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The Complete Ireland Driving and Rental Guide

Located in the North Atlantic, the Republic of Ireland features beautiful landscapes, including hills and cliffs which makes it a popular filming spot for movie shows. Here are some instructions for you to facilitate your driving there.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

Driving in Ireland is on the left-hand side. Before you drive on Irish roads, we recommend you to choose a compact car since roads in Ireland - especially those in countryside - tend to be narrow. Do not forget that honking around residential areas from 23:30 to 7:30 is prohibited.

Speed Limit

Some general speed limits should be kept in mind while driving. There are speed limits of 31 mph (50 km/h) in built-up areas, 50 mph (80 km/h) for non-national roads, 61 mph (100 km/h) for national roads and 75 mph (120 km/h) in motorways unless signs say otherwise. 

Traffic Signs

Traffic signs in Ireland can be mainly classified into 3 types: regulatory signs, warning signs and information signs. 


Irish regulatory signs are mostly circular and feature red, with some exceptions. 

Ireland_Traffic_Sign_StopStopIreland_Traffic_Sign_YieldYieldIreland_Traffic_Sign_Yield_in_IrishYield (In Irish)Ireland_Traffic_Sign_Max_Speed_Limit_80_km_hMax Speed Limit (80 km/h)

Ireland_Traffic_Sign_No_OvertakingNo Overtaking

Ireland_Traffic_Sign_Pedestrianized_StreetPedestrianized Street

Warning signs are diamond shaped with a yellow background.

Ireland_Traffic_Sign_Slippery_Road_AheadSlippery Road Ahead

Ireland_Traffic_Sign_Series_of_Bumps_or_Hollows_AheadSeries of Bumps or Hollows Ahead

Ireland_Traffic_Sign_Level_Crossing_with_Lights_and_BarriersLevel Crossing with Lights and BarriersIreland_Traffic_Sign_Pedestrian_Crossing_AheadPedestrian Crossing Ahead

Ireland_Traffic_Sign_Deer_or_Wild_AnimalsDeer or Wild Animals

Irish regulatory signs are mostly rectangular with different background colours.

Ireland_Traffic_Sign_Airport_SignAirport Sign

Ireland_Traffic_Sign_Advance_Sign_for_Facilities_in_Lay_bayAdvance Sign for Facilities in Lay-bay

To read more about Irish traffic signs, you can refer to Ireland Traffic Signs Manual 2010.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

All passengers are required to have their seatbelt fastened at all times when the vehicle is moving. Drivers are obliged to make sure passengers under 17 are suitably restrained. Failing to do so can result in a fine of €60 which must be paid within 28 days.

Booster Seat Laws

All children under 17 must be in an appropriate restraint system when they are in a vehicle. Kids under 150cm (4ft and11in) in height or 36kg (79lbs) in weight must sit in correct child restraints that are appropriate to the weight of the child and must be in accordance with EU or UN standards. Rear facing child restraints must not be used in seats protected by an active frontal air-bag.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll

Parking

· Forbidden Parking


You must not park on the following spots:


- Opposite to another vehicle on a narrow road


- At the entrance or exit of a fire station, police station, ambulance station or hospital


- Where you would block other road users' views of a traffic signal or the road ahead


- 15 metres before or 5 metres after pedestrian crossings or traffic lights


- Where parking is forbidden by traffic signs or road markings, as detailed below


- When there is a single yellow line as a road mark with an upright information plate nearby, you must not park during the times shown

Ireland Single Yellow Line(Image from bcmtouring.com)


- When there are double yellow lines, you are not allowed to park at any time

Ireland Double Yellow Line(Image from bcmtouring.com)


- Parking spots with a disabled person symbol are only available for people suffering from a disability

Ireland Parking Spot for the Disabled(Image from bcmtouring.com)


· Parking Sign


Permitted and prohibited parking signs in Ireland may specify multiple times, places, durations, restrictions and vehicle categories in a condensed form on a single sign.

Ireland_Traffic_Sign_Parking_PermittedParking PermittedIreland_Traffic_Sign_Parking_ProhibitedParking Prohibited

You may also find this sign with two-way diagonals indicating a specific area must be kept clear during the specified times of the day.

 Ireland_Traffic_Sign_ClearwayClearway

· Paid Parking

Disc parking and Pay-and-Display parking system are both valid in Ireland. You are most likely to find a solar powered meter for Pay-and-Display, which prices usually range from 80 cent to €2.9 per hour.

Fuel Prices

The average value for Ireland gasoline price during November to December, 2017 is 1.4 Euro, while diesel is 1 cent lower.

Toll

Both Irish residents and foreign tourists using a toll road should pay for the fee. There are eleven toll roads in Ireland.

Ireland E Toll Road Map(Image from eflow.ie)


You will need to stop at the toll plaza to pay the tolls either by cash or by card, and 10 of the toll roads in Ireland are equipped with barrier toll plazas except for the M50. To use the M50, you need to pay before 8pm the following day. Failure to do so will result in a fine of €3.00


If you plan to rent a car and use the toll roads in Ireland, it is advisable for you to rent an electronic tag from the car hire company, enabling an automatic payment of the toll fee directly from your credit card. Please note that electronic tags are subject to availability at the rental desk. If you have any question related to your toll fee billing, feel free to contact QEEQ' 24/7 customer service team for assistance. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

In Ireland, drink driving is a serious offence. The legal limit varies and depends on drivers’ qualifications. Full licenced drivers are not allowed to consume more than the legal alcohol limit which is 50 micrograms per millilitres of blood while professional and learner drivers are limited at 20mg/100ml. Being deemed as drunk driving will result in a two-year ban and a €1,500 fine.

Traffic Fines

If you are caught speeding on the road, you need to pay €80 as a fine and give out 3 penalty points in 28 days. If you miss the deadline, you need to pay €120 in another 28 days. If you still have not proceeded to the payment after 56 days, a court case will be filled against you. 


Parking offence will result in a fine from €40 to €80 depending on the situation. 


Car hire companies will pass on the driver’s information to the authorities in case of traffic infringement, while the post or email notification enlisting breach details will only be issued by the traffic authority. 


Note that the fine usually comes with a service/administration fee as well. It is advisable for you to contact QEEQ' 24/7 customer service team if you have any question on this matter. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

To drive in Ireland, the driver must present a valid national driving licence that has been held for at least 2 years. The minimum age to drive in Ireland is 21 years old (age may vary by car category).


To hire a car in Ireland, you must be at least 21 years old (age may vary by car category). Each car hire company has its own age requirements and a deviation from the minimum age is possible depending on the vehicle.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.COM will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /
K.Wrench

November 8, 2022

Destination: Dublin

6.7Poor

First car was in poor condition externally. Within 5 mins a warning light came on and I had to return it. Replacement car also had a tyre warning light come on within 30 mins of driving. Pick up from airport took over 30 mins Drop off - I had to wait in the dark for someone to move 3 cars after they checked mine before being taken to the airport. 2 days after drop off of the car where no issues were raised I couldn’t use my credit card - 2100 euro still held against it. Emailed easirent - no reply

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NGRW

November 7, 2022

Destination: Dublin

10Excellent

Car smelt overpowering from sanitiser. Was not informed of need to get code from DVLA using my National Insurance Number> Time consuming

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Brenda Doyle

November 4, 2022

Destination: Dublin

8.7Very Good

I didn’t like the fact that there was no one to check the car when I dropped it off .

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D.Lewis

October 21, 2022

Destination: Dublin

7.3Overall satisfactory given the price and condition of the vehicle.

The car only had a quarter tank of fuel despite there being a full tank policy and Budget retained a fuel deposit. However, upon notifying Budget, they assured me that there would be no charges to my account.

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J.J.

October 21, 2022

Destination: Dublin

9.3Excellent

The woman who helped us at the counter was extremely helpful and nice. Upon returning, the man who helped me was great. He mentioned he had only been on the job a month, but I couldn’t notice. Car was great for what we needed.

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October 20, 2022

Destination: Dublin

7.3Good

Cheap and clean but the car was damaged with one mirror held on by tape. The pickup took ages at the airport and the chosen car was not available. They upgraded us for free but it took ages to check in and get a car to us even though it was only us and one other booking

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Shah Hussain

October 10, 2022

Destination: Shannon

10Highly recommended

I have been using this service from 2017, I never had a single issue. Very happy with the service

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w.currams

September 27, 2022

Destination: Dublin

9Great staff, great car … way to expensive

Staff were great. Cost will prohibit me in the future , I rent cars at a fraction of the cost normally.

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Dave Frankland

September 23, 2022

Destination: Knock

8.3Excellent process, just let down by a poor car.

The car was a dacia sandero, noisy, tinny, no aircon, poor ergonomics, doors too springy, top of the doors too sharp, so much so one sprung back and made a bad cut in my cheekbone, which wasn't good; considering i'm a haemophiliac.

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Kurtis

September 23, 2022

Destination: Dublin

7.7Great car, OK service

Car was great. Staff tried to upsell. Return location was not as described, delaying arrival at airport.

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M.Dalton

September 21, 2022

Destination: Shannon

8.7Good but not premium at all.

car was very nice. For a premium brand you'd expect a little more in terms of car. The alloys were very scratched. The CV joint on frontleft was clicking and the tyres were right on the limiter to change. Which you could really feel when it was raining. Aquaplaning. I recommend checking the car fully prior to taking it out of the area too far. Pick up staff was excellent. No issues. Smooth and tranparant

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R.Vlach

September 14, 2022

Destination: Dublin

9.7 Easy to use and the prices.

The car was what we needed for boot space and roomy inside for the four of us. The GPS worked in the car even-though we did not pay extra for it.

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August 31, 2022

Destination: Dublin

10Fantastic experience!

The vehicle was great and fit 6 comfortably. The trips with our luggage was cramped. Most importantly, Europcar staff were helpful, courteous, and gave us no troubles. We brought our insurance documents, which was accepted without question. They were efficient and friendly; I would definitely use this car hire again!

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Matt

August 25, 2022

Destination: Cork

10Excellent.

Fantastic service at cork airport. Very fancy upgrade for free. No hard selling insurance... Just a friendly soft encouragement! Couldn't be better.

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N.Mann

August 16, 2022

Destination: Dublin

9.3A great and easy experience

A big thanks to the delightful Vanessa who was extremely helpful on picking up and drop off.

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A.Hurford

July 19, 2022

Destination: Dublin

2EUROPCAR is awful.

No one inspected vehicle at pick up or drop off. We were told to send in a video of the car. We did that. We were charged $500 with no email explaining why. We didn’t do any damage to car at all. This rental was supposed to cost $812 instead it cost us $1700.00 very upset with this company

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Brenda Rudko

July 16, 2022

Destination: Dublin

9.3Excellent

We were required to pay a collision "surcharge" even though we had outside insurance. Additions e.g. GPS, additional driver etc really added up.

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J.Reid

June 10, 2022

Destination: Dublin

8.3Very good but stressful on return.

Drop off was misleading and totally confusing. Was supposed to open at 05:00 and I was there at 05:30. Gates were marked in red tape to say closed and open at 7 written over the 5. Return to car centre. Also why an extra charge to travel in Northern Ireland.

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J.Little

June 8, 2022

Destination: Dublin

5Never book with you again, will only deal with rental car company.

We sat at the pick up Hertz for over two hours when the vehicle promised was substituted for two other inferior models.

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S.Garrett

May 30, 2022

Destination: Dublin

10Highly Recommend

Europcar was superb! High quality car, excellent customer service!

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S.M

May 28, 2022

Destination: Dublin

10Great trip to Ireland, rental car pricing in Ireland is astonishingly expensive

The car was in good shape and vfairly new the custoemr service at Europcar soecificall Caroline was exceptional.

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Eddie

May 19, 2022

Destination: Dublin

9Everything turned out well. Would book again.

The staff didn't give us the GPS we ordered. I thought it was built into the car. We were away from airport by the time we figured out we didn't have the hand held device. Good thing our phone had navigation. I called and asked for a credit. When I returned the car, I made sure I got my credit.

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D.Mines

May 16, 2022

Destination: Cork

8.7Easy straight forward booking, quick easy pick up and drop off. Decent car for what I needed.

Car first offered was not compatible to my Sat nav connection. Had to arrange an older car which had the required connection plug. Staff did all they could to sort this out for me. As a vital piece of equipment, this should be made clearer to people at the time of booking.

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C.Rafter

December 7, 2021

Destination: Dublin

9Excellent

When I arrived in Dublin they hit me with the insurance charge. Asked if I had a letter from my credit card company about insurance. Of course I do not. Another customer was being asked the same question. That is a scam!

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Arnie Zareei Bogoya

December 7, 2021

Destination: Knock

8Very Good

They made us hire a new insurance, so we needed to pay 100€ more… not going to coming back.

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a.walsh

November 26, 2021

Destination: Dublin

6.7Average

There was an overemphasis on selling insurance and the scoda car was not the equilivant to an Audi A4

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Mark Dalton

November 18, 2021

Destination: Shannon

10Excellent.

V v professional.

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G.Coward-Williams

November 12, 2021

Destination: Knock

10Good, but far, far too expensive

Overall it was good, but it was twice the price it should have been

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M.Thompson

October 28, 2021

Destination: Dublin

9.7Smooth and easy experience

The car was great. The only down side was that the audio system did not connect well to the phone via USB.

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M.Dalton

October 6, 2021

Destination: Shannon

10Awesome

Always book with Hertz. Other might be cheaper but the cars will be damaged and scratched and you will be worried that you will have to pay extra at the end. No issues when you're with a reputable company like Hertz

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F.Franceschin

October 5, 2021

Destination: Dublin

5.7Average

Too much time spent at pick up point no answer on the phone and 40 mins to wait the car

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M.Murray

September 30, 2021

Destination: Dublin

7Good car.

Pick up location not clear - long wait for pick up. The rental person I spoke to was excellent - very nice, there was an older gentleman who was speaking to another client - mainly confusing them

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N.Bowles

September 30, 2021

Destination: Shannon

10My experience was very good

I have always been very happy with European rental and they accept my letter from my bank stating that my insurance is covered with them where other car rental companies will not accept that

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A.Huckvale

September 30, 2021

Destination: Dublin

6We've never spent this much on a hire car before, it was eye-waveringly expensive!

The lady at the desk wouldn't accept my credit card, as the limit wasn't quite big enough. Also wouldn't accept any of the remaining 3 debit cards we brought with us. This meant we had to spend a considerable amount more on the full insurance, which we didn't want. Not being warned of needing a huge credit limit on your credit card meant we had to pay twice as much. There were also no details of the drop-off location and we had to frantically search for the correct phone number so we didn't miss our flight, which added to the stress.

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D.Oconnell

September 15, 2021

Destination: Dublin

10Great first time rental.

Easy fast and efficient pick up. Nice car in good condition . Would rent again .

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June 22, 2021

Destination: Dublin

6.7Forced to upgrade to full cover at 4 times the price. You suck Budget

Our check-in person wasn't very nice and forced me to upgrade to their full cover as I didn't have a credit card, they would not accept my excess cover I had purchased elsewhere. The upgrade to full cover was also over 4 times what it would have been if I had selected this option at time of purchase (€20 vs. €90). Pretty predatory. Also the car was only half full of petrol when we picked it up. Our check out person was very nice though.

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B.Finnerty

July 26, 2020

Destination: Dublin

10Fantastic service from Europcar

Excellent service from the staff at Europcar. I was late in on a flight and they remained open for me. and upgraded me rather than send me to the far-away depot. They also facilitated me changing the details of my booking as my credit card had recently become out of date. Fantastic service all-around.

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May 13, 2020

Destination: Cork

8.7Satisfactory

I was very unimpressed that the sales assistant tried to sell us additional insurance when it was clear we already had paid for additional insurance through QEEQ.COM. Indeed if I hadn’t read it carefully, I would have failed to notice the additional €1000. It was also helpful that QEEQ.COM had highlighted this as a potential issue- still a poor show from hertz in cork when late night covid 19 flight that had lost our luggage made us tired and weary! That said when I rang to change he drop off and had another representative they couldn’t have been more helpful and the office in Wexford were equally helpful

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I.Hurley

March 15, 2020

Destination: Cork

10Very happy with Thrifty Cork.

The website said there was a shuttle bus which almost made me rebook with a different company but the counter was actually in the terminal at the Hertz desk. I was very happy with the pick up. Car was brand new.

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March 3, 2020

Destination: Dublin

8.7Car good, wait time for pick-up was less so

Waited quite a while in the terminal before being told to proceed to the shuttled bus to head to the pick up area. That time was wasted. Was initially given keys to a manual instead of an automatic. That was fixed quite quickly but was a pretty avoidance error.

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A.Garvey

March 1, 2020

Destination: Dublin

9very good experience

nice car, pretty straight forward pick up and drop off

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Gordon

February 6, 2020

Destination: Dublin

10Easy

Excellent value. Great service

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February 5, 2020

Destination: Dublin

8.3Europcar/CARHIRE customer service is pretty good even we faced some complicated car change process

Service was proivded through Europcar. I booked a Ford Focus becasue we have 2 big luggages and required big trunk space. However, only same class (e.g. a Hyundai model) was offered when I picked up the car. As a result, the trunk space did not fit for the purpose. So it is suggested Europcar/CARHIRE to countercheck with customers the big luggages size in hand and see if the car is fit for the usage. This will significantly reduce the car pick up time or any car change process (if required).

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Ryan M

January 29, 2020

Destination: Dublin

7.6Didn’t work as well as usual

I reserved a “Toyota Corolla” or similar car, however when picking up I was told my car was a Renault Clio, which to me is a smaller car class, since I am tall I had to pay for an upgrade. I had booked this same car class with other providers at Dublin airport previously and did not have any issues, will likely avoid europcar in future.

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O.Breen

January 25, 2020

Destination: Dublin

8Good experience hiring car in Dublin.

Car was a bit beaten up so I recorded the condition of it but there was no problem on drop off or after.

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A.Knight

January 7, 2020

Destination: Dublin

6.3On current experience I’d go to a hire company that provides the car class booked.

Was told the class/size of vehicle I booked wasn’t available, hence I had to leave a bag in Dublin with relatives. Witnessed the same routine with another customer when I returned the vehicle, which makes me wonder.

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Geno

January 3, 2020

Destination: Cork

9.3Good cheap rental!

The booking was all pretty smooth, and very easy to locate and drop off, adding an extra for a driver for an extra day they charged for the whole rental period was a little annoying other than that would recommend!

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Adrian P

January 2, 2020

Destination: Cork

10Fast friendly service, great value, can't fault them.

Fast friendly service, great value, can't fault them.

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Adrian P

January 2, 2020

Destination: Cork

9.3Van was in excellent condition, would use again.

The agent behind the desk had an attitude problem at check in. I booked a small Caddy van for the week at Christmas as it was good value. I was told all they had was a long wheel base Transporter which was far larger than the caddy. I was told by the agent people only book vans when they need to carry large items... clearly this isn't the case or the VW Caddy wouldn't exist... The LWB Transporter was too big for what I needed, and not exactly an upgrade due to the increased running costs.

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December 31, 2019

Destination: Shannon

10As per described with no issues

Got the car advertised, no issues and quick in and out. Fab

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Best car rental deals in Ireland

Best rates found by QEEQ users in the last 30 days.

Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on QEEQ.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

QEEQ will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on QEEQ, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on QEEQ.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

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