Ireland is a beautiful, picturesque country to visit - and for UK residents it's just a quick hop over the water! However, there are some differences that you should be aware of when taking to the Irish roads.
Things To Be Aware Of When Driving In Ireland
Holding or using of a mobile phone whilst driving is illegal.
Drink-drive laws are very similar to the UK - 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood for fully licensed drivers, 20mg of alcohol per 100mil of blood for professional, learner and novice drivers. If at all unsure you're better off not drinking alcohol at all before getting behind the wheel.
Irish drivers drive on the left-hand side - like the UK.
Other than highways and main roads Irish roads tend to be narrow so drive with caution and try to leave plenty of room where possible. On very narrow, rural roads there are usually wider areas to pull over in to allow other drivers to pass - it's common courtesy in Ireland as well as the UK to do this whenever possible.
Make sure you have an up-to-date road map or sat-nav to help find your way around Ireland.
In the Republic of Ireland speed limits are sign-posted in Kilometres Per Hour - in Northern Ireland and Great Britain sign-posts are in Miles Per Hour.
Sign posts in the Republic of Ireland are usually bilingual - in English and Irish so you shouldn't have to brush up on your Gaelic.
It is compulsory to wear seat-belt for both driver and passengers.
Ensure you have your passport, both parts of your driving licence and other relevant documentation (including insurance) on you.
There are a number of toll roads operational in Ireland - namely motorways. You should carry a means to pay for this when driving on them. It's worth noting that some don't accept credit cards so you're better off carrying cash on you.
Carry high visibility vests with you - this is now compulsory in Ireland and other parts of the EU. This to ensure you’re visible to other drivers should you break-down and have to get out the car.
Carry warning triangles to place on the road and alert other drivers if your car is stationary and has broken down.
If you’re considering hiring a car when in Ireland you may want to consider taking out specialist European car hire excess insurance to ensure your excess is covered in the event of an accident or theft. Excess cover provided by the car hire company tends to be more expensive and may not cover you as thoroughly.
Finally – enjoy your trip to Ireland – it’s a beautiful country to explore but make sure you’re aware of local driving rules and regulations before taking to the road.