Should I rent a car when I go to Ireland?

Should I rent a car when I go to Ireland?

Going to Ireland for the first time in late August - early September for 10 days and 10 nights. I'-ve heard driving is the way to go. Problem is, however, I don'-t know how to drive a stick and sticks are $600+ cheaper to rent than autos. However, I'-ve got nothing to do throughout the month of August, so I could learn how to drive a stick during that time. Thus, this is basically a two-part question:1) Is it reasonable to expect to spend only a couple weeks or so learning to drive a stick sufficiently to NOT make a total *** out of myself in Ireland, or cause a serious accident?2) If getting a stick would be stupid, should I pay the $800 it would cost for the duration of the trip to get an automatic rental car rather than doing the bus/train thing?Seems like there are some great parts of Ireland where a car is absolutely preferable... I keep waffling on what to do, and could use some advice.

kati9

The train service in Ireland is not that great. We rented a car - actually, 2 cars, since there were 6 of us and cars in Ireland are generally compacts. We went through Atlas car rentals in the Dublin airport, and they were very reasonable. They were very nice. We were actually supposed to get one minivan, but the person who rented it the week before totaled it, so they gave us 2 cars for the same price, and one of them was an automatic.If you don't drive stick well, rent an automatic. They drive on the "wrong" side of the road, so you'd have to get used to shifting all over again, with your left hand. You don't want to add that to the problems of driving. Their roads are quite narrow, and they drive fast. Most of their roads have no shoulder, and where it looks like harmless hedges at the sides of the roads, there are actually stone walls covered with greenery. You don't want to hit them! Also, get used to parking half up on the sidewalks, since the roads in towns are also narrow, and we didn't see a lot of parking lots. It's pretty intense driving there, but it is worth it. You can get to places that are off the beaten path and don't have to worry about schedules.One place that you should not miss is Ross Errilly, just outside Headford, which is a bit north of Galway. It's a fantanstic monastic ruin that wasn't listed in any of our many guide books. When you get to Headford, you can ask directions, or just look for the small brown street sign pointing the way off the main street. It was one of the more complete ruins we saw. The unique detail of Ross Errilly was the stone fish tank in the kitchen. The monks would catch live fish and keep them in the tank so that they could have fresh fish whenever they wanted.

deburca98

If you go for a Manual(shift) then you will have to be very good. Every body in ireland drives manual, Automatics are very uncommon due to their high fuel consumption, But you will get an automatic at a rental dealer.We are used to the narrow roads here. Here is a coping tip on how to drive on narrow roads. Your wing mirrors are the furthest point of your car, if they are over the centre line or the centre of the road Slow down and keep left. Remember the most place you are likley to have an accident is when you turn onto another road, you have to remember to keep left when turning as ther would be a tendancy to keep right. Also my trick when driving on the right can transfer to you. If at any time my side of the car is not near the centre of the road with a good gap to the other side, then i am on the wrong side.Rent an automatic, Its one less thing to worry about. But remember to slow down coming into corners on country roads.Its worth getting a carSource(s):Live in ireland

licketychick

If you're used to driving on the right and sitting in the left side of the car, driving in the UK/Ireland takes some getting used to. You're going to need to shift using the other hand and your mirrors will be opposite to what you're used to.I know how to drive a stick, shifting did take some extra getting used to and .... I am left handed so you'd think it'd be easy. Roundabouts take some getting used to as well.

Valerie

Ive been to Ireland 2 times on the 'self drive B & B' trips. Both times we opted for automatic transmissions because driving over there is stressful because they drive on the opposite side of the roads, the roads are more narrow and not as well marked as in the USA.Renting a car with an automatic transmission is one less thing to worry about - ya know?

chathave

I suggest you rent an automatic car. You would not get a manual geer change car without a license to drive a "Manual transmission" car so don't wast you time or money getting one.It may be confusing for you to drive on the RHS but most if the country roads are narrow and disertedTake an opportunity to come north, we have the best scenary

ak

I think you should definitely rent a car, although as already said you should practice caution, especially at night, but the main roads are very good and you will need a car to visit some places such as Ring of Kerry and also it might work out cheaper than taking a tour bus which is inconvenient if you want to spend more or less time at a certain attraction.Good Luck and Enjoy your trip I am sure you will love every minute

Edward

Whatever you decide on - rent a car, you were well advised -Driving is the best way to enjoy the country bar none.The problem with learning to drive with a stick shift in the US is that stick shift cars in the US tend to be harder to handle than stick shift in Ireland. The gear changes and clutching tend to be smoother and easire with Irish cars rather than with US stick shifts.The moral here I guess is if you find a stick easy enough to handle in the US, you should find that aspect of driving easier in Ireland.Having said that, trying to master a stick shift and drive on the other side of the road at the same time can be quite difficult, and it a vacation so ultimately you want to enjoy yourself so think about that in terms of how comfortable you feel. Don't worry about making a fool out of yourself - like most countries Ireland has an ample ration of fools on the road already.Maybe there's a middle ground - have you shopped around for more car rental quotes? Try some of these local car rental companies as well as the big brands - they're both decent and well known within Ireland.www.irishcarrenatals.comwww.dandooley.comand try a few car hire brokers for their rates - they act as brokers for the big brands except their rates are often much better ( sounds daft but who cares if you can save a buck). So you get the same car from the same guys but often (not always) at a better rate.I like these guys - there's quite a few others out there as wellwww.novacarhire.comwww.autoeurope.comAlso if you have a Gold Mastercard then you can decline the CDW insurance as you card should cover you for this in ireland (worth confirming with your credit card company to be 100% sure). That might save you a bundle.Source(s):live and drove automatics and stick shift cars on both sides of the Atlantic

cbrdgt

When I was in Ireland, I didn't rent a car, but I noticed that the roads there(especially country) are VERY narrow, and their "rules of the road" are different than ours. If you don't have enough practice with stick before you go, rent the car w/ auto. Have fun in amazing Ireland!!

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