Give yourself the freedom of the road when you travel around the island of Ireland by car
For information on Touring routes in Ireland, Ireland Route Maps, driving laws and much more click on Tourism Ireland Car Touring - your online dynamic brochure.
Most of the major car hire companies have desks at airports, ferry terminals and cities across Ireland.
All intending drivers need to hold valid licences. For terms and conditions, always check with the car hire company before you travel.
Car hire tends to be more financially favourable if you make your bookings prior to arriving in Ireland. Make sure to book in advance if you’re travelling during the high season. The majority of rental cars are standard shift, ie: not automatic. If ordered in time, automatic cars are available for an additional charge.
A child's seat should also be ordered in advance to ensure availability. Advise the car hire company if you’re planning to travel between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
License and Insurance
Visitors to Ireland should be in possession of either a full valid national driving licence or an international driving permit issued abroad. These are readily available from motoring organisations in the country of origin.
- Driving in Ireland is on the left and seat belts must be worn at all times in the front and the back of the vehicle; likewise, motorcyclists and their passengers must wear helmets.
- There are very strict laws on drinking and driving and those found to be contravening these laws will be heavily penalised.
- In the Republic of Ireland, speed limits are 50kph/30mph in built-up urban areas; 80kph/50mph on single non-national open roads; 100kph/60mph on national roads; and 120kph on the motorway. In Northern Ireland, speed limits are 30mph/50kph in built-up urban areas; 60mph/96kph on single carriageways; 70mph/112kph on dual carriageways and motorways.
- Motorcyclists and their passengers must wear helmets.
In the Republic, signposts denoting distance are now in kilometres per hour. All signposts and place names are displayed bilingually in both Irish (Gaelic) and English (except in Gaeltacht areas where only Gaelic is used). In Northern Ireland, all signposts and speeds are in miles per hour and place names are displayed in English.
There is a good network of petrol stations throughout Ireland. Prices may vary, but for more information regarding prices in both the North and the Republic visit AA Road Watch.Back to top
Welcome to The Car Rental Council of Ireland, the representative trade organisation for the car rental industry in Ireland