Driving in the Republic of Ireland

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Drivers from the United Kingdom who plan to be driving in the Republic of Ireland, either for business reasons or because they are going on holiday, should be aware of a few important facts before heading off to the country. Self-driving tours of Ireland are becoming a very popular pastime, particularly for people who do not want to have to stick to someone else’s schedule, and would much rather just be able to take things at their own pace. It is therefore very important to make sure you have all the details to hand before doing so.

Driving in Ireland checklist

There are a number of requirements all drivers should make sure of before they go driving in Ireland, including a valid UK driving licence, a motor insurance certificate and a GB sticker on the rear of their vehicle. The latter is optional only if your car instead has Euro-plates, which are number plates that come with a blue background on which is shown a circle of twelve stars. Drivers also need to be 17 years of age or over, must always be wearing a seatbelt (as should all passengers in the vehicle), and if they are using a motorbike rather than a car, then a crash helmet should be be worn at all times.

Driving accessories

There are other accessories that, while not essential for driving in Ireland, can still be a good idea to take along on your trip. These ideas can include the likes of a fire extinguisher, a warning triangle, a first aid kit, and spare bulbs for the exterior lights of your vehicle. A green card could also be a helpful backup in the event that you accidentally misplace your motor insurance documents, to demonstrate that you have taken out the minimum amount of cover that is legally required. Another good idea is taking along a Camping Card International. This provides you with extra verification of your identity in addition to third party liability insurance, as well as discounts to a large array of tourist attractions and camp sites.

Additional information

Some motorways in Ireland will require a toll to be paid, so it is a good idea to keep some spare change handy as the great majority will not accept credit cards. A suitable seat restraint needs to be used for children aged less than 12, and who are smaller than 1.5 metres tall. When driving in Ireland it is illegal to use or even carry any equipment that can be used to detect radar, and you need to deactivate the GPS navigation system function that is able to tell the location of fixed speed cameras. It is also a bad idea to use your car horn between the hours of 11:30 at night and 7 in the morning. Lead replacement petrol, diesel and petrol are all readily available. In built-up areas of Ireland, the speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour, while being 100kph on national roads, 120kph on motorways, and 80kph on local and regional roads. Ensure you can work out the difference between kph and mph before you go!