Britain is gradually loosening its lockdown, so many people are considering taking a well-deserved break. But because there are still so many restrictions on air travel, it’s probably best to vacation closer to home for now. And Ireland is just a short ferry ride away – or a short ride south if you live in Northern Ireland. It is a beautiful country with tons of things to see and do. So why not take a trip to Ireland?
However, driving in Ireland is slightly different from driving in the UK. There are a number of things to consider before you arrive. Do you know which side of the road you drive on in Ireland?
Which side of the road do you drive on in Ireland?
Do not worry. Just like in the UK, they pass left and right in Ireland. However, this is not the only thing to consider when planning your Irish road trip.
Basic guide to driving in Ireland
Your driving license remains valid in Ireland – as long as you have obtained it in an EU country. And yes, that includes Great Britain. However, if you obtained your driver’s license outside the UK or from a country other than the US or Canada, you will need to obtain an international driver’s license before you can legally drive in Ireland.
The main road traffic rules in Ireland are largely similar to those in the UK. You must always be buckled up, as well as your passengers. Don’t drink and drive. Do not use your smartphone while driving. In Ireland, it is even illegal for a driver to touch his cell phone while driving. Keep that in mind if you want to use your phone’s navigation app.
Speed limits in Ireland
The speed limits on Irish roads are:
- 50 km / h in urban areas.
- 80 km / h on individual open roads.
- 100 km / h on national roads – these are marked by a green sign.
- 120 km / h on motorways.
Road signs in Ireland
Irish road signs are different from UK road signs, but you shouldn’t have trouble identifying what most of them mean:
- Signpost – They are color-coded: blue for main roads and motorways, green for national roads and white for local roads.
- Areas of Interest – These tasks are black and white in Ireland.
- Place names and distances – Destinations are in both Irish and English and distances are in kilometers and miles. Some characters may only show the distance in kilometers.
Toll roads and country roads in Ireland
Many of the main routes in Ireland are toll roads. So make sure you plan your budget for it. Although most toll roads have toll booths, some use a system called eFlow. Fixed cameras will automatically take a picture of your license plate and you will then have to pay the toll yourself.
You can either do this at a dedicated eFlow kiosk. or online on the eFlow website. In both cases, you have until 8:00 p.m. the day after using the road to pay your toll.
If you want to avoid tolls, you should be able to reach most places via Ireland’s extensive network of country roads. However, your trip will be much longer and driving in the country carries certain risks. Watch out for those narrow, winding streets and watch out for cows, sheep and tractors on the road!
Irish petrol and gas stations
There are motorway service stations in Ireland, but not nearly as many as on UK motorways. Here you can find a map of all motorway connections in the countrywith a list of the facilities you can find each.
There are many gas stations, but there may be few on these highways. Not all of them are open 24/7, and some of them may not accept card payments. So it’s best to refuel whenever you can and plan your trips in advance so as not to be stuck with an empty tank.
Is my car insurance still valid in Ireland?
Just like in the UK, it is illegal to drive uninsured in Ireland. You need at least third party coverage. But do you need to get special insurance to go overseas, or does your current policy still apply?
If you have Go Girl coverage, your car insurance will continue to apply when you drive in Ireland. We only ask you to let us know your travel plans in advance. This way we can ensure that you have all of the coverage you need while you are sailing overseas. See your policy term for more information.
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