Driving in Ireland
In Ireland, we drive on the left side of the road, with the steering wheel on the left side of the car. This is easy to deal with as most other cars have steering wheel are the same side. However, you may drive along a wild landscape on narrow road on the Wild Atlantic Way and find a car, tractor or cows in the middle on the road. Drive the majestic coast at your own pace stopping to the rugged landscape. You will need to bring your driving license with you, an international license is not normally required in Ireland. You need to keep the rental agreement and insurance details of the car with you when driving in Ireland.
What type of Car
The cars rented in Ireland are petrol or diesel, manual or automatic. My preferred car is manual (to cope with the hills and narrow lanes) and diesel as its much cheaper to run. Petrol has a green funnel and diesel the black funnel in a gas station. There are few Gas stations along the Wild Atlantic Route so fill up in towns, and no 24hour stations Electric Cars have not really suited to the driving along the Wild Atlantic Way do to a lack of re-powering stops, but the government hopes to change that in the next year. You may not be able to pay at all Gas Stations with a credit card, so carry some cash. Refuelling of most cars will cost €50-€70. Get to know your car’s navigation system before you leave the car rental yard. Programme your satellite navigation system before you leave the yard.
Seat belts and Children
Seatbelts are compulsory in Ireland and you can be fined for not wearing them. Children under 10 years of age (or150cm (5 Ft tall) or less than 36kg(80lbs) in weight) must be in a car seat. The car seat or booster cushion can be rented from a car hire company or we can organise it for you.
The speed limit on motorways is 120Km per hour, with 100km on major roads and 80 km on minor roads. However, the Wild Atlantic Way is a coastal route with few major roads and many bends which mean you will cover 40-60 per hour. Part of the attraction is to be able to stop, enjoy the view and take some memorable photographs. Don’t plan to cover too much distance on the map in a day – its not that type of place. We can advise you on the distance to cover in a day so you can enjoy the trip to its optimum.
Farm machinery or all shapes and speeds, cows and sheep will be a feature of the route, as it is the artery of the local farms. Relax and enjoy as they will advise you when it is safe to pass, with a friendly wave of thanks. They may even tell you about a hidden gem, just around the corner. If you get lost just ask for directions but don’t be surprised if they start with reply …” well I wouldn’t start from here”!
For more driving information look up the Road Safety of Ireland Authority website
Drink Driving is a serious offence in Ireland, when you go for a drink at night, get a cab home. Most small villages in Ireland have a person providing this service, due to the strict regulations. Do not answer your mobile phone when driving as this is an offence and fines apply.