Driving your car in Ireland
Planning a road trip to the Emerald Isle? Here’s what you need to know about driving in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with a UK licence.Driving your car in Ireland
Will my UK car insurance cover me to drive in Ireland?
All UK car insurance gives you third party cover to drive in Ireland. But if you have a fully comprehensive policy, you can’t assume you’ll have the same for Ireland, so make sure you check and add extra cover if you need to.
Your policy will also give you third party cover for driving in the EU, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia, and Switzerland.
As with all kinds of insurance, the devil is in the detail so check your policy – or contact your insurance provider – before you go.
Do I need any extra car insurance cover to drive in Ireland?
You don’t need any extra car insurance cover to drive in Ireland, but you may want to add comprehensive cover to your policy to make sure you’re covered while you’re away.
Although you’re not required to have comprehensive cover, with it you’re covered for the costs if you’re involved in an accident – both to you and anyone else. It doesn’t usually cost a lot more to pay for full cover and it could save you a lot of money in the long run if you do need to claim.
It’s also a good idea to have breakdown cover so you can get back on the road quickly if something goes wrong with the car. If you already have a policy, check to see whether it covers driving in Ireland.
Do I need a green card to drive in Ireland?
Provided you have a full, valid UK licence, you don’t need a Green Card (or International Motor Insurance Card) to drive in Ireland or to go from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland. But a Green Card is proof that you have vehicle insurance when driving abroad.
If you’re planning on going further afield and driving to other parts of the world including Iran, Israel, Morocco or Tunisia, you may need a Green Card. In this case, you can contact your insurance provider and they’ll either post you a Green Card (make sure you allow up to six weeks) or tell you how to download one to print yourself.
Can I bring my car over from the UK?
Yes, you can take your car from the UK to Ireland. Car ferries go from Cairnryan and Liverpool to Belfast, Holyhead to Dublin or Fishguard and Pembroke to Rosslare.
How long can I drive my car in Ireland?
You can drive your UK car in the Republic of Ireland for up to 12 months. If you want to drive it for longer than that, it will be considered a permanent export and you’ll need to notify the DVLA. If that’s the case, you’ll also need to think about other paperwork too. That includes travel insurance as most policies have a limit on how many days you can be away for.
What documents do I need to drive in Ireland?
You’ll need your:
- Log book (VC5)
- Insurance certificate.
- Driving licence – in the Republic of Ireland you need to have your driving licence with you at all times.
Does my car need a GB sticker to drive in Ireland?
From 28 September 2021, GB stickers on cars were replaced with UK stickers. But you don’t need a UK sticker (or number plate) to drive in Ireland.
If you’re driving in the EU, you do need to display a UK sticker on the rear of your vehicle if your number plate has any of the following:
- A GB identifier with the Union flag
- A Euro symbol
- A national flag of England, Scotland or Wales
- Numbers and letters only
What else should I know before driving in Ireland?
To make your trip to Ireland as smooth as possible and to avoid any incidents with your car and driving around the country, here are a few tips for driving in Ireland:
- Cars in Ireland drive on the left-hand side of the road – the same as the UK
- Ireland has 11 toll roads – you should pay your toll before 8pm the following day, either online, or in branded Payzone outlets. Disabled drivers are not charged tolls
- Signs in the Republic of Ireland show distances in kilometres, while distances in Northern Ireland are shown in miles
- Speeding fines in the Republic of Ireland are currently set at a flat rate of €80 regardless of the speed you’re caught at
- Most rental car companies won’t rent to drivers under 25