Driving in ireland

Plan a road trip? Before you hit the road, here’s some important information about traffic rules, tolls, parking and more.

  • #wellon the road
  • #well on the way

If you plan to travel by car in ireland, you need to know the basic rules of the road. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide. Here you’ll find everything you need from the laws in the republic of ireland and northern ireland to helpful tips and useful links to official places where you can get more information.

Driving in ireland

5 top tips

Roads in ireland

roads in ireland are generally of a high standard. They range from highways and two-lane expressways to side streets with oncoming traffic and small, winding country roads.

In the republic of ireland, freeways are preceded by an "M" in their abbreviations (z. B. The M50 ring road, which runs around dublin). Federal highways are marked with an "N" (for example N18). Secondary roads can be two lanes or carry traffic in both directions.

In Northern Ireland, an "M" stands for freeways and an "A" and a "B" for state and federal roads respectively. country roads. road signs in the republic of ireland show distances in kilometers, while northern ireland shows miles.

Traffic rules

On the island of ireland, left-hand traffic is the rule.

All vehicle occupants MUST wear a safety belt at all times in both the front and rear of the vehicle.

You ride a motorcycle? Both you and your passenger must wear a helmet.

Ireland has strict laws on driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and the penalties for flouting these laws are severe.

The use of cell phones while driving is strictly prohibited.

Driving licenses and insurance

You need either a valid national driver’s license or an international driver’s license to drive in Ireland. In the republic of ireland, you must carry your driver’s license at all times.

You will also be required to have motor insurance either in your name or as a registered driver under someone else’s policy. if you want to rent a car, the car rental council of ireland will be happy to offer you advice on various insurances, deductibles and special options to suit your needs.


Wondering how brexit will affect travel? To keep up to date with the latest regulations on travel in northern ireland post-brexit, please visit the united kingdom’s official government website. For the latest information on traveling to ireland, please visit the official website of the irish government.

Toll roads

there are no toll roads in northern ireland, but in the republic of ireland you will encounter a number of toll roads. The toll roads are managed by transport infrastructure ireland and dublin city council. In principle, the toll is paid at the toll stations. However, there is one exception: the M50 eflow barrier system.

M50 eflow barrier system

A barrier-free toll system is being used on the M50, which runs around dublin. Instead of paying the toll at a toll booth, the system records your vehicle’s license plate number on that road. In this case, it is important that you pay your tolls before 20:00 the next day, either online, via the app for apple or android, or at advertised payzone service points. Drivers with disabilities are not charged tolls in the republic of ireland.


You will find numerous gas stations, especially on the main routes. Fuel prices vary from one gas station to another. If you are traveling between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, you will notice that fuel prices in the Republic of Ireland are in euros and in Northern Ireland they are in pounds sterling.

Almost all gas stations accept both credit cards and cash. Just fill up at the pump and then go inside the gas station to pay. some gas stations may have self-service pumps where you can simply pay and then drive away.

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular in Ireland and you can find charging stations all over the republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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