Wonderful car rental experience at Dublin Airport - Alex and Joe were top-notch.
The Sixt counter at the airport was empty (no line) and the agents there were very helpful in resolving my issue. I had reserved a vehicle for pick-up in Dublin city center but they were able to help me in doing the pick-up directly at the airport instead which was incredibly helpful as I did not intend to go there for my trip. My credit card provides primary coverage so I presented the letter from the company to decline CDW and had to do a 5000 euro pre-authorization hold on my credit card, which is a lot so definitely plan this in advance. Alex told me it would be cheaper to pay for fuel in advance as the company buys diesel in bulk (approx. 90 euro I think) and drop off the car near empty so I signed up for that, however I only ended up using 1/2 of the fuel. We then had to take a shuttle to their rental car lot to pick up the vehicle however those in a hurry can pay extra to pick it up at the airport terminal.
Ireland rental car prices for the summer are absolutely insane so we had booked a manual vehicle since we know how to drive it. However, I definitely underestimated how difficult driving a manual in this country would be for someone who normally drives an automatic on big and flat roads. You have to take into consideration that you are: Driving a manual reversed (from the right seat with your left hand) on the left side of the road on extremely narrow and steep roads in the country, and if in the city, in very crowded/congested streets with stop-and-go traffic. And you have to pay attention to the navigation and remember to exit to the left, go around round abouts on the left, etc. So all of this combined can be quite complicated and not very enjoyable while trying to relax on vacation.
Fortunately/Unfortunately, within minutes our vehicle had an internal mechanical issue where we almost got stranded on a round about because the clutch failed to engage. We had to call roadside assistance and waited 1.5 hrs for pick up to go back to the airport for a replacement vehicle. At this point, we missed a tour we had reserved but we decided we did not want to deal with any further complications from another manual vehicle and for peace of mind decided to pay extra for the automatic vehicle which was available. We were very happy that we opted for the automatic as it made things much less stressful and our vacation much more enjoyable.