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8 Tips for Car Rentals at Dublin Airport

Car Rentals and Child Car Seats: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!
Car rental companies don’t have the best reputation when it comes to child seats and, until recently, with justification. The web is full of horror stories about dirty seats and little thought given to safety. A bad experience with a rental company abroad was my own inspiration for starting The Stork Exchange Equipment Hire! We work with a lot of the car rental companies at Dublin Airport so we’ve picked up quite a lot of information along the way. Here are a few things that might be useful to know!
  1. If you are booking an infant seat – ring the location desk to make sure they have one for you. Many companies only stock a small supply so the ‘fine print’ says a seat is not guaranteed.
  2. Generally speaking, car seats will be quite basic – no isofix, no tether straps, no extended rearward seats. If they are clean, that’s a bonus.
  3. In terms of cost – at Dublin Airport Hertz charge a flat fee of €40 no matter the duration, while Avis, Budget, Europcar and Dooleys (and Sixt and Enterprise) all charge between €7 and €10 a day.
  4. Car rental companies’ staff are not insured to install car seats, so the staff cannot help you for insurance reasons. If a staff member does help, it is probably simply because they have kids themselves, but they are definitely not trained to do so. Ask for an installation guide at least.
  5. In terms of hygiene, it really varies from company to company – but do not accept a dirty or unsafe seat. If all else fails, I’ve seen staff being sent to the nearest Mothercare to buy a seat so complaining helps!
  6. The car yards are not at all child friendly – they are essentially very busy car parks. If I were you, I would leave one parent / guardian/whoever with the kids at the terminal and use the time for toilet stops / nappy changing / refreshments etc, while the other parent / guardian etc queues for the car. Then simply collect the family from the set down area.
  7. Bear in mind during busy seasons – Christmas / summer / bank holidays you could easily be queuing for more than an hour, see above point!
  8. A second solution to that is if you can, request to collect the car at the terminal. Some companies charge extra to do so, and some companies won’t allow you if you are hiring a child seat, but definitely worth asking. Avis Preferred is free to sign up to and guarantees your car is at the terminal. Hertz Gold is similar, any of the companies with loyalty programs like that will usually offer that as part of the package – definitely worth it!
For more great advice from our Travel Experts, visit the Stork Exchange website.
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About the Author

I’m Olivia Mai, founder of The Stork Exchange and Mum to two small children. My third baby is the one I leave at home when I go on holidays, it’s called The Stork Exchange and it’s my little business. It is a children's equipment hire service that offers everything from child car seats, prams, buggies, cots and highchairs, to monitors, booster seats, buggy boards and pram bags. I started The Stork Exchange with my husband four years ago after a bad experience on holidays abroad with my kids. Fast forward four years and we now have two shops, one at Dublin Airport and one in Shannon. We work closely with a number of airlines and car rental companies and have spent three years developing our product range. That’s a lot of products to trail -- safety, durability and ease of use are top priorities. I constantly get asked questions by parents about travelling with kids -- what equipment to bring, what not to bring, what’s allowed by airlines, what’s not. Being at the airport day in day out means I am pretty close to it all and as a result have built up loads of knowledge, tips and nuggets of practical and useful info about the do’s and don’t of travelling with children. I also learn from the experience of other Mums and Dads. It’s great to be able to share this advice to help make the journey and holiday a bit smoother and easier for other parents. Want to get in touch? Email me at or call 087 255 8702 Check out my website and social channels at the icons above.


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