Driving in the UK

When Driving In The UK, we drive on the left hand side of the road and overtake on the right. Most roads in England are of very good quality, there is an excellent motorway system and the surfaces are well maintained in most areas.

British roads are actually the safest in the Europe – even though they can be very busy at peak times. Small country lanes are extremely narrow, often with large hedgerows. Don’t, however, shrink from driving such roads, as they can be avenues to beautiful scenery. When driving on these roads you must be constantly prepared to bring your vehicle to a crawl and happily negotiate with any oncoming traffic, tractors or livestock! 

Generally, priority is given to vehicles on the right. Where priority is the prime control, vehicles entering priority roads are under no obligation to stop unless yielding to a vehicle on the priority road. This may be a surprise to foreign drivers at first, as vehicles seem to come flying out of side roads and partially onto the priority road with little thought of stopping; but really they do stop. Vehicles on a roundabout have priority – so vehicles entering a roundabout must yield. Traffic coming from the right hand side has precedence at a roundabout.

Parking in the UK

Yellow lines indicate parking restrictions. Nearby there will be a sign which explains the exact parking restrictions, but typically a double yellow line means no parking at any time, a single yellow line means no parking from 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday, and a broken yellow line means that there are few restrictions. You should check the nearest sign for full details of these. Red lines mean that you cannot park or stop at any time on the side of the road that they are painted on. They are usually placed on busy commuter roads in big cities. Pay-and-display machines are very common throughout Britain as well as parking meters. In pay and display machines you need to put in the money for the required amount of time, collect a small ticket and display it CLEARLY on your dashboard. If there are parking meters, just park beside the one allocated for your parking space and then put in money for the time allocation that you require. The tariff and time limit are shown on the machine. Cars illegally parked or causing obstructions can be fined or towed away. Never park on white zigzag lines found next to school entrances and at zebra crossings.

What’s the speed limit on UK roads?

Speed limit on Motorway: 70mph (112kph)
 Speed limit in Towns: 30mph (48kph)
 Speed limit on Major roads: 40mph (65kph)
 Speed limit in residential areas: 20mph (35kph)
Round signs indicate speed limits with the limit amount circled by a red band. When the speed limit has stopped then there is a black line at an angle crossing over the speed limit indicated. Speed cameras (both fixed and mobile) are a common sight. If you do get a speeding ticket, Kamper Hire is legally bound to pass on your details as the driver of the vehicle.

What is the alcohol limit in the UK?

Currently the blood-alcohol level is at 35mg/100ml. Recently, there have been discussions on reducing this limit so you may need to check again before you depart – just to be sure. Our advice is don’t drink and drive.

Toll roads and congestion charge

Unlike most European countries there are no toll roads in Britain. All tolls in Britain are used to cross bridges such as the Humber Bridge in Hull, or the Severn Bridge in Bristol. Costs on toll bridges depend on what type of vehicle that you are driving. Charges start from about £2.00 pounds to £2.50 for a car this goes up to £14.00 pounds for a truck. The prices are one-way. Recently London introduced a congestion charge. This is a charge levied for all vehicles travelling in the Charging Zone. For more information on this visit click here.

UK seatbelt regulations

In the UK seat belts are compulsory in the front and the rear.

What documents do I need to carry?

You are legally required to carry your driving licence with you at all times, you will also need to show your hire agreement. If you fail to produce these documents the police may ask you to present them at a police station within a specified number of days.

What to do in case of accidents?

You will need to call one of the following: Police and Ambulance, tel. 999. Depending on the severity of the accident, they should be called straight away. If there is any damage to the car or to a passenger of yours or another car then calling the police is essential. You will need to take contact details and the registration number of all witnesses to the accident. If you have a camera make sure you take photographs from all angles before any vehicles are moved. Please also call your Kamper Hire rental office.

What number do I need to call for emergencies in England?

Police/Fire/Ambulance Service – 999

Call 111 if:
you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency.
you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service.
you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call.
you need health information or reassurance about what to do next.

Use the non-emergency number 101 for situations that do notrequire an immediate police response.