I just finished my eighth trip to Ireland, which was grand, except for being mugged by Budget.ie. My 32-hour rental cost about $300.
In all my travels, I’ve never been so furious about price and service, whether car rentals (different firms), sleeping accommodations, food and beverage, or other shopping, tours, museums, and entertainment.
As in the past, I rented an automatic vehicle, which always costs more. I knew this. The main reason for my higher-than-normal charges, according to Budget, was due to booking through their Irish web portal, rather than its U.S. site. This locked me into collision damage waiver (CDW) insurance, unless I could provide written proof of coverage from my credit card company. On previous trips, renting from other companies, I waived such coverage because it is covered by my credit card.
Blog posts from the TripAdvisor and Sher She Goes offer more tips on renting a car in Ireland. The Car Rental Council of Ireland, which represents the industry, also has additional information about renting in the Republic and Northern Ireland.
I’m not alone in my negative experience with Budget. “Never use them,” is the simple advise of one of more than two dozen negative reviews on Yelp. I certainly agree. In Galway, I had to walk several blocks to retrieve my vehicle, which was filthy, from a dingy garage. I should have kept my business with Sixt or Dooley, which I’ve used in the past.
Budget is part of Avis Budget Group, which operates in 180 countries. The firm also owns Zipcar, Payless, and other brands. The Group had record $2.8 billion revenues for the third quarter ending 30 September, according to U.S. regulatory filings.
My November gouging by Budget will now contribute to the company’s fourth quarter revenues, but it won’t take bread from my mouth, thanks be to God. And life is too short to spend much more time on this topic.
My last word: #BoycottBudget.