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  • Collision damage waiver
  • Vehicle licensing fee

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Northern Ireland car hire tips

  • Top car rental brands

    The most popular car rental brands in Northern Ireland are Budget, Europcar, Sixt, Alamo and Hertz.

  • Best time to hire a car

    The cheapest months to pick up your car hire in Northern Ireland are February and November.

  • Local currency

    Pound Sterling (GBP)

  • Side of road


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Hire a car in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland may be a small but it’s a bundle of enchantment and charm.

It maintains an irresistibly Irish atmosphere, with cities like Belfast prompting nothing but a good time. Though only bits and pieces of the region have been used as a setting for Hollywood epics, the whole of Northern Ireland appears as a mythic land. Its coastline has been ranked among the world’s best road trip destinations, so really, there’s no better way to explore the terrain than by car.

Local knowledge

Car hire stats

Frequently asked question Answer
Most popular place to hire a car in Northern Ireland Belfast
Most popular rental length Three days
Most popular month to rent a car August, when a hire car costs on average £22.40 per day

Border Crossings
If you plan on driving into Ireland, you will need to let your insurance company know, as you may need to purchase extra insurance coverage. As there is no “hard border” at the moment (no checkpoints), it’s not always easy to tell if or when you’ve crossed the border, so keep a GPS handy.

Currently, there are no toll roads in Northern Ireland. If you cross over into Ireland, however, you may encounter toll roads.

Road trips

Causeway Coastal Route
There’s a good chance this journey is the reason why you came to Northern Ireland. This route takes you through some of the region’s most iconic landmarks and mystical landscapes, all while crashing waves pound the nearby shoreline.

The route begins in Belfast and stretches 154 miles to Londonderry, also known as Derry. Admire Carrickfergus Castle and journey on through the Glens of Antrim before making your way to the route’s most prominent highlight, Giants Causeway.

Strangford Lough
Not far from Belfast is Strangford Lough, a natural and historical hub. As Northern Ireland’s first marine nature reserve, the outdoors here are at their very best and teaming with wildlife. You can also visit a restored traditional fishing village with sweeping views out to Scotland.

The Sperrin Mountains
The Sperrin Mountains are Northern Ireland’s most extensive mountain range and one of the world’s most scenic driving areas. Four different unspoilt driving routes – central, east, south and north – wind their way through the mountains, passing by powerful sites like the Barnes Gap and Slieve Gallion.

Places to roam


Cheapest month / most expensive month Average cost per day of car hire in Belfast
January £13.70
December £27.90
(*based on a 7+day rental)

Northern Ireland’s capital city, Belfast is the region’s crowning jewel of culture and heritage.

Free attractions:

CS Lewis Square – This public space, dotted with seven bronze Narnia related sculptures, is a memento to the Belfast-born author.

Belfast Castle Estate and Cave Hill – The castle’s architecture is a grand site, but it's really the views from Cave Hill that make it worth visiting.

Linen Hall Library – At over 225 years old, this is the oldest library in Belfast. Not only is it a delight to peer around but it also hosts a wealth of free exhibitions and events throughout the year.

Top tip: As not everything is free, consider buying a Belfast Visitor Pass to save money when visiting the city. It provides discounts on main attractions as well as restaurants and shops.

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Points of interest around Northern Ireland

  • Derry

    As Northern Ireland’s second largest city and former UK City of Culture, it’s the place to be for live music.

  • Portrush

    A small seaside town, home to pristine beaches and the remains of the majestic Dunluce Castle.

  • The Dark Hedges

    This haunting avenue of gnarled trees, which has famously been used for film backdrops, is now a national treasure.  

  • Armagh

    The site of St Patrick’s original church, you’ll find not one, but two cathedrals here named after the saint.

  • Mourne Mountains

    This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty contains the highest mountain in Northern Ireland.