Friday 19 August 2016

Car hire rental desk very busy in Dublin, Ireland yesterday

We had to come over to Dublin for a few days and instead of a 4.5 hour drive and 3.5 hour ferry crossing flew instead. Unfortunately the Aer Lingus flight from London Heathrow did not take off till 30 minutes after scheduled departure. As Heathrow is so busy, this probably happens regularly.

Only having hand luggage meant no further delays after passport control and headed out of Terminal 2 to the waiting Avis / Budget / Pay Less Car hire courtesy bus that takes you to the car hire depot on the outside of Dublin Airport.

There were only 4 other people on the bus so thought it would be fairly quick to collect the car. That is where it all changed upon arrival. It was packed. Organised chaos! A long queue for the Budget / Pay Less side and a slightly shorter one for the Avis side. All the time more buses arrived with more travellers arriving.

The long desk / counter shared by the companies was full staffed who were looking exhausted, but were polite, calm and efficient.

Eventually our turn arrived to present our car hire voucher bought on line earlier in the week from the re-branded Economy Car Hire now called Zest Car Rental.

As normal said I did not want excess insurance as we had an annual policy purchased through one of the providers on the insurance4carrental site. We were told (as advised in the Zest booking) that by providing your own excess waiver insurance a £1,500 deposit (€1,600) would be required via credit card.

I explained we did not want an automatic as a year ago with the same company, because of the busy summer period there were a lot of cars in the car park with Northern Ireland registration plates and we were provided with an automatic that I could not get into forward or reverse and it had to be changed for a manual model.

We were told there would be a fifteen minute wait. It was a very long 15 minutes. In fact by this time it was nearer to 1.20 and had we driven to Holyhead would just about be loading onto the car ferry!

Anyway eventually the car arrived and they highlighted the two areas of minor damage as several people had to come back to get their paperwork verified as these cars had additional damage.

It looked like if we had wanted to rent an expensive BMW, Audi or Mercedes there were plenty parked outside, but it looks like there were just not enough smaller cars like the Nissan Micra we had.

Although the staff were so helpful and stretched it was not a good welcome to Ireland. The car rental base has several companies operating from there and one person from Northern Ireland went and looked at the competition and said that in other ones there were no crowds. Maybe these companies were charging more - no idea. But with Canadians and other visitors waiting patiently in a queue it is not a good start to a visit to Ireland.

The Zest Car rental broker site offers several companies and you can check their individual terms of business. One area I always look for is the fuel policy and cross border policy. It is no good renting a car with a full tank of fuel and being told you bring it back empty if you are only driving 100 km in the rental, thereby the car hire company makes some extra money at the renter's expense.

We would use Budget / Avis again in Dublin, however if it is in the holiday season, hope they actually have more vehicles ready for collection when the customer arrives.

Sunday 21st August - Made sure hire car was refilled and returned early to airport. A queue for returns to get fuel deposit back of about 8 minutes so not so bad. No great long queues in the collection point, however if any staff took a break or a lot of flights came in chaos of the previous Thursday could return.

1 comment:

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