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Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

Chicago, Illinois
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Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

Would you recommend putting the "L" sticker on windshield? I drove when took trip to Ireland in '05 and we didn't ask for the sticker thinking it would mark us as tourists and maybe target us for pranksters or other problem. But we ended up feeling safe and people so kind that I ended up feeling silly about being so paranoid.

I'm thinking it just makes people more cautious knowing that "L" drivers are not experienced. So am just wondering what other people have done in this situation.

Thankyou

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1. Re: Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

Not sure about Ireland but in the UK it is illegal to drive with L plates if you're not a learner. I agree, there should be a T for tourist sticker, but usually its obvious which are the hire cars!! I would say don't do it.

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Dublin
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2. Re: Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

Driving around the country last week the "tourists" stood out like sore thumbs driving around in their new 11 D registered mid sized cars. It seems the hire car companies are the main people purchasing new cars at the moment.

Limerick, Ireland
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3. Re: Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

Why not ask the hire car company directly?

I don't think they'd be particularly happy to see a Learner plate on one of their cars, particularly as in almost all cases, you need a full driving licence to drive a hire car.

If you don't feel competent to drive a car here, don't. .

Dublin, Ireland
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4. Re: Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

I think Rick Steves recommends that tourists put "L plates" on their cars to try and garner patience from other drivers. This is both illegal and inaccurate.

The L will not mark you out as a tourist, it is intended for learner drivers who have not passed their full license test. There are regulations around where L drivers can driver and they must always be accompanied by a fully licensed driver. It may mean that you are subjected to more "spot checks" by Gardaí (Irish police) to ensure you are complying with all the relevant policies.

I doubt the rental company will want you putting an L on one of their cars, nor will they be able to supply one, you can get on in a Tesco or car parts shop.

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Extreme Ireland
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5. Re: Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

Rick Steeves seems to have a god like status for American tourists who take his opinion as fact. Areas of Ireland and Paris are American colonies because Rick said that they were nice places. Millions of tourists manage to drive in foreign countries every year often on the "wrong side" without L plates, T plates or anyother plates. Like Bean said if you dont feel competent then don't do it.

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Ile-de-France, France
Maryland
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6. Re: Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

I think it's also the case that you can't drive on motorways if you have an "L" permit. Another reason not do consider doing this.

Western Ireland...
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7. Re: Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

Are you a learner? NO then you don't need an "L" plate. Irish drivers are used to numpties on the roads and anyone can spot a a hire car by their stickers. You are coming to a normal Western European country and despite driving on the opposite you have nothing at all to worry about.

That RS bloke should be prosecuted for inciting illegal behaviour and other crimes against Ireland.

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california
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8. Re: Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

Hi Tony! What's a "numptie"? Don't worry Woodie, not everyone in the US loves RS. I think the only reason people tend to listen to him is because he's on TV, which makes some weak-minded people think he's credible. ;)

Florida
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9. Re: Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

I'm not a RS fan either/ I think he talks down to his audience-- and that's not an attractive feature

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Driving in Ireland and "L" for Learners permit

Thanks for the feedback!

I had been to Ireland in '87 with friends who drove, and then again in 2005 when I did the driving. I was amazed at how much had been done with the infrastructure! By the time I was driving the 'white-knucklers' after breaking myself in on motorways and highways my anxiety level went way down. Still, at Every intersection I'd say, "wide-right, short-left" :) And you're right lollymcd, reading various forums, I had come across Rick Steve's recommendation for the "L" sticker, but opted not ask for one but wondered if I should have.

It makes sense what many of you have said that really the "L" indicates a 'learner' where-as I do have a license and so is inaccurate. Plus, I didn't even realize would cause hassles with extra spot-checks and possibly not able to drive on motorways. So, it looks like I will again not ask for the learners sticker.

Thanks again to all for advice!

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