So, you have decided to visit the Emerald Isle. You have booked your flights, packed your bags and strengthened your Guinness drinking arm while practicing your folk songs. If you are looking to go beyond the cliché and find the real Ireland, you should seriously consider looking into Ireland car rentals, to give you the freedom to experience the best the country has to offer.

Here are the top 5 reasons (and trust me there are more) for renting a car when you visit the Island or Ireland.

5. Cost

It is surprisingly cheap to rent a car in Ireland. For a seven-day trip, in a reasonable size car, you are only looking at about €240 inclusive of insurance. Petrol (or gas) prices in Ireland are cheaper than France or the Mainland UK, so for a moderate outlay you can save yourself both time and money, on transfers to and from your accommodation, trips around the country and benefit from all the other advantages in this list. Costs are even cheaper if you book in advance (check out various companies online) before you arrive.

4. Convenience

There is something to be said for the outright convenience of renting a car, especially in Ireland. In most cases, you can disembark your flight, cruise or ferry and find your car waiting for you. Then there is simply the ability to be in complete control of your timetable. No waiting for a bus or train to turn up, just make your plans and go. With the sometimes-erratic public transport (especially in rural Ireland), this is worth its weight in gold.

3. Comfort

If you are traveling with family, anyone with mobility issues, or just want to relax, hiring a car is one of the best ways to ensure this. It might cost a little extra to get a bigger more luxurious car, but if you are going to spend any time traveling, it is worth it. If you have a car seat you do not have to keep reinstalling it, you can get grandma’s wheelchair right into the town, you do not have to be squished between two rotund gentlemen on the bus, or stand for hours on a train. Ideal.

2. Timesaving

Renting a car in Ireland can save you not only money but also time. The ability to just get up and go means that you are not waiting around, you have no risk of cancellations and you can get straight to places, where otherwise, you would have to go around the houses to get to (especially on some rural bus services). If you have limited time, this means you can pack even more exploring, into every minute you spend in this magical place.

1.Exploring

This is by far the best reason for renting a car in Ireland. After 4 days partying in Dublin or Belfast, you may well want a change of scenery and renting a car lets you do exactly that. The biggest plus is, by having a car you can explore areas you might not otherwise easily get to see. Examples include, the Giant’s Causeway Route, with scenery you might recognize from Game Of Thrones, or perhaps The Cliffs of Moher (Harry Potters Half-Blood Prince anyone?), or maybe an escape to the Twelve Bens for a spot of hiking and horse-riding amongst truly stunning scenery? With a car the world, and indeed Ireland, is your oyster.

I hope that now you are well armed to get the best of Ireland. If you are looking to make the most of your trip in terms of comfort, ease, cost, timesaving and the thrill of exploring, then renting a car is definitely necessary. Have fun (and remember to drive on the Left), Sláinte!