Driving In Ireland Your Essential Guide

Driving In Ireland Your Essential Guide

Most visitors to​ Ireland either bring their own car by ferry from Britain, or​ they fly and hire a​ car.

If you are hiring a​ car, you need to​ know that an​ automatic will cost half as​ much again as​ the identical manual gear box model.

Petrol is​ currently about 1.20 euro a​ litre, that’s about 80 pence sterling and about $1.50 a​ litre in​ USD. That’s about $6 a​ US gallon. Diesel is​ a​ small bit cheaper. Most hire cars will give you 40 miles to​ the gallon or​ more.

Visitors are often surprised by how big Ireland is. it​ will take you seven hours to​ drive from one end to​ the other. The Island of​ Ireland is​ actually two countries, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is​ part of​ Britain. From Dublin to​ Belfast will take you a​ good two hours motorway driving. Dublin to​ Cork will take you between four and six hours depending on the time of​ day.

The only motorways in​ Ireland are around Dublin. The motorway speed limit is​ 120 Km/Hr (75mph) The speed limit on National roads, N7, N8, N25, etc is​ 100Km/Hr (62mph). On Local roads the limit is​ 80 Km/Hr (50mph). National roads go through all sorts of​ towns and villages where you will find shoppers double parked, so your average speed off the motorways is​ 40mph over any distance at​ all.

Speed limits are enforced by the Gardai (pronounced gardEE). The Guards do not stand silhouetted against the skyline wearing bright orange jackets, as​ they do in​ Britain. in​ Ireland they hide behind lamp posts, crouch behind walls and hide in​ the bushes. You will not see them before they catch you on camera. Believe me – I drive 30,000 miles a​ year in​ Ireland, I know.

If you are driving a​ UK registered car, including Northern Ireland, the Guards will not usually stop you. if​ you have hired a​ car in​ Ireland they will stop you, but will probably let you go once they see you are a​ visitor, driving on a​ US or​ UK licence. at​ the moment only Irish drivers can be given penalty points, though other nationalities can be fined.

Driving in​ Ireland is​ extremely hazardous, especially between 11pm and 6am. Drink driving is​ common, seat belts are rarely worn and drivers are aggressive and totally discourteous. Never expect another driver to​ give wayif he has the right of​ way. Drive defensively. Expect the absolutely ridiculous to​ happen.

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