There are numerous vehicle rental businesses in Ireland, and you may pick up your car in the cities or at the airports, but picking up at an airport may cost extra. When renting a vehicle in Ireland, most car rental companies will not take third-party collision damage insurance (for example, using a credit card).
Ireland is home to a significant number of roundabouts. In contrast to the ‘traffic circles’ that are occasionally used in the United States, traffic already on the roundabout has right of way over vehicles entering it.
In Ireland, vacationing on your own wheels is a common and pleasant activity. Because the weather in this part of Europe may change fast, having the advantage of cover while driving soon became popular. Caravan parks are usually located within walking distance of all tourist sites. Many caravan parks, on the other hand, are only open during the peak tourist season, which is typically between the beginning of April and the end of September. Overnight camping or caravanning is usually not permitted by the side of the road or in other places that are not caravan parks, and many locations are marked to indicate any applicable by-laws prohibiting any overnight camping or caravanning. Many of the non-main roads are not well adapted to campervans or caravans owing to their narrowness and overall condition. It is recommended doing some preparation before traveling with a caravan. These vehicles, on the other hand, are ideally suited to main highways and national routes.
Taxis in Ireland will have green and blue decals with the word “TAXI,” the taxi license number, and the Transport for Ireland emblem on both the driver and passenger doors. Since January 2013, these decals have been phased in, although not all cabs have them yet.
It is strongly advised that you reserve a cab in advance. For your convenience, the hotel, hostel, or bed and breakfast where you are staying will typically contact the taxi company with which they have a relationship. Taxis should be quite simple to locate on the streets of Dublin, Belfast, and Cork, but they may be more difficult to spot on the streets of smaller cities and towns, therefore it is frequently better to call beforehand. If feasible, contact the taxi company ahead of time and tell them a time to pick you up, whether it’s 4 hours ahead of time or 30 minutes ahead of time. If there are several stops, use the same taxi company as your hotel and inform them of your ultimate destination. You’ll also need to provide them a phone number over the phone, so if you call from a pay phone, expect your claim for a taxi cab to be denied. Depending on demand and time of day, the typical wait time may range from 5 to 30 minutes. Because all taxis in the Republic of Ireland operate on a National Fare system, the cost should be very straightforward to compute.
Rules of the Road/Road User Etiquette
Driving on the left and yielding to the right at roundabouts are the same regulations in Ireland as they are in the United Kingdom. The most obvious distinction is that in the Republic, distances and speed restrictions are expressed in kilometers. Anyone crossing the border from Northern Ireland, which, like the rest of the UK, utilizes miles and miles per hour, may find this perplexing. Because the legal blood-alcohol level is modest (albeit one of the highest in Europe), it’s probably better to avoid it. It is absolutely acceptable to utilize the hard shoulder momentarily to enable a faster moving car to pass you, however this maneuver is not permitted on a highway. It is common for drivers to ‘thank’ one other by flashing their danger lights or waving, although this is simply a custom. In the Republic, road signs are ostensibly bilingual, with location names shown in italics in Irish, followed by the matching English name in capitals. Road signs in the “Gaeltacht” (Irish-speaking regions) are exclusively written in Irish.
Speed restrictions are only used as a default for road categorization; if a different speed limit is posted, it must be followed. In most urban areas, the speed limit is 50 km/h.
Ireland has a large highway network that runs through Dublin. It’s worth noting that most of the Republic’s highways contain some toll lanes. Tolls are inexpensive by French or Italian standards, ranging from €1.40 (M3) to €3.10 (M50), depending on which highway you use. A few kilometers from the plaza, tolls are posted. It’s worth noting for visitors that the M4 between Kilcock and Kinnegad is the only tolled route that takes credit cards. All others (save the M50) accept only Euro currency, so be cautious if coming from the north via the M1. The M50 has no barriers and does not take cash. Between Junctions 6 and 7, overhead gantries with cameras that read your license plate are situated. If you registered previously online or by phone, your credit card will be charged €2.60. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to pay the toll at a Payzone location. This option will set you back €3.10.
Dublin-Wicklow, Sligo-Collooney (Sligo), Mullingar-Athlone, and Cork-Middleton are just a few of the high-quality dual carriageway roads that are extremely close to motorway standards (Waterford).
In many cases, less-traveled roads are inadequately marked, with the sole indication of which route to choose frequently being a finger-sign at the junction. On the less used R & L numbered routes, the road conditions may be extremely bad.
Driving on Ireland’s regional and local roads requires etiquette, politeness, and steely nerves. The majority of roads are small, with little to no shoulder or margin for mistake. Until you’re halfway down the road, your sight lines may be restricted or non-existent. When entering the highway as well as driving along it, use caution, keeping in mind that another vehicle may be halfway into the road around the next bend. In rural regions, this is particularly true. Parking on the side of the road, farm animals, and big trucks or equipment may also emerge around the curve, requiring fast thinking or braking. Oncoming vehicles often travel to a wide area on the road to pass each other. When going slower than the vehicles in front of them, however, it is customary for drivers to let others pass or indicate if the road is clear. Due to the significant increase of motorists and road conditions/hazards, calculating travel time may take longer than expected.
Speed restrictions in the Republic of Ireland (but not in Northern Ireland) are in kilometres per hour, as previously stated. When crossing the border into the republic on major routes, expect to see a big sign stating that speed limits are provided in kilometres per hour, with the word “km/h” on all speed limit signs to warn vehicles.
Other restrictions may be imposed by local governments in particular regions if necessary. The limit may also be temporarily altered while roads are being maintained or repaired in any manner.
Car rental companies
There is no lack of vehicle rental businesses in Ireland, with all of the main airports and cities covered, as well as Hertz and Dan Dooley serving the ports of Rosslare and Dn Laoghaire, respectively. In order to rent a vehicle in Ireland, you’ll need a credit card in your own name and a valid driver’s license that has been valid for at least two years without endorsement. In most instances, a minimum age of 25 is required to hire a vehicle in Ireland, although in many cases, a full-size automobile requires a minimum age of 28. In Ireland, automobile rentals come with the bare minimal insurance, which covers the vehicle but leaves you with a deductible in the event of an accident. When picking up the vehicle, you may buy additional insurance known as Collision Damage Waiver to protect yourself against the excess.
Renting a campervan is also an option, and there are many businesses that provide this service.
Domestic flights in Ireland have been severely curtailed as a result of upgrades to the motorway network, and currently only fly from Dublin to Kerry and Donegal.
The majority of trains in Ireland (all operated by the state-owned Irish Rail, often known as Iarnród Éireann) travel to and from Dublin. Massive investments are being made to modernize the state-owned Irish Rail system, which includes the installation of numerous new trains. Service frequency and speed are being significantly enhanced, particularly on the Dublin-Cork route. If you purchase Intercity travel on the internet, keep in mind that you may be able to get a better deal at the station’s ticket office. Some special prices, such as those for families, are not accessible online.
Advance booking may save you a lot of money, and you can buy up to a month in advance. For example, an adult return ticket between Kerry and Dublin might cost €75 if purchased the following day, but just €20 – 30 if booked well in advance. Big sports events in Dublin, such as the GAA Semi-Finals and Finals, as well as major rugby and soccer internationals, almost invariably sell out. If you intend to travel on weekends in August or September, keep this in mind. Both the All-Ireland finals and the major roads to the counties participating are held on the first and third Sundays of September. Buses and railways, as well as the main roads to the counties participating, witness a huge increase in travel.
Connolly Station (for trains to Belfast, Sligo, and Rosslare) and Heuston Station (for trains to the rest of Ireland) are the two major stations in Dublin (for trains to Cork, Limerick, Ennis, Tralee, Killarney, Galway, Westport, Kilkenny and Waterford.)
(Northern Ireland Railways) operates virtually all services in Northern Ireland (NIR).
The electrified DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) coastal railway runs from Malahide and the Howth peninsula in the north to Bray and Greystones in Co. Wicklow, passing via Dn Laoghaire and Dublin city centre. At Dublin Connolly, there is an interchange between main line services and the Luas Red line.
The Luas (the Irish term for’speed’) tram system serves Dublin. There are presently two mainlines with a total of 54 stops. The red-line runs from Dublin’s Docklands to a major neighborhood south-west of the city, including stops at The Point (near the O2) and Connolly Station (Tallaght). From St Stephen’s Green, the green line continues south-east (to Bride’s Glen). Currently, the two lines are not connected. Luas cross city, a green line expansion, is presently under construction, and will see the green and red lines cross one other. The extension project is expected to be finished by the end of 2017.
- Monday to Friday — 05:30 to 00:30
- Saturday — 06:15 (Green Line), 06:30 (Red Line) to 00:30
- Sunday — 06:45 to 23:30 (Green Line), 07:00 to 23:30 (Red Line)
- Bank holidays — same as Sundays, except trams run until 00:30
Before boarding the tram, tickets must be bought from vending machines. Inspectors randomly check tickets on the Luas, although ticketing is largely based on trust. Free trips are therefore conceivable, but not recommended, since fare-dodging penalties may be very expensive. The Luas tram connects Dublin’s Connolly and Heuston train stations, which is very convenient.
- Bus Éireann (or Irish Bus) has a large interstate network as well as local services in major cities. Bus Eireann’s website offers a variety of alternatives for purchasing online bus tickets, which are cheaper than buying them at the station or on the bus. Free WiFi is available on certain Bus Éireann buses and stations.
Intercity services are also provided by a variety of privately owned businesses. These are some of them:
- JJ Kavanagh & Sons provide a comprehensive interstate network connecting Dublin Airport and Shannon Airport with Limerick, Carlow, Waterford, Clonmel, Kilkenny, and Dublin city center, as well as local services in a number of towns and cities. Free WiFi is available on several intercity bus routes.
- Citylink – Galway to Shannon, Dublin, and Dublin Airport is served by Citylink on a regular basis.
- GoBus provides nonstop service between Galway, Dublin, and Dublin Airport, as well as between Galway and Cork.
- Aircoach connects Dublin with Cork and with most major hotels across Dublin on its routes to Leopardstown, Greystones, Dalkey and Ballsbridge.
- Shannon cruises are a relaxing way to go from one city to the next. Dromineer and Carrick on Shannon are excellent starting points.
- There are numerous canals in Ireland, and some of them may be traveled by barge. From Dublin to the Shannon Rivers, the Grand and Royal canals are completely navigable, connecting the cities of Limerick and Waterford. Waterways Ireland is a good source of information. The body in charge of inland waterways.
Ireland is a lovely place to ride, but bring a decent touring bike with sturdy tyres since the roads aren’t always in good shape. Biking along the south and west coastlines will expose you to a variety of terrain, many hills, and strong headwinds. Long-distance riders will find lots of camping opportunities along the route.
Belfast will be connected to Dublin through Galway, and Dublin will be connected to Rosslare via Galway and Cork on the proposed Eurovelo bike route in Ireland. For the most up-to-date information on the path’s state, go to their website.
There are a few designated bicycle lanes and a few off-road bike paths in Dublin. Although traffic is heavy, a rider who is familiar with road cycling in other nations should have no problems (except maybe for getting used to riding on the left). Cyclists do not have an unique right of way over automobiles, especially when utilizing shared use pathways beside roads, but they do share and get equal priority in traffic lanes. Helmets are not required by law, although they are readily accessible for individuals who choose to wear them. Dublin Bikes offers 400 bikes available for public use at approximately 40 locations around the city. The bikes are free to use for the first half hour, however a €150 deposit is needed in the event that they are stolen or destroyed. When you’re done, just return the bike to any station and receive your money back.