Roundabout Rules in Ireland Explained

Posted on December 8, 2023

As a road user, it’s essential to know the roundabout rules in Ireland. They are a common feature on Irish roads. Roundabouts are designed to keep traffic free-flowing. It can cause some confusion for some drivers. We will cover the rules for driving on roundabouts in Ireland. It will be a helpful resource for learner drivers and those who may be unsure about a certain roundabout rule. 

Who has the right of way on a Roundabout? 

The most important thing to remember is that traffic on a roundabout always has the right of way. If you are entering a roundabout, you must yield to any cars already on the roundabout. To do this, you should slow down as you approach the roundabout and look to your left to make sure there are no cars on the roundabout before you enter.

Cars on your right will also have the right of way. So if you see a car on your right ready to take off, leave them through as they have the right of way over you. 

On the Roundabout

Once on the roundabout, you should keep to the left and follow the traffic flow. Do not stop or change lanes on the roundabout, as this can cause confusion and accidents. 

If you miss your exit, don’t panic. Continue around the roundabout until you reach your desired exit again.

When exiting a roundabout, signal your intention to turn right or left before reaching the exit. It notifies other drivers where you are going and allows them to adjust their speed accordingly. Once you are on the exit ramp, you can safely turn off the roundabout and continue.


Roundabouts work very similarly to a clock. When entering a roundabout, you approach from the 6 o clock position. You will enter the roundabout from the left to go clockwise. 

Taking The 1st Exit

If you’re taking the first exit on the roundabout, your vehicle should be positioned on the left side of the road or the left-hand lane if there are two lanes. The first exit is your 9 o clock on the clock. Keep your left indicator on until you have reached your exit. 

Taking The 2nd Exit

If you’re taking the 2nd exit, you are simply following the road ahead. Again position your car on the left-hand side or keep to the left-hand lane if there are two lanes. Road marking or signs will guide you, so keep an eye on this. No indicator is needed when approaching the roundabout. You will signal when you approach your exit to let others know you intend to take the 2nd exit.

Taking The 3rd Exit

If you’re taking the 3rd exit on the roundabout, you will be heading off right. If there are two lanes, you will be positioned on the right-hand side of the road or the right-hand lane. There may be road markings or signs that tell you otherwise, so keep your eyes on the road. 

Remember that you will have to signal left when approaching the exit to inform other road users that you want to take that exit. 

Roundabout Road Markings

You should know that some roundabouts may have different road markings or signs. Some roundabouts have multiple lanes, and you must pay attention to the lane markings and signs to ensure you are in the correct lane for your intended exit. Some roundabouts have signs indicating the specific exits. You will often find arrows on the road to help you navigate to your intended exit. 


Other Road Users

Keep in mind that it’s not just cars that will use roundabouts. You will also find cyclists and pedestrians. They must obey the same rules as other road users but are particularly vulnerable, so drivers should take extra care when approaching and negotiating roundabouts. Also, if you see a pedestrian or cyclist at a roundabout, give them plenty of room and allow them to cross safely.

What to Remember

Roundabouts can be confusing for new drivers, but with a bit of practice, you will soon be able to navigate them easily. Remember to keep to the left, yield to traffic already on the roundabout, signal your intentions, and pay attention to lane markings and signs. Following these rules can help keep yourself and other road users safe on Irish roads.


In conclusion, Roundabouts are a critical feature on Irish roads. If you’re a new driver, ask for help and practice on quieter roundabouts before tackling busier ones. And lastly, always keep in mind to be extra cautious around vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.

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