Driving rules and customss

If you're taking a ferry across the Irish Sea for your holidays, or just popping over the border for a shopping or business trip, driving in the Irish Republic can be a great experience. But you need to make sure that you are familiar with local rules and regulations, and that you have everything you need.If you're taking a ferry across the Irish Sea for your holidays, or just popping over the border for a shopping or business trip, driving in the Irish Republic can be a great experience. But you need to make sure that you are familiar with local rules and regulations, and that you have everything you need.

Before you head off, make sure you keep your driving license with you at all times (this is a legal requirement), and you've got a nationality sticker affixed to your car (if it isn't fitted with Europlates). If you're arriving from outside the EU or UK, you'll also need an International Driving Permit.

Driving age

The minimum permitted age for driving a vehicle is 17 years.

   

Mobile phones

It is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone.
The use of hands free equipment is permitted.

   

Alcohol limit

The blood alcohol content limit is 0.5, reducing to 0.2 for new drivers, bus drivers and lorry drivers.

   

Smoking

It is illegal to smoke in any vehicle carrying a child under the age of 18.

   
#

Speed limits in km/h

  urban rural national road motorway
motorcycles 50 80 100 120
cars 50 80 100 120
towing vehicles 50 80 80 80
vans over 3.5t 50 80 90 90
trucks over 7.5t 50 80 90 90
buses 50 80 100 100

Higher speed limits apply to some dual carriageway roads, and are signposted accordingly.
Buses are limited to 65km/h on roads with a higher speed limit, if they are carrying standing passengers.

Speed camera detectionSpeed camera detection

Devices that can detect or interfere with speed cameras are illegal - if you are caught with one, you will face a large fine and the device will be confiscated.
If your satnav features speed camera warnings, this feature must be turned off before travel.

   
 

Seat belts

All occupants must wear a seat belt if one is provided in the vehicle.

   

Child restraints

Any child less than 150cm in height, and weighing below 36kg, must be in a suitable car or booster seat.

   

Headlights

The use of headlights is mandatory whenever visibility is reduced by heavy rain, snow or fog.

   

Horns 

The use of horns is forbidden between 11:30pm and 7:00am

   

Railway crossings

Many level crossings are manually operated, particularly in rural areas.
I
t is the driver's responsibility to open and close the barriers.