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Driving in the Republic of Ireland(21 Posts)
I am going on holiday for a week in the Republic of Ireland soon. We are driving, taking the Holyhead to Dublin ferry. What are the differences between driving in the UK and the Republic of Ireland that I should be aware of? Thanks.
Signs in kilometres rather then miles. That's about it.
Well it’s important that if you’re driving outside of the cosmopolitan area (Dublin) you lift one finger off the wheel and nod while making eye contact with anyone that passes you in the opposite direction.
Lol thanks Happyspud! We are going to County Cork.
Toll roads, depending on your route you may need a few euros in change.
We're just back. Very little difference as far as we could tell, they drive on the left and the signals, lanes etc are all the same. Distances and speeds are in kilometres so if you can change that setting in your car it might be useful. We found there were fewer major motorways than we're used to and those there were available horrendously snarled up with 'roadworks' but that happens everywhere really. Lots of minor roads but they were pretty clear and totally fine. Driving in Dublin is busy, as you'd expect in any major city but we managed to get in and out and parked in the city centre without too much difficulty.
It's an awesome place - enjoy
Oh yes toll roads - keep an eye for them, I think there are some that you have to pay online within 24 hours.
Yeah be careful of the toll on the m50 if you are using it as it barrier free but you must pay 3e before 8pm the next evening. All other tolls you can use debit/credit cards or they have a cashier so should be straightforward. Where are you heading to?
We found no difference apart from the road signs. On the east coast they were in English then Gaelic, in the middle they were in Gaelic then English, and on the West coast in Gaelic only, but this was about 30 years ago.
Sorry I see you are heading to Cork. There are roadworks on the Dublin side of the Cork motorway. There always seem to be roadworks on that stretch of motorway. Speed limit is 120km on most motorway and 100km on national roads. You will have a good road from Dublin to Cork but it depends on where in Cork you are going to as Cork is a big County but lovely if you get the weather.
We are going somewhere rural about 30 mins drive west of Cork. Arriving at Dublin ferry terminal. According to Google Maps its just over a three hour drive.
Observations based solely on a week of driving there c20 years ago so don't take my word for it - things may have changed:
On rural roads if there's enough room for two lanes of traffic in each direction then it's not unusual for everyone to drive on the centre-most lane by default and only move over to the edge if there's a faster vehicle behind, rather than driving in the leftmost lane by default and using the second lane only if overtaking. I think I recall believing this was because the edge-most lane was often badly cracked and full of potholes, so it may be that things are different now.
Caution - because of this default I very nearly had an accident when I didn't spot until the last second that a vehicle ahead of me was actually slowing down and stopping in the second lane in order to turn right (no central lane to filter right either)
I was a fairly inexperienced driver at the time, maybe it wouldn't have been a big deal if I had been more experienced but it shook me up a lot at the time as it was so unexpected.
Your car needs to display evidence that it is insurered and you need to have your license with you at all times.
If your satnav will warn you of locations of speed cameras it is illegal to have this function active.
There are crossroads which in the UK would be controlled with a mini-roundabout but in Ireland have none, you just need to imagine one - where the two roads crossing each other are the same level of priority and each of the 4 ways gives way to the right.
I’m Irish but live in the UK but do the same route twice a year with the kids. Please pay the toll online we didn’t realise the first year and got fined. We thought it was an actual toll booth coming up. You will find the roads extremely quiet. I mean QUIET. My husband who’s English is shocked at how quiet our roads are. Apart from that it’s the same as driving here....some drivers are polite some are rude. Cork is a fantastic place. The people are extremely friendly. You will love it. Have a great time. Oh and another tip find out how to change your speedometer to Kilometres before you go. Again we didn’t and ended up phoning my sister to ask how many km to a mile. Why we didn’t google it I don’t know !
On the Dublin to Cork road, last week we sat in 55 minutes of near-stationary traffic on the ring road north of Naas. I don't think there's any avoiding it so just have a bottle of water, some malteasers and an audiobook ready for that bit
If you avoid taking the Port Tunnel out of the ferry port and drive into the centre of Dublin, you'll avoid the M50 toll as well as the tunnel toll.
There's no real way to avoid the roadworks on the N/M7 unless you take the N81 south from the M50 and rejoin the M9 after Blessington but it will mean some driving on smaller roads and travelling to Cork via Waterford which will be a long journey by distance travelled at least though possibly not by time.
Other things to note are that we indicate on entering roundabouts, not just on exiting and jaywalking in the towns/cities is very prevalent with the pedestrian having the right of way once they set foot on the road!
Thanks everyone! Can you prepay the toll before you go through it or do you have to pay online after the event? Is it only the motorway around Dublin that is a toll road?
With regards to the pedestrians, "Cars have brakes. They will stop" is what I was told when I tried to stop at the curb and look both ways before crossing.
You can pre-pay the M50
The road works on the motorway near Naas are a pain. Expect delays.
Watch your speed here, if I recall correctly, it's just 60kmph
There's 3 tolls in Dublin - the Port Tunnel, the East Link bridge and the West Link Bridge (which is on the section of the M50 between the N3/Blanchardstown and N4/Lucan exits). Only the WestLink is barrier-free, the other two have kiosks.
There are also 2 tolls on the M8 from Dublin to Cork, one after Portlaoise and one at Fermoy.
Arrived yesterday after a very smooth journey. Didn't even get held up in the roadworks around Naas. You can see why it's called the emerald Isle, it's so green!
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