Irish Motoring Guide
Plan Your Next Road Trip
From being able to find the best garages to locating convenient pit stops on long journeys, it pays to know your stuff when you’re behind the wheel. To help you, we’ve put together an interactive map highlighting where you can find everything from garages and NCT centres to convenient roadside restaurants. Simply click on a category and choose your location to get the information you need.
We also conducted a survey exploring people’s preferred choices when it comes to motoring facilities, and looking at everything from their approach to car maintenance to find out what they think about the rules of the road. Check out the results below our map.
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We polled over 600 Irish motorists. Here’s what they said:
Vehicle checks and maintenance
- The majority of respondents indicated that they were safety conscious when it comes to checking their tyres. Nearly six in 10 (57%) said tyres should be checked once a month. However, a less careful 30% said this check should be done every six months, while 13% suggested it should only be done once a year.
- More than half of those polled (58%) said they would know how to change a tyre if they had to, but 18% revealed they wouldn’t be able to do this. 24% said they would call or go to a garage to get a tyre changed.
- When asked where they could find details about tyre sizes, 48% said on tyres themselves, 26% suggested in the vehicle handbook, 17% said at a garage and 9% said a vehicle log book.
- 41% of respondents said they would go to a tyre specialist for new tyres, while 37% said they would go to a garage. 17% suggested they would go to a well-known brand or store.
- 59% of drivers stated that engine oil levels should be checked monthly. 30% thought this check should be carried out every six months, while 10% said it should be tested just once a year.
- Nearly three-fifths of those polled (58%) said they would know how to change the oil in their car. In contrast, 14% said they wouldn’t know, while 28% stated they would go to a garage to have this done.
Choosing a garage
- When choosing a garage, 43% of respondents said they were most influenced by recommendations from friends or family. 23% said they prioritised price, 22% identified reviews as the most important factor and 12% prioritised location.
- Big names such as Shell, Texaco and Advance Pitstop featured heavily when people were asked to name their preferred garage. However, lots of smaller, local businesses were also mentioned.
- Nearly three-quarters of people (72%) said the garages they had named were based in their local areas.
- Since 2000, all cars aged four years and over have been subject to the National Car Test (NCT), and they must undergo repeat tests every two years. Also, cars aged over 10 years are now required to be tested each year. Most drivers are aware of this legal requirement. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the people we surveyed correctly identified that vehicles over a decade old need to have an NCT every year. However, 26% wrongly thought this was only required every two years.
- Nearly 30% of respondents said they would be willing to travel more than 10 miles for an NCT. 29% said they would travel six to 10 miles, while 28% said they would travel one to five miles. 14% revealed they would travel less than a mile for this test.
- 73% of the people questioned said they support the government’s plan to introduce a straight out ban for drink driving.
- When asked what they thought of bringing the driving age down from 17 to 16 (in line with countries such as the US and Canada) 41% said they thought this was a bad idea, while 34% suggested it would be a positive development. A quarter of people weren’t sure.
- 61% of people said they support average speed cameras, while 25% didn’t.
- Petrol cars are the most popular among Irish motorists. 43% of people said they’re most likely to choose these vehicles. 36% of respondents said they would opt for diesel, while 22% said they preferred electric models.
- When stopping for a food break during a road trip, 28% of drivers said they prefer to have a snack, while a similar percentage (27%) said they like to have a full meal. 26% of people enjoy tucking into sandwiches during a driving pit stop and 16% like to purchase takeouts.
- People’s preferred places to stop and eat while on road trips were dominated by big names such as KFC, McDonald’s, Supermac’s, Burger King, Subway, Applegreen and Spar. However, some respondents identified local pubs, restaurants and shops as their favourites.
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