How to drive in South Ireland?
Basic rules of the roads and driving requirements.
GENERAL TIPS AND ROAD INFORMATION
Drive on the left and steer to the centerline. It is difficult to judge your distance from the left-hand side, so use the road centerline. Roundabouts are clockwise and give way to traffic in the roundabout. Stay in right-hand lane until turning off. The roads are excellent, with miles of motorway and divided highway, and you are never more than half an hour from the sea. Minor roads are well signposted and there are convenient places for picnics and sites for caravanning or pitching tents.
Multi-storey and off-street car parks have hourly tariffs dependent on location. On-street parking zones are clearly marked. Restriction notices indicate morning and evening rush hour clearways and bus lanes when in operation.
It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving.
Petrol stations with extended hours are on major roads to Belfast, usually with mini-markets attached.
Signposts and speed limits are all in miles.
Rural areas 30 mph
Open roads 60 mph
Motorways 70 mph
Minimum age to drive in Northern Ireland is 17 for cars and motorcycles, 18 for medium sized vehicles and 21 for large trucks and buses.
With a valid national license you may drive for up to 12 months. An International Driver’s License (IDL) is required if your license has been issued in a language other than English. To rent a car, you must be at least 21 years old and have held your license for 1 year (age may vary by car category).
Fire and third party liability insurance is mandatory and is included in all rentals.
For a non UK driver is advisable to get also a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
You must have a valid signed driving license, or an International Driver’s License (IDL) for the category of vehicle you are driving, along with a valid insurance certificate covering you for third party liability and a valid MOT certificate at all times.
Seat belts are compulsory in both front and rear.
Drivers must use headlights at night and when visibility is seriously reduced.
Small children and babies must be restrained in an appropriate child seat or carrier.
A safety helmet is mandatory when riding a motorcycle.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Sources: Driver and Vehicle Agency / Police Service of Northern Ireland / Guide to Northern Island / AutoEurope.com / Dan Dooley Car Rental Ireland / GotoBelfast.com / Discover Northern Ireland