Carroll's Tours - 7 Day Ireland Self-Drive Tour

Things to Consider when Driving in Ireland

Driving in Ireland especially on a self-drive vacation is a wonderful way to see the country, with forward planning it is a once in a lifetime experience. The likes of Cliffs of Moher, Giants Causeway, Ring of Kerry & Blarney Castle are world renowned for their beautiful landscapes and scenery not to mention, visits to Glendalough & Dingle Peninsula, just some of the fabulous locations to visit when touring Ireland.

There is so much to see and do and you have all the freedom and flexibility to do it with a self-drive vacation. The following article gives the key fundamentals to having a safe and costless self-drive vacation in Ireland.

Remember the rules and guidelines and with forward planning and research you can go a long way to setting yourself at ease when undertaking a self-drive vacation in Ireland.

Rules of the Road:

When travelling around Ireland by Self Drive it is important to research the following drving instructions.

The rules of the road in Ireland are an essential read click on the following:

Just download and read at your leisure, familiarise yourself with road markings and traffic signalling and signage.

The main difference in Ireland is we drive on the LEFT, it can be disconcerting. If you are used to driving on the right, this will take some getting used to.

Especially at roundabouts. If you pick your car up from Dublin Airport, you will hit 1 of at least 3 roundabouts in the first 5-10 minutes of leaving the rental depot. But we recommend going on YouTube to explore the video’s and clips of people’s experience driving in Ireland.

For tackling Roundabouts correctly watch this:

Do’s and Don’ts:

This list is not exhaustive, but this should cover most scenario’s:

1.) Don’t Drink (take drugs) and Drive, it is illegal, the potential consequences and penalties are quite harsh

2.) Don’t do a U-Turn – it is very dangerous on Irish roads – just take your time and find a spot to turn back safely

3.) Don’t move from one lane to another unless you actually need to

4.) Do only overtake if it is safe to do so – keep an eye on the road ahead and behind, obstructions and the road markings

5.) Do be careful with your lights at night, only use full lights when there is no car ahead of you or approaching you

6.) Do wear your seat belt at all times, no exceptions, it is against the law

7.) Don’t use your phone when driving, get a passenger to handle calls/Google maps – it is illegal

8.) Don’t ever walk on a motorway

9.) Always exit from the left hand doors when stopped on a motorway


There are a number of important fundamentals when pricing and getting a quotation:

1.) Obtain Super Damage Waiver – it is pricey, but it eliminates damage costs

2.) Manual/Automatic options – choose what you are familiar with, do not select on cost

3.) Travelling through Northern Ireland

4.) Size and Luggage choose roomy comfort – always!

5.) Extra’s – GPS Navigation systems, Bike Rack/Roof Rack and Child Seats

6.) Airport or City-Centre pick-up/drop off

7.) Road and Itinerary Pack – Map (Paper), SIM Card purchased in Ireland for Google Maps, Rules of Road, essential contacts and emergency numbers

8.) Airport Meet/Greet for all travellers

The first two items are essential, however we at Carroll’s for instance factor the first four item’s in any self-drive quoted price and we also include in price, Airport Meet/Greet, Road and Itinerary Pack.

Check out Carroll’s Tours website for all the latest self drive packages

What to do in an Emergency or your Vehicle Breaks Down:

If your car breaks down or if you get a puncture for instance, move your vehicle safely to the hard shoulder

Always park as near to the left as you can

Take steps to warn other drivers by switching on your hazard warning lights

If on a Motorway only Exit from car ON THE LEFT SIDE DOORS and if possible, always step over and stay behind the crash barrier, ensuring your passengers do the same

Use the roadside phone to contact the Gardaí. If you are not near a roadside phone use your mobile by dialling 999/112 but you will be asked for your location

Carroll’s Tours also has a 24 Hour support service on hand throughout your trip

And remember……..

Practice before leaving the rental depot drive around the parking lot. Slow down and take your time remember you are on vacation enjoy the experience.

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