The following car rental companies operate at Dublin Airport: Avis/Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise, Sixt and Dooleys. To be open and honest, two companies (Sixt and Enterprise) now outsource to The Stork Exchange and use our child car seats, so I declare a bias! However, we do deliver to all of the companies, so we’ve seen everything.
If you are hiring a car and need child seats, here are a few pointers that might help.
- You are not guaranteed an infant car seat (or capsule) by any of the car rental companies (except Sixt and Enterprise!). The reason for this is they tend to only stock a few seats, as parents will bring their own as part of a travel system. Make sure to read the small print to ensure you get the child seat you booked. Also, be aware that child seats don’t usually come with Isofix bases (except Sixt and Enterprise).
- In terms of cost – 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. Sixt and Enterprise cap their charges at 10 days.
- Car rental companies are not insured to install child car seats, so the staff cannot help you. They are not trained so if they offer it’s because they have children themselves and think they can do it. (Again, I declare my bias but Sixt and Enterprise now provide installation leaflets with all of their seats, but again staff there will not install seats either).
- In terms of cleanliness, car rental companies provide immaculate, nearly new cars but they don’t always give their child car seats the same level of attention and care! Car rental companies tend to buy infant seats in bulk, rent them until they break and then buy a new batch. Don’t be too surprised if the seat you are given is old and used…but hopefully, on the upside, it will have been vacuumed! If you do plan to go the car rental route for your child seat Avis are probably your best bet.
- The car yards are not at all child friendly – they are essentially busy car parks. Europcar have a little play corner, but that’s it. If I were you, I would leave one parent/guardian/whoever with the kids at the terminal play area, while the other queues for the car. And in the summer bear in mind you could be queuing for more than an hour.
- A second solution to the above point is to request to collect the car at the terminal. Some companies charge extra to do so, and some companies won’t allow you to if hiring a child seat, but definitely worth asking.