To add to Noeleen's offers, please be advised that as a US Tour operator, NO credit card company covers ANY car rental
s in Ireland for insurance. You will need to take a CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) and depending on which car you should be advised that were there an accident, no matter whose fault, you would also be liable on your CDW. For an average mid sized car this can run upwards of over $3000.00 and would be taken as deposit at the time you rent the car from your credit card that is in your name. There is no way around this so don't get caught when you arrive and not have funds available on your card to cover just a CDW or the Super CDW at the extra day rate for that car. Also, if you take the Super CDW, this will cost in upwards of over 30.00 Euro per day to have NO out of pocket expenses on a car should something happen. Renting a car in Ireland is expensive. Petrol runs at current time around 4-5.00 Euro per gallon or about 1.19 Euro per litre (4 litres in a gallon roughly). I would advise also that you get a diesel as they are the most economical to drive and diesel is cheaper. A manual (stick shift) will be your most economical as well as automatic transmissions run almost double for the same car in rental
Going back to insurance, also travel insurance companies in the USA WILL NOT COVER ANY car rental
When shopping for cars by price, AutoEurope will beat any price given as well as allow you to prepay most of the car rental
. I think you can go through Hertz to do the same, or you can go through a tour operator or agent if you are planning your trip/tour with someone.
I hope this helps! There are great drives around and I would encourage you not to rely on google maps for distance or accuracy all of the time, especially in rural areas. The best way is to buy an Ordnance Survey Map before you arrive or at a bookstore upon arrival for accurate road maps. An Ireland expert can guide you or there are several companies like Good Food Ireland
that offer itineraries for good food routes and experiences or someone like myself that travels here all the time. (any specialized Irish travel agent locally where you live would also be great for going over driving times and places to visit).
Also, since you are on a budget, remember that there are tolls on most of the dual carriageways there ranging from 1.90 Euro to 2.90 Euro. Average spend going between Dublin / Galway is 10.00 Euro RT.
Tolls in Dublin on the M50 (Ring Road around Dublin) is paid with your car rental
and will be charged typically after you leave Ireland to the credit card you provide.
All the best and Happy Travels!