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Hiring a small coach with driver? (Ireland)

Hiring a small coach with driver? (Ireland)

Old Jul 16, 16, 6:43 am
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Hiring a small coach with driver? (Ireland)

I'm planning a fairly large family trip to Ireland. Last time we were nine people and got two rental vehicles and two of us drove, but it was stressful. Next time we're thinking of bringing a few more family members so we'd need at least three (or four) cars with willing drivers.

We're on a budget and are aged 9 to 80.

I'm wondering if it might be cost effective and easier to hire a small coach with a driver, but I have no idea how much that could cost. Trip would be about 10 days, originating at DUB and going up to Donegal for about three days, then down the west coast on the way back to DUB. We don't need a tour guide, just a driver.

Has anyone here done something like this?
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Old Jul 16, 16, 7:54 am
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Did you try the most basic of Google searches?
"19 seat coach hire Ireland" or "25 seat coach hire Ireland" produces quite a few results, including this company - email and phone number included - and this one
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Old Jul 16, 16, 8:35 am
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This is not going to be cheap.

As well as renting the bus and hiring the driver who will come with restrictions on how long they can drive for without a break / possible rest day requirements - which will take priority over your needs - you'll also need to factor in the cost of a hotel room for them as well.
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Old Jul 16, 16, 10:55 am
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Here's a suggestion. If you know any golfers who have taken a trip to Ireland, see if they've had any experience with coaches/drivers. From researching similar issues for golf trips to Scotland, I've learned that the economies of scale don't start to kick in until you've got a group larger than 12.

UKtravelbear has rightly pointed out one of the hidden costs of such a method of transportation--if you stick with one driver throughout your travels, you have to factor in his lodging and food costs as well as the costs for your travelers and that will either be a separate line item or built in to the quote you receive. Here's another: if your group is 12-15 but the companies you contact can only offer a 19-seater coach, you're probably going to pay the same price for the coach as if your group had 19 passengers.
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Old Jul 16, 16, 11:17 am
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I was in a group that hired a 12 passenger bus for a week from Scales of Ennistymon for daily trips up and down the West Clare coast. We were based in Ennistymon so it was home every night. The cost was EUR2,000 not including meals. It would complicate things but if you could base yourselves in a couple of places and use local companies it might work out cheaper than a single bus. It also meant that if the driver timed out (such as if we were in a pub for a session) the driver could go home and Scales could send out another driver.
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Old Jul 19, 16, 6:50 am
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Originally Posted by UAPremExecflyer View Post
Did you try the most basic of Google searches?
"19 seat coach hire Ireland" or "25 seat coach hire Ireland" produces quite a few results, including this company - email and phone number included - and this one
Obviously. That's why I started this thread.
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Old Jul 19, 16, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
This is not going to be cheap.

As well as renting the bus and hiring the driver who will come with restrictions on how long they can drive for without a break / possible rest day requirements - which will take priority over your needs - you'll also need to factor in the cost of a hotel room for them as well.
Yeah, you're probably right. I was just wondering if the break-even point might be fairly low, like it would save money if we have at least X passengers...maybe 15-20, but not 30+ which seems more like the number.

Originally Posted by lwildernorva View Post
Here's a suggestion. If you know any golfers who have taken a trip to Ireland, see if they've had any experience with coaches/drivers. From researching similar issues for golf trips to Scotland, I've learned that the economies of scale don't start to kick in until you've got a group larger than 12.

UKtravelbear has rightly pointed out one of the hidden costs of such a method of transportation--if you stick with one driver throughout your travels, you have to factor in his lodging and food costs as well as the costs for your travelers and that will either be a separate line item or built in to the quote you receive. Here's another: if your group is 12-15 but the companies you contact can only offer a 19-seater coach, you're probably going to pay the same price for the coach as if your group had 19 passengers.
Thanks; I will ask around.

Originally Posted by MADPhil View Post
I was in a group that hired a 12 passenger bus for a week from Scales of Ennistymon for daily trips up and down the West Clare coast. We were based in Ennistymon so it was home every night. The cost was EUR2,000 not including meals. It would complicate things but if you could base yourselves in a couple of places and use local companies it might work out cheaper than a single bus. It also meant that if the driver timed out (such as if we were in a pub for a session) the driver could go home and Scales could send out another driver.
This might be feasible. We could take public transit to someplace like Letterkenny, then hire a van with driver for the day. We often do a similar thing when we take cruises, and negotiate a flat rate for the day, then round up enough other passengers to bring the per-person cost way down.
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Old Jul 20, 16, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by pawtim View Post
We could take public transit to someplace like Letterkenny, then hire a van with driver for the day.
Just a point, when you contact companies in Ireland, don't say you want to hire a van. I know that's the word for what you want in the USA, but in the UK and Ireland a van is strictly a freight vehicle - no side windows or passenger seats apart from the one alongside the driver. Imagine how disappointed you'd be if you accepted a price and that was what turned up to collect you.
The local term is a minibus or minicoach.
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Old Jul 21, 16, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Andy33 View Post
Just a point, when you contact companies in Ireland, don't say you want to hire a van. I know that's the word for what you want in the USA, but in the UK and Ireland a van is strictly a freight vehicle - no side windows or passenger seats apart from the one alongside the driver. Imagine how disappointed you'd be if you accepted a price and that was what turned up to collect you.
The local term is a minibus or minicoach.
Ha! Thanks! I've been deliberately trying to use "coach" instead of "bus" for just this sort of reason. I can just picture my older relatives being jostled about in the back of a cargo van along country lanes...funny to imagine but not something to experience in real life.
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