Left-hand drive in Ireland

In Ireland, we drive on the left! A way of driving that can disturb some people and even discourage them before they even get behind the wheel for the first time! But don't worry: left-hand driving is not difficult: it will take you a little time to adapt, but in less than a quarter of an hour, you will be on your feet!
In Ireland, we drive on the left! A way of driving that can disturb some people and even discourage them before they even get behind the wheel for the first time! But don't worry: left-hand driving is not difficult: it will take you a little time to adapt, but in less than a quarter of an hour, you will be on your feet!

In Ireland, we drive on the left! A way of driving that can be disruptive to some people and even discourage them before they even get behind the wheel for the first time! But don’t worry: left-hand driving is not difficult: it will take you a little time to adapt, but in less than a quarter of an hour, you will be on your feet!

Driving on the left : discover our advices

1. Get your bearings in your vehicle before you hit the road

If you rent a car in Ireland (instead of returning your own car by ferry, and in this case you are not concerned by this first advice), you will inevitably have the right-hand drive.

We advise you to settle down before you start, to familiarize yourself better.

You will see few changes in the interior, except for the right-hand steering wheel, its usual controls, and the traditional gear knob in the middle of the vehicle.

Overall, this will mean that you will have to use your left hand to shift gears. An unusual gesture, but you should get used to it quickly.

2. Beware of local traffic regulations

The highway code is quite similar in Ireland compared to the French or Belgian code, except that the speed is rather expressed in miles/hour. So be careful with your speedometer: the numbers do not indicate a speed in kilometers / hours!

In addition, you should know that the Irish communicate a lot on their signs the fact that in Ireland, you drive on the left side of the road. A small reminder that you will find on most road signs near airports and ferry arrivals.

As for priorities, most intersections in Ireland are equipped with signs, lights and markings on the ground. The term “Yield” means “Yield the Way”, so just follow the code!

The same goes for roundabouts: they move in the opposite direction and priorities change. Always refer to the signs at the roundabout to get in.

3. Keep cool and enjoy!

Drivers in Ireland are quite friendly and courteous. Sometimes even slower vehicles will move to the side of the road to let more hurried vehicles pass by gently. So, feel free to take the time to drive at your own pace, without pressure or stress.

Irish people are generally understanding with rental vehicles, aware that most tourists are not used to this type of left-hand drive.

So take your time, stay cool, and enjoy!

The disadvantages of left-hand drive with a French (or Belgian) vehicle

The steering wheel remains on the left, and will cause you some problems!

For those who would be tempted to take their own car to travel the roads of Ireland, be aware that this can be a bit of a disappointment…

Indeed, when you come to Ireland with your car, you will have a car that will not be totally adapted to left-hand drive. Also, it will cause you some difficulties (but nothing insurmountable), especially when you arrive at the road tolls.

Indeed, you will have to get out of your car, drive around it and pass on the right side of your vehicle to reach the toll booth. A constraint that is easily solved if you are travelling with a passenger at the front of the car… But it can become a real problem if you travel alone…

Apart from this inconvenience, the use of a French vehicle will be quite pleasant on Irish roads!