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Thread: Driving in Ireland question

  1. #1

    Driving in Ireland question

    OK, my husband is not a timid driver and says he's willing to drive in Ireland. Is this a good idea for someone who has never driven on "the other side of car & road"?

    Thanks.

    Anne

  2. #2
    He should be fine. Driving on the 'other' side of the road is easy to get used to if the car you are drving is designed to be on that side of the road - if he's careful for the first few miles he will have no problem.
    Roads in Ireland are generally not busy, except in Dublin and possibly other towns. Even in the towns or city, everywhere is well signposted so getting lost shouldn't be a problem - make sure you pick up a road map though, and also a street map for Dublin if you are going there.

    If you are renting a car in ireland make sure you specifically ask for an 'automatic' if that is what you are used to driving. If you don't specify you will be given a car with manual gears!

  3. #3
    I agree. Your husband shouldn't have a problem driving in Ireland. However, Ireland has many -- I don't know what you call them -- turnarounds or circle intersections, where several roads all come together to a circle intersection. You enter the circle and proceed around the circle until you find your street and then you exit the circle onto your street. I don't know how many times this happened to me (until I got used to it), but I would exit the circle intersection and my wife would be yelling -- "you're on the wrong side of the road." It was never a dangerous situation and we laughed a lot about it, but I must admit that I was a bit confused at first getting out of the circle and ending up on the wrong side of the road.

    Also, with respect to your rental car, it is true that if you don't specify at the time of your reservation that you want an automatic, you will likely end up with a manual. No big deal if you are used to a manual, but I think it is more expensive to rent an automatic. Also, it is somewhat fun driving a manual and having to shift gears with your left hand. Have a great time!

  4. #4
    Thank you both. I guess I won't worry too much.

    Anne

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tim
    I agree. Your husband shouldn't have a problem driving in Ireland. However, Ireland has many -- I don't know what you call them -- turnarounds or circle intersections, where several roads all come together to a circle intersection. You enter the circle and proceed around the circle until you find your street and then you exit the circle onto your street. I don't know how many times this happened to me (until I got used to it), but I would exit the circle intersection and my wife would be yelling -- "you're on the wrong side of the road." It was never a dangerous situation and we laughed a lot about it, but I must admit that I was a bit confused at first getting out of the circle and ending up on the wrong side of the road.

    Also, with respect to your rental car, it is true that if you don't specify at the time of your reservation that you want an automatic, you will likely end up with a manual. No big deal if you are used to a manual, but I think it is more expensive to rent an automatic. Also, it is somewhat fun driving a manual and having to shift gears with your left hand. Have a great time!
    They are actually called roundabouts and have one great advantage over crossroads. If you are travelling around a roundabout and miss the exit you want you simply drive all the way round again.
    On the subject of manual / automatic transmission I would certainly advise you to consider automatic if the additional cost isn't too great. Automatic transmission means you can concentrate entirely on where you are going.

  6. #6
    Roundabouts. I was close with turnarounds. Hey, it's been a while since I was there. Thanks.

  7. #7
    We're not from there, but we call them "clocks". The navigator/sign-reader tells the driver "we get off at the 2:00" or whatever. We assume we're coming into the roundabout from the bottom, at the 6:00, so the driver doesn't have to strain to read ('specially another language), and we don't have to count how many turns there are. Well, it works for us!

  8. #8
    Keith's advice is the best. If in any doubt just circle round a second time . Enjoy Garry

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ireland's Call
    Keith's advice is the best. If in any doubt just circle round a second time . Enjoy Garry
    Did you ever see Chevy Chase in the movie, I think it was, European Vacation? In the movie they are driving in Paris and I believe come to the Arch de Triumph which has traffic flow in a circle around the Arch -- it is essentially a roundabout. Anyway, Chevy Chase misses the street he needs to get off from the roundabout and then circles around again. The scene is hilarious because with all of the traffic he can never get off the roundabout and circles the entire day.

    Driving in Ireland on the roundabouts will be a piece of cake compared to what Chevy Chase faced in Paris.

  10. #10
    None of the rules of the road that apply in the rest of Europe seem to apply in France and especially in Paris. Some years ago we were nearly run over by a motorcycle when on the footpath. Our tour guide seemed surprised that we had been surprise and said that motorcycles do it all the time to avoid the traffic jams! (She was serious about that)
    On a more light hearted, equally dangerous, note she said that the black and white stripes across the roads aren't for pedestian crossings. They are so the ambulance knows where to stop to collect the pedestrians who had tried to us them as crossings!!
    The biggest problem you are likely to experience in Ireland is when asking directions. The response is likely to be along the lines of "I wouldn't start from here "

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