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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. QEEQ.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. QEEQ.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. QEEQ.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. QEEQ.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. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /
Alvaras

May 22, 2020

Destination: London

10Perfect.

They gave me really nice new car. Staff was friendly. Very quick drop off check.

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scott kiss

May 20, 2020

Destination: Paddington

5.3Cheap

Said I damage and never did

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J.Mvondo Gomila

May 5, 2020

Destination: London

2Poor

No me quisieron alquilar ningún vehículo por tener permiso de conducción español

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Alvaras

April 5, 2020

Destination: London

7Good

On drop off time staff member was 20min late. I get different car then pay for.

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David

April 1, 2020

Destination: London

2Added 200% to the price at the counter! Wouldn’t release the car without paying it

Awful! They didn’t fulfil the booking. Arrived at counter, waited 40min to be seen then they said the booking didn’t have sufficient insurance and they wouldn’t let me take the car without paying another £200 extra for an extra insurance. Manager wasn’t available and didn’t have a business card. I’ve used plenty of slightly dodgy car companies but these guys (at least the ones I dealt with) are criminal.

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A.S from Kenya

April 1, 2020

Destination: London

8.7Excellent but Difficult in Challenging times

The car I booked was not available, even though there were NO OTHER CUSTOMERS because of the coronavirus. And most other suitable cars were NOT AVAILABLE. Finally we were given a Ford Focus which was covered in scratches and damage. This was not a problem for me but led to some misunderstanding when I returned the car.

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S.Graves

March 30, 2020

Destination: London

2Insurance scam -- AVOID!

Surprice is running an insurance scam. They give you a good price initially but then look extremely hard for something to charge you for when you return the car in order to make up for the good initial price. You'll be better off just paying up front with a more reputable company. For us, they kept pointing stuff out until I couldn't provide a photo proving it was there before.

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K.Ridgway

March 30, 2020

Destination: London

9.3Very good excellent professional

Was excellent service did try to swap car out for a smaller one once kids flew back to USA with Cruz but unable to otherwise was fine

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R.Darsi

March 30, 2020

Destination: London

9.7Excellent

Everything cool

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M.Dyer

March 16, 2020

Destination: Bristol

8.7Disappointed with Green Motion.

Disappointed to receive a bill for a crack to the windscreen. Horrified to find they have charged nearly £700.

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O.Navti

March 15, 2020

Destination: London

9.7Pain free process

smooth quick process.recommended

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March 12, 2020

Destination: Manchester

4More expensive than shown

Hidden cost not sure the right advice was given

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Cakiwa

March 12, 2020

Destination: London

9.7easy and the best!

The staff name Salem very helpful person.. I will go for Enterprise again! Thanks.

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March 11, 2020

Destination: London

6Average

Not excited (

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S.Jafri

March 11, 2020

Destination: London

10Quick and pleasantly surprising

Small cars were not available so I was offered a bigger car with no extra cost. Super helpful and friendly staff who do not mind talking through the whole car with you.

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G.Bagshaw

March 11, 2020

Destination: London

10Excellent

Best car hire company I have used, never heard of them before, but always will use in future

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V.Prorok

March 10, 2020

Destination: London

2My worst ever car rental experience

Picking-up a car took almost 2 hours; the car is not really at terminal, they took me about 10 miles away from the airport to the car; dropping off is also terrible - there is no signs on the place, I winded around few times until found them; the car was vandalized, though that was not my fault, and I reported police, they charged me 1500GBP (abt 2000US$) for 4 small scratches! Never rent a car with SurPrice car rentals!!!

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Dom

March 9, 2020

Destination: London

6.3A surprising sting in the tail

The car was good - a Skoda estate. My issue was the £55 they automatically charged for processing (in effect passing on) an erroneous car parking fee. Not happy about this - I guess read the small print; it was I’m sure in there. It’s a bit of trek by shuttle bus to the back of the crown plaza hotel in Crawley- show the driver your booking to waiver the bus charge. They are infrequent- 2 / hour - so check times. Don’t forget you need a *credit* card with your address matching your drivers licence and £1500 to be blocked out, or you will get royally screwed for insurance charges. Good luck!

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J.Marshall

March 9, 2020

Destination: Manchester

8.7Poor car rental experience but great member of staff on reception.

VERY TIME CONSUMING GATHERING ALL THE INFORMATION REQUIRED TO PICK UP. ALSO, AS I ONLY HAD £1500 ON MY CREDIT CARD I WAS FORCED TO PAY IN ADVANCE FOR PETROL I NEVER USED, RETURNING THE CAR BAck with virtually half a tank of petrol in it. On a positive note Ryan on reception is a credit to your organisation, and probably one of the reasons you are still afloat. Had it not been for him remaining calm and trying his best to help me I would not have picked the car up and certainly would have never used you again.

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March 8, 2020

Destination: Edinburgh

10Nice and easy.

Nice upgrade. Brand new car.

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Stuart Youngs

March 7, 2020

Destination: Glasgow

10Smooth

Excellent service from friendly and educated staff

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Sean L

March 7, 2020

Destination: Belfast

9.3Value for money

Was given a free upgrade on the vehicle and staff was very efficient

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Juliana G

March 6, 2020

Destination: London

10Very good! Recommend

Great and very helpful staff. For any request there was someone very helpful at the end of the phone

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A.Brammall

March 2, 2020

Destination: Melbourne

8.3A good experience

Car was adequate for our trip. No problems with counter staff very courteous. Had problems finding the drop off location, street name not the same as given instructions. Otherwise it was a good experience.

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T.Rodgers

March 1, 2020

Destination: London

9.7Excellent

Insurance offered with car was affordable and sufficient

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February 29, 2020

Destination: Bristol

8.7Very Good

Excellent

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S.Loughran

February 28, 2020

Destination: Belfast

9.7Very smooth

Only company I could find that accepted debut card deposit. Will use again in future

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RH

February 27, 2020

Destination: London

8.7LHR to Bournemouth

There was some attempted upselling at the counter, so be sure to have all your documents ready, listing precisely what has been booked. But we were polite yet firm, and all was well.

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A.Monteiro

February 27, 2020

Destination: Manchester

10Excellent

Everything was good

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L.Goody

February 25, 2020

Destination: Bristol

9.7Smooth transaction but better customer service required

Very easy transaction and the car was good. I must point out one aspect of customer service which was under par. After my returning my car I was instructed to enter the Ford people carrier. A couple got in the very back seats but we had difficulty in unfolding the seat for me. The driver just stayed in his driving seat unwilling to help. Eventually he got out and assisted. He then got back into his seat without closing my sliding door, which I had trouble closing. I eventually managed to close this. I think this driver needs some customer service training!

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A.Bentley

February 24, 2020

Destination: London

9.3Excellent

Richard the pick up Agent was particularly helpful. Kudos to him!!!!

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c.david

February 23, 2020

Destination: Birmingham

9.3Very good. We will book again.

The vehicle we received was spacious and overall pretty clean. There was some minor damage that wasn’t on the report and before we left we had to report it and get the record amended. The staff were all friendly and helpful. Overall very good service and we would recommend and use again

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R.Armstrong

February 23, 2020

Destination: Cardiff

10All went well

Staff very pleasant, even though they were busy.

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Watcharakorn Chotigo

February 23, 2020

Destination: London

8.7Very Good

Insurance package for 0 excess quite expensive and come with additional fee. My booking price is 123 GBP. Insurance is 37 GBP as Budget officer told me. At the end, final price is 173 GBP. Additional fee 13 GBP was added up such as License fee and Location surcharge. I think those fee should include in booking price.

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G.Lunn

February 22, 2020

Destination: Liverpool

9.7Reconmendered

Excellent service

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J.Winchester

February 21, 2020

Destination: London

8Overall great

I like that they excepted my annual rental car insurance plan without guestion and without trying to sell me more!

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A.Bin muhammad

February 20, 2020

Destination: London

9.7Good

Very good

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M.Vardalia

February 19, 2020

Destination: London

7.7It was OK

The selection of cars in their premium is getting very shallow and not very good. The price when you want extend my 2 days was more than the price I paid for the 7 days.

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stlamc

February 17, 2020

Destination: Manchester

10User friendly website stating important details and options

Staff at Europcar Manchester UK are superb. This is my second rental from this depot over the past three years and both times the staff were helpful, efficient, and honest.

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K.SUZUKI

February 17, 2020

Destination: London

8.7イギリス出張

車の受取と返却はとてもスムーズでした。

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H.Escott

February 17, 2020

Destination: London

10Helpful personnel and good value car.

The budget staff were very friendly and helpful. The car was clean and performed as expected.

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A.Salleh

February 16, 2020

Destination: London

9.3Excellent

Good service, they upgraded my car when I arrive with the huge luggage.

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Wei Xiang

February 13, 2020

Destination: Plymouth

10Excellent

Excellent service ! Love it

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Dawei007

February 13, 2020

Destination: Newcastle Upon Tyne

10Great value!

Efficient, friendly counter staff.

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S.Yeung

February 11, 2020

Destination: London

9.7Excellent

Exactly giving me the same car model I ordered. Even though there is some issue of the final invoice, but the overall experience is great

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K.Liu

February 7, 2020

Destination: Manchester

9.7Fab

Easy no complications and the staff didn’t push us to buy their insurance returning their car was also very fast and easy unlike many other companies

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A.Chittenden

February 6, 2020

Destination: Dartford

9.3very good

exelent service as usual

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Rachel Nic Athlaioch

February 6, 2020

Destination: East Midlands

9Good experience.

Good and efficient experience. Branch is hard to find however as you come off the roundabout. Customers should be warned.

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Rachel Gately

February 6, 2020

Destination: East Midlands

9.7Friendly and helpful staff, will go back again.

Very friendly and helpful staff. Easy in and out process.

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February 5, 2020

Destination: London

7Never again...probably

Waited for ages for office to open as dropping off another customer. Found the office hard to find from the instructions. Hated the shuttle bus system - I think I overreacted; others might find it fine. Friendly and helpful staff.

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Best car rental deals in United Kingdom

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

Top Car Rental Source Countries for United Kingdom

International customers with domestic driver's licenses listed below have already finished their rental journeys with us in the United Kingdom.

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 QEEQ.

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?

QEEQ 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 QEEQ, 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 QEEQ.
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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