History greets you on the roads of the United Kingdom. It may take a little time to adjust to driving on the 'other side of the road', but the sights are well worth the effort. Visit Stratford-on-Avon the birthplace of William Shakespeare or drive to the White Cliffs of Dover in the south. Pick-up your rental car in London to see some of the most historic castles in the world - all easily accessible by car.
Rules of the Road
Traffic travels on the left and you always want to turn left when entering a roundabout (traffic circle). Cars are equipped with the steering wheel on the right hand side of the vehicle.
Gasoline is called petrol in the United Kingdom. Some gas stations found along the motorways are open 24 hours.
There are a limited number of toll highways in the United Kingdom and all car users entering the city center of London are charged a congestion fee during week days.
Speed limits in the United Kingdom are as follows:
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.
Finding adequate parking for your rental car in the UK can be a chore, depending on where you're attempting to find parking. Attempting to park on the street in a large urban center can be a logistical nightmare, as meters may not be accurately marked with maximum parking time or the appropriate amount of payment required to park for a certain amount of time. Additionally, one way street grids, strange road markings, high parking prices, and urban congestion zones make parking in the many cities and towns of the UK tricky at best.
For the above reasons and the general lack of street parking in UK cities, you'll often be searching for car parks and garages as an alternative to parking on the street, where convenient, free, and safe parking is more-or-less non-existent. While reasearching trends in seasonal crowds for cities like London may help you judge the best time to travel to England, it is safe to assume that parking will be relatively difficult in downtown areas throughout the UK at any given time. Remember if you see a red line painted on the curb or a double yellow line, parking is prohibited.
Parking Tickets in the UK
If you do manage to find parking on the street, you're subject to a wide variety of strict parking regulations in the United Kingdom. If you overstay your allotted maximum parking time, you'll likely return to your car to find a ticket, a clamp, or worse, that your vehicle has been towed and impounded, depending on the nature of your infraction. If you park in a no-parking zone, handicap, or loading zone, it is likely your rental car will be either towed or clamped. For these reasons, we recommend utilizing the many parking garages and lots found throughout the UK, and utilizing "park and ride" programs in urban areas, when appropriate.
Parking Fines in the UK
If you neglect to pay parking fees, you'll likely receive a ticket that you'll then have to pay either by check, credit/debit card, or cash at a police or parking bureau office. If you do receive a parking ticket or any other type of infraction, it's recommended you immediately contact your rental company and arrange a payment plan if you're not planning on paying the fine up front.
Are you concerned about finding a place to park? Check out the online tool Parkopedia for more advice and local, safe parking recommendations.
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 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.
Exploring the UK by Map
Whether your plans include visiting the stunning coastline or prefer to tour the mythical landmarks sprinkled across Great Britain's countryside, our UK map will help you arrange a visit to all of your chosen destinations with ease. Auto Europe has been assisting travelers for more than 60 years now and we urge you to take advantage of this detailed map of Great Britain, which highlights landmarks, restaurants, hotels, and other attractions throughout the country. You certainly do not want to be stranded while you are on vacation, and whether you're on the road, researching the best time to visit Europe, or in the early stages of planning your trip, we hope that the use of this UK map helps make your trip to the UK easier.