We believe that renting a car is the best way to explore Ireland. It offers you more flexibility and also the possibility to go where public transportation doesn’t. Here’s what you should know about driving in Ireland.
Renting a car
This topic was a great concert for us before coming to Ireland. We planned to stay for one month and renting a car for that period was $3900. That sounded insane, unrezonable, and unacceptable. This price means that in about 7 month or less they will get back all the money they paid on the car as new (IF they got it as new). I even thought about buying a car and selling it before leaving Ireland instead of renting one. You can even rent a van for a much cheaper price than a small regular car. As a new car, the van si a lot more expensive.
Everything got solved the moment we read about Fleet and Toyota Dealer Rentals. This post is not sponsored by any of those, and we don’t make any money by promoting them. This is just the solution we used and we ended up paying just $1300 for an entire month. That’s a fair price and it is just a third of what rental companies ask for. Not to mention that our car was a brand new car with only 900km driven.
Left side of the road
In case you don’t know already, in Ireland they drive like in the UK, on the left side of the road. For some people this sounds intimidating, but in reality it is easier to get used to it than most people think.
The only advice that we would have is to get an automatic car and avoid having to shift gears with your left hand. Most cars in Ireland are manual, so you might want to book an automatic car in advance becasue their number might be limited.
Most roads in Ireland, except the transportation ones, are extremely narrow. Some look like one lane roads, but cars can go both ways. When 2 cars meet, one or both would have to go a bit off the road in order for them to fit. Sometimes even this is impossible and one car as to revers until it reaches a large part of the road. Be careful because even lorries/trucks might drive on this kind of roads.
If you cross the border to Northern Ireland, the speed limits will change from km/h to miles/h without any notice. There might be a sign letting you know this on main roads, but not on smaller ones.
You’ll often see driver speeding and exceeding the speed limit by a lot, including on narrow roads. We’ve even seen 12-13 years kids driving on smaller roads which is completely insane.
Unfortunately, not all drivers are polite enough to stop at a wider area of the road or reverse if two cars can’t pass by each other. You might have to reverse a lot on a difficult road, even though it would have been easier for the other one to do it.
Sheep on the road
Most of the time the sheeps are being kept behind fences, but sometimes they will find a way to get out.