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Courageous, Confident or Just Plain Crazy!..Driving tips for Ireland from a Canadian Girl

Updated: May 10, 2023

“If you believe you can-YOU WILL!”

Upon returning safely from a 3 week trip to Ireland, I thought I would share a few driving tips.

Being a Canadian girl, traveling alone in Ireland…  

Driving on the ‘left side’ of the road- was my biggest fear.

Do one thing a day that scares you!  Check!

Do one thing a day that scares you! Check!

However, I am a stubborn Virgo and my desire to see the countryside on my own timeline…outweighed my fear. I was praying to find a cute Irish driver to drive me around, but apparently that was not in my divine plan.


It was just me, my rental car, GPS and a few trusty road maps.

With a quick lesson on a deserted beach under my belt- I headed out.


Driving lesson on the Beach

Reminding myself that people drive in Ireland everyday.  I am proud to report… I survived the challenge and conquered my fear.


I have to say I was never more PRESENT in my LIFE!

Happily, I returned my rental car without a scratch, covered many miles, saw beautiful vista’s, almost on one tank of Diesel.


My Rental Car- Safely returned

If you’re planning a road trip to Ireland…Read on.

Tips before you leave-

  1. · GET a GPS- it will be your best friend

  2. · Bring a CDW Insurance travel letter-if you have coverage on your credit card

  3. · Bring music or buy a good Irish music CD-Irish radio talk is endless and not very soothing for the nervous soul.  

Most of the rental cars in Ireland are manual- Shift on the Left. Pedals and Clutch are the same as in North America. Automatic Transmissions are available, but harder to find and more expensive. I rented my car before I left through Costco online and brought a travel letter from my visa company to wave the insurance. If you’re not covered… I highly recommend getting the insurance. The roads are rather narrow and the tour buses are very large. Don’t be scared. If I survived, so can you!

Here are my Tips…

  1. · Put the correct spelling in GPS- A 1 letter slip up sent me the opposite direction.

  2. · Make sure Rental car has insurance, floor mats and a good old fashion road map- it rains a lot in Ireland and a missing floor mat makes for a very slippery clutch. Learned this the hard way.

  3. · Gas- for you and the car. Road snacks and proper hydration

  4. · Stay LEFT- LOOK RIGHT, TURN LEFT… repeat, repeat.

  5. · Always keep body to middle of road or white line to middle of road

  6. · Learn Roundabouts- Trick: you can ride them around and around if you miss your exit. I also heard the locals do stop and wait, if you happen to go the wrong direction.

  7. · For the most part Trust your GPS- It will reroute you, however when in doubt or in the middle of nowhere. STOP and ASK a local for directions. Remember all roads eventually lead somewhere…unless the road is closed…reroute via a local. The Irish are very kind, patient and more than willing to help.

  8. · Use side mirrors to gauge the edge of the road.

  9. · Back into parking stalls whenever possible.

  10. · Travel early to avoid Tour buses.

  11. · Have money for toll roads on the M50.

  12. Give yourself ample time. Time pressures create stress and not a clear mind.

  13. · Practice YOGA. Breath Deeply, Fully Exhale. Relax shoulders and fingers. Stretch occasionally. Pull over and cry when necessary. Set intention for safety and good weather. Expect a few roadblocks.


Bonus: The sheep do not move.

My Mantra’s

  1. · If you believe you can, you will!

  2. · I am a good driver… I will get to my destination safely.

  3. · All roads lead to somewhere.


Benefits of driving on the opposite side:

  1. Increased Alertness & Awareness= Present Moment Living

  2. Challenge your fears. Success= Empowerment

  3. · Senses are heightened.

Go dté sibh slán…May you go safely


Enjoy the beauty!


Bonus tip:  Bring a 3 prong adapter.


Adapter for your electronics.

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