Hiring a Private Driver/Guide in Ireland

Visitors coming to Ireland on vacation may consider chauffeur driven private tours. Chauffeur sounds a bit fancy but it’s essentially having your own private driver (and guide) during your trip. My passengers often tell my why they’ve opted to be driven around rather than doing it themselves so here are some of the reasons I hear:

  • If you come from a country where you drive on the right hand side of the road, it can be a little scary driving on the left hand side, especially on narrow roads. Being a passenger means everyone in the group can relax and take in the sights.
  • Most hire company cars are manual transmission and automatic cars are often more expensive to rent. If you’re not comfortable with a ‘stick shift’ not to mention driving on the opposite side of the road, a private car and driver is a great option for you.
  • Likewise, ‘Enterprise’ is the only car hire company in Ireland that will lease to over 75s and many others only hire to age 25-70s.
  • With a private tour you can pick and choose where you want to go and when you want to stop. A reputable tour guide will know all the best sights and attractions, including those off the beaten track, and what time of day to visit them. They’ve also tried and tested lunch spots so you’re not taking a gamble with your money or time. Of course you will give your input on the itinerary but you don’t have to do extensive research and planning.

So whether it’s for a couple of days during your Irish holiday or the entire duration, consider relieving the designated driver from their duties and allow them to relax also.

When hiring a private tour guide, there are a few things to bear in mind.

  • A driver must hold an SPSV licence to transport passengers for a fare and they must also have an SPSV registered vehicle. You’ll know a legal driver by their driver plate on display in the vehicle during travel.
  • Unless you are getting a metred taxi from A to B, your driver must agree the fare with you before your journey begins.

As with most tourism businesses in the county, Donegal has the most competitive rates for private tours in Ireland. It’s simply a case of being on a par with a lower cost of living in County Donegal but it means excellent value for the tourist visiting the North West of Ireland.

If you are visiting County Donegal and looking for a private chauffeur guide for any length of time during your trip, I offer bespoke tours of the county as well as simple door to door transfers, e.g. airport transfers. I hold all relevant SPSV and Category B&D licences and my 8 seater Mercedes minivan is fully SPSV licenced. I am also a Fáilte Ireland approved Local and Regional Tour Guide and completed my training at LYIT’s Tourism College in Killybegs.

Whatever method of transport you choose, if you’re coming to County Donegal, you won’t be disappointed. Try to spend less time making arrangements and more time enjoying all that is to offer.

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