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Dublin is one of the major airports on the island of Ireland, and is ranked as the largest in terms of passenger traffic, as over eighteen million passengers make use of the airport every year. The airport is larger than Belfast International Airport, and also busier than the airports of Cork and Shannon. It is located nearby to the city centre of Dublin, in the area of Collinstown, in the county of Fingal. Arriving passengers have many transport options, including a rented car from the Dublin car hire companies. Passengers who have chosen to rent a car will find the roads of Ireland fairly easy to navigate, and that the car rental companies of the airport can provide affordable hire rates.
There are two large terminal buildings at the airport, of which Terminal 2 is the newer building, only opened in 2010. Some of the main airline carriers of the airport, such as Aer Lingus, now operate from Terminal 2, and it has the capacity to handle up to fifteen million passengers per annum. Conveniently, the airport car hire companies have rental counters in both terminals and their services are easily reached on foot from the arrival areas. In Terminal 1, they are clearly visible once passengers have left the customs area, as they are found in the main arrivals hall, but in Terminal 2, the signs for ‘Car Hire’ may need to be followed from the arrival area, as the car rental counters are located in the new multi-storey car park. Since that there are many facilities in each of the terminal buildings, passengers will seldom find the need to switch terminals.
The Dublin Airport car rental companies include Hertz, Avis, National, Alamo, Europcar, Budget, Easycar, Auto Europa, Thrifty, Dollar and Enterprise, and these companies are all internationally recognised with branches in many different countries around the world. Their services are of the highest quality, and their vehicles are considered as clean and dependable. They are also only of the latest models, and are hired with unlimited mileage and free breakdown assistance. Vehicles should be hired as early as possible as an advanced reservation could be cheaper than a direct booking, and your ideal car and accessories may not be available upon arrival at the airport. Each car hire company offers online reservations, which are convenient for most passengers.
The car hire requirements vary between the companies, but many require the primary renter to have held a driving license for a minimum period of four years prior to the rental date, rather than having set a minimum/maximum age requirement. However, young driver fees could be applicable in certain cases, and some vehicle categories may only be available to persons of a particular age. Collision damage waiver and theft protection insurance is usually optional, but recommended, and the primary renter will need to pay for the vehicle by credit card, as it is seldom the case when car hire companies accept cash or debit cards. One hire services may be arranged, allowing the vehicle to be returned to a different rental location, but cars may often not be permitted to leave the island of Ireland. In general, they can be freely driven to areas in Northern Ireland and to any city/town in the Republic of Ireland.
Vehicles hired from Dublin Airport may be smaller models, such as the Hyundai Getz, Nissan Micra, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus and VW Golf, and larger vehicles may be similar to the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Avensis, Nissan Primera and VW Passat. The larger cars are more suitable for carrying luggage items, while smaller models can be easier to navigate in the busy city areas. Various makes of Mercedes models can be hired as well, by customers who require a more elegant vehicle, and Vans such as the Opel Zafira, Ford Galaxy and Mercedes Vito may be available for groups of travellers. Off-road vehicles, SUVs and Convertibles can be hired from certain companies as well.
Accessories for rented cars may include child seats, satellite navigation systems, luggage racks and hand controls for disabled drivers, and these items may cost a few extra Euro per rental, or per day of hire. However, items like child seats are essential for safe driving, and are required by law for babies and small children. From Dublin Airport, hand controls for drivers with a lower limb disability will require an advanced reservation.
Many think of driving in Ireland as frightening, but it is really quite simple, provided that you follow the road rules and remember that vehicles are driven on the left-hand side of the road. Many are also driven with a manual transmission, but automatics are also available from car hire companies. Similar to many other countries, no drunk driving is permitted, and the speed limits are taken seriously. Motorists will need to stay under 50kph in city areas, 100kph on open roads and 120kph on motorways. It is also illegal to talk on a mobile phone whilst driving, and seatbelts should be worn by all passengers at all times. Rented cars are best for travelling the country and driving between towns and cities, but may be a bit tricky to drive in busy city centres, especially Dublin. However, many car parks are available in the area around Dublin city centre, where you can safely leave your vehicle and travel on foot or by public transport.
Contact your favourite Dublin car hire company in advance of your arrival for the best car rental rates, or for further information about their services.