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How to drive in Ireland ( with peace of mind )

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A road trip in Ireland is one of the best experiences you will ever have and to really enjoy every aspect of your trip it is important to be aware of driving conditions and also diriving regulations in Ireland.

Here are 5 tips for driving in Ireland

  1. In Irelland cars drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  2. You need to keep a valid national driving licence or international driving permit on you at all times.
  3. Distances in Ireland are denominated in kilometres, in Northern Ireland it will be in miles.
  4. It is law that everyone in your vehicle needs to wear a seat belt at all times
  5. Signposts in Irish speaking areas are written in Irish

The video below will give you more tips on driving in Ireland

For real peace of mind on your road trip, it is essential that you choose the right car rental partner.

The best way to see Ireland is by rental car because there is so much to see that can’t be easily reached by public transport.

The west of Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way has some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe and, while there is a lot of it to explore, if you don’t have your own wheels, it’s not easy to get around.

If you’re planning on visiting Ireland for only a few days, a couple of weeks, you really should consider renting a car.

Buses and trains are limited, not frequent enough and often slow, taking circuitous routes through small towns, villages and countryside, which is nice if you have plenty of time.

A rental car, however, allows you to cover more ground, and gives you the freedom to choose the direction you want to travel in and when (stay a little longer here, move on a little sooner there)

When you search for car rental Ireland Galway, car rental Ireland Cork, car rental Ireland Shannon or car rental Ireland Dublin, you’ll be presented with a multitude of options.

So what do you need to look for when renting a car? How do you get through that minefield of confusing and complicated rental offers?

When looking for a rental car, there are 10 things you should look for and you’ll need to take into consideration such as

  1. The car type, manual or automatic.
  2. Car size based on the number of passengers and bags. Less luggage is better, more comfortable and economical when sizing your car.
  3. Where and when do you pick up and drop off your vehicle?
    Does your car rental in Ireland begin at Dublin or Shannon airport on arrival or if staying in Dublin for a few days at the start or the end of your journey, can you pick or drop off at a non-airport location?

What you’ll need to have covered in your rental agreement when renting a car to avoid additional charges and surprises on arrival are

  1. Unlimited Mileage
  2. Cover for Northern Ireland at no extra cost
  3. Roadside Assistance covering tire punctures, tire replacement (multiple), windscreens and glass replacement.
  4. Insurance cover for car rental in Ireland as insurance is not straightforward because most standard rental agreements don’t cover all possible eventualities, you’re driving on the opposite side of the road and well…things happen You need for peace of mind driving, FULL COVER. with Zero excess and zero deductible.
  5. No deposit or charge is held on your credit card for possible damage while you’re driving the car.

What you should also look for

  1. An established Irish-owned company with excellent reviews and references on social media. A company that communicates with you personally and is there to answer your questions and queries before and during your visit.
  2. A reliable company that can offer all of the above as standard, one inclusive upfront price, with no additional costs or surprises.

Why you would rent from your Irish Cousin?

From the My Irish Cousin – website:

Having heard first hand the difficulties experienced by visitors in renting a car in Ireland and the horror stories of hidden charges, excess deposits, damage disputes on returning vehicles, which in some cases ruined their trip, Malachy thought there had to be a better way. And the better way was an all inclusive, no hidden charges and surprises, no excess, no hold on cards.

With Malachy’s Peace of Mind rental package, you take the car, you return the car. Whatever happens in-between (and we hope nothing happens other than you have a great time), you are fully covered for any damage anywhere on the vehicle, tyres, windscreens, break down.

Care free driving throughout Ireland and a Cousin at the end of the phone if you need any information or assistance.


Last updated May 29, 2023


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Trevor Hibbs

Tuesday 20th of June 2023

Good afternoon, My name is Trevor Hibbs, and I am from NSW Australia, and I have a full driver's licence. So, by the look of it, I don't need an International Driver's Licence, I am correct?

Malachy Quinn

Sunday 10th of September 2023

@Trevor Hibbs, you’re correct Trevor

Tom O'Malley

Saturday 22nd of April 2023

Remember the driver is always closest the center line ,passengers to the curb. I made the mistake of turning to the wrong lane, but adjust over to the correct lane quickly. The oncoming driver stuck his arm out the window to let me know I was number one for the maneuver.

Ibrahim Issac

Thursday 16th of February 2023

Excellent information indeed ; and have almost always wanted to visit Ireland 🇮🇪 looks extremely lovely & most beautiful country


Sunday 29th of May 2022

Thank you for sharing. Amazing. I am a McGuire, but never been to Ireland.