There can be significant traffic congestion in the main urban centres, such as
Dublin, Cork and Galway, particularly around rush hour periods. There has
been an enormous increase in car ownership within Ireland in the past 10
Parking in Ireland - tips for tourists
Most Irish urban centres require you to buy and
display a valid parking permit on your dashboard
when you park and leave your car. These parking
permits can usually be purchased from near
by automated on-street vending machines.
Vehicles which do not display these parking permits
are very likely to be clamped – and a significant
fee must be paid to remove the clamp. Illegally
parked cars can be towed away and impounded.
A single yellow indicates that parking is allowed
at certain times only - Pathway signs usually
tell you the restrictions. A double yellow means
that there is no parking at any time.
Insurance and roadworthiness for tourists visiting Ireland
All motorists must have adequate valid motor
insurance, and an insurance disk must be displayed
on your car windscreen.
Vehicle roadworthiness is regulated by a testing
regime for all cars over 4 years old. This car
testing is referred to as NCT and a valid certificate
must be displayed on the car windscreen (applies
to private vehicles over 4 years old)
Drivers must carry a valid driver’s licence with
them while driving at all times
It is compulsory to wear front and rear seat
belts. Children should be suitable restrained
using adequate child car seats or booster seats.
Children under 12 years of age are not permitted
to travel in the front passenger seat.
Most new cars in Ireland will display speed in
kilometres per hour. However, in recent years Ireland switched from
generally displaying speed limits in miles per
hour to kilometres per hour. Because of this,
older cars speedometers may display mph more
Speed limits in the Republic of Ireland
The speed limit is 100 km/hr (approx 62 miles
per hr) on national – signified by “N” on road
120 km per hour on motorways shown by "M" and
a number e.g.M50
The speed limit on secondary or regional roads
is normally 80km per hr (about 50miles per hr)
The speed limit in built up areas is generally
50 km/hr (about 30 miles per hour).
In Northern Ireland speeds are still measured
in miles per hour with the standard speed limit
set at 60 miles/hr.
Fuel prices in the Republic of Ireland
The cost of fuel in Ireland is a little below
the European average. However, visitors from
the United States of America will find fuels
prices to be high in Ireland compared to prices
in their home country. As of Aug 2011 you can
expect to pay about Eur1.48 per litre of unleaded
Alcohol and driving in Ireland
It is illegal to drive under the influence of
alcohol in Ireland. Heavy penalties can be
imposed on drunk drivers There is random breath
alcohol testing checkpoints set up by the Police,
known as Gardai These can take place at any
time, and especially at times such as bank
holidays and pub closing times.
Although it is possible to drink a small amount
of alcohol and remain below the drink drive limit,
it is highly advisable that you refrain from
drinking alcohol before driving.
Roundabouts are commonplace in Ireland. You must
yield to all vehicles coming from your right and
always enter the roundabout to the left.
Accidents and emergencies
If you are involved in an accident on Irish roads
you are advised to call the local police. If
either party has suffered an injury you must call
an Ambulance and the police by dialling the emergency
You should write down the contact details of
all witnesses to the accident. And if possible
take some photographs of the incident. Record
all relevant names and addresses. You should
never admit liability for the accident until
you have reported the accident to your insurance
company or car
rental company- and you should
report the accident to them as soon as possible.
We hope you found this article to be useful
and if you plan to travel to Ireland we wish
you an enjoyable and safe visit.
This article is not a comprehensive guide to all
aspects of driving in this country and is provided
as an advice service to our visitors. The advice
and information in this article is provided as
a guide to some of more important general driving
rules for this country. It is not intended to be
a comprehensive list of rules and regulations.
We make no guarantees that the information is correct
and up to date and we cannot be held responsible
in any way for consequences arising from any inaccuracies.