Garrett Durland, fresh off his Ireland family vacation, with an important story and lesson to share with you…
Let’s set the scene. It’s day two of vacation in Ireland, where you drive on the left hand side of the road and shift your manual transmission with your left hand — from the right seat! I was told that renting a van was pushing it on the very narrow roads, but we had no choice! Four of us with luggage for 10 days, not to mention 3 golf bags? We’ll just suck it up.
The warnings were spot on, however. VERY narrow roadways in the countryside!
This was our new tire, after slamming at 30 mph into a curb that was hidden by grass. We had veered too far left, but if you could have seen one of Ireland’s “18 wheelers” coming at you at what seemed like 50 mph (hard to believe the speed limits on these roadways), you’d move left too!
The result? An immediate flat tire and a bent tire rim. We tried to fix it but the lug wrench was the wrong size for the lug nuts. Thankfully, Malachy, a friendly Irishman working outside his house where the mishap took place, came to the rescue with the proper tools.
With a donut tire successfully mounted, we just made it for our tee time at New Castle West Golf Club. To top it off, the blokes in the pro shop had someone mount a new tire on the van while we were playing!
In the end, what could have wreaked some real havoc on our Ireland vacation turned out to be a mere inconvenience.
Moral of the story? Buy ALL of the insurance offered by the rental company (including the deductible buyback) if traveling to Ireland — or any other country for that matter. This particular incident didn’t cost us a cent, but when I think about how badly we might have messed up that van, it is peace of mind well spent!