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England Driving Laws

european speed limits

When driving in a foreign country you must make yourself aware of any laws or local driving regulations that apply. Breaking these laws or local rule could land you in a spot of trouble with the police, a fine or even points on your driving licence. England Driving Laws are not too dissimilar to other countries but you should always know the local laws before geting behind the wheel.

Below is the information you should be aware of when driving in England.

Driving Regulations

  • Drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  • Always pass (overtake) on the outside (right) lane.
  • Do not block the middle lane if the inside lane is clear.
  • When approaching a roundabout, give priority to traffic approaching from the right, unless otherwise indicated.
  • You must always stop at a red traffic light.
  • At a junction there’s no general priority rule – priority is marked at most junctions.
  • All traffic signals and road signs must be obeyed.
  • All vehicles must give way to emergency services vehicles.
  • The use of a car horn is not permitted in built-up areas from 23:30 to 07:00 hours.
  • Do not drive in bus lanes during restricted hours. See signs by the side of the road for times.
  • It’s illegal to use a mobile phone when driving. If you need to make a call, find a safe place to stop first.
  • The minimum driving age is 17. Most hire car companies require you to be over 25 years of age with some driving experience.

Speed Limits30mph

  • 30 MPH (48 KPH) in built up areas
  • 60 MPH (97 KPH) on single carriageways
  • 70 MPH (113 KPH) on dual carriageways and motorways

Speed cameras are very frequent but there are signs to warn you of their presence.

Useful Phrases

Petrol – Gasoline
Clampers – Your car could be clamped and towed if you park illegally.
Hard Shoulder – Left hand lane of motorway only to be used for stopping in emergencies.
Services – Motorway rest stops.
Zebra crossings – Pedestrian crossings
Excess – Deductible (insurance)
Gearbox – Transmission
Boot – Trunk
Bonnet – Hood
Bumper – Fender
Detour – Diversion
Indicators – Blinkers

Seat Belt Regulations In The UK

It is mandatory to for all passengers to wear seatbelts in the front seat and back seats. The driver can be prosecuted if a child under 14 is not wearing a seat belt or child restraint. 12-year-olds can use adult seat belts as long as they are 135 centimetres tall. Rear-facing baby seats should not be used in a seat which is protected by a front airbag unless the airbag has been deactivated. Not complying with seatbelt laws can be punished by a 30 pound fine which can go up to 500 pounds if there is a court case.

Fuel Costs

Typical Fuel Costs in the UK (August 14)

£1.27.9 Unleaded
£1.35.9 Diesel

Petrol stations work on self service with card payments accepted. Supermarkets such as Morrisons and Asda usually offer the cheapest fuel.

Alcohol & Driving

The alcohol limit is 0.03%. If you are convicted of driving or attempting to drive whilst above the legal limit, the maximum penalty is six months imprisonment plus a £5,000 fine and a driving ban for at least one year.

Our advice if you are driving or plan to do so within 24 hours is, DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL.

Toll Roads

There are some toll roads, notably on the M6 motorway and parts of Wales.
Congestion Zone Charge, An £8 daily charge to drive in central London between 7am-6pm during weekdays (does not apply on public holidays).