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Visitors Driving in the UK

  • The United Kingdom consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some of the rules referred to below apply to driving in England, Scotland and Wales only - Northern Ireland has some slightly different rules.
  • In the United Kingdom you drive on the left side of the road.
  • Use this Guide from the government website to see if you can drive in Great Britain on a non-GB licence. EU residents can drive in the UK on a full licence issued by their home country subject to the same conditions that apply to UK licence holders. In general, visitors from all other countries who possess a valid driving licence from that country will be able to drive in the UK for a limited period, usually up to 12 months.
  • In the UK imperial measures of speed and distance are used so speed limits and distances are in miles per hour (mph). 5 miles is equal to 8 kilometres.
  • If you are driving a left hand drive car be especially careful when setting off from service stations or restaurants on the right hand side of the road. Remember to drive on the left.
  • Take care when overtaking - allow more space between you and the car in front so you can see further down the road ahead.
  • Blood alcohol levels above 80 mg per 100 ml mean you cannot drive legally. Rather than present you with meaningless figures relating to blood/breath alcohol levels, our advice is if you're driving, don't drink.
  • When approaching a roundabout give way to traffic already on the roundabout, on your right, unless signed otherwise.
  • Speed limits, shown below, are implemented rigorously. Mobile radar traps are frequent, with many fixed cameras installed by the roadside. The speed limit on non-regulated roads which are not motorways is 60 mph (102 km/h). Non-regulated motorways and dual carriageways have a limit of 70 mph (108 km/h). Such non-regulated speed limits are shown by a circular white sign with a black diagonal line across it. All other speed limits are signed and the limits shown below are over-ridden by such signed limits.

Speed Limits
Motorway
Open Road
Dual Carriageway
Town
United Kingdom
70 mph (110 km/h)
60 mph (102 km/h)
70 mph (110 km/h)
30 mph (50 km/h)