Driving In Ireland

Helpful tips and recommendations

Ireland is a country of constrasts - busy, ultramodern cities combined with a wealth of history and a farming tradition that has not changed significantly in the last 60 years. It is easy to reach from the UK, and the wealth of places to visit makes it an ideal desination for a driving holiday.

Ireland has pretty much identical driving laws to the UK, so in generally you will have no problems taking your car from the UK - they even drive on the left!

Driving is similar to the UK, with congested cities and narrow country lanes meaning low average speeds. Most signs in Southern Ireland will be in both Gaelic and English

Basic Requirements
Legal Requirements
Driving Tips

Basic Legal Requirements

Driving Licence

UK Driving Licence (Sample) You should take your full UK driving licence - the Photocard plus the Paper Counterpart (D740) if you have one.

You must be the holder of a full driving licence (not a provisional), and have passed your test. The International Driving Permit is not required.

While a photocopy may be useful if your licence is lost, you should carry the original with you.

Car Documents

You should carry your vehicles Registration Certificate (V5C) with you, which should be updated to show your correct details. For security reasons, it's best NOT to leave the Registration Certificate in the vehicle while it is parked - it makes it harder to a thief to resell the vehicle if they do not have the documentation.

While a photocopy may be useful if your Registration Certificate is lost, you should carry the original with you.


It is compulsory to have at least third- party insurance for Ireland, as for the UK. Most UK insurance policies will allow an element of European driving, often for a limited period.

Before leaving the UK, it is a good idea to contact your insurer, and check what your existing cover allows. You should request a 'Green Card' which is an internationally recognised form of proof of insurance. You should carry proof of insurance with you while driving. You may also need to arrange insurance for any trailers.

If your existing insurance does not provide European cover for the period required, most insurance brokers will have a suitable policy covering Ireland, and will provide Green Card.

Your Vehicle

There is no need to adjust your headlights as you will be driving on the left!

European Travel Kit with Spare bulb KitA Warning Triangle is recommended, but not required. . In the event of an accident or breakdown, the triangle should be set up by the side of the road, at least 50 meters in the direction of of the traffic. If you have broken down in the outer lane of a dual carriageway or motorway, or attempting to place the warning triangle would place you in danger, do not use it. Remember to collect your warning triangle before leaving!

Children under 36Kg(around 12 years) must use an appropriate child seat, booster seat or modification. All passengers must use seat belts if fitted

Number plate with European GB Logo You may have a number plate that already has a valid 'GB' mark. If you do not, you will need to apply a GB sticker to the back of your vehicle.

There is a no requirement to carry a first aid kit or a fire extinguisher, but they are generally a useful safety items to carry in your vehicle if you have the space.

It is recommended (but not required) that you carry a spare bulb kit suitable for your vehicle. While HID bulbs last longer than their halogen counterparts, it makes sense to carry at least one spare Xenon HID bulb suitable for your headlights.