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Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

LA, California
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Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

Hi all!

My original plan for our Ireland trip was traveling with 5 adults: My in laws, brother in law, my husband and me! My Father in Law was going to drive, and we were going to get a "mini van".

I want to start by saying we are NOT small people. My husband and brother in law are 6 ft and 6'3 perspectively, and all of us are well over 200 lbs, with my brother in law close to 300.

With 8 nights in London and 8 nights in Ireland, we will each have one checked suite case, plus a carry on.

Originally I was thinking the Opel Zafira, but I am seriously doubting it now. It seems like our choice is to have the three adult "kids" of whom the two largest people are, in the back seat, and a huge pile of luggage in the trunk, or two in the beanch seats, two pieces of lugguage in the middle, and one person in the "6th" seat in the back, seated next to a huge pile of luggage that still may or may not fit.

When you look at the cost of an ACTUAL van, it is cheaper for us to get two mini vans, or heck, even two luxury sedans than a van.

Am I over blowing this? Will we be fine in the van?

If the answer is no, then that means I am driving one car, as my husband doesn't drive. And I don't driver stick/manual. SO! How hard is it to drive in Ireland on the other side of the road for a mediocre American driver? Also, I am terrified of driving on the edge of cliffs and mountains, and YES, we are planning to do Cliffs of Mohr and either Ring of Kerry or Dingle. Oh, and its December, so it will be raining. Probably.

What do you think all? Am I doomed?

Westchester County...
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1. Re: Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

Since you have such particular circumstances involved with a rental, you can call Dan Dooley, Hertz, Avis and a bunch of others toll free from home to sort out their offerings, advice and pricings. If anyone mentions models as examples with which you are not familiar, he or she will often put forth comparable cars within any category which are found in the US, just as a gauge for comparisons. Most of the bigger companies have visuals and even discussions available by category online for luggage as well as offering verbal advice.

Additionally, on the web you can get size details on any yet unfamiliar models found in Ireland as well. You are not doomed. Hope this helps.

Edited: 13 September 2013, 17:31
Oslo
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for Norway, Oslo
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2. Re: Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

Don't forget Hertz through partner http://easytourireland.com/. There are many contributions on the forum praising their help and you can get a quote including super cover.

england
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3. Re: Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

Five largish adults in one rental car is not going to be comfortable for any length of time, what is your overall itinerary? December is a dismal time for a road trip. Its is dark for 16 hours a day. How long do you have in total, I am thinking perhaps a cottage rental in one area with two rental cars so that you can go out in two small groups?

Dublin, Ireland
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for Austria
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4. Re: Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

most cars will easily accommodate 6 ft 200 lb adults. but the real issue is the type of car. probably two medium saloons of the golf/astra size would probably be best and cheaper than a minivan. as regards driving at the edge of cliffs, this is highly unlikely. places like the cliffs of moher have a visitor car park, and you then walk to the edge if you want. driving on left is usually no problem for visitors to Ireland. irish manage opposite side driving when in usa or on the continent, so why would you have a problem here? just pay a little more attention and don't take unnecessary chances, and you will be ok.

Grand Rapids...
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5. Re: Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

If you are not proficient or comfortable driving a manual transmission before you go to Ireland, I would not ever recommend attempting to drive one there. Spend the extra money for an automatic and have one less thing to worry about.

Medford, Oregon
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6. Re: Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

Dear GMJPeach,

My experience with driving a manual transmission on the wrong side of the road (in Ireland they call it the correct side) is that after the first few miles the shifting becomes a 'mental' reaction. Tis is especially true is you routinely drive a manual transmission vehicle here in the USA. Just think if you drive a 'stick' here do you look at the gear shift lever when you shift? Do you consciously think about when you need to shift. No, your brain talks t your hand and you shift unconsciously as you drive. That is the same way it works for me when I drive a manual transmission in Ireland. If you haven't driven a stick shift in a long period of time you can either re-learn before you go or do as some of the advice says below and rent an automatic. Hope that helps!

Medford, Oregon
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7. Re: Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

Dear GMJPeach,

One more thing. I didn't answer your question about the vehicle size. If you look at the car fleet page on the easytourireland.com site you'll see a category J - Audi A4 with manual transmission. That would be very comfortable for the persons you describe plus it has a very spacious trunk. Being a luxury type car it has better suspension, etc. I drove one on one of my visits to Ireland and had two adults with me and it was very comfortable. You can take a look at it.

LA, California
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8. Re: Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

Thanks all for the recommendations! They were quiet helpful!

9. Re: Car Rentals: Which car and how hard is it for US drivers

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