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How To Drive in Ireland (for an American)

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How To Drive in Ireland (for an American)

How To Drive in Ireland  – Driving in Ireland as an American is a great way to explore the country and discover its unique culture and scenery. However, it is important to be aware of some key differences between driving in the United States and driving in Ireland. It is best to familiarize yourself with these before making any journey on Irish roads.

First, all drivers in Ireland must be at least 17 years of age and hold a valid driver’s license, regardless of nationality. Drivers must also carry proof of insurance and vehicle registration with them when driving. It is important to note that speeds are measured in kilometers per hour (km/h) rather than miles per hour (mph), so it is important to adjust your speed accordingly. Speed limits will differ from the usual American ones, so be sure to pay extra attention to all posted signs and road markings.

When driving in Ireland, it is important to remember that traffic moves on the left side of the road. This might take some getting used to, but with time and practice it becomes easier. It is also important to note that the use of a mobile phone while driving is illegal, so be sure to pull over if you need to make or take a call.

Finally, it is important to remember the rules of the road when approaching roundabouts (traffic circles). Drivers must yield to vehicles on their right and enter in a counterclockwise direction.

By following these guidelines, you should have no difficulty driving in Ireland as an American. Have fun and drive safely!

What to look for and expect when driving on the other side of the road!

This video will help to calm the nerves for those driving on the left side of the road for the first time. Good luck.

5 Road trips you have to take in Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way

This is one of the most iconic road trips in Ireland, stretching over 1,500 miles along the west coast. Start in County Donegal and travel south, passing through stunning landscapes, coastal cliffs, charming villages and vibrant cities like Galway. Highlights include the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara National Park, the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula.

Causeway Coastal Route

Explore Northern Ireland’s breathtaking coastline on this scenic road trip. Begin in Belfast and follow the coastal route to the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way, you’ll encounter picturesque castles like Dunluce Castle, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Glenariff Forest Park and the quaint villages of Cushendall and Bushmills.

The Ring of Kerry

Located in County Kerry, this 111-mile circular route takes you through some of Ireland’s most enchanting landscapes. Enjoy panoramic views of mountains, lakes, and the dramatic Atlantic coastline. Don’t miss the picturesque towns of Killarney, Kenmare, and Cahersiveen and make sure to visit the Skellig Islands if weather permits.

The Boyne Valley

Delve into Ireland’s ancient history on a road trip through the Boyne Valley, just north of Dublin. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Newgrange, a prehistoric burial mound older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Explore the Hill of Tara, Trim Castle and the monastic site of Monasterboice, known for its impressive high crosses.

The Dingle Peninsula

Located in County Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula offers stunning coastal scenery and a wealth of cultural heritage. Drive the Slea Head Loop, starting and ending in the colorful town of Dingle. Along the way, you’ll encounter ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, the striking Blasket Islands and the Gallarus Oratory, a well-preserved early Christian stone church.

Remember to plan your road trips carefully, check for any necessary permits or entry requirements and drive safely while enjoying the beauty of Ireland’s landscapes.

Make your road trip easy with Self-Drive of Ireland

Introducing – The Emerald Tour

The 7-day Emerald Route self-drive tour of Ireland promises travelers an unforgettable journey, encompassing a diverse range of scenery, castles, adventure, history, heritage, culture, and wildlife.

 The tour offers exciting experiences while maintaining a smooth pace, allowing participants to glide through the days effortlessly. This unique self-drive experience is made possible with the help of a bespoke app called “Paddy the Pocket Pilot,” which comes pre-loaded with hours of information about Ireland’s famous sites and off the beaten track locations.

Through the app, travelers can also learn Gaelic on the go and have 24/7 access to a professional guide. 

The app is seamlessly integrated with Google Maps, featuring pre-loaded destinations, simplifying the navigation process for the participants. Passes for various activities and experiences throughout the tour can be easily accessed through the app, providing the freedom of a self-drive road trip while knowing that Paddy the Pocket Pilot is readily available to assist whenever needed.

When planning your road trip, make sure that you don’t miss out on Ireland’s most famous drive.


Last updated May 29, 2023


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James Patrick Hale

Monday 31st of July 2023

If I were "Half Irish" I'd be offended by the snots who made me feel that way. But, I'm 7/8s Irish, with one grandparent from the Scott-Irish tradition. We grew up in an Irish American Family and we were very proud of being close to one another all of our lives. The By the way I knew 6 of 10 answers to the quiz .... Didn't know the Irish President's name or how many Counties comprised Eire. My guess was 30 ... been to most, by-the-way!!!! I have a quiz about Irish Americans. Who built the Railroad from Kansas City to Ogden, Utah? Who was our first Irish-Catholic President? Who were the best Irish movie star tap dancers? Who was the Mayor of Chicago before it went the way of all other large American cities? Name three lady Irish movie stars of the 40s & 50s. What nationality is Joe Biden? Name three Irish-American Heavyweight Boxing Champions. And, what tradition followed the old country's family gift their eldest children to the Church? How many nobel Prizes were earned by Irish Americans?

I love being Irish American!


Friday 3rd of November 2023

@James Patrick Hale, well Biden has more English Ancestry than Irish starting with his surname!

Karen Casserly

Friday 3rd of February 2023

Just watched the video and as as N Irish driver I can tell he did nothing wrong. You might want to have another look

Jane Smith

Sunday 1st of January 2023

"Finally, it is important to remember the rules of the road when approaching roundabouts (traffic circles). Drivers must yield to vehicles on their right and enter in a counterclockwise direction".

You just got every American driver killed for entering a roundabout the wrong way 😳

Fiona Maher

Friday 3rd of February 2023

agreed!! Read that and thought the same thing - roundabouts go clockwise in Ireland - but the yield to the right part is correct


Tuesday 28th of June 2022

Speed is tracked by cameras. They mail your ticket to you later. My daughter found this out first hand. I'd hate to try and deal with a traffic stop on some of those roads!