Please remember that driving in the UK is always on the left-hand side of the road.


The UK has a large number of roundabouts. While European visitors may be familiar with them American visitors may not. The simple rules of a roundabout are:

Always give way to all traffic from your right.

Always travel in a clockwise direction even if it means you have to go all the way round to get to your junction.

Driving Licence and Insurance

The holder of an overseas driving licence may, for a period of up to one year, drive a motor vehicle in Britain. EU drivers must possess a driving licence and either a passport or ID card.

Drivers outwith the EU must possess a valid domestic driving licence with English translation. If English translation is not available, an international driving permit is required in addition to a domestic driving licence. A passport must also accompany a domestic driving licence.

Speed Limits

On UK roads the speed limits are always in miles per hour and unless stated are:


  • Built up areas
  • Single carriageway
  • Dual carriageway
  • Motorway


  • Built up areas
  • Single carriageway
  • Dual carriageway
  • Motorway

Seat Belts

It is compulsory to wear seat belts, both front and rear. Small children and babies must be restrained in a appropriate child car seat or carrier. Child car seats should be ordered when you book your car. See our child safety fact sheet for more information.

Drinking & Driving

It is an offence to drink and drive. If caught and convicted, the criminal penalties are severe.

Using mobile phones

It is an offence to drive a vehicle whilst using a mobile phone. Police can issue spot fines, which may be as high as £1000.

Bus Lane Enforcements

Bus Lane Enforcement has been introduced in a number of cities across the UK to help improve the free flow of congested bus lanes, improve the overall traffic flow on city roads and improve road safety.

For more information on the specific bus lane enforcement regulations and penalty charge notices that may apply in the city you are driving in, please visit the cities local council website.