Driving advice for every country in Europe

Find up-to-date driving laws and advice for any country in Europe before you visit, including any accessories you may need to purchase. Don't forget the RAC provides European breakdown cover while you're driving in Europe.

Driving in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland
Population: 4,952,473
Area: 84,421 sq. Km
Currency: Euro

If you're driving in Northern Ireland, your checklist requirements are:

  • A valid UK driving licence. 
  • A GB sticker on the back of your car – unless your car has 'Euro-plates' (number-plates that show a circle of 12 stars on a blue background).
  • Your motor insurance certificate.

Going away? Remember to take RAC Travel Insurance with you.

You must also:

  • Be 17 or over.
  • Wear your seatbelt at all times (this applies to everyone in the car).
  • Wear a crash helmet if you're riding a motorcycle.

It's a good idea to have:

  • Spare bulbs for your car's external lights.
  • A fire extinguisher.
  • A first aid kit.
  • A warning triangle.
  • A Camping Card International to give you additional proof of identity, third party liability insurance, plus discounts at a wide range of campsites and tourist attractions.
  • A Green Card – it's a useful back-up to your motor insurance documents and shows you've got the minimum legal level of cover. If you'd like to find out more, contact your insurance company.

Other things you should know:

  • You have to pay tolls for some motorways – most don't take credit cards so make sure you've got some change.
  • Petrol, diesel, LPG and lead replacement petrol (LRP) are readily available.
  • Children under 12 and less than 1.5m tall must use a suitable seat restraint.
  • The speed limit is 50kph in built-up areas, 80kph on regional and local roads, 100kph on national roads and 120kph on motorways.
  • It's illegal to carry or use any radar detection equipment, when driving through Northern Ireland.
  • If you have a GPS navigation system that shows you where any fixed speed cameras are, you must deactivate this function.
  • Don't use your horn between 11.30pm - 7am.

Drink/drug driving limits

Legal limit

The general limit for drivers of private vehicles is 0.05%.

For professional drivers (driving a bus, coach, HGV or public service vehicle), as well as for newly qualified drivers (less than 2 years' experience), the limit is 0.02%.

Test

The Garda must also conduct a preliminary breath test where they believe a driver has consumed alcohol or at the scene of a crash where someone has been injured and requires medical attention.

If a driver fails a roadside physical and behavioural test, the Garda may ask him/her to accompany them to the station for a drug test, either blood or urine test.

Useful numbers:

112 - Here's a really important bit of knowledge; you can dial 112 from anywhere in Europe and an operator will connect you to an emergency service in the country you're visiting. Operators can answer your call in their native language, English, and French. 

Useful guides and maps

Michelin - National Map Ireland
Michelin Green Tourist Guide Ireland

 

Sources Foreign & Commonwealth Office, www.nationaldrivesafe.co.uk, www.drive-alive.co.uk.

*Price for 1 day cover for up to 9 people travelling in a vehicle up to 1 year old in Zone 1.
RAC European Breakdown cover arranged and administered by RAC Financial Services Limited (Registered No 05171817) and provided by RAC Insurance Ltd (Registered No 2355834). Registered in England; Registered Offices: RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall WS5 4AW. RAC Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of insurance mediation activities. RAC Insurance Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
 
Disclaimer: RAC are not responsible for the content of external websites. The information provided is correct as of May 2016 to the best of our knowledge and should be referred to for information purposes only - it should not be relied upon as formal advice. Please always check the current requirements of the country you are visiting before you leave.
Still current at:
23rd Sep 2017
Updated at:
{advice:updated}
Latest update:
{advice:change}
{advice:summary}

British Embassy Dublin

29 Merrion Road 
Ballsbridge
Dublin 4
Ireland

Telephone: +353 (1) 205 3700

Fax (management): +353 (1) 205 3885