car insurance in ireland
To legally drive a car in public places in Ireland you need to be insured (and properly licensed). If you're new to Ireland, and driving with a foreign driver's license, you may have a few hoops to jump through to get insurance. The example I give below is from my experience of moving to Ireland from USA (with a Californian driver's license).

Having gone through the car buying process I needed to quickly get insured to be able to drive the car out of the dealership. The first insurance broker company I called took all my details (name, address, DOB, etc) and all the details of the car too (make, model, engine size, transmission type etc), and then finally asked me for my license info. At this point the conversation came to a halt. The broker did not work with any insurance agencies that would insure a driver with a US license! Bummer! A big waste of time, and a lesson learned - the next broker was going to get this information from me first. To save yourself time I suggest you offer this information up front.

The second insurance broker I called was satisfied that he'd be able to find me insurance while driving on a Californian license. When he called back later that day he had a quite favorable insurance price quote for me. I was happy to accept and sign up immediately. However, he needed more information from me first (previous insurance history, copy of license, payment info etc).

Top tip! If you are moving to Ireland and want to drive here, be sure to do the following before you leave for Ireland, or at least before you try to get insurance - ask your previous insurer for a letter (they called it a loss letter in my case) stating that you have been insured for whatever number of years, and get them to detail any claims you had (it's best if there are none). My USA insurer was AAA and this was not a problem for them. It just took a week or so to receive. This letter could end up saving you hundreds of euro/dollars in one year alone, and even more going forward. The insurance companies in Ireland give special discounts to drivers who have had no claims for 5 or more years. This is what's referred to as a "no claims bonus", and it has a HUGE impact on the cost of your car insurance. I was told the difference would be as much as double if I could not produce this letter! No need to tell me twice.

The insurance broker will also need other information from you e.g. a copy of your current drivers license and bank information to take payment from (if you choose direct debit).

Good luck! Any other tips re: getting car insurance in Ireland (for movers) are greatly appreciated. Please add your input in the comments below.

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