Guide to Driving in Ireland

Driving in Ireland is pretty much similar to driving in the UK. The traffic is on the left-hand side of the road and overtakes are on the left. All the road signs are in English so navigation will come easy. The roads are in excellent shape, with minor exceptions in rural areas where you could have some troubles with domestic animals crossing or walking on the road. There’s no risk of damaging the car since there are no cracks in the pavement. Note that if you’re planning your route in rural areas you should fill the tank since petrol stations are quite far from each other. In unmarked intersections you must give way to vehicles coming from your right. In roundabouts you need to allow the vehicles that are already there to pass; then you have the right of way. Parking in cities like Dublin is based on a pay-and-display system. You are not allowed to park in the yellow areas; the parking is permitted in the blue zone. Note that there are numerous rivers in Ireland so you might be needed to take the ferry at some point. The price ranges from 5E to 30E. In terms of documents, the domestic license is enough. For rented cars you should have at least 2 years of driving experience. In addition, you need your identification card, the car’s registration and the third-party insurance.

Police cars driving around Ireland are pretty similar to the UK ones: white with blue and green squares on the sides. The word ‘POLICE’ or ‘GARDA’ is also printed on the sides and on the hood. Some of these cars have built-in radars so you could be detected speeding when you least expect it. Always keep a defensive style and you’ll have no problems making your way around Ireland.

Essential Driving Information

  • Seatbelts must be used by all passengers if fitted, regardless of their position in the vehicle. Children under 12 are not allowed to travel in the front seat.
  • It’s not legal to use the mobile phone without an appropriate hands-free device attached to it. You risk to be fined with up to €300.
  • Dipped beam should be used when the visibility drops; however, when passing through tunnels it’s mandatory to switch on your headlights, no matter what hour is it.
  • There are tolls for motorways. They range between €1 and €3.
Speed Limits
Town/City: 50kmh (30mph)
Main Road: 100kmh (60mph)
Motorway: 120kmh (75mph)
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 999
Ambulance: 112
Firefighters: 112
General Information (as of 2014)
Min Driving Age: 17
Alcohol Limit: 0.08%
Petrol Price: €1.53/litre
Diesel Price: €1.46/litre
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