Brexit poses several curious problems for non-UK residents. While you don’t have to undergo the process first-hand, you’ll still be impacted by the House of Commons’ upcoming decision.

Going on holidays by car, for example is going to become more difficult for anyone passing through the United Kingdom – specifically for Irish residents looking to visit their neighbours. When the UK’s roadway legalities change, Irish drivers may have to adjust their licences to continue traveling through Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England.

So, whether you’re planning a road trip anytime within the next year, or looking to keep your morning commute as normal as possible, keep the following in mind.


The price of petrol is set to rise

While Ireland doesn’t important oil from the UK at the rate British minister or state, Digby Jones once claimed, it does rely on its British neighbor for some of its petrol. Should the UK manage to leave the EU via Brexit, then you may anticipate tariffs falling down on the UK’s fuel intake – and thereby, Irish fuel intake. This means that fuel prices in a post-Brexit Ireland are going to be higher than they are today.

Partner that threat with the already-weakening status of the Sterling, and future road trips are looking pretty expensive.

That said, not all is lost. The increase in petrol prices isn’t going to be too staggering. At this point, it’s predicted that petrol costs in Ireland will only rise by 3p. Whether or not that number holds remains to be seen, especially with Boris Johnson’s attempts at passing no-deal Brexit thoroughly on the rocks.

brexit for irish people

Your consumer rights may change

A successful Brexit, whatever that may look like, also threatens Irish consumer’s post-purchase rights. Irish consumers who have bought used vehicles in the UK and had them imported may no longer have the same maintenance rights or protection laws that they did when the UK was part of the EU.

For UK residents, this means that it may be more difficult to maintain the non-UK vehicles currently in operations throughout Ireland. It also means that the protections that provide additional security for consumers buying vehicles outside of the UK may no longer be applicable, making those sorts of interactions more complicated and risky for UK residents.

Without the protection of EU compliance, UK residents looking to purchase a vehicle from another, non-UK country won’t be able to apply EU consumer rights in the case of:

  • Violated vehicular contracts

  • Rogue traders

  • Faulty parts

  • Counterfeit vehicles

  • Incomplete service

  • Stolen credit card information

Irish consumers will face similar risks until consumer protection laws are established and enforced within the EU. That said, it’ll be more difficult for Irish drivers to have UK cars repaired while those legalities are hammered out.

The breadth of consumer protection laws and Brexit’s impact on them will depend, of course, on any deal that can be reached between the UK and the EU. In the case of a full break, or a no-deal, then the aforementioned protections will disappear.

brexit for irish drivers

You may need an insurance Green Card

Anyone who makes frequent trips to Northern Ireland may also soon face the need for an insurance green card. These green cards allow EU drivers to operate with their insurance coverage outside of the EU.

So long as you have more than minimum liability coverage, it’s likely that your insurance plan already covers you for this kind of travel. It is still something you’ll want to check for, though, as the House of Commons continues to debate an exit from the EU. If a no-deal Brexit should occur, then the Green Card ensures that any accident you get into while driving in Northern Ireland or other non-EU space will be covered.

insurance green card

You may need to replace your licence

Most Irish drivers currently operate with a licence that allows them to drive throughout all of the EU’s affiliated nations. Should the UK leave the EU, you may need to procure a new licence that allows you to drive through UK space.

However, this change is not guaranteed. As has been the case with many of these speculated changes, the actual legalities will depend on the deal that the House of Commons manages to reach with the EU.

If you’re feeling apprehensive though, you can apply for an international permit with the AA in Ireland. For a cost of about €15, you’ll be able to travel freely to Northern Ireland and Britain, regardless of any legal fallings-out that result after Brexit.

There’s little that can be accurately predicted until the House of Commons moves on a Brexit deal. Given Boris Johnson’s recent failure, the fate of Irish and UK drivers remains up in the air. If you want to get ahead of the game, though, you can look to the speculations above and work with your local AA branch to secure your future travel options.