Guide to Driving In Ireland - Drive Safe in Ireland

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Ireland and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.


50 kph

More info  


100 kph

More info  

motorway speed limit

120 kph

speed limit
More info  

Drink Drive Limit


drink and drive limit
More info  
You drive in Ireland on the Left side  
The currency in Ireland is EUR €
To rent a car is  25 years and to drive is 17 years of age
Current fuel price in Ireland 1.33 €/Ltr

Driving Laws in Ireland

Driving in Ireland
Pocket guide to driving in Ireland
Driving in Ireland
SPEED: (kph)
Speed limit in Ireland
Rush hour in Ireland
Speed cameras in Ireland
Fuel prices in Ireland
Drive LEFT in Ireland
Min driving age in Ireland
Blood alcohol content
Drink driving in Ireland
Emergency phone number in Ireland
Driving documents in Ireland
Hands free only
Mobile phone driving in Ireland
Seat belt in Ireland
See here for current child seats law in Ireland

Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Ireland?

You may think that driving in Ireland would be exactly the same as driving in the UK but there are many subtle differences. You need to be aware of them to prevent yourself falling foul of the Gardai, the Irish police. In Ireland, as in the UK (and Northern Ireland), all traffic drives on the left hand side of the road. That means that you give way to the right and this includes at roundabouts. You must by law give way to any emergency services vehicles such as ambulances and police cars with flashing lights. Most cars are manuals although you can rent automatics if you are willing to pay a little bit extra. If you are driving in rural areas then watch out for potholes or livestock crossing the road. It can be a good idea to rent a 4x4 in Dublin. Rush hour in Dublin is very busy and chaotic - best avoided!

Rules of the road

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Emergency Services Numbers

Police Police: 112 or 999

Police Fire: 112 or 999

Police Ambulance: 112 or 999


Fuel Prices in Ireland by Month

Parking Information

Parking regulations

Parking regulations
Parking can be quite difficult to find in the bigger cities and especially in Dublin. In the capital it's better to try to park in CCTV controlled lots as car crime is high. On street parking is allowed where there are no lines painted against the kerb. Yellow lines mean no parking, single ones mean you can park at certain times. Road signs often tell you the exact regulation in force. 
Paid parking
Pay and display is common in Ireland getting a ticket from a machine nearby. City centres can get quite congested and there are a number of park and ride schemes to help. 
Enforcement of parking is done by the police or wardens in the cities. You'll get a ticket to be paid at council offices or banks. Details should appear on the ticket.
Disabled parking
The disabled blue badge is widely recognised but we'd still recommend you check local restrictions on its use. 

Emergency Information

Emergency Information

Police Police: 112 or 999

Police Fire: 112 or 999

Police Ambulance: 112 or 999

The emergency services can be contacted on 999 or 112.

The British embassy is at 29 Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 and can be contacted on (353) (1) 205 3700. Their website is

The American embassy is at 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4 and can be contacted on (353) (1) 668 8777. Their website is

What to do in an emergency

For a problem with the vehicle, call the number given to you by your car hire company or if driving your own car, the Irish partner of your home breakdown service. On the motorways there are orange emergency phone boxes if you don't have your mobile to hand.

If you are involved in an accident you should switch on your hazard warning lights to alert other drivers. If serious, the accident should be reported to the relevant emergency services by dialling 999 or 112. Ensure all uninjured parties are moved to safety and away from the highway but don't move the vehicles unless they will cause danger to others. Whilst waiting for the police to arrive, it's a good idea to take photos of the scene then get details of the insurance policy of the other driver and any names and telephone numbers of witnesses.

Handy Guides

World Driving Guides

Road Signs

Handy Phrases

English is spoken everywhere although the road signs are in English and Gaelic. Here are some phrases that American drivers may need some help with!
  • Petrol – Gasoline
  • Hard Shoulder – Left hand lane of motorway only to be used for stopping in emergencies.
  • Services – Motorway rest stops.
  • Zebra crossings - Pedestrian crossings
  • Excess – Deductible (insurance)
  • Gearbox – Transmission
  • Boot – Trunk
  • Bumper – Fender
  • Detour – Diversion
  • Indicators - Blinkers

Ireland Fuel Price History

Fuel Prices in Ireland by Month
Month, YearDiesel €/ltrUnleaded €/ltr
Feb, 2021 1.23 1.33
Jan, 2021 1.20 1.29
Dec, 2020 1.17 1.27
Nov, 2020 1.15 1.25
Oct, 2020 1.13 1.25
Sep, 2020 1.15 1.25

Hiring a Car

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Ireland and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.
Kellie Hodge
Posted by Kellie Hodge
About the Author -

Travel writer, customer service guru, Kellie knows the ins and outs of car rental and always happy to share her knowledge on our blog. Favourite country to visit: Spain.

Visitor Comments

  • 16/01/2020

    Dermot Walsh

    This is the rules of the road for driving in Ireland.
  • 31/10/2018


    Please do not rent an SUV / 4x4, there is no need for one and they are totally unsuitable for driving in town and cities. Chances of accident are significantly higher.
  • 31/10/2018


    There is no double red lines in Ireland (only uk) Traffic lights do not go both red and amber to get ready (like uk) they go directly to green
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