The Best Places In Ireland To Be A Driver

Irish Driving Index


Driving is a part of everyday life for most of us and often some of life’s simplest pleasures happen from behind the wheel. From driving in the spring sunshine with the windows down to escaping the cold in the sanctuary of your heated car. Driving around Ireland certainly has its perks, with a vast offering of stunning countryside views, but we can all agree that some places are better to be a driver in than others (and that we all hate potholes…).

Looking at factors such as the average annual precipitation (that’s rainfall to you and me), local pass rate and level of car theft in the area, we’ve discovered the best counties in Ireland to be a driver.

The Top Irish Counties To Be A Driver


  1. Co. Longford
  2. With the lowest level of car theft and the lowest average rainfall (just under 26 inches a year), Longford takes the crown as the best county in Ireland for drivers. Drives through the lovely county of Longford are also enjoyable to the eye, with plenty of scenic views to admire such as Lough Gowna. Longford also has the third-highest pass rate (62%) making it a great place for drivers both new and experienced.

  3. Co. Monaghan
  4. Thanks to having the second-highest pass rate (66%) and a low level of car theft at just 1%, county Monaghan is the second-best county in Ireland to be a driver. One of the smallest of Ireland’s 26 counties, it also has one of the lowest rates of dangerous collisions, at 2.15 per 1000 drivers. A true rural gem, you can explore market towns and visit a multitude of heritage sites on your road trip, including the 12th Century Mannan Castle and the remains of St Daig’s monastery.

  5. Co. Laois
  6. Drivers in county Laois can rest in the knowledge that they live in one of the safest places to be a driver in Ireland. With one of the lowest levels of car theft, only 0.5% of car drivers have reported having their car stolen in the latest yearly figures from the Irish Central Statistics Office.

    Having one of the lowest levels of rainfall in Ireland, (just over 29 inches a year) drivers may find the conditions easier to manage. A potential factor in the county’s low overall number of road accidents resulting in injury, at 159 according to the latest reports.

  7. Co. Roscommon & Co. Westmeath
  8. In joint fourth place, Roscommon and Westmeath are two of the best counties in Ireland to be a driver.

    County Westmeath is full of drivers, with over 61,000 registered drivers compared to its population of 84,000. It also has one of the lowest collisions resulting in injury per 1000 drivers in the whole of Ireland.

    Whereas Roscommon has one of the lowest levels of reported car thefts in the country, and an above-average local pass rate.

Rank County Local Pass Rate No. of Collisions Per 1000 Drivers Total No. of Collisions Avg. Annual Rainfall (in inches) Score
1 Longford 61.80% 3.00 83 25.91 74
2 Monaghan 66.10% 2.15 94 33.86 64.4
3 Laois 56.80% 3.08 159 29.17 63.5
4 Westmeath 52.30% 2.18 134 33.54 59.6
5 Roscommon 53.10% 2.39 111 33.54 59.6
6 Mayo 58.80% 2.35 221 39.37 58.7
7 Leitrim 61.70% 2.39 57 33.54 57.7
8 Meath 52.60% 1.94 258 29.17 55.8
9 Wicklow 50.90% 1.68 164 29.17 53.8
10 Wexford 58.10% 2.18 232 34.61 53.8
11 Cavan 68.40% 2.97 156 33.54 53.8
12 Kildare 56.50% 2.73 407 29.17 52.9
13 Galway 54.50% 2.32 403 39.37 51
14 Offaly 52.30% 2.67 139 33.54 51
15 Clare 55.40% 1.66 140 39.37 44.2

The Safest Irish Counties To Be A Driver


At Chill, we know that any collision is one too many. For expert safety advice, check out our guides on driving safely in the winter, driving safely in a storm and how to check your brake lights.

  1. Co. Carlow
  2. County Carlow has the lowest rate of injury-causing collisions in the country, with 1.49 collisions per 1000 drivers. The latest figures from the Road Safety Authority reported an annual figure of 62 collisions resulting in injury or casualty.

  3. Co. Clare
  4. With 1.66 dangerous collisions per 1000 drivers, County Clare has the second lowest level in Ireland. A reassuring figure to those living in the idyllic coastal county.

  5. Co. Wicklow
  6. At 1.68 injury or casualty causing collisions per 1000 people, County Wicklow’s roads are the third safest in Ireland. The low crash rate coupled with only 1% of drivers reporting their car stolen show just how safe the east Ireland county is for drivers.

The Rainiest Counties In Ireland


We all know that heavy rainfall can affect our ability to drive, especially if part of severe weather conditions. According to local weather statistics, we found that County Kerry is by far the rainiest county in Ireland, with an annual rainfall of 61.5 inches!

Whilst many Irish counties experience similar levels of rainfall, the residents of rural Kerry experience 56% more rain than the second rainiest county, Cork. It’s safe to say umbrella sales are through the roof in Kerry.

Whether you’re a new driver in Ireland or a veteran of the Irish roads, let Chill save you from the dread of the annual insurance dance, by helping you compare rates from 14 leading providers. Check out our car insurance offerings to get a great deal, easier.


To determine the best counties for Irish Drivers, this index took into consideration several different factors including: pass rates in each county, the number of collisions per 1000 drivers which caused injury or were fatal, the percentage of drivers who had reported their cars stolen by region and the average annual rainfall in each county. Each data point was assigned a ranking within the index to give a list of the best places within Ireland to drive.

Sources used: Road Safety Authority (RSA.IE), Central Statistics Office (CSO), Weather and Climate Finder, Irish Online Public Access Catalogue.