Travelling Around Ireland
It's easy to get around Ireland by road, rail, air, bike or even on foot. Whichever way your clients choose, we have all the information they'll need to do it safely and enjoyably.
Driving around Ireland offers people the best opportunity to discover Ireland at their own pace. Here are our guidelines to making it stress free.
Whether your clients are travelling in their own car or renting a vehicle, it’s important they are aware of these laws. Cars drive on the left-hand side of the road. Seatbelts must be worn in the front and back of the vehicle. Motorcyclists and their passengers must wear helmets. Ireland’s laws on drink driving are strict and anyone contravening them will be heavily penalised. Use of mobile/cell phones while driving is strictly prohibited.
Licence and insurance
Drivers must have a valid national driving licence, issued in their country of permanent residence or an international driving permit. In the Republic of Ireland, it must be carried at all times. Clients should contact their insurance company for details of their coverage while driving abroad. If they are renting a vehicle, the Car Rental Council of Ireland (Republic of Ireland) and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (Northern Ireland) can advise on the various insurances, waivers and options available.
Most major car rental companies have desks at airports and cities across Ireland. To rent a vehicle in Ireland, a valid driving licence and credit card are required. Most rental companies will not rent to drivers under 25 but there is no upper age limit. However, if the driver is over 75, they will be asked to meet additional requirements. Booking in advance is generally cheaper and is strongly recommended for clients who want to rent an automatic vehicle or child seats. For insurance reasons, drivers should advise the car rental company if they intend travelling between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
In the Republic of Ireland, motorways are prefixed with an ‘M’ and national roads are prefixed with an ‘N’. Secondary roads may be duel carriageways or have two-way traffic. In Northern Ireland motorways are prefixed with an ‘M’, and an ‘A’ and ‘B’ for primary and non-primary roads.
Northern Ireland uses miles per hour, while the Republic of Ireland uses kilometres. In Northern Ireland, the speed limit is 30mph in built-up areas, 60mph on the open road and 70mph on motorways unless shown otherwise. In the Republic of Ireland, the speed limit is 120km/h on motorways, 100km/h on national roads and 80km/h on non-national roads.
There are no tolled roads in Northern Ireland but a number of tolled roads can be found in the Republic of Ireland (disabled drivers are not charged). Generally tolls are paid at the barrier of the toll booth, however, there is one exception: the M50 eFlow Barrier System in Dublin. Other tolled roads are:
- M1 motorway
- East Link (Dublin Port)
- M4 motorway
- M8 motorway
- Dublin Port Tunnel
- N25 Waterford City
For more information visit etoll.ie.