Monthly Archives: August 2019

Is a vibrating steering wheel spoiling your driving experience?

When your car has aged by some years, there are a few common problems that can rise up and bother you now and again. One such issue that many drivers face is the vibration of the steering wheel while driving. So if you are enjoying a drive and suddenly the steering wheel starts to vibrate, know that the reason can be embedded in a variety of factors related to the car’s mechanism, both major and minor.

In case you are wondering that while driving, what does a continuous vibration in the steering indicates, keep reading as we will discuss the issue in depth through this article. So without much ado let us start by looking into some of the most common causes of steering wheel vibration.

While driving, what does a continuous vibration in the steering indicate?

The steering is a major contact point between the driver and the car. In case something is wrong with the car, the first signs will be displayed on the steering wheel. While an occasional vibration or tremble can be disregarded, a regular occurrence of such an issue definitely calls for attention. For more driving lessons Dublin has to offer contact us.

Issues related to tires

Tire problems are a major cause for vibrations in the steering wheel while driving. Even a slight imbalance in the alignment of the tires can result in a vibrating steering wheel. This can start at lower speeds and increase as the speed rises. If you have replaced your tires, the new tires need to be balanced properly so that the total weight is evenly distributed among them. Unbalanced tires can result in the further problems related to the shock absorbers, tread and other suspension or steering components.

The balance of between the tire and wheel assembly while rotation can be measured in a tire spin balancer and adjusted as needed by a mechanic. Once the wheels are properly balanced, make sure that the four tires have correct amount of inflation and no rough wear. The tires are a complex structure and any inconsistency in terms of elasticity, strength, flexibility or dimension can also affect the overall performance of the car, resulting in vibrations.


If you are driving frequently through rough roads full of potholes, then misalignment can be a major cause that will cause the steering to vibrate. Misalignment happens inevitably with time but you can minimise it by driving within the speed limits set for the car and by not rushing through rough roads. Upon inspection, you might find the tire being worn out in the interior while remaining intact on the outer edges. In addition, if the car pulls in one direction even after the steering wheel is centred, it can be a case of misalignment. Aligning the car will set the wheels and axles in one common direction and eliminate the problem of vibration.

Eroded bearings

Damaged or worn out bearings in the wheel hub can be a cause for the shaky steering wheel. These bearings minimise friction during wheel rotation and also carries the weight of the car. They connect the wheel assembly with the main axle assembly and any issues in the bearing will ultimately affect the drive shaft. This will result in vibrations in the steering column and can also be accompanied by a noise from the wheel assembly at times. While cleaning and lubricating the bearings can solve the issue, in case they are totally damaged, replacement is the only option.

Brake system issues

If the vibrations in the steering and the brake pedal occur during braking the car, it is related to brake system; usually to a case of “warped” rotors. This issue can be more pronounced when the car accelerates, turns or maintains a specific speed for some point. Since in this case the shaking occurs upon using the brake assembly and can even result in a burning odour while stopping the car, it is easier to detect and rectify the issue.

This may be a case of loose connections, worn brake cushions and shocks or weak brake discs. A proper inspection of the entire assembly along with necessary replacements and cleaning needs to be done when such issues are encountered. While inspecting, make sure that the caliper sliders and pads are checked and they can move freely, thereby eliminating any brake drag.

Suspension issues

The suspension system is designed to enhance the comfort of the passengers through an arrangement of pistons, rods and springs. The assembly takes a daily pounding from damaged roads, pieces of debris and various other factors and can get damaged with prolonged use, resulting in steering vibrations. While this issue is not easy to detect and needs proper observation of the vibration patterns, it can be solved easily once detected. If one corner of the car is lower than the others while on a horizontal ground, it can be an issue with a spring. Similarly, there can be fluid leak from the dampers or squeaking sounds while turning, which indicates a damaged ball joint.

Handling steering vibrations in an effective manner

There are some ways to handle the steering wheel vibrations in an effective manner. Being a driver, you may detect certain issues with observation, but critical issues are best left for professionals to ensure a quick correction. Here are a few points that you can take note of to effectively resolve the issue in the best possible manner.

  • Observe the severity and the frequency of the shaking by paying close attention when it occurs. This will help you to find out the root cause of the problem.
  • If the steering wheel shakes at high speed and is followed by any burning smell, it is best that you head to a service centre at the earliest.
  • As a rule of thumb, while investigating the reason behind a steering wheel vibration, you can start by checking the wheels and tires, followed by the alignment check and finally the suspension system.
  • If the vibration occurs at a certain speed, it can be due to the fact that a wheel is bent or a tire is out of round. A wheel and tire assembly that is out of round will have a specific harmonic frequency that changes with speed. When a certain speed is reached, this frequency modulation can overcome the compensation offered by the suspension and the vibrations can be felt in the steering wheel.
  • Do not leave a persistent vibration alone with the hope that it will go away on its own. It will wear out your tires, cause premature wear on suspension components and will affect your peace of mind while driving. In addition, repairs not done in time can always lead to additional repairs and will also affect your driving in a negative manner.
  • For addressing complex problems, it is best to head for the dealers’ service centre or find a mechanic who can address your specific make and model competently.
  • To minimise steering vibration issues, stick to the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer.


These are the major points that will address your question that while driving, what does a continuous vibration in the steering indicate? Your car is an assembly of complex mechanical parts working together and one imbalance can trigger a range of effects that can lead to noticeable problems. So once the issue has been pinpointed, don’t hesitate to rectify the problem at the earliest.

Every detail about the types of driving licenses in Ireland

If you want to drive in Ireland you need to have a driving license or a learner’s permit. Both these documents are issued by the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS), a body whose primary objectives are safety and security. It makes the entire process more convenient while ensuring that the unlicensed and illegal drivers stay off the road. For any application of license or a renewal process, you will have to opt for a face to face interaction in any of the 34 nationwide centres of the NDLS.

The licenses issued for various vehicles are related to the age of the driver and each vehicle type has a certain age-limit set for the drivers. The categories of vehicles that you are permitted to drive is listed in your license and you cannot drive a vehicle beyond that category. Keep in mind that it is a serious offense to drive a vehicle type that you are not permitted to.

There are 15 different categories of driving licenses and learner permits issued in Ireland which are valid for different types of vehicles. These categories deal with various aspects ranging from the age of the driver to the formal trainings required and further to the penalty points. So before applying for your license, it is important to go through these details so that you can make the application in the correct manner.

The list of motorcycle driving licence categories in Ireland

You can apply for any of the four motorcycle licenses by direct access, i.e. without having to hold a license of lower category at first. But one needs to pass the motorcycle theory test as well as the Initial Basic Training (IBT) course, which is designed to teach basic riding skills to learner motorcyclists. A certificate of successful completion will be issued by approved driving instructors which is needed along with the learner’s permit, when you drive your motorcycle. Get detailed lessons from best driving instructors Dublin has to support you with.

The following are the categories listed for motorcycle licenses.

  • Category AM- This is for mopeds and light quadricycles and the age limit is 16 years.
  • Category A1- This category is for motorcycles within their engine capacity within 125 cubic centimetres, a power rating not exceeding 11 kW and a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.1 kW/kg. This section also includes motor tricycles with a power rating not exceeding 15 kW. The age limit for this license is 16 years.
  • Category A2- This section also include motorcycles and the age limit is 18 years. This is for motorcycles with a power output not exceeding 35 kW and a power to weight ratio not exceeding 0.2 kW/kg. It should also not derived from a vehicle of more than double the value of its power.
  • Category A- This category involves motorcycles of 595 cubic centimetres capacity with engine power of at least 50 kW. The category needs an age limit of 24 years. The applications can also be made by those above 20 years of age with progressive access.

The list of vehicle driving licence categories in Ireland

The remaining elven categories deal with vehicles, including buses and trucks. Before you apply for a learner permit in any category, you need to appear for the driver theory test for that category. The tests are computer-based and user-friendly. Essential Driver Training (EDT) is a training course designed to teach the basic skills of driving to beginner car drivers and is necessary before appearing for a driving test conducted by the RSA.

A driver needs to have a car driving licence before applying for a truck or bus learner permit. One has to clear the truck or bus Driver Theory Test along with taking the Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) theory and practical tests in order to obtain the necessary Driver’s Certificate of Professional Competence. This CPC test has been designed for professional drivers throughout Europe for observing good driving and safety standards on roads.

The following are the types of vehicle driving licence categories in Ireland.

  • Category B- This category involves vehicles other than motorcycles, mopeds, work vehicles or land tractors, whose Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) does not exceed 3500 kg. It should have the capacity to carry a maximum of eight passengers in addition to the driver.

The section also includes a vehicle towing a trailer where the MAM of the trailer is not greater than 750 kg.

In case the trailer is heavier than 750 kg, the combined MAM of the towing vehicle and the trailer should not be greater than 3,500 kg. Heavier quadricycles are also included in this category. The minimum age requirement for this license is 17 years.

  • Category BE- This category is for vehicles towing a trailer where the MAM of the trailer does not exceed 3500 kg. The minimum age for obtaining this license is 17 years.
  • Category W- This category includes work vehicles and land tractor with or without a trailer. The age limit required for this license is 16 years.
  • Category C- This license is for vehicles, with or without a trailer, which have MAM values exceeding 3500 kg.  It should be designed for eight passengers in addition to the driver and the MAM of the trailer should not be more than 750 kg. The minimum age limit for this license is 18 years with a CPC and 21 years without it.
  • Category CE- This category has the same conditions as category C and is needed for vehicle towing trailers which have a MAM value greater than 750 kg.
  • Category C1- This category covers vehicles with the same conditions as category C, apart from the fact that the MAM of the vehicle should not exceed 7500 kg. The vehicle should be designed for eight people in addition to the driver. In case of an attached trailer, the MAM of the trailer should not exceed 750 kg. The minimum age limit for this category is 18 years.
  • Category C1E- This category adds to the vehicle combination types of category C1 where the MAM of the trailer is more than 750 kg and the combined weight of the two does not exceed 12000 kg.

It also adds to the vehicle combination types of category B with the MAM of the trailer greater than 3500 kg and the combined MAM value of the drawing vehicle and trailer combined does not exceed 12000 kg.

The minimum age limit set for this category is 18 years.

  • Category D- When the vehicle can carry more than eight passengers including the driver, it comes under this category. In case of an attached trailer, the MAM of the same should not be more than 750 kg. The minimum age requirement for this category is 21 years with CPC and 24 years without it.
  • Category DE- This is an extension of the category D for cases where the MAM of the trailer is greater than 750 kg.
  • Category D1- This section is for vehicles designed for not more than 16 passengers in addition to the driver and the maximum length not exceeding 8 metres. The MAM of the trailer is not to be greater than 750 kg. The minimum age required for this license is 21 years.
  • Category D1E- This category is an extension of the category D1 where the weight of the trailer is more than 750 kg.

Concluding words

So these are the driving licence categories in Ireland which are matched with the various vehicle types that you can chose from as per your requirement.  A point to be noted is that a driving license or a learner permit can also refer to multiple codes that can restrict its use or place an obligation on the driver. You can check the NDLS website to get the list of all the codes and their meanings to clear any doubts about the same.

Driving without an insurance is not the right choice in Ireland

In Ireland, the license is not the only thing that you need while driving, you need an insurance too. Failure to produce a valid insurance while driving will not only result in fines and penalty points, it can also result in you getting disqualified from driving. In addition to that, you also need a current Certificate of Insurance in order to pay the motor tax.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Ireland

Back in 2002, Ireland introduced the system of penalty points and any driving offence will add these points to your license. This was done with the motive of enhancing driver awareness and to reduce the number of road accidents. There is a full list of all the driving offenses which can add penalty points to your license and driving without insurance is a serious one among them. You can check out the full list of offences attracting penalty points in the RSA website. Keep in mind that if you are driving without insurance you can attract the following penalties. Know more from RSA approved driving instructors in Dublin.

  • A fine up to €5000.
  • An addition of 5 penalty points against your license.
  • The court can decide to suspend you from driving or sentence you to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months.

As you can see, driving without insurance in Ireland is not an option that you can choose. Some of the features of the penalty point system are listed below for providing further clarity on the subject.

  • Penalty points can be accumulated when you are served with a notice for an offence that attracts penalty. You opt for paying the fines rather than allowing the matter to be referred to the courts.
  • Penalty points remain against a license for a period of three years. This does not include the period when your license has expired or you have been disqualified from driving for some other offence.
  • If any driver accumulates 12 penalty points within any given three-year period, then he or she will be disqualified from driving for the next six months.
  • These points are not marked physically on the license but hold as a record against the license in the National Vehicle and Driver file operated by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
  • Once penalty points have been added against your license, you will receive a written notification, mentioning the details of your name and address along with the date, time and location of the concerned driving offence.
  • The points will be added against your license record 28 days after the date of issue of the notice. This is because the points can only be applied after you have paid a charge for the offence or have been convicted in the court for it.
  • Once a fixed charge notice is issued against the offence, the offender can either pay it or allow the matter to move forward to the court. An offender has a period of 28 days to pay a fine and a delay in payment within the next 28 days will attract an additional charge of 50 percent. The matter will be taken to court after 56 days of non-payment.
  • Penalty points are applicable for both learner and full driving licences. They stay on the license for a period of three years and you will get a notice once they have expired.

Check out the insurance policies before driving without a license in Ireland

The minimum required insurance is about protecting the “third party” which indicates the other road users apart from the driver. The types of available insurance can be broadly classified into three categories.

Comprehensive insurance

This is the costliest insurance option in the market and it covers a driver for all possible eventualities. This include any damage done to the vehicle irrespective of the manner in which it was incurred, life and accident insurance, tow truck Dublin, loss of personal belongings from the car and the accidents in a hired car. With the number of expensive cars on the rise, more number of people are opting for this type of insurance.

Third party, fire and theft insurance

This is the most popular form of car insurance in Ireland as it provides cover for a range of eventualities at a reasonable price. Apart from the basic choices, there are also additional options available, like windscreen breakage and property damage and locksmith.

Third party insurance

This is the least amount of insurance required by law but it leaves the car owner vulnerable to accidents and any other type of loss. This will not cover for the damage sustained by the car in an accident or any loss due to a fire or a theft.

If you have been unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident with a driver who is without an insurance, here are the best steps you can take.

  • Inform the An Garda Siochana immediately so that they can arrive at the scene and take note of both the parties involved.
  • Notify your insurer about the accident and also submit the other person’s insurance details to them. They will be able to confirm whether the other driver is insured or not.
  • The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland was set to compensate those involved in an accident with uninsured drivers. You need to submit a claims form immediately to them so that they can start the investigation at the earliest.

Insurance refusal

The insurance provider takes into consideration various factors like the age of the driver, the license, the type of car and past driving records before providing you the insurance quotation. It may happen that they may refuse to offer you an insurance, but you can always ask for the reason behind that decision. In case you have been refused by at least three insurance providers in writing, you can apply to the Declined Cases Committee of Insurance Ireland for providing you with an insurance quote.


With multiple insurance providers around, it is quite easy to search for the best quote for your car insurance. Now that you have understood the consequences of driving without an insurance in Ireland and the safety aspects involved with it, make sure that you never drive out without one.

The facts around learner drivers driving unaccompanied in Ireland

When you are using a learner permit for driving in Ireland, there is one statement that you must keep in mind. It says that “A learner permit is not a driving licence.”  As per a new legislation which came into effect on 22 December 2018, any car owner who knowingly lends his vehicle to an unaccompanied learner driver or an unlicensed driver is liable to face prosecution. The Garda Síochána can detain any vehicle if it is driven by an unaccompanied learner.

This new amendment is also called the ‘Clancy Amendment’ based on Noel Clancy who was a major campaigner for the change. In December 2015, Noel’s wife and daughter were killed in an accident that involved an unaccompanied learner driver. Statistics have revealed that more than 125,000 learner drivers with learner permits obtained between 1984 and 2016 have never appeared for an actual driving test. With many young drivers are renewing or “rolling” their learner licenses without appearing for a driving test, there are proposals to reduce long-term dependability on a learner license.

The purpose behind bringing in the changes was to highlight the potential dangers of a learner driving unaccompanied. Such drivers are more prone to accidents due to lack of experience and are more likely to take risks, thereby endangering the lives of other road users. It has also been established that the guidance and support of an accompanying driver is one of the most effective ways to enhance one’s driving skills. For those reasons we are being known as best driving school in Dublin.

Guidelines for learner permit holders while driving

The learner permit holders are bound by some laws for the reasons of safety. These are described below to provide complete clarity on the subject.

  • No learner license holder can be alone in the vehicle while driving and should be accompanied by a qualified driver at all times. This is irrespective of the number learner permits the person has held and the total number of years that he or she have been driving.
  • A person who holds a full driving licence in the same category for a minimum period of 2 years is considered as a qualified driver. A Certificate of Competency received on passing the driving test does not qualify a person to accompany a learner.
  • The only exception to this is in the case when a learner license holder is driving a work vehicle like an agricultural tractor or JCB. If the vehicle has been adopted to carry a passenger, then the passenger needs to hold a valid driving licence for that category for a continuous period of at least 2 years.
  • Motorcycle riders need to check whether they have got hold of their first learner permit on or after the 6 December 2010. In such cases, they need to carry a Certification of Satisfactory Completion along with the learner permit.
  • The vehicle must display an ‘L’ plate both in the front and rear ends. The plate should consist of the word ‘L’ written in red over a white background that is clearly visible.
  • A learner license holder is not permitted to drive on motorways even if he or she has been provided with a certificate of competence.
  • Such a driver is not allowed to carry passengers for payment or reward under any circumstances.
  • Those who hold a learner license for driving vehicles of categories B, C1, C, D1 or D ae not allowed to drive while drawing a trailer. For more information on these vehicle types, you can visit the website of the Road Safety Authority.
  • Along with these rules, it is also important to ensure that the vehicle you are driving is in a safe and good condition. All vehicles which are more than four year old must undergo regular health-checks which are termed as the National Car Test.

The penalties for learner drivers driving unaccompanied

According to the law, when an unaccompanied learner driver is not the vehicle owner, the vehicle could be impounded and owner liable to face a fine amounting up to €1,000. This law applies to anyone who is driving with a learner permit but is not applicable to those who are learner permit holding drivers of motorcycles or of tractors. Unaccompanied driving under a learner license is considered as a penalty point offence and such a driver can be stopped by An Garda Siochana at any point.

For a person who accepts the point offence of ‘Learner Permit holder driving unaccompanied by qualified person’, 2 penalty points are applied. The financial penalty includes a fixed charge of €80 which needs to be paid within 28 days and €120 if paid within 56 days. When the offender is convicted in a court, then a total of 4 penalty points are added, along with a fixed charge of €120.

In the event of your car being taken by a learner license holder without your consent, the legislation allows this to be taken up as defence in the court. The claim has to be supported by the right amount of evidence in the court hearing.

A long term planning

The rules to curb the learner drivers driving unaccompanied on the streets is a part of the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020 which aims to make the roads safer for every user. In case you are a holder of a learner permit holder, make sure that you drive safely while being guided by a qualified driver. It is also important that you apply for a regular license at the first opportunity to enjoy driving responsibly, freely and independently on the streets.

Do keep in mind that beyond the legal requirements, there are also some other factors that a new driver should pay attention to. You can take a look at the list of such points by visiting the website of the Road Safety Authority.

A guide to the process of driving licence renewal in Ireland

For a driver, the driving license is a piece of document that always need to be in possession, while on the road. In case your document is damaged or lost in some way or it has expired, you need to get hold of a replacement or renew it within the earliest span of time. In this article we will focus on the task of renewing a driving licence to help you form a clear idea about the process.

As you might be already aware, the applications for renewal and replacement of driver licences are submitted to the National Driver Licence Service or the NDLS. They offer dedicated service to the customers through 34 nationwide centres. The locations were carefully chosen to ensure that 95 percent of the population are within a 50 kilometre radius of a centre.  The centres also operate through flexible working hours and offer a walk-in service that makes it convenient for customers. The official working hours for the centres are from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 2pm on Saturdays. Know more informations here.

Important points regarding driving licence renewal in Ireland

You can apply for a licence renewal by visiting the nearest NDLS centre or submit an application online. For an online application, you need to have a Public Services Card (PSC) and a MyGovID verified account. You cannot apply online if you have truck or bus category licence or you are above 70 years old.

The following points need to be noted regarding the application for a licence renewal.

  • You can apply for a new licence within three months of the expiry date of the old licence.
  • In case the licence has expired 10 or more years ago, you need to appear for the Driver Theory Test and then apply for a learner driver permit.
  • You need to bring the completed driving licence D401 form along with the old licence in original.
  • A proof of the personal public services number (PPSN) is required for the process.
  • The application fee is €55.00 for a ten-year licence which is provided to all those below 60 years of age. A licence with a validity of 1 year or 3 year will only be provided under special circumstances, like medical reasons, in this age-group. The fee for a three-year licence is €35 and the one-year licence is provided free.
  • Those above 70 years of age can get a 3-year or 1-year licence depending on their fitness certificate and they do not need to pay any fee.
  • In case your address has changed since the last licence was issued, you need to provide a proof of address. This can be done through any household utility bill or a bank or an insurance policy statement which is dated within six months. A letter from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection or Revenue will also suffice. Keep in mind that mobile phone bills are not accepted as proof of address.
  • The Evidence of residency entitlement is required.
  • In case you are suffering from any medical issues, you need to fill the NDLS medical report form with the help of your doctor. The form must be dated within one month of the application. In case the medical form demands it, you may need to provide a Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form.
  • You need not to bring a photo as the NDLS centre will capture your photograph and digital signature.
  • In case you have lost the licence, or it has been stolen, you need to declare it on the form and get it witnessed by a member of An Garda Síochána. Then submit the completed form with an alternate photographic I.D.

Once you know these important points for driving licence renewal in Ireland, you can get the necessary documents ready by downloading the required forms from the NDLS website. Though the process looks complicated, a simple renewal does not take much time once you get the forms in order.

A few tips for driving licence renewal in Ireland

Though the renewal process works smoothly, there are a few steps you can take that will help in speeding up the process.

  • Make an online booking in your local centre in advance as things can get pretty crowded on a busy day. You can pick a centre which offers more convenient booking hours that matches with your schedule. The booking service can easily be accessed from the NDLS website where you can choose a suitable date and time. You will be given a unique number that has to be brought while visiting the centre.
  • If you are applying for a motorcycle licence, you will need to bring the proof of your initial basic training course.
  • Those who are adding a category for a bus or other heavy vehicles like HGV to the licence, will need to bring the necessary certificate of competency.
  • Some new codes have been introduced since 1 January 2017 specifically for those who hold a licence on medical grounds. It is best to go through these codes in the NDLS website to check if they are applicable for you.

Concluding words

With the new range of safety measures that have been implemented since 29th October 2013, a face to face interaction with a Customer Service Agent in an NDLS centre is necessary for a licence renewal. This provides an additional layer of security to the entire process, ensuring that the licence is used only by the person for which it is intended.

In case you are living outside the country for professional reasons and need to renew your licence, there are a set of separate rules for the application process which you can find in the NDLS website. Keep in mind that travelling or holidaying abroad will not entitle you for availing these conditions.

While this article lists out the details of the process to help you out, the NDLS website is also a very good source of information about the method of licence renewal and other details. If you have any further queries regarding other issues, you can call the NDLS helpline during working hours in the number 0761 087 880.

How to change the address in your driving licence in Ireland

 A driving licence is issued with the particular address that you provided at the time of the application. In case you have changed your address in between the years, it is possible to update your licence in a few simple steps. While it is not mandatory to update your licence when you change your address but for the reasons of safety and security, it is advised that you do so. You need to keep in mind that even if you get an updated licence with the new address, the expiry date will remain the same.

As with all other driving licence related issues, you will need to visit a National Driver Licence Service or NDLS centre for a face to face interaction with a Customer Service Agent to get the details changed. With its 34 nationwide centres, NDLS offers a dedicated and customer-friendly service that makes security and safety the top priorities. There are at least one centre in each county of Ireland and they offer the right working hours to make it more convenient for the customers. The working hours for these centres are from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 2pm on Saturdays. In addition, you can choose any one of the centres depending on your preferences of time and place.

The NDLS offers various services pertaining to the change of personal details in a driving licence. These includes change of address, name and even medical details. In this article, we will list down the basic guidelines that will help you in updating your licence with a new address. To get detailed knowledge contact driving instructors Dublin here.

Steps to follow for driving licence change of address in Ireland

Before stepping into your nearest NDLS centre, here are the necessary points that you need to be aware of and documents that you need to collect.

  • Download the driving licence D401 form from the NDLS website and fill it up for submission.
  • Carry the current driving licence with you.
  • If your licence is lost or stolen, you need to declare it in the form and then get it witnessed by a member of An Garda Síochána. An alternative photographic ID card will be needed to complete the submission process in this case.
  • The proof of your personal public services number (PPSN) is needed.
  • Evidence of residency entitlement is also required for the submission process.
  • Evidence of current address which needs to be within a period of six months, is needed in case your current address is different from the one provided to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
  • In case you have a medical issue that is relevant, then fill up the NDLS medical report form with the help of your doctor.
  • The process of updating your licence details is free of cost. In case you want to renew or replace the licence, you need to pay additional fees.
  • You need not to bring a photo as your photograph as well as signature will be captured electronically at the NDLS centre during the interaction.

Apart from these documents, you need to submit a proof of your present address. For this purpose, you can produce any one of the following documents while applying for a driving licence change of address in Ireland.

  • Utility bills arising from service providers of electricity, phone, gas, cable television or broadband.
  • A statement from your bank, building society or credit union.
  • A piece of correspondence from any Insurance company regarding some active policy.
  • Official correspondence from a range of Irish State agencies which include the following: A government department, HSE, CAO, SUSI, An Garda Síochána, public hospital, Residential Tenancies Board, third-level college, training agency, An Post or from the National Cervical and breast screening programmes. NCT reports or reminders, TV Licence, Register of Electors or polling cards are also considered valid.
  • Note that mobile phone bills and statements from store cards/catalogue companies are not accepted by NDLS as address proofs.

No matter which document you choose to provide, it should not be more than six months old from the date of your application for licence update.

Where to apply for the driving licence change of address in Ireland

To submit the application, you need to visit any one of the NDLS centres in person. Our suggestion will be to book an appointment online through the NDLS website so that you can avoid long queues. The booking can be done is a few simple steps where you can not only choose any centre of your choice but also fix the date and time for appointment.

Once the appointment is fixed, you will be provided with a unique number through a text message or mail that will have to be produced during the session. Even if you do not make an appointment, be assured that all the centres offer walk-in service for the citizens.

Final words

Since the days when the paper licence was converted to plastic cards, the entire process has been set up to make the licences more secure, long-lasting and convenient. The face to face interaction in an NDLS centre has been designed to add additional layers of security to your driving licence for making sure that it is not misused in any way.

Even though the process may seem complicated at a first glance with a lot many forms and documents involved, it is not so in reality. Once you make sure about some of the finer details and fix an appointment, you can walk out with your new licence in hand within a short period of time.

The best tips for driving through the fog

Adverse weather conditions are always a challenge for the drivers and fog is probably the worst and one of the most dangerous ones that a driver can face. Even the most experienced drivers can find it challenging to drive through foggy streets. Fog is the reason behind quite a high number of road accidents and pile-ups in Ireland in a year and it is necessary to pay complete attention on the road while driving through the fog.

The best way to deal with driving in the fog is to stay off the road until the weather clears. But in certain case you have to move outdoors even in adverse weather conditions and following some basic safety tips can make a big difference in such cases. Even the most experienced driver can overlook a detail that can make a big impact in a foggy weather. So in this article we will share with you some of the most effective tips about driving in the fog. For more driving lessons Dublin , Contact us now.

What should a driver do when driving in dense fog?

While there are various steps that can be taken to ensure safety while driving in the fog, we will look at some of the most effective ones which can also be some of the most simple. We will start with one of the most fundamental things that can be followed during fog.

Check the weather

When you have to drive out check the weather report in advance. Usually fog passes away in a short time, so you can wait it out instead of taking the risk to drive out in low visibility. There are plenty of apps and websites which offer reliable data about the local weather. It is also important to decide whether taking the risk of driving in the fog is worth the reason. You can postpone your journey as per the weather reports and even cancel the drive if it is not urgent.

Maintain distance

Make sure that you keep enough distance between yourself and the car ahead of you while driving in the fog. With decreased visibility, you braking time becomes shorter and the extra distance can provide you with the added advantage. It may slow you down to some extent but a little extra time is not more important than your safety. Keep in mind that tailing the other car’s rear lights can be a dangerous practice as it will narrow your vision and provide a false sense of security.

Slow speed is the best

You may think that slowing down while driving in the fog is an obvious point but fog can obscure vision which can make many drivers lose the right sense of speed. This is often due to the disorientation caused by the fog and also due to the lack of any object on the road to focus on. So even if you are in a hurry, slow down to ensure that you have plenty of time to apply the brakes in case you need to do so. In some cases, parked cars are very difficult to see through the fog until the last moment as they do not have their lights on. So it is best that you slow down to ensure your safety in the fog.

Headlights on

Make sure that your headlights are on while driving in the fog. Your car can have an automatic headlight that turns on in the dark but the light conditions in a foggy environment may not trigger the right response from the system. So double check to make sure that the headlights are on and also beware of other drivers who are not using their headlights.

In addition, make sure the headlights are in the dipped beam setting to provide the best visibility and also to allow the other drivers to see you. Since fog reflects light, using the brightest headlight setting will reduce the overall visibility and make driving even more difficult. So the dipped beam is the best option to counteract the foggy conditions.

Responsible use of fog lights

One of the most common issue that drivers face in the fog is the incorrect use of fog lights from other drivers. If you do not know the right use of fog lights, check your vehicle’s manual to learn about the correct settings. Front and rear fog lights act differently, so make sure that you know the difference between them while driving. In case the street lights are present, you probably will not have to use your fog lights.

Make sure that you use your car’s fog lights only when necessary as it may blind the drivers behind you. When you are out of the fog, make sure that you turn off the fog light as well as the headlight so that you do not dazzle the other drivers. Remember that your insurers will not pay you for an accident in the fog if it is found that you were driving without the fog lights turned on.

Focus on the road

When you ask the question of what should a driver do when driving in dense fog, the perfect one word answer will be -focus. Driving through familiar roads everyday blunts the attention level of any driver but while in the fog, such a thing can be dangerous. During a drive through the fog, you need to move from cruise control to manual control for the sake of safety. Follow the line markings on the lane to ensure that you stay on the right lane.

Avoid multi-tasking while driving in the fog to concentrate on driving. Stop chatting with your co-passenger, do not focus on the messages on the mobile phone and turn down the radio so that it does not distract you. When the visibility is down to a few metres you need to quieten down the ambience of the car and focus on the road with the best of your ability. If the fog is thick, you can roll down the window and pay attention to the sounds of the road.

If it is risky, stop

If you are finding it extremely difficult to navigate through the fog, especially during the night hours, you can stop the car instead of compromising your safety by moving ahead. There is a high chance that the fog will pass away in a short while and a few minutes are not worth risking your life. When you feel that driving is dangerous, pull over to the furthest side of the road which will be the safest zone. Immediately turn off all other lights except the hazard light and engage the emergency brakes. If you are lucky to find a service station, it will be best to wait out the fog while enjoying a drink. In case you are driving through fog at night, you may need to take short breaks at regular intervals to rest your eyes.

Heater on

The fog can cause condensation on the glass surfaces inside the car and hence it is important to turn on the heater or the defrost function. This will help in reducing the high level of humidity that a foggy weather brings about and remove the condensation on the glass which can affect the visibility to a great extent. Do not get distracted by the action of wiping the windscreen as it will only smear the glass and remove your focus from the road which can be dangerous.

Hopefully this article will answer your question of what should a driver do when driving in dense fog? Fog is not something to be taken lightly when you are driving and even experienced drivers need to stay cautious while driving through foggy terrains. So make sure that you stay alert and drive safely when the fog hits.

The advantages of eco-driving in the present day scenario

With air pollution becoming a big concern globally, the concept of eco-driving is becoming quite significant for drivers at all levels. Statistics indicate that 5 million people across the EU make use of road transport and it generates close to 2% of the total GDP. While roadways are the life blood of the European economy through the countries, carbon emissions and energy efficiency remain a major concern. The exhaust from fuel driven vehicles is a major contributor to the problem of carbon emission as for every litre of petrol combustion, 2.2 kilograms of Carbon Dioxide is produced.

With the European target of 80% CO2 emission reduction by 2050, eco-driving will play an important role throughout Europe. In addition to being beneficial for the environment, eco driving also provides more comfort to the driver and the passengers as well and improves road safety. Small changes made by a driver by adopting some new principles and techniques will enhance the vehicle’s fuel economy and reduce emissions as well.

What can be achieved by the driving style known as “eco-driving”?

Adopting the practices of eco-driving offers numerous benefits to a driver. Some of the major points are highlighted below.

  • For any business owner who uses a fleet of vehicles for daily operation, fuel and vehicle maintenance are one of the major expenditures incurred. Studies have shown that drivers trained with the practices of eco driving can help in the reduction of fuel consumption up to 20 percent. So it is not only advantageous for businesses but for individual car owners too.
  • The eco-driving practices are ideally suited for the modern engines and help them to perform efficiently for a longer period of time. In addition, it is also good for the tyres and the brake assembly of the car. This, in return will help in the reduction of the maintenance cost per vehicle.
  • Eco-driving presents an energy efficient style of driving that reduces the overall carbon emission from the car. There is also the added benefit of the vehicle producing less amount of noise. Eco-driving propagates the use of lower engine rpms and less acceleration, which helps to reduce the overall noise levels by a lot.
  • With concerns about the environment a top priority in most countries, the practice of eco-driving can enhance the image of any brand in the marketing arena.
  • Eco-driving involves a smooth use of the accelerator, steering, transmission and brakes which results in better comfort for the passengers. It also reduces the overall driving fatigue and stress that a driver experiences. On the whole, the practice of eco-driving results in happier and more responsible drivers.
  • Eco-driving emphasises on keeping a greater amount of distance from the car ahead. This results in safer driving practices and less accidents.

The steps involved in the practice of eco-driving

Once we have discussed the answer to the question of what can be achieved by the driving style known as “eco-driving”, let us look at some practices that eco-driving involves. There are some simple rules which are termed as the “golden rules” of eco-driving and we will discuss them in the following section.

Step 1

The first rule advises drivers to keep the right amount of distance from the nearest vehicle and keep a close eye on the traffic flow in order to minimise the use of brakes. It calls for the drivers to anticipate the road conditions and the action of other drivers as much as possible. Maintaining a minimum distance between the cars to 3 seconds will allow a driver to conserve momentum in the best possible manner and will also provide sufficient reaction time.

A simple way to follow this is by stepping off the accelerator while the traffic is slowing down. Driving smoothly without any sharp acceleration and heavy braking is the key. Making use of the car’s momentum by letting the car roll is another effective way followed in eco-driving practices. This will definitely vary from one car model to the other and will depend of the suggestions of the manufacturer. We provide detailed driving lessons Dublin has to offer.

Step 2

This step advises the drivers to drive smoothly at a low rpm with the highest gear possible. Driving at high speeds along with high rpms increase the fuel consumption of the vehicle drastically and hence the use of cruise control is recommended whenever possible. The data gathered by the Automobile Association (AA) in the UK indicates that a car moving at a speed of 136 km/h uses almost 25 percent more fuel than another moving at 112 km/h. It is always prudent to use a sensible gear ratio that enhances fuel economy.

Step 3

The third step recommends shifting to a higher gear by approximately the 2,000 rpm mark. Depending on the traffic situations and the vehicle conditions, early shifting is highly recommended. While driving on flat roads, shifting to 5th gear at 50 km/h and 6th gear at any speed above 60 km/h is advised.

Full throttle acceleration is never recommended and while driving uphill, a suitable gear should be selected to minimise the pressing of the acceleration to its fullest extent. Skipping gears can be beneficial for saving fuel while accelerating in a rapid manner.

Step 4

Make sure that all the tyres of the vehicle have the optimum pressure as advised by the vehicle manual. A deflated tyre will increase the frictional resistance while driving and thereby increase the overall fuel consumption. Check the tyres before any long drive as low tyre pressure is a safety risk.

Step 5

It is best that you avoid any dead weight in your car and remove any object that increases the overall drag coefficient. You can remove the roof racks when they are not in use and use air conditioning sparingly to improve the fuel economy.

In addition to these main suggestions, there are also some other tips that are an important part of the eco-driving practice.

  • A short trip on your car does not allow the engine to reach its optimum operating temperature and thereby impacts the fuel consumption and the overall engine durability. Cold engines also require more fuel per km than warmed-up engines.
  • Do not waste your time in idling an engine as it wastes fuel. Driving off immediately after starting the car will help the engine to warm up more quickly while in action.
  • For most modern engines, it is best to turn them off when the stopping period is more than 20 seconds. This time limit indicates the break-even period when the fuel saved by turning off is more than the fuel needed to re-start the engine.
  • Close the windows while driving at higher speeds to reduce the drag resistance of the car.
  • Plan your car-trips in advance so that you can avoid traffic congestions and choose the most effective route.
  • Make sure that you service your car as per the manufacturer’s recommendation so that it remains energy efficient. Proper alignment and balance of the car components along with the use of the right oils that are low-friction in nature will enhance the overall efficiency of the vehicle.
  • Statistics reveal that 25 percent of all car trips are less than 2 kilometre in length and around 50 percent are less than five kilometres. It is best that you use alternate means of transport like walking, cycling, public transport or car-pooling whenever possible.  Using such means will not only help the environment but a physical activity like cycling will help you to stay fit.


After going through this article about what can be achieved by the driving style known as ‘eco-driving’, you might feel that the practice will slow you down when you are in a rush. This idea is not true at all, as studies have shown that eco-driving takes the same time and at times even less than traditional driving. The small changes of eco-driving can make big impacts in the environment when used by drivers from all around the country. Not only is it good for your car and your wallet, it also contributes a lot to make your area free from environmental pollutants.

So search out the nearest eco-driving training centre near you and enlist for the next course to take your driving skills to the green level.

The new drunk driving laws in Ireland

Driving after alcohol consumption is a serious road safety issue in Ireland and the laws have been updated continuously to eliminate this offence. In an earlier report, it was published that alcohol was the contributory factor in 38 percent of all fatal road accidents in the country between 2008 and 2012. The mandatory alcohol testing through a breath analyser, also known as the random breath testing came into effect in 2006 and has led to significant elimination of the problem.

The Road Traffic Act 2006 gave the Garda, the authority to breathalyse the drivers without the need to form an opinion that they are drunk. The records show that this step was able to save 92 lives in the first year itself. On 26th of October 2018, the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018 came in effect which brought about more changes in the drink driving offences.

A few facts regarding the road accidents in Ireland from past years

These are a few points taken from published research works and reports that highlight the role of alcohol in road accidents.

  • Even though the effect of alcohol is same on all human beings, statistics prove that young male drivers, especially between the ages of 19 to 34 are more likely to be involved in fatal collisions.
  • Alcohol related accidents in Ireland are most likely to occur late at night and early in the morning. The chances of such accidents are also higher on the weekends.
  • Since the introduction of random breath testing, the number of drunk drivers reduced drastically. From 4 out of every 200 in 2006, the number of such drivers came down to one out of every 200 in 2009.
  • In a survey conducted in 2015, one in ten drivers admitted to drunk driving in the past 12 months.
  • Figures from the past years indicate that 38% of all driver deaths and 47% of all pedestrian deaths are a result of driving after alcohol consumption.
  • Men are more likely to drink and drive than the women.

Before considering any options for drinking before driving, a driver should note the following points.

  • While the amount of alcohol one consumes can be controlled, the speed at which the body processes it, cannot be fastened. A standard drink like half a pint of beer or 100 ml of wine takes one hour to get processed in the body.
  • The last drink in the previous night will affect the amount of alcohol in one’s system the next morning.

The details of the drink driving laws

Drinking and driving is not a thing of the past as many people believe and is still a major threat on the roads.  As the level of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) increases, it affects the vital motor and visual faculties controlled by the brain, bringing up serious risks for drivers in action. The Road Safety Authority has taken steps to ensure that those who are appearing for the Driver Theory tests are fully informed about the facts and risks of drunken driving. The test include a mandatory section on driving under the influence of alcohol for both vehicle and motorcycle drivers.

Before going into the new drink driving laws Ireland, let us look into the four separate drunken driving offences classified Under Section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 2010. The offences are categorised between experienced drivers and new drivers. New drivers are those who have a driving licence for 2 years or less and also those who have no valid licence or permit. These are the following four offences listed under the law.

  • Driving or attempting to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place while being under the influence of an intoxicant to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the vehicle.
  • Driving or attempting to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place while being under the influence of an intoxicant with the concentration of alcohol in his or her blood, within 3 hours after so driving or attempting to drive not exceeding the following values.
  • 50 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood for experienced drivers and,
  • 20 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood for other drivers.
  • Driving or attempting to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place while being under the influence of an intoxicant with the concentration of alcohol in his or her urine, within 3 hours after so driving or attempting to drive not exceeding the following values.
  • 67 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine for experienced drivers and,
  • 27 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine for other drivers.
  • Driving or attempting to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place while being under the influence of an intoxicant with the following concentration of alcohol in his or her breath within 3 hours after so driving or attempting drive not exceeding the following values.
  • 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine for experienced drivers and,
  • 9 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine for other drivers.

A violation of these laws can lead to a fine exceeding €5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both. It should be noted that the term “intoxicant” includes alcohol and drugs and any combination of drugs or of drugs and alcohol.

The new drink driving laws Ireland

The Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018 introduced a few significant changes in the law and the updates are mentioned as under.

  • For learner, novice and professional drivers a blood alcohol concentration of 20+ to 80mg will lead to a €200 fine and a 3 months of driving ban.
  • For ordinary drivers, a blood alcohol concentration of 50+ to 80mg will lead to a €200 fine and 3 months of driving ban.
  • For ordinary drivers, a blood alcohol concentration of 80+ to 100mg will lead to a €400 fine and a 3 months of driving ban.

Surveys have indicated that a large majority of the adult population In Ireland are in support of this newly introduced legislation. For more driving training Dublin , Please reach us right now.

What if you are arrested under the new drink driving laws Ireland?

In case you have been arrested under the law by the Garda, the following proofs steps are generally taken

  • You will be informed that you are being arrested for the offence of drunk driving and will be taken to the nearest Garda station
  • You will be informed of your rights and that includes the right to consult with a solicitor.
  • You will be asked for a blood, urine or a breath specimen which will be divided into two containers in your presence and sealed. While one of these containers will be handed over to you, the other one will be send to the Medical Bureau of Road Safety for necessary analysis.
  • The results of the test will be posted to your address and you can also independently analyse your specimen.
  • While using an intoxilyser machine that tests the breath, there will be two printouts, one of which will be handed over to you.
  • If the alcohol levels are found to be above the legal limits, you will be issued with a fixed penalty notice or summons for appearing in the district court.
  • The penalties depend on the amount of alcohol detected in the system and the court also takes into account whether this is your first offence or an advanced one.
  • The above penalties are the minimum ones and the discretion of using the penalties depends on the judge. The maximum penalties, as stated earlier, are €5,000 or 6 months in prison or both.
  • For drugs like cannabis, cocaine and heroin, it is illegal to drive above the specified speed limit.

For further details related to drunk driving offences you can read the Road Traffic Act and visit the RSA website.

Finishing words

Drunken driving can led to a disaster for not only a driver but also for his relatives and family members. A thorough knowledge about the existing laws and showing the right level of responsibility towards one’s own self and the other road users is absolutely necessary at all times. You can discuss the issue with your friends and family members to gain further experience and also to spread the awareness about the dangers of driving under alcohol influence. Considering the severe consequences, we advise that it is not at all worth taking the risk.

Most effective tips for passing your driving test in Ireland

Passing the driving test is an absolute necessity when you want to explore the roads with a valid license and enjoy complete freedom. It is often said that passing the driving test in Ireland for the first time is not an easy task and requires a lot of preparation. We would like to mention that that if you are well prepared and confident, there is no reason for not clearing the test at the first chance.

The driving tests in Ireland are managed by the Road Safety Authority and is based on the EU Directive on Driving Licences. To appear for the test, one must also hold a valid learner permit for a least period of six months. Let us first take a look at the application process and the fees required for appearing in the driving test. We are expert driving lessons provider in Dublin.

Driving test application and fees in Ireland

The application and payment for the test can be submitted online. One can also apply through post by downloading the application form and attaching a cheque, postal order or money order of the necessary amount. These should be made payable to the Road Safety Authority. For filling up the application form you need to know your valid driver number along with the PPS number.

The fees are non-transferable but in case you do not want to proceed with the test, you can apply for a refund within 14 days of the payment. The fees for the various categories are listed below.

  • For license categories A, A2, A1, B, BE, AM and W, the fee is €85.
  • For all other categories, the fees is €120.
  • For a CPC Driving Test (Bus and Truck Category), the fee is €152.

Five reasons people fail the driving test in Ireland

Before going into the driving test tips in Ireland, let us take a look at the reasons that make many people fail to succeed in the test.

  • Lack of observation is one reason which makes driver takes wrong decisions especially at traffic signals and at junctions during the test.
  • Not showing any anticipation in judging the traffic situations and the other drivers including cyclists and pedestrians is another reason.
  • Other common reasons include the failure to make the right use of mirrors while taking off, changing lanes and stopping.
  • Driving very slowly can work against a driver as it indicates lack of confidence and indecision. It also hinders the car’s progress and can affect the other drivers on the road.
  • In the same way, excessive speeding is also not appropriate during a test. Speed limits should not be the target and caution should be exercised as the situations demand.
  • Incorrect use of vehicle controls like the clutch, brake, gears and the steering are a major reason for people failing the driving test.
  • Failure to follow the various traffic lights, lane markings, traffic regulation signs and not displaying good control of the car will work against you.
  • Not using the primary and secondary controls smoothly and taking eyes off the road without displaying reflex action while operating is another point that can work against you during a test.
  • Last but not the least, try to relax and breathe without getting tensed while your skills are being tested. It is best to focus on the road instead of giving much attention to what the tester is thinking about you.

A few effective driving test tips in Ireland

Now that you know about the things to avoid during a test, let us focus on some important points that will help you to get positive results during a test.

  • Do not try to do anything special during the test and try to drive the way you do naturally. It is best to remain confident about your skills as well as honest.
  • Avoid exaggerating any action to gain attention from the tester. Your actions while driving should be timely and natural.
  • Do not listen to the failure stories of your friends or peers as there will always be people who have failed the tests. Such stories will only affect your confidence levels.
  • Book the test date to make sure that it does not coincide with any other important event. It is best to focus all your attention on the test and not make it stressful in any way.
  • During your last driving lessons request your instructor to concentrate on the manoeuvres that you find most challenging.
  • Practice the motions you find difficult in your mind. Research shows that ability to perform tasks involving mental and physical coordination can be perfected by the right use of imagination.
  • Practice driving in a variety of roads and under various traffic conditions, including driving during the night.
  • If your examiner is silent or reserved, do not get affected by it and think that your performance is not being liked. Do not get nervous or try to please him or her by going out of your way. Trust your abilities, concentrate on the driving and give your best performance.
  • Observe your surroundings so that you do not miss and signals or markings and always try to anticipate the action of others on the road.
  • Know the rules of the road thoroughly by studying them as well as the rules of the test.
  • In case you make a mistake, do not dwell on it and move ahead with the rest of the test. In the end, it may not be as serious as you think.
  • Remember to get a good night’s sleep before the test so that you remain fresh and alert during the period of the test.

Final words

So these are some of the driving test tips in Ireland that will help you while appearing for the first time. Apart from these here are a few more points that may help you out.

  • After you have submitted the application, you can check out the waiting times for the various tests in the website.
  • In case you do not find a suitable time for the test you can request your application to be placed in the short notice list.
  • If you need to appear for the test urgently, mark that you are available for short notice cancellation in your application.
  • If you have applied and still not feeling confident you can take help from the Approved Driving Instructors.
  • Even after passing the test, it is necessary that you keep yourself updated with the road safety rules and any updates about the existing laws.

Hopefully these points will help you to prepare for your test in the best possible way by making the perfect use of your driving skills. All the best.