Are you planning on taking a car ferry to the UK, or Europe from Ireland this summer? Whether you are a seasoned ferry traveller, or someone heading off on your first ferry adventure, we hope you find this article helpful.

And there has never been a better time to consider the benefits of a ferry trip, with recent travel chaos at airports, combined with increased air fares and restrictions in airline capacity.


insure my cars - ferry to europe uk - scenic view


Car Ferries to the UK

Let’s start with a look at the options closest to home. As a first time Ferry traveller, perhaps a car ferry trip to the UK will provide a nice introduction to the joys of ferry travel. Because of its relative closeness by Ferry, it is even possible to use the Ferry for a return day trip.

There are several route options available, depending on where you want to depart from.

  • Dublin – Liverpool: One of the most popular ferries to England, this ferry route is a great starting place for exploring Liverpool, Manchester, and the surrounding areas of Northwest England.
  • Dublin – Birkenhead: Similarly, the Birkenhead ferry offers easy access to Manchester and onwards through the Northwest and to the Midlands region of England.
  • Dublin – Holyhead: One of the shortest crossings from the Republic of Ireland and one of the most popular.
  • Dun Laoghaire – Holyhead: Similarly, this quick car ferry to the UK, docks in North Wales and offers a great starting point for a tour of Wales, or further afield.
  • Rosslare – Fishguard: This is another popular crossing into Wales.
  • Rosslare – Pembroke: Like Fishguard, both ferries offer a great gateway into England, especially for those who use the UK as a land bridge to Europe, perhaps travelling onwards to Plymouth, Portsmouth, or Dover.
  • Cork – Swansea: The only car ferry route offering direct access to the UK from Cork.

from Northern Ireland

  • Belfast – Liverpool: One of only two ferries with access to England from Belfast. The second travels via the Isle of Man.
  • Belfast – Douglas (Isle of Man): Always a popular touring destination, especially during the Isle of Man’s TT racing festival, usually held in May or June each year.
  • Belfast – Stranraer: Another short crossing from Belfast to Scotland.
  • Larne – Fleetwood: This ferry from Northern Ireland gives good access to Manchester, Leeds, and the Yorkshire countryside, renowned for its beauty and tourism trails.
  • Larne – Cairnryan: Another route into Scotland and the North of England.
  • Larne – Troon: The perfect entry point for a tour of Scotland, with easy access to Glasgow and Edinburgh, or as a gateway on your tour of the most famous Scotch Whisky Distilleries.


insure my cars - ferry to uk - baby on board


Considerations when travelling to, or through the UK by Ferry

Since Brexit some travel requirements have changed.

  • Irish Citizens arriving in the UK don’t have to show a passport to a Border Post officer, although they may be required to confirm their identity and nationality by using their passport. The best advice would be to bring your passport, or passport card. For further information see the UK Governments guidelines regarding the Common Travel Area.
  • Driving an Irish car on holiday in the UK is permitted once a valid insurance disc is displayed. The Green Card requirement no longer applies. A valid insurance disk will also suffice for travel within the EU. If you are planning on travelling abroad for an extended period of time, please check with our Car Insurance Help Desk for further information.
  • Duty Free is back! As a result of Brexit visitors returning to Ireland from the UK mainland will have new improved allowances for Duty Free products. See for more details.
  • It may seem trivial to mention the following but having left one legal and monetary jurisdiction for another, possibly arriving late at night and after a long journey – The UK operates using the imperial system of MPH (miles per hour) for their road speed limits and with the pound sterling, as their currency.