There are more benefits than draw backs to driving in Ireland.
Driving on the opposite side of the street from what we are used to is nerve wrecking.
What we consider a one way street, Irish people will happily use as a two way road, and they drive fast.
The town streets are narrow and many of the roads in the outlying countryside are so tight you have to pull into the bushes or back out to an intersection or open field.
The countryside is beautiful. There are rolling green hills everywhere you look filled with sheep and cattle.
And the coastline is breathtaking.
There is greater freedom to see the country with a rental and much cheaper than hiring a private driver or paying for tours.
Gasoline is expensive compared to our gas prices at home. It is priced by the liter so be prepared to spend closer to $70 per tank verses $50.
If you can get a vehicle that runs on diesel you will save some money.
Fuel costs in Ireland
In the five days we drove 1,650 kilometers (or 1,025 miles). We spent €100 on diesel fuel ($110).
After five days of driving I felt better about it and I was able to see more of the surroundings rather than focusing so hard to stay in my lane.
Here are some things to consider when renting a car.
> Know that automatics are scarce.
Upgrades will be offered because most of the cars in Ireland are manual. Keep in mind that your upgrade will most likely be a larger vehicle which can make the tight roads even tighter.
> If you are offered an upgrade on your rental consider not taking it. Especially if the vehicle is a full size SUV.
Some of the countryside has very tight roads and a lot of rolling hills which is a little scary when you cannot see who is coming over the hilltop.
> Consider using your Google Maps app instead of paying for the rentals’ GPS or Garmen.
Their maps are not always updated. Even when they say they are.
You may want to update your app on your phone to include the latest maps before you leave the States.
> Don’t worry about driving slow. The Irish are used to foreigners’ timid driving.
> Consider picking up your rental outside of the larger cities like Dublin.
Driving in the major cities is a greater challenge due to the obvious… more traffic.
There are roundabouts everywhere in Ireland. Especially in the cities where you may have five or six exits off a roundabout.
Have fun and enjoy the adventure.