Friday, April 14, 2017

Driving Laws in the UK

If you're planning to book a rental car in the UK during your next vacation, becoming well-versed in local driving laws in the UK is crucial to enjoying a hassle-free road trip. In this section of our United Kingdom travel guide, we'll delve into the UK driving laws and child safety guidelines to assist you in avoiding fines while simultaneously maintaining a high level of comfort and safety while on the road. For additional information and answers to your questions, visit our UK Car Rental FAQ page.



  • In the UK (and much of Europe for that matter), a child must use a child seat until they're twelve years old, or at least three and a 3.5 feet tall. Child seats in the UK must meet European Union guidelines, indicated by a large label showing a capital 'E' in a circle.
  • Talking on the phone while driving is illegal in the United Kingdom and can net you a minimum £100 fine.
  • Turning on a red light is forbidden in the United Kingdom. Whereas you may be able to make a "right on red" in the USA or Canada, you may only make a "left on red" in the United Kingdom when there is a specific arrow designating that you may.
  • Passing in the left lane (which is the slow lane in the UK) is forbidden in the UK except when the right lane is traveling slower than the left. If you do pass on the left lane, return to the right as soon as possible.
  • Insurance for your British rental car is required by law and can be attained through your credit card company, purchased locally upon arrival, or can be purchased in addition to your car rental when you book with Auto Europe.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other mind-altering substances, including prescription medications, is strictly prohibited and met with zero tolerance in the United Kingdom. Similar to the US, a legal blood-alcohol concentration in the UK must be below 0.08%.
  • Driving laws in the United Kingdom are dictated by the Highway Code, a set of mandatory rules and regulations, guides, recommendations, and other information for anyone who may be driving in the United Kingdom. The Highway Code applies to drivers, cyclists, commercial vehicle drivers, pedestrians, and even animals, so it's applicable to anyone (or anything) that may be on the road.

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