In Ireland, we drive on the left, and only about 35% of the world drives on this side. The reasons why this came to be are interesting and date back to the 9th Century – we’ve condensed them for you in the blog post below.

There is no need to worry about which side of the road to drive when you tour Ireland with us – Our Private Driver Guides in Luxury Vehicles will make sure all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Our guests’ feedback to us all the time about how ‘taking the stress out of driving in Ireland’ is one of their favourite things about travelling with us. Contact us now to start planning your very own private-driven vacation in Ireland.

9th - 15th Century - Draw your sword!

Picture this: way back in the days of knights and castles, things could get pretty hairy with swords swinging left and right. So, to stay out of harm’s way, people figured out that hanging to the left was the way to go.

Here’s the deal: most folks were right-handed, which meant they could draw their swords faster if they were on the left side of the road. Plus, it kept their scabbards from accidentally bumping into anyone else.

But it’s not just about swords. Think about getting on a horse. It’s a whole lot easier to do from the left side, especially if you’re lugging around a sword on your left hip. Trying to mount from the other side? Not so much.

And let’s talk safety. Being on the left side of the road means you’re not playing chicken with traffic when you’re hopping on or off your trusty steed. Makes sense, right?

So, whether you’re gearing up for a joust or just taking a leisurely ride, remember: left is right!!


1700s - Steady as a Wagon Wheel

Back in the late 1700s, something interesting was happening on the roads of France and the United States. Teamsters, those hardworking folks hauling farm goods, traded in their smaller carts for big wagons pulled by multiple pairs of horses. But here’s the twist: these wagons didn’t have a driver’s seat up front. Nope, the driver perched on the left rear horse instead, giving him a clear right arm to manage the reins. Now, since he was chilling on the left, he preferred everyone to pass on that side too. Why? Well, it gave him a bird’s-eye view to ensure he steered clear of oncoming wagon wheels. And just like that, the habit of driving on the right side of the road took root in France and the USA.


Not tonight, Josephine

The French were really committed to driving on the right-hand side of the road  – even an official ‘keep-right’ rule was introduced in Paris in 1794.

Then along came Napoleon Bonaparte…. during his conquests across Europe, Napoleon pushed for a uniform system of road rules and regulations. One of his big moves was promoting driving on the right side of the road, a trend that he spread far and wide as his empire expanded. By standardizing right-hand travel, Napoleon aimed to streamline military movements and logistics. Plus, it was a subtle way to demonstrate authority and control over the lands he conquered. From the Low Countries to Switzerland, Germany to Poland, and even parts of Spain and Italy, everyone was hopping on the right-hand bandwagon.

But not everyone was sold on Napoleon’s style. The stubborn ones— Britain, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Portugal—stuck to their guns and kept on driving on the left.

And so, this divide between lefties and righties in Europe stuck around for over a century, all the way until after the dust settled from the First World War.


We are here to drive you!

Over the years, there’s been a global push towards driving on the right side of the road, but Britain has held its ground, steadfast in its commitment to left-hand driving. This tradition was cemented in Britain back in 1835, and its former colonies, including India, Australasia, and various African nations, have followed suit, maintaining left-hand driving to this day.

Ireland, having been part of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1922, adopted left-hand driving alongside Britain and has continued the practice ever since. There was some talk in 2008 about switching to right-side driving to accommodate American tourists accustomed to that system, but the proposal was quickly dismissed by the Automobile Association as “completely impractical.”

But fear not! If you’re feeling uneasy about navigating the roads in Ireland, we’ve got you covered. Let us take the wheel and chauffeur you around this beautiful island. Contact us now to start planning your stress-free journey through Ireland!



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