Driving in the United Kingdom, or any new place for that matter, can seem scary and intimidating at first, but after perusing our tips for driving in the UK, you'll find yourself enjoying a hassle-free vacation and driving like a Brit in no time! If you're looking for recommendations on where to stop while on your self-guided road trip, or are looking for more general information about traveling in the United Kingdom, check out our comprehensive travel guide to the UK.
- Driving on the Left Side of the Road
Driving on the left side of the road means many of your normal habits, such as turning, yielding, and knowing what direction to look for incoming traffic, will be backward.
- Local Driving Habits
Driving in London or other large cities, especially during rush hour, can be hectic and other drivers on the road are likely to be less pleasant towards foreign drivers holding up traffic.
- Navigating Roundabouts
If you've driven in New England or Ontario before, you're likely familiar with roundabouts; vehicles already in the roundabout have the right of way in every situation, except when marked otherwise.Take your time, and if necessary, drive around the roundabout several times until you're confident you're making the correct turn in the appropriate manner.
- Avoid City Centers When Possible
A vast majority of automobile collisions in the United Kingdom occur in congested urban areas, and for that reason, Auto Europe advises drivers to avoid city centers when possible, especially if they're still uncomfortable navigating roundabouts and driving on the left side of the road. If you want to drive in downtown London between 7 AM and 6 PM., you'll have to pay a congestion charge of £11.50 per day.
- Utilize Carriageways and Motorways
Also known as highways, carriageways and motorways are the most time-effective and safest way to navigate the UK by car. Highways in the UK are organized by primary and regional destinations, where motorways (larger highways) connect primary destinations such as major cities, and carriageways (smaller highways, typically never more than two lanes in each direction) connect smaller destinations, such as junctions and smaller towns and cities.
Overtaking other vehicles in the UK is a slightly different process than in the United States or Canada, as the law prohibits passing on the left except when the vehicle in front of you is signaling to turn right. The strict regulations are in place to protect other drivers, motorcyclists, bikers, and pedestrians.
- Wear Your Seatbelt
Wearing a seatbelt is a requirement by law for all UK drivers, you'll be fined a whopping £500 if you're found driving without your seatbelt.