For travellers bound for the Emerald Isle, picking up a car hire in Ireland can be a great way to explore, particularly if you wish to go out into the countryside and not be confined to a single location. Now, driving in Ireland can seem like a no brainer. After all, how different can it possibly be from driving in the UK? The main language spoken is the same, people drive on the same side of the road (the left!), and there's no reason to suppose that driving in Ireland would be any more difficult than driving in the UK.
However, there are some differences and some specificities to driving on the other side of the Irish sea. First of all, you'll notice that speed signs show the limits in km/h rather than in mph. If you're driving a rental car in Ireland, the speed display will also have the speed in km/h. If, however, you decided to take your own UK vehicle, the simplest way to convert km to miles is to divide by 8 and then multiply by 5.
Works every time!
The road signs in Ireland display directions both in English and in Gaelic throughout most of the country. However, in the Gaeltacht, roadsigns only display Gaelic names. If you're driving to any of these regions, keep this in mind when looking up directions in maps. If you're picking up a rental for your holidays as opposed to bringing your own vehicle, it's advisable to choose a pick up location outside a main city such as Dublin, particularly if you mean to travel elsewhere. Much like any other major city, Dublin poses challenges when it comes to both traffic and parking.
Which brings us to yet another topic: parking. If you mean to park in a major city, know the following: one yellow line on the pavement means no parking during the week, during business hours. Double yellow lines mean you can never park there. In city centres, many of the parking will be paid, and you'll be required to get a ticket from a meter and display it on your dashboard. Meters accept only Euros, so be sure to have a few spare coins.
Driving on the Irish countryside is nothing if not relaxing, and you're in for a treat of scenic views and quaint villages. However, be advised that roads in rural areas can sometimes be rather narrow. Oftentimes, you'll also notice roads are lined with stone walls on both sides, so be sure to drive carefully. Finally, make sure you have enough fuel to get you where you are going. In rural regions, fuel stations will be few and far between, and most of them won't be open 24 hours.