Every time I hear the words ‘road’ and ‘trip’ plonked together in the same sentence my mind immediately wanders to an image of a Scooby-Doo like VW Camper hurdling along an open coastal road.

Owning one of those vans and living off the grid for a stint is the explorer’s dream.

I’ve always had it in my head that I’d like to travel the length and breadth of Ireland in a VW camper, so I did a bit of digging to see what’s involved and wrapped all the important stuff up into this bite-sized guide.

Here it is for you to steal.

What you'll get from reading this guide
  1. The pros and cons of renting a VW camper in Ireland (there’s a fair few of both)
  2. The all-important ‘eh, where do we put this thing at night’ question – Parking in official campsites V ‘wild camping’
  3. An insight into 4 camper rental companies (prices, customer reviews, packages and more.)
  4. My verdict – am I still as keen on renting one after looking into everything.

Renting a VW Camper in Ireland – The No-BS Guide

If you pin or share this image I’ll owe you a virtual pint!🍺🍺🍺

rent a vw camper in ireland

1. The good, the bad, and the ugly of road tripping in a camper

Let’s take a look at the good first:

Freeeeeedoooooom

  • Exploring Ireland in a camper offers you the freedom to do what you like, when you like, without being tied to a location solely because you booked a room somewhere for the night.

The experience

  • Travelling around Ireland (or anywhere) in a camper is a unique experience that can’t be matched by spending the night in a room.
  • It’s something you’ll either love or hate, but it’s worth giving it a lash.

You’ll save money on food

  • Sure, you’ll get breakfast included in many B&Bs and hotels in Ireland, but that still leaves you to pay for lunches and dinners, which add up over the course of a trip.
  • The freedom to buy, cook, and store food in a freezer allows you to keep eating costs as low as possible.

 OK, now for the not so good🤨 

It’s pretty damn expensive

  • There’s a tonne of different costs that come with renting a camper in Ireland, like fuel, campsites (you can avoid this cost, keep reading) and a hefty daily rental rate (from around €90 – more info later in this guide).
  • There’s always the potential that you could lose your deposit if the van is damaged while in your possession.

It’s a van…

  • Yea, this may seem obvious, but it’s worth considering whether or not the freedom that comes with road tripping in a camper is for you.
  • You’re going to be spending X number of days living out of a relatively small space, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

camper van in ireland

2 – Parking your camper at night, i.e. where will you be sleepin’

Where you park your camper overnight is going to be key when it comes to managing your budget for the trip.

There are two options:

  1. Registered campsites in Ireland
  2. Wild Camping/Parking

Registered Campsites

There’s a tonne of places across Ireland to pull into overnight and leave your camper.

The problem is, you gotta pay.

Often, this can cost you in excess of €30 per night, depending on the time of year and location.

Here’s a map of all the various campsites across the country, courtesy of camping Ireland.

Wild Camping/Parking 

The beauty of VW Campers is their size (they also look deadly).

So, in a camper you’re not exactly ‘wild camping’, i.e. lashing up a tent in a non-designated campsite – you’re parking overnight, so it’s a bit more flexible.

You could park up in a place that’s picturesque which is obviously the ideal, or you could park somewhere that you’re not going to get any hassle.

Here’s a list of places to wild camp in Ireland*.

If you use your head when planning your trip, you should be able to use Google Maps to scout out some places to park up for the night.

Wild camping is a great way to get off the beaten track, stay in some unique locations, and save money on campsites.

*I haven’t stayed in any of these places, so I can’t vouch for them.

3 – Where to Rent a VW Camper Ireland

There are quite a few companies that offer this service in Ireland, ranging in models, prices and pick-up points.

 *Note: this isn’t an endorsement, and I haven’t been paid to include any of the below companies, nor have I used them. 

1 – Lazy Days VW Camper Hire

Lazy Days was established in 2008 and is based in County Wicklow.

The have a variety of vw camper rentals to choose from with prices ranging from €90 per day in the low season to €150 per day in the high season.

What they sayCustomer ReviewsWhat you get
“Our fun colourful Volkswagen campervans have bags of character; they are warm, reliable, economical and ideal for trouble free touring and camping. Our campers are a manageable size and very easy to drive, perfect for negotiating small Irish roads, towns & villages.”
The only reviews I could find for Lazy Days was on Facebook and Google, and they were pretty damn good, and at a reasonable volume (roughly 4.7 stars out of 5).
Fully Comprehensive Insurance for one driver aged 25-70.
AA Breakdown Assistance.
Vehicle demonstration on collection.
iPod compatible stereo system.
2 Ring Gas Hob
Cooking Utensils: Kettle, Pots, Frying Pans, Crockery, Cutlery, etc.
Camping Gas.
Efficient 12v Fridge / (12v Cool Box in Green only).
Sink with pumped cold water.

2 – Wild Way Campers

Wild Way Campers are an independent VW Campervan hire business located on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry.

Renting a camper with these lads will set you back from €125 per day in the low season and from €150 per day in the high season.

What they sayCustomer ReviewsWhat you get
“We are a family run business that places the needs of our customers as paramount. We want your holiday experience in Ireland to be the best it can be. We believe one of the best ways to see the country is at your own pace by hiring one of our VW T5 Campervans.”
I couldn’t find many reviews for Wild Way Campers online. The handful of reviews that were on their Facebook page and on Google were positive, but we’re talking a total of between 6 and 8 reviews.
Fully Comprehensive Insurance for one driver aged 25-70.
A T5 long wheelbase Volkswagen Transporter.
Two ring gas stove for cooking.
Fridge.
Small freezer.
Pumped cold water.
Fire extinguisher.
Blanket and first aid kits.
Full breakdown assistance.
Fully comprehensive insurance.

3 – West Coast Campervans

West Coast Campervans have been in operation since 2009 and although they’re based in County Fermanagh, they offer a handy pick up option from Dublin Airport.

Renting a camper will set you back from €100 per day in the low season and from €165 per day in the high season.

What they sayCustomer ReviewsWhat you get
“West Coast Campervans is run by Gavin and Jeanne Gerrard. Established in 2009 we have grown to be one of Ireland’s leading campervan hire companies. Keen campers and explorers of Ireland’s West Coast ourselves we are always happy to give advice on things to see and places to go.”
The only reviews I came across for this crowd was on Facebook, where they scored 5/5 from six reviews. Pretty bizarre that they’re in operation just under ten years and there are so few reviews!
Fully Comprehensive Insurance for one driver aged 25-70.
All taxes and insurance for one driver.
Full cooking facilities.
Central heating.
Toilet.
Shower (in 2, 4 and 6 vans only).
All kitchen equipment.
Outdoor furniture.
Bike rack (on 4 and 6 vans only).

The Verdict – Would I rent a vw camper for an Irish Road Trip?

After looking into everything involved in renting a camper, I’m a little torn.

I’ve thought back to the various trips I’ve been on over the past year, and how things would have differed if I was travelling and sleeping in a camper.sheep on achill island county mayo

For me, the cons outweigh the pros.

One of the things I love about staying in B&Bs or hostels is that you meet other people, and that’s a big chunk of the overall experience.

It’s also an expensive option if you plan on taking it for a week or two.

The no bull***t guide to renting a VW camper for your Irish road trip! @instaireland Click to Tweet

As someone who owns a car and lives in Ireland, it wouldn’t make financial sense for me to rent one.

That being said, if you’re visiting Ireland and are planning on renting a car and then staying in a B&B/hotel/hostel, it may be worth considering, as you’ll be forking out for both a car and a place to stay.

It could be a handy option in the above scenario for those on a budget.

I hope the above was useful to some of you thinking about renting a VW camper in Ireland for a road trip.

If you’ve rented one before, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!

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