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Home > United Kingdom > Driving In country

Driving in the United Kingdom

Before you pick up your car hire in the United Kingdom, it is worth noting some of the rules and regulations about driving in the UK.

Driving license requirements in the UK

Visitors to the United Kingdom may drive rental cars using their national licence, provided it is in a language that uses Roman letters and numbers. Holders of other licences must also show an International driving permit in English (available through motoring organizations). The authorities require that you carry your drivers license with you at all times.

Age requirements for driving in the UK

Car hire companies employ age restrictions, which can vary across companies. Please check your quotation for exact restrictions, as there may be an extra fee for drivers below the minimum age or over the maximum age.

Parking in the UK:

  • Parking restrictions are shown on roadside signs
  • Do not park where there are yellow lines on roadside. You should not stop for any reason where there are double yellow lines no roadside.
  • Parking metres and 'Pay & Display' machines are in use in the UK. Maximum time allowed is usually 2 hours
  • Fines for parking offences can be severe.

Tips for driving your hire car in the UK

  • Drive on the left
  • Overtake on the right
  • Drinking and driving incurs heavy fines or prison sentences so we advise you not to consume any alcohol prior to driving.
  • Speed cameras and radar are in heavy use throughout the United Kingdom
  • Penalties for speeding and dangerous driving are severe and can include imprisonment
  • Rental companies have the right to charge the driver's credit card for any fines incurred whilst using the rented vehicle
  • Seat belts must be worn at all times (front and back seats)
  • Children under 12 must not sit in front seats - except for infants or young children in baby or booster seats. The vast majority of UK drivers are polite and courteous. Please respect this.
  • Do not argue with police. Be polite, be patient. Address police officers as 'Sir' or 'Madam'.

Fuel types available in the UK:

  • Unleaded Super 95/98 Petroleum (gasoline)
  • Diesel
  • Check carefully before filling whether your rental car uses petrol or diesel. If you make a mistake do not start the vehicle as severe damage may result and you will be liable for repair costs. Inform service station staff who will assist in arranging for the tank to be drained and refilled with the correct fuel
  • Virtually all service stations accept most types of credit or Debit / Switch cards for fuel payment - but check before filling up. Some do not accept American Express or Diners.

Speed Limits on UK roads:

Cars and motorcycles Built-up areas
Some roads outside towns
Some roads outside towns
Major roads outside towns Motorways
30 mph (48 kph)
40 mph (64 kph)
50 mph (80 kph)
60 mph (96 kph)
70 mph (112 kph)

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