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Irish car hire companies are taking visitors for a ride... Philip Suter

For most people visiting a different location can be very exciting, however if you are going to Ireland renting a car there can give you quite a headache.

For many years my wife and I have been visiting family in Ireland and whenever we fly we need to hire a car. What could be easier? You go on line look for a car to rent see a daily rate advertised and book it for the duration of the stay. Sounds fairly straightforward?

I know there are additions that you have to pay for like child seats, roof racks and until they become standard in a few more years Sat Navigation. There are also some strange rules about excess insurance; however it does not always stop there.

Being people who hire a car a few times a year we have an annual car hire excess insurance policy. I went to one of the companies advertising on the website and purchased an annual policy that would cover my wife and myself. We paid £79 in October and for one person you can buy one for under £40 a year (around €48 November 2010) about 11p a day or 14 cents a day.

I booked a car rental for her in Dublin early in November for a few days. It was with a large Irish based hire company and the rental price looked good. My wife arrived at their reception at Dublin Airport to be asked if she wanted additional insurance. She declined. They asked her if she wanted to take the car across the border into Northern Ireland and she told the person she would not be going there. She enquired as to why they wanted to know. The reason they make a €25 charge to take the car across the border.

She was asked to sign the contract in three places. She went to collect the car that did not even have radio as it had been removed and made sure when she returned it was full of fuel as many car hire companies make an administration charge to refuel.

On receiving our credit card bill an amount of €54.48 representing 4 days additional insurance and tax on it. This €13.62 a day and we already had an annual policy . If you buy a daily policy through a car hire excess insurance company you can pay in the region of £1-94 ( €2.29) to £4.75 (€6.03) a day, so this car hire company is making a very good profit.

Despite numerous complaints the company refused to credit us back for something she verbally declined, but was sneaked onto the car hire agreement.

Ireland is in an economic mess now, the very successful budget airline Ryanair is continuing to offer cheap flight to destinations in Ireland and is publicizing these in the UK newspapers greatly. So you decide to a break there for a few days and then discovering with some Irish car rental companies (unless you check the small print thoroughly) you will have to pay daily car tax, additional insurance, airport fees, cross border charges and use of the M50 toll at the car hire company's inflated price when you might not have even gone anywhere near there.

They are not doing Irish tourism any favours when they should be and simply taking tourists for a ride. These tourists go back home and instead of encouraging their friends to visit Ireland do not as bad car rental experiences like the one in this article puts them off the place.

In conclusion there are many other car hire companies operating in Ireland who work hard to keep the customer happy and if you are visiting Ireland or any other country, it is always checking out car hire reviews at web sites like Tripadvisor and

(November 2010 ©jmlpropertyservices - Philip Suter)

N.B. This information should not be relied on for accuracy and is presented here without the responsibility of jml Property Service and the website it is being displayed at. jml property Services 11-10


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Car hire insurance for Irish residents

See also:

How car rental firms gouge customers for minor damages - January 2019

Car hire rental desk very busy in Dublin, Ireland yesterday - August 2016

No Number 13 in Irish Vehicle Registration Next Year - December 2012

Car Hire Dublin. It is a shame that you cannot always collect the car from the airport itself - October 2012

Car hire – it's too cheap - Car hire companies are undercharging – but then making their profits by forcing renters to buy insurance policies - June 2012

Watchdog: Mis-selling car hire cover at Knock Airport, Ireland - February 2012 and more on this at the Car hire excess insurance blogspot Looks like Irish car rental companies are still mis-selling car hire excess insurance

Following on from the iCahireinsurance article "Dubious Dublin airport car rental staff - November 2011" we have added a summary and extracts and comments on the "Car Hire Excess Blog" and invited readers to comment and add their experiences of problems renting a car in Ireland - Visit the blog article "Focus on Dublin Car Hire Rental Staff - November 2011" Here

Car hire company in Ireland charges for unwanted excess insurance - July 2011

Flying to Ireland and hiring a car can prove cheaper than taking your own car - March 2011

Irish Car Rental Companies make customers buy their car hire insurance by financial constraints - February 2011

Irish Tourism in 2011 - January 2011

How Irish car hire companies are not improving Irish Tourism Article - October 2010

Irish car rental consumer's problem hiring a car in France - December 2009

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