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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


· 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.


· 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.


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 /

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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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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December 7, 2021

Destination: Dublin


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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November 26, 2021

Destination: Dublin


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


V v professional.

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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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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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October 6, 2021

Destination: Shannon


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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October 5, 2021

Destination: Dublin


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

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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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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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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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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


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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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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March 1, 2020

Destination: Dublin

9very good experience

nice car, pretty straight forward pick up and drop off

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February 6, 2020

Destination: Dublin


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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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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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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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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December 16, 2019

Destination: Dublin

8.7Great experience/ watch out for the sales at the counter

We did have a very nice experience with the employee Alex and his colleague. They contacted us after the rental when we had returned to germany, because they found my girlfriends drivers licence and bank cards, which she had forgotten somewhere in the car. She thought they have been stolen. Alex sended the cards with no extra carge from ireland to germany and declined to take any reward money from us. Upon check in the lady told us that an extra fee for a car upgrade (diesel car) would pay of the regular booking with a gasoline car. This statement was simply false and she also did not give us any information about the toll system... we would have expected by a good customer experience. However the experience in the end (gettining the cards back) was so outstanding, that we are very happy that we are glad we had choosen Europcar, we can trust Europcar in general and give 5 stars for this rental.

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December 11, 2019

Destination: Dublin

7Good value for money

Older car with associated damage

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December 9, 2019

Destination: Dublin

2The worst rental experience

The worst.stay away

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November 25, 2019

Destination: Dublin

9Easy rental experience for a great trip in Ireland.

Car was great. Little car so easy driving in Ireland. We didn't get the VW Up, but a Nissan Micra. Can feel a little under powered, but expected from the small car. Boot fitted all our luggage and car was clean (though didn't have floor mats, which we found odd. Just had to be careful of mud and dirt as it can be quite wet in Ireland). At airport, it was very easy to locate Budget counter and easy to take shuttle to pick up the car. Staff was a bit pushy in selling extra insurance even though we bought off Easyrentcars, but this seems standard across all car hires we've been to. Pick up was easy after the usual paperwork and drop off even easier and quicker.

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November 24, 2019

Destination: Dublin

10Good experience everytime

Customer service friendly and good. The service is quick and efficient.

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November 24, 2019

Destination: Dublin

10Great experience everytime

Everything was good from customer service pick up to the car description exactly to the information read.

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November 21, 2019

Destination: Cork


All easy

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November 17, 2019

Destination: Dublin

8Very Good

We had to wait well over an hour for our car. We were initially told we were being upgraded (which seems to happen every time we hire a car) but the upgraded car could not be found so we were told we would be upgraded still further. Despite being very clear we wanted (and had booked) a manual car, when we went to our car we found it to be an automatic. Having waited for nearly an hour and a half to get a car we could not be bothered to go back to the check in desk to argue! If we had known the car was to be an automatic we would not have paid for a second driver as only the first driver was comfortable driving an automatic.

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Claire Walters

November 3, 2019

Destination: Dublin

8Easy experience

Great service

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November 2, 2019

Destination: Shannon

9.3Would recommend and use again

Staff were very pleasant efficient and helpful

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November 2, 2019

Destination: Limerick


No complaints

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November 2, 2019

Destination: Dublin

9.7Misled with initial vehicle rental. Was definitely not a van that could fit 7 people. Had to upgrade

We originally booked a different van and had to upgrade for an additional 400 euro. Pictures of vehicles online are very misleading and we were extremely disappointed with this.

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October 24, 2019

Destination: Dublin


Instead of having a Ford Focus I received a Citroen. The heating system was terrible, the windows were always fogging. The manual transmission was difficult to engage in proper gear. The heater was so noisy it was impossible to have a conversation.

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October 23, 2019

Destination: Knock


Yes we were ripped off at the airport having to pay a high additional insurance ridiculous that a driver with 32 years driving experience has to pay an additional £26 a day!

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October 9, 2019

Destination: Kerry


The staff at Thrifty were very nice, it was easy to choose a car and get on my way. Very pleased with drop off as staff member came out to greet me and checked the car over.

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October 1, 2019

Destination: Dublin

6.7Easy car rental is well worth it.

Pick up was fairly easy. Drop off process was unacceptable.No one was downstairs to return the car to. I had to drive to two locations to park the car. Then I had to go upstairs in the airport to find an agent. My car was not checked in right then and I was told I would get an email next morning. One week later, no email still.I called twice and then went on to the correct site to retrieve the report. Not fun when you leave the country the next morning if there were any difficulties.

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September 30, 2019

Destination: Dublin


The staff was rude and would not accept our insurance coverage. We were forced to pay 900 euro for coverage we already had.

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September 29, 2019

Destination: Dublin


Great company

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November 13, 2019

Destination: Dublin


No aceptaron mi mastercard de débito para la fianza, otras empresas sin la aceptan. Tuve que coger un seguro para evitar dejar la fianza.

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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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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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October 3, 2019

Destination: Dublin

9Cost was exceedingly higher than anticipated.

The experience with Easirent was fantastic from a service standpoint. The pricing for 8 days of use for the vehicle seemed significantly more expensive than was anticipated. During booking, the charges were approximately $515 which is higher than expected but accepted under the impression that would be the total amount of cost. When picking up the vehicle day of, there were additional costs of $495 approximately which is almost a 100% increase from the original booking and a total surprise. This was very upsetting but we had no choice at the time to another direction for booking at that moment and felt lied to/tricked.

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October 7, 2019

Destination: Dublin

9.3Good and friendly service from the check-in staff.

Lovely service by the check-in staff. The car should have been serviced, as I had several notifications in the car (oil too low, service due). otherwise, a good experience as always.

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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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