Many countries worldwide allow Indian tourists to drive rented cars with their Indian driving licenses. This is especially true for countries seeking to promote tourism and attract more Indian visitors. European countries like the UK, Ireland, France and Germany are some of the more popular destinations where Indians on visitor visas can drive on their local driving license.
These countries also have a huge student community from India studying undergraduate and postgraduate courses at their world-class universities. Subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, Indian students are also permitted to drive in Ireland and the UK using their Indian driving license.
Read below to learn more about driving in Ireland with an Indian Driving License. Book a free consultation with SI-Global and learn more about studying in Ireland at some of the best global universities.
Driving in Ireland as an Indian Student
Driving in Ireland with an Indian Driving License
Visitors in Ireland with a current and valid driving license from their home country, including EU/ EEA countries or any state outside the EU/EEA, are permitted to drive in Ireland for a period of up to 12 months. This is applicable to all international and Indian students with Ireland student visa who have taken up undergraduate or master's programmes at Irish universities.
However, if you plan to stay in Ireland beyond a year or take up normal residency in Ireland (requiring you to stay in Ireland for at least 185 days each year) due to personal reasons or to continue your course, you will need to apply for an Irish driving license.
To obtain an Irish driving license, one must complete the entire procedure of applying for a driver's license in Ireland. This includes passing the driver theory test, getting a learning permit and taking the Essential Driver Training (EDT) before the final driving test. The EDT comprises 12 one-hour classes, which must be completed to take the final driving test, upon passing, an Irish driving license may be granted.
Driving Test Preparation to Obtain an Irish Driving Licence
For Indian students who wish to take the Irish driving test, adequate preparation is essential to pass the test. The test preparation usually involves studying the road rules in Ireland, familiarising oneself with local traffic laws, and practising driving in different road and weather conditions. You can take guidance from driving schools in Ireland that offer preparatory courses and lessons tailored to international students to help them feel confident and prepared for the test.
Minimum Driving Age in Ireland
- The minimum age to drive in Ireland is 17 years old for cars and vehicles with a maximum of 8 passenger seats
- The minimum age for driving work vehicles, tractors and mopeds<45 km/h is 16 years
In addition to obtaining a valid Irish driving license to drive in the country, Indian students must ensure adequate car insurance coverage before starting to drive in Ireland. Car insurance is mandatory for all drivers in Ireland and provides financial protection in case of accidents, damage, or theft. Students can explore various insurance options tailored to their needs, including comprehensive coverage, third-party liability, and additional features like breakdown assistance.
Renting or Buying a Car in Ireland
Once licensed and insured, Indian students can rent or buy a vehicle for personal transportation in Ireland. Renting a car is a convenient option for short-term stays or occasional use, with many rental companies offering competitive rates and flexible rental agreements. Visitors and students in Ireland can rent a car and drive with their home country driving license subject to the following:
- The minimum age to rent a car or any other vehicle in Ireland is 21 years
- Drivers below the age of 25, i.e. 21-24 years, are required to pay an insurance surcharge of about 20-25 Euros per day for the rented vehicle
Alternatively, purchasing a car may be more practical for long-term residents, offering greater freedom and flexibility regarding travel and transportation in Ireland.
Advice for Indian Students Driving in Ireland
- Traffic drives on the left side in Ireland, similar to the UK
- Ireland uses the metric system for road signs and speed limits, and distance is mentioned in kilometres
- It is compulsory to wear seatbelts in Ireland for front and rear seats
- Booster seats or appropriate child restraint systems must be used for children under 12 years of age
- The use of handheld phones while driving is an offence in Ireland
- Drink driving is a serious offence
Study in Ireland
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