If you are planning on driving in the United Kingdom in a car rental you might not know all of the rules of the road. We’ve combined some of the basic information here, but be sure to read up before you pick up your rental car to avoid surprises while driving.
Rules and Regulations
- Driving in the UK is on the left-hand side of the road and you overtake on the right.
- Seatbelts should be worn by all of the vehicle occupants.
- Children between 3 and 12 years old and under 4 feet 4 inches in height must use the correct child restraint.
- Children under 3 years old must be fitted with the correct child restraint appropriate for their weight.
- Drinking and driving: The maximum amount of alcohol allowed in the blood is 0.08%. There is a penalty of up to £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment and 12 months withdrawal of driving license if it is a first-time offense.
- Use of mobile phones or other devices while driving is strictly prohibited.
- Motorists must use headlights or front and rear fog lights when visibility is seriously reduced to around less than 330 feet, use dipped headlights at night in built-up areas, and use their headlights at night on lit motorways and roads with a speed limit in excess of 30 mph.
Speed Limits in the UK
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the general speed limits in the United Kingdom before driving there. Speeds are posted in miles per hour, just like in the US. And while the limits below are a good base, be sure to look out for signs marking special speed zones.
|Within city limits:||30 mph|
|Outside city limits:||60 mph|
What to Bring Along
Although it is not compulsory, it is recommended that you carry a warning triangle, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, and a reflective jacket to wear in the event of a breakdown. Motorists should not place a warning triangle on a freeway in the event of an accident or breakdown.
Driving in Congestion Zones
If you are driving in London, don’t forget that there is a congestion charge in the central part of the city. This toll is charged to anyone who drives or parks their car in central London on weekdays (Monday through Friday, excluding public holidays) between 7 am and 6 pm.
Rent a Car in the UK with SIXT
With dozens of locations throughout the UK, you will never be far from a SIXT branch. Whether you are traveling to London, Glasgow, Belfast or somewhere else, our knowledgeable staff can answer any lingering driving questions you might have before you get on the road.