Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in the UK

Places like England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland are the personal favorite of many foreign visitors of the United Kingdom. The UK itself may be small, but certainly not short of various breathtaking landscapes and memorable cultures ready for anyone willing to explore them. There’s so much heritage, blended from various histories and traditions, that to explore them all is to do so independently and freely.

This is why going around the United Kingdom by car is perhaps the best way to maximize your stay in the country. The UK has really great road infrastructure to take you to all the famous sites you probably won’t be able to get to by public transport. Indeed, driving in United Kingdom is ideal for the independent traveler seeking flexibility and comfort in his or her plans.

You drive a car when you are 17, however, when hiring a car, the minimum driving age is 21, although some regions require you to be at least 25 years old. There are areas that also impose a “young driver’s” surcharge on those between 21-22 years old. One must have a full driver’s license for at least 1 year to be able to drive. NA residents don’t need an IDP, but it’s better that you do.

Take note that in the UK, they drive on the left and the driver’s sit on the right side of their cars. If this is new to you make sure you are familiar with your rented car and its controls before you head out.

As you head out, keep in mind that speed cameras are around to check your speed limit compliance, so stay within these limits to avoid getting fined. Double lane highways have a 70 mph limit, Singe Lanes have a 60 mph limit, country roads have speed limits of 40-50 mph, and the city roads have it at 30 mph. For driving regulations, the maximum BAC for drunk driving in United Kingdom is 0.08%, so it’s better off to play smart and not drink and drive while you’re on vacation. Always wear your seat belts and provide child passengers with the appropriate safety equipment. Take note that it’s illegal to use your mobile phone while driving in United Kingdom.

In the UK, U-turns are allowed except when they are expressly prohibited by some road sign or otherwise, so watch out for vehicles who will do this, in case you’re not accustomed to seeing many vehicles U-turning on the roads.

Patience will be a virtue on rural roads, as traffic can get congested here. Try to stay in the line and don’t attempt to overtake – chances are, you’ll just make the traffic worse for everybody. When on a dirt road that only allows for one car to pass at a time, make sure you use the shoulders of the road to give way to other cars.

Headlights are required to be on during the day. This will also help you during foggy conditions.

Remember that valid parking spots usually have a “pay and display” system, where you pay for the parking and them put the parking receipt on your car’s dashboard. Violating this rule will entail fines and possible clamping, especially in large cities.

Summary

The UK has really great road infrastructure.
You drive a car when you are 17, however, when hiring a car, the minimum driving age is 21.
Drive on the left and the driver’s sit on the right.
There are many speed cameras.
Motorway and dual carriage ways have a 70 mph limit, singe Lanes have a 60 mph limit, country roads have speed limits of 40-50 mph, and the city roads have it at 30 mph.
Always wear your seat belt and provide child passengers with the appropriate safety equipment.
It's illegal to use your mobile phone while driving.

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