Driving In Ireland

Click here for Tips for safe driving in Ireland from the Road Safety Authority 

 Rules of the Road

Advice from the Car Rental Council of Ireland

Visitors to Ireland must have in their possession a valid national driving licence, issued in the country of their permanent residence.

Seatbelts must be worn at all times in the front and back of the vehicle.

There are very strict laws on drinking and driving and the best advice is simply dont drink and drive

Always drive on the left. It is difficult to judge your distance from the left-hand side, so use the road centerline as a guide. At a junction where no road has priority you must yield to traffic coming from your right. At a pedestrian traffic light, the flashing amber light means you must yield to pedestrians but may proceed with caution if the crossing is clear. Always turn left into a roundabout. Go clockwise and give way to traffic on the roundabout. Stay in right-hand lane until turning off.

There is now a large of proportion of diesel vehicles on the car rental fleet. This has led to much confusion causing people to accidentally put the wrong type of fuel into their vehicle. Be careful when refuelling. The nozzles are usually color coded to indicate which grade of fuel they dispense, however the color coding differs between countries. For example, a black handle in Ireland indicates that the fuel dispensed is diesel. In the US, diesel pumps commonly use green hoses and green slipcovers over the nozzle. North American customer need to be particularly vigilant. If you realise you have put the wrong fuel in the car, do not turn on the ignition or start the car. Seek help and contact your car rental company.

In the Republic of Ireland signposts and placenames are displayed in both Irish (Gaelic) and English, and distances on signposts are in kilometers. Speed limits are in kilometers per hour. In Northern Ireland signposts and speed limits are all in miles. In the Republic, the speed limit is 50kph in built-up areas, 80kph on rural regional and local roads, 100kph on rural national roads (including most dual carriageways) and 120kph on motorways. In Northern Ireland, the speed limit is 30mph in built-up areas, 60mph on the open road and 70mph on motorways, unless shown otherwise.

As in most countries if you park in restricted areas you may be fined, and/or the vehicle towed away. A single yellow line parallel to the footpath indicates restricted parking and vehicles should never be parked were there are double yellow lines. In the main cities watch out for clearway signs. A vehicle must not be parked in clearways/bus lanes between designated times or it will be towed away. Renters are fully responsible for payment of Parking fines, clamping charges and all Road Traffic fines.

Although Ireland is one of the safest countries in the world to visit, some people are tempted when goods and expensive personal items are left on view in a car. Use the same common sense you would use at home. Dont park in unsuitable areas and never leave valuables on view in the car.

In the unlikely event that you are a victim of a crime you may wish to contact the Irish Tourist Assist Service Helpline at 1890 365 700. The Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) is a free nationwide service offering support and assistance to tourists who are victimised while visiting Ireland.

Contact Us


E-Mail: info@carrentalcouncil.ie

Rent Direct from a Car Rental Council Member

There are many organisations offering car rental services but avoid confusion and for your own protection make your reservation directly with an approved car rental company. The Car Rental Council does not offer a reservation service on this website. However you are welcome to click on any of the member company links to access company websites where you will find contact details and reservation facilities. Click for Guidelines on renting a car in Ireland >>