Driving in - an international driver's guide
Driving in - An international driver's guide.

Driving in The UK

One of the easiest and best ways to explore the United Kingdom is by driving. However, as it is with every other country, you must get accustomed to the rules and regulations before taking to the roads. Once you have a strong knowledge about the cars, roads and regulations and services offered in the United Kingdom, driving will be a breeze.

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The cars that are available for rental in the UK are right-hand models. The gears are usually manually operated, that is manual transmission cars, and however, upon your request you are sure to get a car with automatic transmission. The transmission is operated by a gear lever along with a clutch that is placed on the floor of the car. The gear shaft is placed between the passenger and driver. In the United Kingdom, cars usually have the handbrake instead of the emergency brake that is normally located in most cars.

The British drive on the left side of the road and overtake from the right. Traffic moves along roundabouts in a clockwise direction.

There are no varying road regulations in different counties and cities. The same rules apply throughout the country. The road qualities are generally good and are made of hard concrete except a few lanes in the country side.

It is extremely easy to follow the roads signs in the United Kingdom which are posted in every accessible area. They are quite easy to follow. Three main types can be found throughout the county. Circles are used for commanding, triangular shapes are used to warn whereas rectangular shaped signs inform the passenger and driver.

Speed limits are measured in miles per hour throughout the United Kingdom. In built up areas, the speed is 30mph at intervals of 200 yards. The speed limit on motorways and dual carriageways is 70mph. These speed limits might change if there is a road sign indicating a lower of higher speed limit. On other types of roads, the limit is 60mph unless otherwise mentioned. The national speed limit is 60mph. Most of the roads including the expressways and motorways have cameras and sensors to detect speed violators. They have the facility to photograph a crime in act.

You must always be sure to carry important documentation such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration and certificate of motor insurance along with your passport. In case the car is not owned by you, you must carry a letter written by owner stating permission to drive. The blood alcohol limit in the UK is 80mg. It is best not being caught drinking and driving.

The drinking and driving laws in the United Kingdom are very strict. If suspected you will be asked to pull over and will be given a breath analyzer test. Violating the law can lead to heavy fines and even confiscation of your license. Therefore make sure you know all the rules before driving in the UK.

Additional Information

(Latest Update: 20/09/2013)


All information on this page is provided as a service to our users. It is not meant to be a comprehensive document, though we try to keep it as updated as we can. We cannot be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies.
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