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Driving Regulations in UK


Visitors to the United Kingdom may drive rental cars, provided their licence is in Roman characters (see below).

Left, right, left?

The British drive on the left, as in the days of horseback travel this put the "offside" to the edge of the road. All overtaking is, therefore, on the right. Following vehicles are obliged to keep a set distance from those in front and drivers must give way, generally speaking, to vehicles on the right.


There are severe penalties, including imprisonment, for driving with a Blood / Alcohol level exceeding 80 mg per 100 ml

Seat Belts

Seat belts must be worn at all times in both the front and back seats.


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Child Safety

Children under 12 must not sit in front seats - except for infants or young children in baby or "booster" seats.

Speeding . . . don't

Speed limits are rigorously enforced, providing as they do a main source of income for provincial police forces, and special cameras are in use. Speeds are expresd in miles per hour. 1 Mile = 1.61 kilometres and speedometers show both readings.

General speed rules (unless otherwise posted)

2 In towns - 30 mph (48 kph)
2 Major roads bypassing towns - 40 mph (64 kph)
2 Most "B" roads - 50 mph (80 kph)
2 Most "A" roads - 60 mph (96 kph)
2 Motorways - 70 mph (112 kph)

General points on driving in Britain

Books and pamphlets about driving regulatiosn in Britain can be obtained from your local car club, or by accessing this web site.

Seat Belts, front and rear

It is a legal requirement to wear seat belts, both in the front and rear seats. Every individual is responsible for wearing his or her seat belt and can be prosecuted for breaking the law


Children under 14 must wear a seat belt (or use an approved safety seat or harness) - the driver will be prosecuted if they do not. Children under 3 years are not allowed in front unless in an approved infant seat or harness. Rear-facing infant seats must not be used in vehicles with passenger-side front airbags. Infants should be carried in an approved baby seat.

Driving licences

Visitors to the United Kingdom may drive rental cars using their national licence, provided it is in a language which uses Roman letters and numbers. Holders of other licences must also show an International driving permit in English (available through motoring organisations).

Rental companies have differing age restrictions. Minimum age is generally 23 but this varies by company and car type.

Most companies have 'Young Driver' surcharges, typically around £4.50 per day for drivers under 25.

Maximum age is generally 75 years, however this varies by company.

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