Considered one of the world's top vacation destinations regardless of season, taking a self-guided tour of the United Kingdom is arguably the most convenient and affordable way to explore this diverse and dynamic region. In order to make the absolute most of your time in the United Kingdom, a car rental is a necessity, as it allows you to explore wherever your heart desires, at a pace that suits you. Check out Auto Europe's extensive travel resources and comprehensive list of travel tips to assist you in preparation for your upcoming road trip in the UK. We've got all the information you'll need about the driving age in the United Kingdom, local license requirements and more so that you know if you're eligible to rent a vehicle in the United Kingdom.
Like many other European countries, travelers from the United States and Canada can pick up a vehicle in London or any other location in the United Kingdom and drive off the rental agency lot with a domestic driver's license that is in good standing and has been valid for at least one year. Additionally, a passport must also be produced if the driver is not a citizen of the United Kingdom. That being said, it is highly recommended that travelers planning to drive in the United Kingdom acquire an international drivers permit (IDP), which can be purchased from your local AAA or CAA branch for only $15. While an IDP is not necessary to rent a vehicle in the United Kingdom (as long as your domestic driver's license is in English), an IDP serves as an internationally recognized form of identification, which can be a huge asset when trying to confirm your identity with the police or any other authorities.
The legal driving age where one can drive a vehicle in the United Kingdom is 17, although there are some age requirements to rent a vehicle. Drivers between the ages of 22 and 25 will be required to pay a "young driver surcharge", which varies by cost depending on the supplier of the vehicle and the value of the vehicle that is being rented. In addition to paying the young driver surcharge, young drivers may also be required to produce a letter from their insurance company stating they have been accident free for the past 5 years. When booking your reservation over the phone or online, be sure to thoroughly read your voucher and terms and conditions for any details regarding potential fees for young drivers.
In addition to young drivers, some car rental companies can be strict regarding maximum age limits. In the United Kingdom, drivers over 70 must have their doctor's approval as well as permission from the BMV (bureau of motor vehicles). If you're over 70 years old and planning on renting a vehicle in the UK, you should have no issues, but still be sure to confirm the rental agency you're renting with allows drivers over 70 by contacting an Auto Europe agent.
This gent got the OK from his doctor and the rental agency,
make sure you do too if you're 70 or over!
As you've likely determined, license requirements and driving age vary by each individual rental car supplier, so it's crucial you do your homework and find the car rental company that will both allow you to rent a vehicle, and will allow you to do so with the lowest financial impact. As an international travel broker with over 60 years experience finding clients the perfect vehicle, Auto Europe is well prepared to help you save money by leveraging our longstanding partnerships with our rental partners in order to get you the best deal possible when it comes to finding the right car. Contact Auto Europe today, toll-free, at 1-888-223-555 to discuss any questions you may have about driving in the United Kingdom or to simply get a free quote using the secure search form on the left-hand side of this page.