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Car Hire UK headache for Irish VISA debit card holder HELP

Tralee, Ireland
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5 posts
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Car Hire UK headache for Irish VISA debit card holder HELP

I have done a thorough research on this and got the following results. Now I am sorry I booked my Ryanair ticket and am considering going to the UK by ferry as that way I can take my own car. Please see below as it may be useful to you:

AVIS and Budget accept Irish Visa Debit but demand you have your drivers licence for 3 years. Security deposit depends on the type of vehicle but for a normal sized vehicle its not more than 70 or 90 GBP - values differ when you speak to the branch and/or customer service team.

HERTZ branch in Stansted says they accept Irish Visa Debit, customer service team says they don't. 1 year full drivers license is all they require. Deposit is 300GBP according to Customer Service team, but 200 GBP says branch.

Thrifty are really strange - I rang them twice to make sure they would accept my Irish VISA debit card, I was told all was fine, they would accept it, but for me I have to see it to believe it so I emailed them and asked them, and they replied that they do NOT accept my Irish Visa card because it is not UK based - this contradicts what I was told over the phone. Deposit is GBP 150 and they accept full drivers license as long as I have it for at least 1 year.

Enterprise accepts Irish Visa Debit card in the UK. Deposit is GBP 200. 1 year drivers license. but I do not have this in writing which means by the time I get there conditions may differ!

Greenmotion says in the branch they accept irish visa debt but I have not got that in writing. deposit is GBP 1500 but if you purchase insurance of 18 GBP a day they reduce deposit to GBP 150. This is all over the phone, I do not have it in writing and I find it hard to trust after my experience with Thrifty above outlined where over the phone the same branch says one thing that then they (the same branch) contradicts by email.

Alamo/Europcar accepts Irish debit card, deposit is GBP 250, 1 year drivers license. Again I haven't got that in writing.

After this experience, I am really put off renting a car in the UK... as I am not sure that when I get there they may say very sorry but we cant give you a car because your VISA debit card is not UK based or something else... or they may ask me for a deposit of GBP 1000 frozen on my account which means I will be able to enjoy my holiday as I will not have enough money.

All things considered, I think that if you have a Debit card, the best is to go by ferry and take your own car, it takes longer and is more tiring but you have more freedom. I also checked with my insurance company and they cover me abroad, so I am not yet sure how I am going and even if I will bother going to the UK at all.

6 replies to this topic
Wales, United...
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for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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1. Re: Car Hire UK headache for Irish VISA debit card holder HELP

I doubt this is going to be very helpful to you, but if I were going to Ireland the last thing I would do is to fly and then hire a car. It's easy enough to take your own car on the ferry, and with the driving conditions being pretty similar (at least we all drive on the correct side), I can't really see any disadvantage in having your own vehicle, except perhaps the added journey time.

If I was to fly, I would then use public transportation in Ireland, is there any particular reason you need a car over here?

Tralee, Ireland
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5 posts
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2. Re: Car Hire UK headache for Irish VISA debit card holder HELP

hi RojBlake, thanks for your input. I am travelling from Ireland to the UK, not the opposite. It is the UK car hire companies that seem to be very hard to deal with because I have an Irish VISA debit card and they only accept UK based, nevertheless over the phone some say they accept but then in writing they day they don't so I find it risky - its been a very frustrating weekend for me trying to get the right information. I want to have a good time in the UK, not arrive at the airport and then be told sorry we don't accept your card because its irish... then also my sister in law may be coming along and she only has her licence 1 year, mine is ok as it have it a long time but my sister is law doesn't so we cant hire from AVIS or Budget which were my favourites. Yes, like you say, Im better off going by ferry, but my partner gets sick in the ferry... its all obstacles and tormentation you see - never seen anything like it!

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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3. Re: Car Hire UK headache for Irish VISA debit card holder HELP

Yeah, I know you're coming from Ireland, but I was just trying to say that the debit card issue is just a further complication, even without that I still wouldn't choose to fly and hire a car if I were travelling the other way.

If your partner gets sick on the ferry and you anticipate a lot of trouble hiring a car, why not just use bus, coach and train instead when you get here and avoid those problems? Of course it may not be possible to use public transport, it all depends on where you want to get to, but if you are heading for London or another city, it should definitely be possible!

Essex
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4. Re: Car Hire UK headache for Irish VISA debit card holder HELP

I thought that Visa was global, I have not ever had my visa cards (debit or credit) refused in any country that I have been to so far.

Ireland is in the EU, surely that must count for something?

People of all nationalities with visa/mastercard/otherwhatchamacallitcards seem to manage to hire cars at various UK and worldwide airports without trouble.

I am amazed that this is even an issue, but well, you learn something every day on TA....

Dingle, Ireland
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for Dingle
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5. Re: Car Hire UK headache for Irish VISA debit card holder HELP

I think it may be becasue it is a debit card and not a credit card.

UK
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6. Re: Car Hire UK headache for Irish VISA debit card holder HELP

Do you have time to get a credit card ? That's the issue, as said above.

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