Day 3 had breakfast and checked out of Buswells.
We reserved a car with Hertz, at the city center location. DH was in charge of all things car, so his call.
I am going to go on a bit about our experience, but, since there are so many car rental questions on this forum, I thought it might be helpful.
We walked to the rental center. A little far with luggage in tow, but absolutely manageable. It was a beautiful day- if it was raining, we'd take a taxi. We arrived at 10 AM and the place was PACKED! I waited outside with the bags- no way we would all fit. I had a very nice chat with a young woman from Australia (also on luggage duty) while we waited. About 20 minutes later, we had our car. I was surprised, especially because there were people on line ahead of us still waiting. DH later told me they all were waiting for automatics and they had to get more from another location.
We took out full Super coverage. We did return the car without any dings or such, but seriously, the peace of mind is absolutely worth the additional cost. It does sting to see that the insurance is more than the rental price, just chalk it up to it is what it is.
They did a once-over, took pictures, so did we, and that was that. They were incredibly busy, but we didn't get any explanation of car features, etc... There also was no manual in the car. A little daunting. I understand that they may not want to leave a full owners manual in the car, but even a basic cheat sheet would have been appreciated. Next time we rent, we'll go on line before hand and see if we can find a PDF manual for the model we're renting so we'll have some point of reference.
These are some things we learned about the car- some from forum posts, others by experience.
We rented a VW Golf. That's about as large of a car as we'd rent in Ireland. It was a great car, and we were happy with it mostly. The trunk (boot) is tiny. We could fit one suitcase and both backpacks, so one suitcase had to go in the backseat. Disappointing, because we didn't want to park our car with luggage visible for any length of time, so on travel days it was from hotel to hotel.
To get the car to go in reverse, you have to press the shift down, and then shift into gear (new one on us).
Next to the gear shift, there's a little button that has an A with a circle around it. That's a fuel saver, it feels like the car stalls out when you come to a stop, but it doesn't. We turned the button off. I'd recommend doing that until you get your driving legs under you.
The cars mirrors retract when you lock the doors when the car is off. You can also retract the mirrors using the lever on the driver side door. The lever also can turn on defogger s for the mirrors.
Our car had a park assist sensor which is helpful. It also has a obstruction sensor. It went off while we were driving, and it's loud! Scared the snot out of us. Luckily, we saw the dash display, realized what it was, and then saw a massive pile of road apples it had warned us of, so great feature, just be prepared for the alarm.
It also sounds an alarm if you drive more than 2 hours. A little message pops up telling you to take a break. Only happened once, and we were a block away from our destination, so NBD, just a little unsettling.
DH had no issues with driving or shifting on the left. We also breezed out of Dublin with virtually no traffic ( maybe because it was a weekend?). We also virtually drove the route out of Dublin a number of times using Google Maps before our trip. That helped A LOT. We recognized most of the route, and knew what to expect.
We still have a question about traffic lights. ( Only remember seeing these types in Dublin and Galway, but I expect they are more common than that). The main light turned red and we stopped. Two directional lights turned green, but it didn't look like either were pointing the way we wanted to go, but the cars ahead of us went, and we got honked at when we hesitated. Might just be one of those things?
When we returned the car, we found a gas station about 5 minutes away from the rental agency. It cost about 45 Euro to fill the tank ( versus the 120 cc hold they charge for refueling. It's refunded when you return the car with a full tank. Make sure you have a full tank!). The return was easy, and we were on our merry way.