Driving in Ireland



Some Essentials

Though not compulsory, it is recommended that you carry a warning triangle and first aid kit in your car at all times. Display of a GB sticker indicating your country of origin on your windscreen is mandatory.


Roads in Ireland are well maintained and road signs are evenly distributed all over. Ireland uses the metric system and all distances are indicated in kilometers. Dublin has two toll ways: the M50 Ring Road and the stretch between the N4 and N3 interchanges.

Driving License

Carry your driving license, passport, vehicle registration and certificate of insurance with you at all times. If your license does not have a photograph, you must carry your passport. Carrying a valid photo ID with your license is mandatory. 

In case you do not own the car you are driving, a letter from the owner permitting use of the car will be necessary. Holders of an International Driving License and/or a UK License are permitted to drive in Ireland. It is advisable that you check with the Irish Embassy in your country regarding validity of your national driving license and facility of exchanging it for an Irish Driving License before arrival.


People in Ireland drive on the left side of the road and cars overtake on the right. Seatbelts for passengers in the front seats are mandatory. Passengers in the backseat require them only if they are fitted.

Children below the age of 12 are not permitted to sit in the front. They must be seated in a standard child restraint seat or fastened with a seatbelt.

Visibility Tests are mandatory and should be enough for the number of passengers in the car. Use dipped headlights during low visibility. 

Headlight converters are not required if you own a GB car.


Use of the mobile phone while driving is illegal in Ireland.

The blood alcohol limit is 80 mg and laws against drinking and driving are strictly enforced. You could be arrested for violation in this regard.

The speed limit on motorways is 120 kph and 60-100 kph on major roads outside built up areas. Sensors and radars are common and speed limit violations are taken seriously.

Educate yourself about parking laws as violation will result in the imposition of a heavy fine. Parking regulations are strict everywhere, particularly in Dublin. Some car parks accept credit cards. Most city have parking meters.

Use of horns between 2330 hours and 0700 hours is illegal.

Remember to collect a receipt for an injury fine that you pay. 

In Case of an Accident

Call 112 or 999 (free of charge) but only for genuine emergencies.

On answer, state which service you require, wait to be connected to that service, then clearly state the location where the assistance is required.

In the case of a vehicle breakdown contact:

Automobile Association (AA) (Tel: 1800 66 77 88)

RAC Motoring Service (Tel: 1800 535 005)

Northern Ireland

Call: 999 (emergency fire/ police/ambulance)

In the case of a vehicle breakdown contact:

Automobile Association (AA) (Tel: 0800 88 77 66) 

RAC Motoring Service (Tel: 0800 828 282)