Belfast International Airport is a fairly large airport in the United Kingdom, currently handling around four million passengers per annum. It is located approximately 23km, or 13.2 miles west of the city of Belfast, in Northern Ireland, and is rated as the second busiest airport of the island of Ireland. It is recognised by its official IATA code of BFS, and can also be referred to as the Aldergrove Airport. Although buses and taxis are available, arriving passengers often rather rent a car, from one of the Belfast International Airport car hire companies. Affordable car rental rates can be offered from these companies, and passengers can expect to receive a car in good mechanical condition.
Belfast International Airport has a large terminal building which has recently been renovated and expanded, and can now easily accommodate the number of passengers that pass through it each year. It is separated into areas for arrivals and departures, and consists of two floors. Passengers will enter the building after disembarkation from the aircraft on the ground floor, and will collect their belongings from the baggage reclaim areas. The majority of the car hire companies can be found in the domestic arrival hall. The companies available include Hertz, Sixt, Budget, Europcar, National, Alamo and Avis. Their vehicles can be hired directly over the rental counters, or in advance, on the internet. Earlier online bookings are preferable, as they generally result in lower rental rates, and your ideal car will then be ready and waiting for your arrival at the airport.
The Belfast International Airport car rental companies all have many years of experience in providing excellent car hire services, and are available from morning till later at night for the arrival of their customers. Their vehicles are also parking in a nearby airport car park, and no other form of transport will be needed at the airport. However, Sixt’s rental offices are located a short distance from the terminal, and therefore they provide a shuttle service to their rental counters. The shuttle operates continuously, during the opening hours of this Sixt rental location. Hertz and Europcar are two of the largest car rental companies in the world, and are known for their good services. Hertz vehicles may even be possible to hire by their specific make and model. From Budget, budget prices can be obtained, and Avis is a popular choice for all types of vehicles. National is a good choice for corporate rentals, while Alamo provides vehicles for families and leisure travellers.
The age requirements for primary renters and additional drivers at Belfast International Airport vary between the car rental companies. 21 or 23 are the ages which are usually specified. However, even though younger drivers are able to rent a car, persons under the age of 25 will pay higher rates, as a young driver fee will be applicable. This is a small amount payable per day of car hire, and per underage driver listed on the rental agreement, usually up until a maximum of ten rental days. Younger customers may also not be permitted to book from certain vehicle categories. Car hire in Ireland will also require the drivers to have a valid driving license and a major credit card. An International Driving Permit will be necessary for customers who do not have a license from the European Union, or who do not come from the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or Australia.
Reservations for vehicles should include all additional items of equipment required, for example, child seats, satellite navigation systems, luggage racks and insurance. Insurance for collision damage waiver and theft protection are optional, but recommended. Child seats are required by law in Ireland for children up to the age of 3, and a navigation system is a tremendous help if you are unfamiliar with the road network of the area. Additionally, from the car rental companies at Belfast International Airport, hand controls for disabled drivers may be available. Hand controls are useful for those with a lower limb disability, and may include a steering wheel knob. While all other optional items will cost an extra few Euro, hand controls are free of charge.
The vehicle categories available from the majority of the car rental companies include Mini, Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Fullsize, Wagon/Estate and Van. There could also be vehicles available in SUV and Convertible categories. Cars hired may be as small as the Smart For Two, but most smaller models seat four passengers. They are often similar to the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Fiat Punto and VW Polo. Slightly larger cars are similar to the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra, Kia Creed and the Volkswagen Golf. Families who require more room for luggage can hire something like the VW Passat Estate or Volvo V50 Estate, and passengers in need of a more elegant option could choose the Mercedes-Benz C or E-Class or Volvo S60. Vans from the car hire companies at Belfast International Airport include the VW Touran for five people, the VW Sharan, VW Galaxy and Kia Carens for seven people and the VW Transporter Shuttle and Ford Transit for nine passengers.
Upon expiry of your rental contract, return the hire car to Belfast International Airport. It should either have a full or ‘empty as possible’ tank of fuel, depending on the fuel options taken for the rental, and will be checked for any damages. For customers who do not wish to return to Belfast International Airport, one way hire options can be arranged, and the vehicle can be delivered to another rental location. There could be additional charges for one way hires. Most cars rented can be driven into the Republic of Ireland.
Drive your rented car on the left in Ireland, and wear your seatbelts at all times. Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited, and the speed limits should always be obeyed. In Northern Ireland they are generally as follows: 30mph/50kph in urban areas, 60mph/96kph on single carriageways and 70mph/112kph on dual carriageways and motorways. The Belfast International Airport car hire companies can provide all further information required.