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Driving to/in Dublin in automatic rental car

Driving to/in Dublin in automatic rental car

Old Aug 25, 2023, 9:30 pm
  #1  
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Driving to/in Dublin in automatic rental car

We will be staying at the Fairmont Carton House, Maynooth.
There are 4 of us, 1 of who is somewhat mobility impaired (we have a mobility permit/decal [blue badge].

We would like to drive to Dublin and perhaps park in a central parking lot - and use other transportation to see the attractions.
We understand that Dublin is very difficult for drivers- even non-Dublin Irish residents (the concierge at the Fairmont would never drive to Dublin).

I work with a colleague who is from Ireland. He agrees that the ring road and perhaps a very few main thoroughways in Dublin are not that difficult to drive that in North America or the UK. But many of smaller roads, per this colleague- are super narrow; often one way or dead end streets- and often curving from beginning and end of the road. He said that London England is easier to drive than Dublin Ireland

So is that what is wrong with the Dublin roads. Perhaps too many cars for too few roads.

If we want to go to a central parking lot in Dublin - so that we can travel in other ways (besides walking) - including the train (?DART), hop on/hop off bus/taxi- or other options (I take there is no subway/metro/underground in Dublin?
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Old Aug 25, 2023, 9:57 pm
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I suppose it really depends what your frame of reference is here. For me, Dublin and London are quite similar - I'd argue that driving around Temple Bar/George St on a Thursday night is no different to navigating the backstreets of Borough Market. Lucca by car, on the other hand, is an automotive endeavour best avoided in my opinion!

But that's all beside the point:

Working on the basis that you're accustomed to Canadian roads, you'll still be fine finding one of the centrally-located parking lots in the City Centre and then making other arrangements from there. This is easily achieved without resorting to driving on roads that are impassable for a car larger than a small hatchback. It won't be Texas, and you might have to fold your mirrors in once or twice to avoid parked cars, but it's not a medieval Italian village!

The garages themselves cost a pretty penny, but it sounds like a worthwhile arrangement for your party. Enjoy the trip!
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Old Aug 26, 2023, 2:08 am
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Originally Posted by Cathay1101
I suppose it really depends what your frame of reference is here. For me, Dublin and London are quite similar - I'd argue that driving around Temple Bar/George St on a Thursday night is no different to navigating the backstreets of Borough Market. Lucca by car, on the other hand, is an automotive endeavour best avoided in my opinion!

But that's all beside the point:

Working on the basis that you're accustomed to Canadian roads, you'll still be fine finding one of the centrally-located parking lots in the City Centre and then making other arrangements from there. This is easily achieved without resorting to driving on roads that are impassable for a car larger than a small hatchback. It won't be Texas, and you might have to fold your mirrors in once or twice to avoid parked cars, but it's not a medieval Italian village!

The garages themselves cost a pretty penny, but it sounds like a worthwhile arrangement for your party. Enjoy the trip!
On a map or a GPS obtained from the car rental company- how do we find which are wide enough (more modern) streets for at least 2 (if not 4) lanes- 1-2 lanes on each side, with traffic lights?

Are there any parking lots close to the main roads and also near the main tourist attractions and also to ? train stations (?DART) or hop on hop off bus stops?
Is there such a thing as city run vs private run parking lots?- any differences?
Are there parking spaces designated for disabled passengers in both types of parking lots? - would North American disability parking permits (blue badges) be valid in these spaces in these parking lots?

PS-I did not get your reference to Lucca.
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Old Aug 26, 2023, 3:44 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerGoldII
Are there parking spaces designated for disabled passengers in both types of parking lots? - would North American disability parking permits (blue badges) be valid in these spaces in these parking lots?
There's just been a thread about blue badges in this very forum, just a few posts further down. Rental Car- North American Disability Decal : Ireland or NI Whilst the answer seems to be "probably", in your situation what I might be tempted to do is if blue badge parking has a concession and is free where you choose to park, in your situation I might opt (if you can) to pay - a beligerant parking official who might be minded to not permit an overseas blue badge along with free parking, might be less minded to write out a ticket if the parking had been paid for. YMMV and it's a personal decision.
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Old Aug 26, 2023, 5:28 pm
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Spoke to an Irish tour operator today.

He said that one could park at park and ride parking lot at Red Cow Hotel on the outskirts of Dublin- and take a the LUAS tram to downtown Dublin.

Alternatively, he said that our Ontario (Canada) disability permit/decal (blue badge) should work on city parking meters designated for disability parking - and the cost is free.

What do you think of those 2 options?
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Old Aug 26, 2023, 5:55 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerGoldII
Spoke to an Irish tour operator today.

He said that one could park at park and ride parking lot at Red Cow Hotel on the outskirts of Dublin- and take a the LUAS tram to downtown Dublin.

Alternatively, he said that our Ontario (Canada) disability permit/decal (blue badge) should work on city parking meters designated for disability parking - and the cost is free.

What do you think of those 2 options?
the Luas Park and Ride is probably a good option. You may be surprised by how heavy rush hour traffic is on the M50 (orbital motorway). But it should be pretty easy to negotiate (just pay very close attention at the M4/M50 junction and then again exiting the M50 at the Red Cow).

Schools are back from next week and traffic will be rough, unless you have a confident driver I would avoid driving into the city centre. The city centre parking garages (multi storey) are extremely tight, and will be no fun in an unfamiliar vehicle. It also could easily take 90 mins from Carton House. On street parking is an option, but is mostly parallel parking. I know some foreign visitors dont like that much. If you do want to drive in, make sure you have google maps or similar to deal with the one way streets. I would look at parking around Merrion Square or Mount Street.

Another alternative would be to get a commuter train from Maynooth. They arent super frequent and again will be very busy during rush hour in and out, but it avoids the car issue.
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Old Aug 26, 2023, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerGoldII
On a map or a GPS obtained from the car rental company- how do we find which are wide enough (more modern) streets for at least 2 (if not 4) lanes- 1-2 lanes on each side, with traffic lights?

Are there any parking lots close to the main roads and also near the main tourist attractions and also to ? train stations (?DART) or hop on hop off bus stops?
Is there such a thing as city run vs private run parking lots?- any differences?
Are there parking spaces designated for disabled passengers in both types of parking lots? - would North American disability parking permits (blue badges) be valid in these spaces in these parking lots?

PS-I did not get your reference to Lucca.
I can't say that I know of any GPS apps/programmes that allow you to restrict the route to anything more than 'main roads', but to be honest, most European city centres, purely by virtue of their age, are going to be a hodgepodge mix of 'one lane' streets and lanes if that's your frame of reference.

I don't know Dublin well enough to comment on whether underground car parks are privately/publicly run. I'd be quite surprised if there was a publicly-run one in the centre of town, though. Best guess is private but someone here would be better informed.

As has been said upthread, there's plenty of discussion on the forum re: disability permit recognition - my two cents - it'll depend how bothered the warden is that day and if they need to make up their quota, but that's a totally unqualified opinion. I've travelled with my grandparents using an Australian permit and it's worked in Russia, Croatia and Italy, but only sporadically in the UK. Go figure.

Originally Posted by FlyerGoldII
Spoke to an Irish tour operator today.

He said that one could park at park and ride parking lot at Red Cow Hotel on the outskirts of Dublin- and take a the LUAS tram to downtown Dublin.

Alternatively, he said that our Ontario (Canada) disability permit/decal (blue badge) should work on city parking meters designated for disability parking - and the cost is free.

What do you think of those 2 options?
Personally I'd risk it with the disabled permit, but if you're dead-set on avoiding any roads with less than two contra-flowing lanes of traffic, you're going to have to avoid most of Europe's city centres generally, but Dublin for sure. In that case, I'd suggest somewhere further out and tramming it from there. Dublin isn't exactly huge, so it'll only be a minor inconvenience and, potentially, cheaper too. I'd throw the disability permit on the dash at the P&R and park according to the restrictions for free, if there are dedicated spaces.

PS - Lucca, God's way of telling us some places are not made for automotives:
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Old Aug 26, 2023, 8:54 pm
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I didn’t find Dublin too challenging to drive in, but NAVIGATION was a challenge (pre-GPS). Must have went through one particular roundabout 5 times before I found where I wanted to go. Like you colleague said, lots of one-way streets and curving roads that don’t go where you might expect. But the traffic and other drivers are OK.

With a good GPS it shouldn’t be too challenging.
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Old Aug 26, 2023, 11:43 pm
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One other city centre dimension is keeping out of the way of the LUAS trams where they share the road with the traffic. No worse than anywhere else but if you don't have experience of trams then it's another new experience. If on street parking make sure you don't innocently obstruct a tram line or the city will move your car for you.
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Old Aug 27, 2023, 5:00 am
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Originally Posted by plunet
One other city centre dimension is keeping out of the way of the LUAS trams where they share the road with the traffic. No worse than anywhere else but if you don't have experience of trams then it's another new experience. If on street parking make sure you don't innocently obstruct a tram line or the city will move your car for you.
This is a seriously good point which I hadn't considered - trams are beasts unto themselves towards parked cars so, as [MENTION=804859]plunet[/MENTION] says, do keep an eye out for them!
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Old Aug 30, 2023, 7:27 am
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I would park up at Maynooth railway station and get the train in from there, were it me. Every 30 minutes or so to Connolly station.
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Old Aug 30, 2023, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Arctic Troll
I would park up at Maynooth railway station and get the train in from there, were it me. Every 30 minutes or so to Connolly station.
Connolly station or Hueston station?
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Old Aug 30, 2023, 6:00 pm
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Maynooth's on a Connolly line isn't it?
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Old Aug 31, 2023, 2:27 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerGoldII
Connolly station or Hueston station?
Trains from Maynooth go to Connolly.
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Old Aug 31, 2023, 7:44 am
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To be honest, the main issue in Dublin is traffic from commuter towns like Maynooth and the cost of the car rental itself. I wouldnt worry about driving around Dublin. A very small proportion of the city is narrow/winding/one way streets. There are several on street spaces allocated to blue badges in the city centre. Especially around Fitzwilliam and Merrion squares. The train from Maynooth is a commuter line and so space might not be available? Do you know where youd like to go in the city centre? I can have a think about best parking options? Privately run parking is pretty expensive but will have blue badge options.

Edit: Dublin City Councils parking division has confirmed that your blue badge is accepted provided that it is displayed clearly on your windscreen. Theyve also confirmed that you could use any on street parking free of charge with the blue badge. If I had free parking in Dublin Id take it any day over public transport.

Last edited by ferg01; Aug 31, 2023 at 8:20 am
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