Ireland Driving Guide 2021

Driving in Ireland is the ideal way to explore this popular destination. Get your International Driving Permit and prepare for the trip of a lifetime.

Ireland, the Emerald Isle, blessed with abundant rain that creates a green-hued scenery of the country’s extensive grasslands, the reason for the famous and beautiful name of Emerald Isle. The country is significantly diverse in topography, surrounded by central lowlands, hills, low mountains, and a ring of coastal mountains despite its small size.

How exciting it is to travel and spend your holiday in Ireland. It’s called the Island on edge, the land of fairies and folktales, diverse culture, jaw-dropping sceneries, and the majestic landscape that you don’t want to miss. Lots of tourists choose to visit Ireland not only for its captivating beauty and exciting history but because of its lively and vibrant atmosphere.

How Can This Guide Help You?

To fully savor your trip to Ireland, it is best to know the vital information about Ireland before you travel to the country and when you already reach the country. It also applies before driving on the Ireland roads. You need to know and consider things in your general knowledge about Ireland, or your visit will become a disaster.

The guide includes information that includes the International Driving Permit (IDP) in Ireland requires, car renting policies, driving road situations and conditions in Ireland, driving rules, what age can you get a full driving license in Ireland? How’s the driving in Ireland and which side of the road? Find out the driving in Ireland tips and more.

Don’t also forget to study Ireland’s norms, the dos and don’ts, laws of the country, get driving in Irelands tips beforehand, and strictly follow these rules! You don’t get in trouble and ruin your travel. Now that you’re ready, you can now visit different places, drive around the country, experience Irish life, and explore the country more.

General Information

Ireland is the Land of Thousand Welcomes and is also referred to as the 32 countries within its two states, The Republic of Ireland and Northern Island. It has over 84,421 km2 of land area located in Western Europe, and the excellent geographic location helps Ireland develop its rich heritage of customs and tradition.

Geographic Location

Ireland is an island country that is geographically located in northwest Europe in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is positioned in the earth’s Northern and Western hemispheres. The country is a significantly diverse landscape surrounded by rolling Greenland’s, hills, mountains, cliffs, and a ring of coastal mountains despite the country’s size.

Languages Spoken

Did you know that Ireland’s official languages are Irish (Gaeilge) and English? It is the language used in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. According to the Foras na Gaelge, Gaelige or Iris is one of “the most historic and oldest written languages globally.” You can hear this language used across the country’s schools, streets, shops, pubs, fairs, and other Irish-speaking regions.

Keep your eyes open when traveling and driving in Ireland because you’ll see that Gaeilge is widely used in streets and road signs. You’ll also see some signages in Ireland that are in both English and Irish.

Land Area

Ireland’s land area is 84,421 km2 (32,595 sq mi), and with a coastline of 1,448 km, the country is slightly larger than West Virginia. Ireland’s central lowlands of flat rolling plains are divided by water bodies such as swamps, lakes, and rivers and surrounded by the landforms of hills and low mountains.


Ireland has a fascinating history; the land has encountered different situations through the years that formed and established the Ireland we know today. The culture, folktales, languages, and other aspects that create the authentic Irish are passed through the years.

Early Ireland History and Early Christian Ireland

Historians calculated Ireland’s first settlement by 10,000 years ago, a relatively late stage in European terms. Around 3000 BC, from central Europe, the Celts came to Ireland; the influence Celts leave in Ireland’s culture is vast, like the talent in creating literature for the Celtic language that is now the Republic of Ireland’s first and current official language, the Gaeilge.

In the mid-5th century, Saint Patrick and the Christian missionaries arrived, and by 600 AD the Christianity took over the religion of indigenous pagans. The trace of early Christian Ireland remains across the country.

The Vikings and Normans Era

Vikings from Scandinavia invaded, settled, and mixed with the Irish people between the end of the 8th century and the 9th century. Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, was founded by the Vikings in 988. Viking’s influence faded by the following defeat to the High King of Irelands, Brain Boru, in 1014. When the 12th century came, the Normans arrived, building walled towns, castles, and churches in Ireland. Normans increased agriculture and trading in Ireland.

Ireland’s Independence

In 1782, Henry Grattan Parliamentary factions successfully agitated for a favorable trading affiliation with England, but London controlled most of Ireland. In 1719, the Irish people, inspired by the French Revolution, formed an organization called United Irishmen to bring all Irish people to reform and reduce Britain’s power in Ireland.

As years went by, the Irish and British Authorities signed a treaty in December 1921. The treaty grants Ireland independence to split the political and Irish public opinion. In 1922, Northern Ireland and its six countries were separated into the Irish Free State – the Republic of Ireland and 26 countries.


What is Ireland’s government? Ireland’s Tourism and the number of its citizens? Ireland is governed and regulated by the Parliamentary democracy that consists of the Lower House, the Dáil (the assembly of parliament), and the Upper House, the senate.

The Irish Government has three arms; the executive arm, legislature arm, and the judiciary to serve Ireland and its people. Citizens of Ireland can engage in direct elections of choosing the president to elect together with the European Parliament, Dáil Éireann, and the local government. Ireland has five types of elections; local, European elections, parliamentary, presidential elections, lastly, the elections for referendums.

Ireland has a total population of 4,956,758 habitats. Only 0.06% of the world’s entire communities, and Ireland rank 124th in the world’s population count. Meeting the locals is also one of the best moments you’ll get in visiting Ireland. You can drink with the locals in pubs with their warm personality and hospitality, and you will enjoy your stay! Ireland is the country that you want to visit again!


Ireland is rich in culture, fascinating history, beautiful landscapes, breathtaking cliffs, and beautiful cities; no wonder why a total of 11.2 million tourists visited Ireland last 2018. To spend your holiday in Ireland would be the best decision you’ve ever made. Driving in Ireland is not just a simple road trip of going long trips because Ireland offers jaw-dropping natural landscapes and sceneries. The experience you’ll get will be magical and unforgettable!


Are you dreaming and wanting to try driving around the beauty of Ireland and visit the Emerald? Are you dreaming and wanting to try driving around the beauty of Ireland and visit the Emerald Isle? The International Driving Permit (IDP) Ireland requires will be your crucial achievement to live these dreams. One of the best ways to explore Ireland is to drive. Are you not convinced that do you need an international driver’s permit in Ireland? All the written information below will convince you why an International Driving Permit is essential to your travel information and why you should have one.

You can use an International Driving Permit to any countries that have signed the 1926 or 1949 U.N. Convention on road traffic. One of these countries is Ireland, and an International Driver’s License is required in Ireland for you to drive on Irish roads.

Is a Local Driver’s License Valid in Ireland?

Yes, but only given in a certain number of months, which is 12 months, if you’re an American tourist, but if you wish to stay in Ireland for more than 12 months, then you are required to convert your U.S. driver’s license into an Irish driver’s license. However, it’s still ideal for getting an IDP because you need an International Driver’s License in Ireland if you want to travel in Ireland’s rolling Greenland.

An International Driving Permit is helpful once you started traveling around Ireland. International Driver’s License required in Ireland roads fs in the International Driving Permit you can use. It is essential in any situation you’ll face on your way on the road. It helps when authorities do inspections.

Applying for an International driving license online is convenient. You’ll only give your information by filling up the form, and with just a few clicks, you’re done! All you need to do is wait for your application to be process and check by the International Driver’s Association, an international driver’s permit in Ireland website.

Do I Need an IDP in Cities and Districts of Ireland?

The International Driving Permit will be the permit you needed the most. It must always carry around with you just like your national driver’s permit, especially when you want to drive in another country and travel abroad. Ireland let American tourists use their U.S. license to go around the country for only up to 12 months. Having an International Driving Permit can be beneficial when you want to explore and discover Ireland’s charming villages.

An IDPs purpose is to translate your national driver’s license when driving in Ireland island to identify and assist when talking to local authorities. A replacement only happens if you intend to stay in Ireland longer. It could be when you’re planning to work or by applying for residency in Ireland.

The International Driving Permit in Ireland can be valid from one year up to 3 years, depending on the International Driving Permit’s validity that you want to apply and the duration of a visit. Lots of driving in Ireland tourists ask how extended a driving license can be out of date in Ireland and at the International Driver’s License in Ireland website, International Driver’s Association; you can choose IDPs to be valid one year, two years, and up to three years.

Renting a Car in Ireland

To experience the beauty of Ireland, you need to rent a car. It will make your trip a lot easier and intimate. It’s so much fun to drive to Ireland’s top destinations for more as long as you want if you rent a car instead of paying for vehicles such as taxis and buses to bring you to Ireland’s top destinations. And stay for a couple of hours because you’re on tour with other tourists and your time to explore is limited.

You got to explore the country at your own pace when you rent a car, you’re the one who’s holding your time, and your trip schedule is not in somebody else’s hands. You can follow your itinerary, or you change it and extend your stay to a specific place you want to explore a bit more.

Car Rental Companies

Car rental companies like Alamo, Thrifty, Irish Car Rentals, and Avis are the top rental companies in Ireland. The majority of Ireland’s tourists rent a car from a rental car company near Dublin airport. There are lots of rental car services to choose from, and most of them accept credit card payments. You can also find several Irish rental company agents but there will be added cost.

The cost of a rental car may vary from rental companies in Ireland. You can immediately collect your car hire from Dublin airport and spend a few more days before ordering your car hire. You can book earlier from your chosen rental car company before going to Ireland or book on the spot, depending on your preferences. Choose a rental car from a reputable company for a stress-free trip.

Documents Required

To rent a car in Ireland, the documents you need to present are a valid driving license — your native driving license, and some companies were looking for IDP, credit card, passport as an I.D., and proof of third-party insurance.

You are also required to sign a rental agreement; third-party insurance is compulsory and included in the rental rate. That’s why before renting, you should’ve scanned and selected insurance.

You can contact car rental companies in advance to ask what requirements are needed in renting a car because not all companies have the same set of driving in Ireland requirements to let you lease their vehicle. You can apply for your International Driver’s License in Ireland at the international driver’s association if you don’t have one; the transaction is fast and easy.

Vehicle Types

One of the driving in Ireland tips is when you’re going to rent a car, choose a smaller rental car as the fuel price in Ireland is higher. About double or triple the gas cost in the United States. You should also consider your comfort driving the car. One of the most common mistakes people do when renting a car is not considering the budget and itinerary.

You can choose types of rental car from the economy rental car models such as Ford Fiesta and Opel Corsa; compact car models such as Toyota Yaris and Mazda 3; mid-size car models such as Ford Mondeo and Toyota Avensis; full-size car models such as BMW 5 Series and V.W. Passat; Luxury car models such as BMW 5 Series and Audi A4; and lastly the SUV & Van models such as Ford Galaxy and Peugeot 3008.

You can also check the type of cars you want to rent. You can rent automatic and Manual Cars in most rental companies, too. The decision-making you’ll have here is what type of car or vehicle will be perfect for you if you’re traveling alone or traveling with your whole family.

Car Rental Cost

A rental car cost in Ireland starts at $7, and it is also the average renting price per day in Ireland. The rental fee will be based on the type of vehicle you rent, the car’s size and capacity, and the insurance if you’re planning on availing of extra deals or products. It could be the child seat boosters, GPS, spare tire, and excess mileage that can affect the rental price.

Besides the car rental company’s extra products, you can also avail of optional services such as hiring a driver, roadside assistance, toll payment, and Fuel Plans. There are also other additional fees like young driver surcharges, tax, and border-crossing fees. The car rental cost may vary and differ depending on what reputable company you’re going to choose.

Age Requirements

Ireland has an age restriction; generally, the minimum age is 21 years old, but it still can vary to car rental companies. It is advisable to check rental companies’ policy on age requirements before renting a car. The age under 25 and over 70 years old will be charged an extra fee.

Some Irish destinations allowed a maximum period of 75 to rent and drive a vehicle. Check and compare different car rental companies’ age and other driving in Ireland requirements to see what companies let you drive and rent their cars around and what company offers suits you well.

Car Insurance Cost

Choosing a good car rental company that provides insurance into their rental packages is an ideal and fair decision. Most rental companies already included the insurance in the rental fees, and some charge it as an extra fee.

The cost of car rental insurance varies depending on what insurance it covers; the more insurance they offer, the higher the rental cost will be charged. If you’ve rented a car that the agency does is not covered with insurance, you can use your insurance provided that it covers car rentals overseas.

Car Insurance Policy

Insurance will be applied when renting a car in Ireland because one of the requirements before renting a car is having third-party insurance. Rental companies usually provide insurance for loss or theft of the rented vehicle; they also offer collision damage waiver (CDW) and Personal Accident Insurance.

When choosing a company that rents a car, you should check and review the insurance policy first. You should pick the company with the best insurance because you need to back up when something unexpected happens.

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