Ireland Driving Laws & Child Safety
Ireland Driving Laws and Child Safety
If you're planning on acquiring a rental car in Ireland during your vacation, it's important to understand basic Ireland driving laws and child safety information. Knowing and understanding the traffic laws and regulations is crucial to guaranteeing a hassle-free trip. Below you'll find all you need to know about the driving laws in Ireland - part of Auto Europe's effort to assist you in avoiding traffic fines while maintaining a high level of safety and comfort while on the road.
Ireland Driving Laws: Minimum Age and Rules Pertaining to Children
- The minimum driving age in Ireland for travelers hoping to rent a vehicle during their trip is 21, although drivers age 24 and younger are subject to a supplemental daily fee known as a "young driver surcharge" ranging from €8 to €22 per day. In addition to paying a young driver surcharge, drivers under 24 years old may also be required to produce a letter from their insurance company stating they have been accident free for the past 5 years. Be sure to check with your reservations agent regarding any potential fees related to your age if you'll be renting a car in Ireland as a young driver.
- Children younger than 12 years old must NEVER be seated in the front row of your vehicle while driving in Ireland, and must always be outfitted in the proper booster seat, the chart below outlines what type of booster seat is appropriate, and Auto Europe always encourages travelers to follow guidelines for weight and height as opposed to guidelines related to age. The costs associated with these seats varies by supplier, but you'll be able to quickly determine the cost of a child seat when you receive a free online quote from Auto Europe.
Other Safety Regulations to Observe while Driving in Ireland
- Rental car insurance documentation, rental paperwork, and all other pertinent information must be kept in your rental vehicle at all times.
- Insurance for your rental car in Ireland is required by law and can be attained through your credit card company, purchased locally upon arrival, or can be purchased in addition to your car rental when you book online or over the phone with Auto Europe.
- The use of cell phones or mobile devices by drivers for the "collection of any information" in Ireland is strictly prohibited, and hands free setups are also forbidden according to Ireland driving laws. Pull over if you need to use your cell-phone or change your GPS directions in order to avoid fines or hazardous situations.
- Like much of the United States, Canada, and the rest of Europe, driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or certain mind-altering medications is strictly forbidden and met with zero tolerance. The traffic police (known locally as the Gardai) in Ireland have the power to conduct random breathalyzer tests at any time or place, and should you fail the test, your vehicle will be impounded, and you will face very steep fines and possibly jail time. The legal BAC limit in Ireland is 0.05% (compared to 0.08% in the United States), if you've had a little too much to drink, do consider taking a taxi or hiring a private chauffeur back to your hotel or wherever you may be staying.
- In the event that you receive a traffic violation ticket in Ireland, contact your car rental supplier immediately and arrange a payment plan as soon as possible. If ignored, you can expect a steady stream of letters arriving at your home notifying you of the amount due. Additionally, you can expect the fine to increase the longer you opt not to pay it. Under normal circumstances, your rental car supplier will automatically deduct the fine from your credit card held on file, as well as applying an "administrative fee" which can be as high as €100 per violation, depending on the supplier and the violation.
Driving in Ireland Will Be a New Experience
If you've never driven in Ireland before, it's sure to be a new experience that will be both exciting and stressful, at first. Driving anywhere can be hectic, and travelers may struggle to adjust to foreign driving culture, especially in congested or unfamiliar traffic circumstances like those you may find while driving through Dublin. For these reasons, Auto Europe suggests that the most experienced driver in your party be the primary driver of your rental car - a decision which will keep your party safe and allow everyone else to focus on the scenery during your trip abroad. For travelers needing to accommodate larger groups, consider arranging a spacious van rental during your time in Ireland!
While the roads in Ireland are of excellent quality, rural routes can be narrow, windy, and congested when navigated by car. Expect to encounter sheep and pedestrians alike while driving Ireland's scenic countryside. As long as you follow the rules of the road (such as driving on the left side of the road!), review our Ireland road signs guide and follow local Ireland driving laws and you'll surely experience a smooth travel experience with your rental vehicle and you'll be treated to the adventure of a lifetime.
Get Inspired: Read More of Our Ireland Travel Guide