In Ireland we drive on the left side of the road, with the steering wheel on the right hand side of the car. However you may come along along a narrow road on the Wild Atlantic Way and find a car in the middle on the road. This may be because they are from mainland Europe where people drive on the right hand side or the road is just so narrow! You will need to bring your driving license with you, though an international license is not normally required in Ireland. You need to keep the rental agreement and insurance details of the car with you when driving in Ireland.
The cars rented in Ireland are petrol or diesel, manual or automatic. My preferred car is manual (to cope with the hills and narrow lanes) and diesel as it's much cheeper to run. The petrol pump has a green funnel and the diesel pump a black funnel in a gas station. There are few gas stations along the Wild Atlantic Route so fill up in towns, and no 24 hour stations. Electric Cars are not really suited to driving along the Wild Atlantic Way due to a lack of re-powering stops. You may not be able to pay with a credit card at all gas stations, so have some cash. A refuelling of most cars will cost €60-€80. Get to know your car’s navigation system before you leave the car rental depot. Programme your satellite navigation system before you leave the depot.
Seatbelts are compulsory in Ireland and you can be fined for not wearing them. Children under 10 years of age (or 150cm/5 ft tall) or less than 36kg(80lbs) in weight) must be in a carseat. The car seat or booster cushion can be rented from a car hire company or we can arrange it for you.
The speed limit on motorways is 120Km per hour, with 100km on major roads and 80 km on minor roads. However the Wild Atlantic Way is a coastal route with few major roads and many bends which means you will probably cover 40-60 km per hour. Part of the attraction is to be able to stop, enjoy the view and take some memorable photographs. Don't plan to cover too much distance on the map in a day - its not that type of place. We can advise you on distance to cover in a day so you can enjoy the trip to its optimum.
Drink driving is a serious offence in Ireland so if you go for a drink at night take a cab home. Most small villages in Ireland have someone providing this service. Use of a mobile phone while driving is also illegal.
Farm machinery of all shapes and speeds, cows and sheep may be features of the route, as it is the artery of the local farms. Relax and enjoy as they will advise you when it's safe to pass, with a friendly wave of thanks. They may even tell you about a hidden gem just around the corner. If you get lost just ask for directions, but don't be surprised if they start with the reply …”well I wouldn't start from here”!
For more driving information look up the Road Safety of Ireland Authority website
Drink Driving is a serious offence in Ireland, when you go for a drink at night, get a cab home. Most small villages in Ireland have a person providing this service, due to the strict regulations. Do not answer your mobile phone when driving as this is an offence.