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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- Bear in mind during busy seasons – Christmas / summer / bank holidays you could easily be queuing for more than an hour, see above point!
- 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!
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