Republic of Ireland car insurance

We don’t compare Republic of Ireland car insurance[1] – but you can get quotes from these companies[2]

  • Principal Insurance is committed to finding you our best car insurance deal, drawing from its wide range of leading insurers to get a policy that is right for you. Its approach has made it one of the fastest growing specialist insurance groups in both Ireland and the UK with thousands of Irish bikers, motorists, van drivers and homeowners choosing Principal. Over 45,000 people now trust Principal Insurance to insure their story, what's yours?

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Do I need car insurance to drive in the Republic of Ireland?

By law, you need car insurance to drive in the Republic of Ireland.

The companies listed above will be able to offer you cover.

It’s worth shopping around to find a great price as your loyalty won’t be rewarded for sticking with the same insurer.

Comparing quotes from different insurers is the best way to find the right policy for you.

Republic of Ireland car insurance
Car insurance is a legal requirement in Ireland - you'll need at least third party cover - and it can be quite pricey. This is because there isn't as much competition between insurers, which makes it even more important to compare quotes for cover there
Ryan Fulthorpe - GoCompare Car Insurance Expert

How to get cheap car insurance in the Republic of Ireland

We all want to find a great price on our insurance, but you should focus on getting the right policy, rather than just the cheapest offer.

There are a few ways to get cheaper cover though.

For example, a black box, or telematics, policy can give you cheaper premiums if you’re a careful driver.

It measures things like how fast you drive, your braking habits, how far you drive and what kind of roads you travel on.

If you drive on rural roads regularly, you might find your premiums increase as there is more risk associated with them.

Even if your current insurer offered the best deal last year, you shouldn’t automatically assume they will when your policy is up for renewal
Ryan Fulthorpe - GoCompare’s car insurance expert

Crossing from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland

If you live in the Republic of Ireland, your insurer will cover you to whatever level of cover you’ve taken out while you’re within the Republic.

But if you go north, you might not have the same amount of cover because you’ll be entering the UK. You might find you then only have third-party cover.

You don't need a green card to drive in Northern Ireland if you're a Republic resident, but you'll need to carry a copy of your certificate of insurance in your car.

Similarly, you’re a UK resident travelling into the Republic, your UK insurance cover will include the minimum third-party cover in EU countries, including Ireland.

However, this isn’t a very extensive level of cover, so it’s worth checking to see if you need European cover to move between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

If you’re using a ferry to go into or out of the Republic, you should again check your car insurance terms and conditions.

If, for example, you have a comprehensive policy, your insurance protection on a ferry may not be as extensive as it is on a Republic of Ireland road.

It’s also worth checking your breakdown cover in advance.

If you break down in Northern Ireland, not all breakdown providers will cover the cost of the ferry transportation back, even if your policy has nationwide recovery included on it.

Are you visiting the EU after Brexit?

Get all the info you need before you leave the UK

Find out more

Tools and calculators

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MOT checker

Find out what’s involved in a MOT, why to renew it and when yours is due

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Fuel cost calculator

See how much you spend on petrol or diesel on a single trip or on a regular basis

[1]We do not offer a full comparison service on Republic of Ireland car insurance at but instead have provided links to some companies that may offer quotes. These companies are not listed in an order that indicates that one is better than another but are instead ordered in line with our commercial arrangement with each one. Please remember, as different companies offer different policies, it is up to you to choose the one that best suits your needs

[2] introduces customers to Principal Insurance Ltd trading as Principal Insurance and XS Direct Insurance Brokers Ltd. Principal Insurance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, XS Direct Insurance Brokers Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.'s relationship with Principal Insurance and XS Direct Insurance Brokers Ltd is limited to that of a business partnership, no common ownership or control rights exist between us