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The Complete United Kingdom Driving and Rental Guide

Consisting of England, Wales, Scotland and North Ireland, the United Kingdom is renowned for its beautiful natural sceneries and a wide mix of architectures, making it an attractive destination country to discover by car. Here are a few basic driving instructions and tips to help you serenely prepare your journey.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

In the United Kingdom, driving is on the left-hand side of the road and overtaking is on the right. Mobile phones cannot be used to call or text while driving. On Roundabouts, drivers on the right have right of way. 

Drivers should remain alert on countryside’s roads, as farm animals and agricultural vehicles can turn out to be difficult obstacles to pass. 

Speed Limit

There are speed limits of 30 mph(48 km/h) on urban areas, 60 mph(96 km/h) in rural areas and 70 mph(112 km/h) in motorways unless signs say otherwise. 

Traffic Signs

Traffic signs used in the UK include signs giving orders, warning and indicating direction or information. Here are some frequently used signs in the UK. 


Regulatory signs feature a circular shape with some exceptions. 

UK Traffic Sign Give Priority to Vehicles from Opposite DirectionGive Priority to Vehicles from Opposite DirectionUK Traffic Sign Give Way to Traffic on Major RoadGive Way to Traffic on major roadUK Traffic Sign No Vehicles Except Bicycles Being PushedNo Vehicles Except Bicycles Being Pushed UK Traffic Sign No OvertakingNo OvertakingUK Traffic Sign No WaitingNo Waiting

UK Traffic Sign No StoppingNo Stopping
(Clearway)

Warning signs are mostly triangular with a red border.

UK Traffic Sign RoundaboutRoundaboutUK Traffic Sign Uneven RoadUneven RoadUK Traffic Sign Two-way Traffic on Route Crossing AheadTwo-way Traffic on Route Crossing AheadUK Traffic Sign Wild AnimalsWild AnimalsUK Traffic Sign Level Crossing WIth Barrier or Gate AheadLevel Crossing WIth Barrier or Gate AheadUK Traffic Sign Level Crossing Without Barrier or Gate AheadLevel Crossing Without Barrier or Gate AheadUK Traffic Sign Level Crossing Without BarrierLevel Crossing Without Barrier

Information signs in the UK are rectangular with various colour backgrounds.

UK Traffic Sign Primary Route Forming Part of a Ring RoadPrimary Route Forming Part of a Ring Road

UK Traffic Sign Entrance to Congestion Charging ZoneEntrance to Congestion Charging ZoneUK Traffic Sign Hospital Ahead with Accident and Emergency FacilitiesHospital Ahead with Accident and Emergency FacilitiesUK Traffic Sign Tourist Information PointTourist Information Point

Click here for a complete road signs guide in the United Kingdom.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

All passengers over 12 or 13 years, or over 135cm tall must wear a seat belt at all times. Failure to do so could result in a fine up to £500.

Booster Seat Laws

Children until the age of 12th or the height of 135cm should be placed in an appropriate seat for their height and weight.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll

Parking

· Forbidden Parking


Finding parking space in town and city centres can prove difficult, especially in the centre of London. Parking your car in the following spots is strictly forbidden and could result in a fine:


- Beyond the time restriction marked on poles, lampposts or even screwed onto adjacent walls of buildings with a single, continuous yellow line along the kerb


- With double, continuous yellow lines along the kerb, which indicates no parking at any time

United Kingdom Double and Continuous Yellow Lines(Image from alphamarkingservices.co.uk)


· Paid Parking


White marked bays with white markings indicate a metered street parking. These are generally "pay-and-display" parking for which a ticket needs to be purchased from an adjacent machine, and displayed on the car’s windshield or dashboard. 


Be careful to check the "controlled hours" which are marked on the payment machines and on adjacent signs (again, usually on lamp posts and on walls). Parking outside the controlled hours is free.

United Kingdom Paid Parking Signs

(Image from eppingforestdc.gov.uk)


When finding a parking spot, we strongly suggest you not to let the absence of yellow lines lull you into a false sense of security, and always look for parking signs or meter machines.

Fuel Prices

The average value for the United Kingdom gasoline price during the period from August to November 2017 was 1.21£ per litre, while diesel is 3 cents higher.

Toll

Currently, there is a single major road - the M6 Toll - and a small number of bridges and tunnels where tolls are collected. Each toll road and bridge in the United Kingdom has its own fee, varying and depending on the type of vehicle you are driving. Fees are collected at toll gates and can be paid in cash or by credit card or by fuel equipment for automatic toll payment.

United Kingdom Toll Road(Image from alamy.com) 


Some car hire companies will debit your credit card in order to pay the tolls on your behalf if you missed paying one (depending on different car hire companies). If you have any questions concerning toll fee billing, feel free to contact EasyRentCars' 24/7 customer service team for help.


Additional Tips

In London, the Congestion Charge is a £11.50 daily charge for driving a vehicle within the charging zone between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday. Usually, the congestion charge will be collected and informed by the car hire company at the rental desk. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

Except for Scotland – whose limit is set at 0.05%, other locations within the UK have a legal blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08% per driver. Driving over the alcohol limit can result in a penalty up to six months of imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000 and a minimum of twelve months' disqualification. 

Traffic Fines

The minimum speeding fine for an infringement is £100. A notice will be sent to the car’s registered keeper by the enforcement authority. In a renter’s case, the notice will be sent to the car hire company and passed on to the renter. 


Parking tickets usually need to be paid within 28 days. In some cases, the fine is reduced by 50% if the payment is made within 14 days. Failure to pay the parking tickets within the given period will result in the penalty notice being passed onto the car hire company.


In some cases, the car hire company will debit your credit card for the penalty fee and add an administration charge. It is advisable for you to contact EasyRentCars’ customer service team if you believe you have been charged incorrectly. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

All drivers must be in possession of a full driver's licence, many car hire companies may require driver's licence held for at least 2 years. The minimum age generally to rent a vehicle in the UK is 21 years old. But the age restrictions may vary by different car categories. 

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. EasyRentCars.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /

L.Goody

December 4, 2019 Destination: London

10Apart from the walk to bus stop 12 at Gatwick and a lengthy wait for the shuttle.

The staff were very helpful and friendly. I will definitely use again

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December 4, 2019 Destination: Belfast

9.7Excellent

Excellent, just a short queue at the check in desk

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December 4, 2019 Destination: Birmingham

10Excellent

Excellent company

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December 3, 2019 Destination: London

5Not good

After a long haul flight arriving at night, I was kept waiting in an empty waiting room for almost 1 hour. When I eventually got served and was handed the EasiRent paperwork, the man informed me that EasiRent had to hold a "blocking fee" of GBP1,500 on my credit car in case of an accident. I told him I had paid additional fee for nil excess and I even showed him the paperwork but he still insisted on this fee. I was basically told that if I did not agree to the fee, then I would not be allowed a vehicle. I had no option but to agree, as I needed the car to drive a further 2 hours. When I looked over the car the next day in the light, it was extremely dirty not having been vacuumed inside, dirty windows and poor quality windscreen wipers. Overall, not a good experience with EasiRent and I am sorry to say, that I would not recommend them or use them again.

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Lesley

December 2, 2019 Destination: Northampton

10Quick and easy

Friendly and helpful staff

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S.Chapman

December 2, 2019 Destination: Belfast

10Great

Good value for money.

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Renae

December 1, 2019 Destination: London

6Not the best range of cars

First of all they didnt have the ford focus I asked for, the man informed me they only had one which wasnt in use at the moment and havent been in use for some time.I didnt feel comfortable driving the clio so I asked for it to be change the man cleaning the car had no problem with this however the man on the desk did and started arguing with his colleague right for front of me he was very aggressive and unprofessional and it was quite scary to be honest

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Stuart Youngs

December 1, 2019 Destination: Edinburgh

6.7Poor

Customer service was rude and there was a large crack in the windscreen. They had no other cars apparently so we had to take it.

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R.Gately

November 30, 2019 Destination: East Midlands

9.3Easy and very affordable. Lovely car as well.

Car was in great condition.

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November 30, 2019 Destination: London

6.7Average

There is an awful lot of extra areas for making more money from cleanliness of car on return, extautionate rate if you get a ticket. Thankfully I did not have any issues on return. One really nice counter staff saved the day, whilst the manager was pretty poor on customer relations.

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E.Horopciuc

November 29, 2019 Destination: London

5.3bad

bad people

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Hendy

November 29, 2019 Destination: Edinburgh

10Excellent

Good Service

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Darren OBrien

November 29, 2019 Destination: Manchester

10Great rental at a great price

Had a GPS and we didn't even ask for one :)

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S.Hussain

November 28, 2019 Destination: London

7Bigger car given compared to what was booked, a pleasant surprise

Good value for money

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November 28, 2019 Destination: Leeds

10Super

Brill

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J.More

November 28, 2019 Destination: Leeds

10Super service

Fantastic as isual

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J.More

November 28, 2019 Destination: Leeds

10Easy and perfect booking

Super experience!

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J.More

November 28, 2019 Destination: Leeds

10Great all round

Great service - quick and easy

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November 28, 2019 Destination: London

7.7Disappointing customer service on refunds, guess there hoping customers forget and keep profits.....

Been 1 month and still waiting for deposits to be returned. Been on website and says don’t chase us up for deposit returns. If you send an email it says manager will reply with 14 days. What sort of service is this it’s 2019 not 1944

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Jo1971

November 27, 2019 Destination: Leeds

10Another great experience

Great service yet again from the Easirent team

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A.MARTIN DORADO CALVO

November 24, 2019 Destination: Ayr

6.3Poco satisfactoria la reserva.

El coche estaba muy bien. El problema es que las oficinas para recoger y entregar el coche están fuera del aeropuerto y no hay servicio de recogida con lo que hay que alquilar un taxi. Otro problema es que al devolverlo por la noche nadie puede comprobar el vehículo y el paraje es muy solitario y abierto a cualquiera.

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OgaSir

November 24, 2019 Destination: London

10Excellent

Works well

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ANB

November 22, 2019 Destination: Aberdeen

9.7Great choice, great service and thoroughly recommended.

I was given a choice of Insignia, Kuga or Qashqai and chose the Qashqai. Lovely new car although the boot was a bit smaller than anticipated. Service was great, the young guy even asked if he could help with the bags. Quick pick up, minimal paperwork and overall a very good experience.

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K.Rhazaoui

November 21, 2019 Destination: Edinburgh

10One of the best car rental experiences I have had to date, and I've had a lot!

The staff were excellent throughout - courteous and so nice, really had a wonderful experience in Edinburgh with Easirent. Basically no waiting time at the desk and the car was in tip top shape! Thanks a lot guys you were stars!!

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Parth Mehta

November 21, 2019 Destination: London

10Excellent

With Hertz, I have always found the best car for my budget. They are very quick to process your booking and handover the keys.

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November 21, 2019 Destination: London

9.3EasyRentCars.com 最高です‼️

スタッフの対応が素晴らしかったです。 車自体もココから選べと言われたので ベンツにしました。 勿論無料で。 アップグレードや保険の勧誘が心配でしたが全く有りませんでした。

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S.Stan

November 19, 2019 Destination: London

10Great!

'Alexandra' at Luton gave me a brand new, more spacious car than I thought I would get! On return, one of the staff thought that I may have made slight damage to the car, but volunteered nonetheless to ask another member of staff, who confirmed that the damage was negligible and did not warrant any payment. Very decent behavior!

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J.Phillips

November 19, 2019 Destination: London

8.7Good rental in London

Car scratched but good value

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November 18, 2019 Destination: London

10It is very convenient and good service!

Overall very good experience with them

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A.Urankar

November 18, 2019 Destination: London

6.3Average

Initial car booked was intermediate the earlier car allocated was awfully stinking & was changed next day however was provided a compact car one segment lower than what I had booked

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F.Schembri

November 16, 2019 Destination: Edinburgh

9.7Very disappointed when I received the damage bill.

I was really happy until I received a bill for 150 STG for bumper damage which was not there when I delivered the vehicle. This was highway robbery. The damage was not there at all.

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Oksana Lukyanenko

November 12, 2019 Destination: London

8.3Good company to rent, easy pick up

I was booking Volkswagen Golf, but instead they gave me Honda,which was pretty much smaller than I expected. Besides that, everything was ok, good service.

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L.Lai

November 12, 2019 Destination: London

8.3Disappointing downgrade. Poor value for money.

The pick up and drop off were handled efficiently and there were no queues. The car I booked was an intermediate car but I was downgraded to a Nissan Juke, a subcompact Jeep that could only take one big bag in the boot and I had two large bags and an electric guitar plus two hand luggages. It was a disappointment to be downgraded but the Alamo agent wanted to charge me GBP 10 per day for an upgrade and there were no intermediate cars. I was offered either a Nissan Juke or a Vauxhall Astra, both of which were smaller than the car I booked. I am very disappointed and hope to receive a partial refund for this downgrade. There was a problem with the petrol gauge. I pumped petrol until it clicked off. When I drove off to return the car I noted that the petrol gauge was still one bar below full which is what it was when I pumped GBP 8.24 worth of petrol. So I drove back to the petrol station and it clicked off again after I pumped GBP 2.24 worth of petrol but I added a little more till GBP 2.40. The petrol gauge still showed one bar below full tank. I pumped another GBP 1.17 of petrol and it clicked off again but the gauge still showed one bar below full. So I just returned the car with the petrol gauge showing one bar below full which is what it showed before I topped her up the first time!!!!! There must be something wrong with the petrol gauge.

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November 11, 2019 Destination: London

9Everything ok, I recommend Budget!

Everything was ok. We got a clean car, almost brand new one. Thanks!

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November 11, 2019 Destination: Edinburgh

10Pleasant.

Large counter with 7-8 spots, of which only 2 were manned. Slow in processing people through

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Simon

November 11, 2019 Destination: Manchester

7.3Good price but questionable customer service.

35 mins to pick up in 2 degrees Celsius, the van was waiting at the wrong bus stop behind a bus and with no signage on the front. The driver did at least help me with one of my three cases once we had finally found each other. Check in was complicated because of having to use the self check in machine, even though there were no other customers present and at least two staff working on the desk. The first vehicle issued was not read worthy due to a defective passenger-side mirror, which should not have been released for rental. The vehicle was swapped when I complained. The car was collected in the dark and covered in overnight moisture so some damage was not noticed on the rear driver-side wheel arch; this was only found when I reached my initial destination. Vehicle collection should be arranged in a well-lit area to ensure that no such damage is missed by the renter. The vehicle ran well and is comfortable. The shuttle can does not run frequently enough so I was waiting almost 30 mins after dropping off the vehicle to return the airport.

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November 11, 2019 Destination: London

10Excellent

I was upgraded to a very nice small SUV

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S.D amico

November 11, 2019 Destination: Edinburgh

10Excellent

Excellent

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P.Mueller

November 10, 2019 Destination: London

8.3Good rental of Mercedes car

I was given the option for an upgrade with my Europcar Privilege card. Pick-up location at London Heathrow is via free shuttle service.

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November 10, 2019 Destination: Aberdeen

8.3Mostly fine except for drop off. Car was a really smooth manual which was nice to drive.

The car was great, I would have expected the offices to open earlier than 9am at an international airport but we were told what time so that was ok. However, the central London drop off is atrocious, there’s barely any signage to know where to go/park drop off keys, and I got more help with dropping the car off from the security guard than the scant Hertz staff.

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P.Odunewu

November 8, 2019 Destination: London

9.7Excellent

Yes, the car exceeded my expectations.

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November 8, 2019 Destination: Shetland Islands

9.3Good value car rental search site

All was as expected with small budget vehicle

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J.McDougall

November 8, 2019 Destination: London

10Excellent

Friendly staff, car was exactly what was ordered with no problems.

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I.Nisbet

November 7, 2019 Destination: Edinburgh

10Quick and efficient.

As the car I booked was not available I had a free upgrade to a Vauxhall Astra. Alex was very helpful with processing the pick up.

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November 7, 2019 Destination: London

6Average

Terrible customer service!

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D.Mcglinchey

November 5, 2019 Destination: Exeter

10Excellent service, highly recommend

Very professional, exceeded my expectations

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M.Evans

November 5, 2019 Destination: London

10Excellent

Always Good!

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As

November 5, 2019 Destination: London

8.7Good enough

many upsell for insurance, although they know I have insurance from EasyRentCars (AXA) and upsell for gas full-to-empty about 90 GBP that so expensive.

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J.Beatty

November 5, 2019 Destination: Birmingham

9.7Modern cars, friendly staff, great value for money

Brand new car in great condition. If I were to rent from them again I would phone for pick up at Birmingham Airport as soon as I was leaving the plane as the only draw back was that we waited 25 mins to be collected. That meant that the kids were cold and restless so started running around. This is not a safe combination in a car park. This wouldn’t have been an issue if I was travelling alone or with just adults. Staff were very friendly and all was explained well.

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Pawin Sermsuk

November 4, 2019 Destination: London

8.3Nice easy rental

Received a VW Golf Estate. Very nice and spacious. Professional service.

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Best car rental deals in United Kingdom

Best rates found by EasyRentCars users in the last 30 days.

Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on EasyRentCars.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

EasyRentCars will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on EasyRentCars, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on EasyRentCars.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

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