Driving in Ireland doesn’t need to be a daunting experience. Stick to the rules of the road and adhere to these tips, you should be fine.
Before You Drive Out Of The Airport
Try to get a feel for the layout of the interior. Your left hand will operate the gearstick, your right hand open the door. Remember that the more important wing mirror is on your right, the central rear view mirror on your left. Locate windscreen wipers etc. If you want to research ahead of your trip the RSA Website it very useful for all road rules in the Republic.
Pass traffic islands to the left. Use a roundabout in a clockwise direction only. Take a left turn when accessing a motorway and remember to join traffic on your right side. At unmarked crossings the car from the right (!) will have right of way, the same goes for cars already in a roundabout.
Maps & Road Signs
The best map is the Ordnance Survey of Ireland Map Book, this also contains details of all roadsigns used in the Republic. Most if not all are understandable without problems. Direction signs will be in blue for major routes (motorways), green for national roads and white for local roads. Places of interest are signposted by brown (NI: black) signs with white lettering. Distances are in kilometres.
Gas Or Diesel?
Gas stations can be few and far between in rural areas with almost none of them offering 24/7-service. Remember that not all gas stations will take credit cards. A green handle denotes unleaded petrol in Ireland, a black handle is for diesel. Always read the label. And if you make the mistake of filling up with the wrong fuel: Do not start the car.
Ireland is largely a rural country and rural traffic is the norm. Expect slow and gigantic pieces of farm machinery around every corner from March to October. Also be prepared for wildlife and pets suddenly crossing the road. Even in Dublin collisions with horses are not unknown. Drive defensively.
Illegally parked cars will be quickly immobilised by clamps or even towed away and only released after a hefty fee is paid.
Avoid Penalty Charges at the M50 Toll Bridge
The M50 orbital road around Dublin has a barrier-free toll, watch out for the signposts. Missing the payment can incur a hefty charge by the driver. Pay at a kiosk or via phone and credit card. M50 Toll Website.