking their car can get easily confused.

When looking to book your car, you should decide what type of insurance you want and make sure that all the rates you are comparing include the basic insurances, CDW, 3rd Party and theft protection.

In the Irish car rental market among all the major companies, CDW is included as standard. SDW (Super Damage Waiver) which reduces your risk by removing the excess is available for an additional cost at the time of picking up the car. Many brokers will quote without this basic CDW insurance, so while it looks like you are getting a great deal, you will need to purchase insurance on top of your basic cost for renting the car.

Paul Redmond from the Car Rental Council of Ireland said:

“Many people are trying to hire cars ‘on the cheap without proper waivers and insurance’. He says that there are a lot of small-time and large-scale brokers operating online which are driving down the top-line prices but they sell very spartan deals which create a false sense of expectation amongst customers.”

One other major consideration when taking into account the insurance options is the fact that CDW covers everybody inside and outside of the car in the case of an accident, except for the driver. The car rental companies in Ireland recommend that you have private travel or health insurance to cover yourself. Some car rental companies will offer a personal accident insurance to fill this void. CDW covers car in the event of a crash or accidental damage – (with an excess). 3rd party cover (mandatory) therefore included in all rates (inclusive or exclusive covers all parties except the driver).

While Picking Up the Car

There are a number of items to bear in mind while picking up the car to safe guard yourself against additional charges. The first tip is the make sure that you check the car carefully for damage. The rental agents may have already noted down damage to the vehicle, but it is important you double check this. If you miss something that gets detected upon return of the vehicle, you will be charged for it.

The car will probably have a full tank of fuel when you pick it up. You will be given the choice to either buy the fuel from the car rental company and return the car empty, or return the car full. It is much easier to return the car full than just bringing the car back empty. Make sure to also check the amount of fuel in the car matches what is noted down as being in the car. If you want to take extra caution, take photographs of the car, particularly the wheels and windscreen which are not covered by insurance. This gives you the proof to back up your story if some damage is attributed to you wrongly.

Retuning the Car

There are a number of key factors to keep in mind when bringing back the car. The easiest one is to make sure you bring the car back full of fuel if you decided not to buy the tank of petrol. The cost for refuelling the car at the car rental agency will far exceed the cost of filling the car at a regular petrol station.

It is important to check in the car with the car rental firm and get your contract signed by a rental agent as having no damage. Once you have this form signed you have officially handed the responsibility of the car back to the car rental firm. If you depart without getting your form signed, the car remains in your responsibility until the car rental firm closes the rental.

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If you have any thoughts on this article, or have any other suggestions regarding renting a car in Ireland please leave a comment.