Thursday 31 March 2011

Flying to Ireland and hiring a car can prove cheaper than taking your own car

Driving to Ireland looks like it is getting more and more expensive. Not only has the price of fuel increased in Britain recently (despite the 1p cut in last week's budget) to get to the port, but the cost of crossing the Irish Sea.

I have to take my car to Dublin several times a year and had a €12 reduction voucher from Stena Line. I made a booking earlier this week and despite my €12 discount the return trip is going to cost €475 including credit card charges. That is the equivallent to around £411. Stena are starting up their large fast craft service HSS from the 1st April and that is slightly more expensive than the ordinary car ferry, however for the last three years, they go slower to cut down on their fuel costs.

The last time I actually used the HSS was in December 2009 when the premium price for a car and 2 passengers was £237. So in just over a year it has increased by £174!

On top of this £411 there is the cost of fuel - This can be around £150 for the return trip from Greater London to Dublin. This means taking the car can then cost over £560! You can buy a resonable length holiday for that.

For a family planning to visit Ireland for their summer holidays and taking their car that is a lot of money and that is before they pay for their own fuel and accommodation. This is an unfortunate situation and probably a reason why so many British people will cross the English Cannel to France for a fraction of the price they would pay going to Ireland.

If you are thinking of going on a short break, flying and hiring a car could prove better value. Flights to Ireland tend to be most expensive on a Friday, however there are bargain about if you can book in advance.

On the 30th March there was an advertisement from Ryanair in The Independent for flights from £9.99 per person (plus taxes and charges) if you booked by a certain time on the 31st March. Ryanair and Aer Lingus are alway promoting bargain flights, but book early. My wife has to visit Dublin a couple of times this year and found car hire very resonable provided by one the worlds largest car hire companies.

You can save money by declining the car hire company's excess insurance and buying it from an insurance company advertising on the www.insurance4carrental.com site.

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