As Ireland's capital city, Dublin has it all: cultural, historical and pub-party hot spots and breathtaking natural surroundings where little has changed since the days of Ireland's High King. No matter what draws you to the city, a great deal on a rental car from Dublin Airport makes the journey much sweeter.
Dublin Airport Car Rental Agencies
Seven car rental agencies offer cheap car rentals at Dublin Airport. They include:
• Hertz • Avis • Europcar • Enterprise • Budget • Dooley • Sixt
All the agencies have branches in both Dublin Airport terminals. In Terminal 1, turn right when you exit the baggage claim area; the counters are straight ahead. In Terminal 2, continue straight across the Arrivals Hall from the baggage claim. The counters are located by the elevators at the end of the passageway marked with Car Park signs.
With so many agencies offering low price car rentals at Dublin Airport, you won't have any problem finding the vehicle perfect for your needs. Choices range from ultra-economy 2-door mini-cars to luxury-loaded 7-seater SUVs. Navigating the Dublin Area in Your Rental Car
After picking up your discount car rental at Dublin Airport, getting into the city is fairly simple. The airport sits in the suburbs about 7 miles north of the city. To reach the Dublin City Center, follow the clearly marked signs for the M1. If you're going anywhere else, follow the signs for the M50 Motorway. It runs in a half-circle around the city, cutting between the Airport and the southern part of County Dublin. Toll Roads
Even as a visitor driving a rental car, you'll need plenty of change for access to Ireland's toll roads tunnels and bridges. The 10 with traditional toll plazas include: • M1 (Gormanston to Monasterboice) • Dublin Port Tunnel • M3 (Clonee to Kells) • M4 (KIlcock to Enfield to Kinnegad) • M7/M8 (Portlaoise to Castletown/Portlaoise Cullahill) • N6 (Galway to Ballinasloe) • N8 (Rathcormac to Fermoy Bypass) • Limerick Tunnel • N25 Waterford City Bypass • The East Link Toll Bridge
At the plaza-free M50, however, a video camera scans your vehicle's license plate and bills the registered owner, with the toll to be paid by 8 p.m. the following day. Clarify your rental car company's policy before leaving the airport. Some agencies cover the cost; others include it as an administrative fee. Cycling Lanes
Watch for cyclists commuting to and from the city center during morning and evening rush hour. More than 12,000 make the round trip each business day, using 125-mile network of on- and off-road cycling routes and bus lanes.
If you see a cycling lane with a solid white border, keep out. It's reserved for cyclists and motorized wheelchairs. If the border is broken and no cyclists are using it, driving is allowed.
Filling Up Near the Airport
Your contract for a discount car rental at Dublin Airport may require returning the vehicle with a full tank of gas. Topaz Gas is located on Corballis Road North, on the other side of an airport service road and 7 minutes from the Terminal 2 surface parking lot. Dublin and Beyond
The trip from the airport into the Dublin city center typically takes about 45 minutes. During the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. rush hours, however, it can double.
Tip: If you're headed to the city's Southside, save time by paying the Port Tunnel and East Link tolls. City Parking
Dublin has more than 10 thousand paid parking spaces. Twenty-plus parking garages are convenient to shopping and tourist attractions, and most have hourly or daily rates. Metered street parking risks a fine if your time runs out. Always obey the parking restriction signs. Howth
Thirty minutes from the airport, at the end of 10 miles of narrow and often winding roads are the Howth Peninsula' coastal cliffs and crags. In the tiny fishing village of Howth, the Howth Head Trail offers unmatched views of Dublin Bay. Visit on a weekday for the best chance of finding a free or paid parking space. Wicklow
Coastal Wicklow Town lies tucked at the foot of rugged mountains just 1 hour from Dublin Airport. Take the M50 south to the M11 and continue into the town. After that, expect rough, winding mountain roads and widely scattered gas stations. To pay for parking via a debit to credit card or charge the cost to your mobile account, download the Parking Tab app. Meath
Off M3 about 30 miles and 47 minutes northwest of Dublin Airport is County Meath's Brú Na Bóinne Archaeological Park UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fifty centuries ago, it was the seat of Ireland's High King. Take M50 north to Exit 6, follow N3 to M3 and Exit 7, pick up R147 and continue into Meath.