Driving in England- UK Driving Rules and Signs

Driving in the UK: 5 Best Tips for UK Driving

It’s essential to understand UK driving rules and signs; you can safely navigate any road abroad with the right tools!

Driving in the UK for the first time can be a scary prospect, especially if you don’t know any essential UK driving rules and signs. But, with a bit of information as you prepare to leave, it will be no problem once you arrive!

The road system is different in the UK than what you may be used to in the United States. For example, you may find yourself on a single-track road with no room for passing. Or, you may find yourself thinking it’s okay to turn right on red when it’s actually not. But these things are all standard in the UK. Once you understand UK driving rules and signs and know how to deal with them, they become just another exciting part of the driving experience.

Before diving into the details, everyone must learn these two essential UK driving rules and signs.

The first of the UK driving rules and signs to review is in regards to your seatbelt. First, you must wear a seat belt at all times. And, all passengers in the car must also wear their seatbelts. Second, you must not drive if you are over the legal limit. This means absolutely no alcohol before you go. Don’t even try it because if the police pull you over, they will breathalyze you, and your license will be automatically suspended.

If you are headed to London and plan to drive while there, it is essential to understand all UK driving rules and signs. For example, what do you do if an emergency vehicle is on the road with its lights flashing? How do you know what type of road you are on? Can you take a right on red? How old do you have to be to drive in London? Are you familiar with UK driving rules and signs?

Keep reading to get the answers to all of these questions and more!

An Overview of UK Driving Rules And Signs.

An Overview of UK Driving Rules And Signs.

When it comes to safe driving throughout the UK, there are a handful of fundamental UK driving rules and signs that you should be aware of before you go.

First, you must be at least 17 to drive in the UK. You can apply for your provisional license once you are 16; however, you can only drive when accompanied by a qualified driver who is 21 or over and has held a full license for at least three years. If you are staying in the UK for more than six months, then it is recommended that you get a UK driving license.

The second UK driving rule to understand is related to how you drive. In the UK, you must drive on the left-hand side of the road. While this may seem obvious, it’s important to remember when pulling out from junctions, roundabouts, and parking spaces. This shift can take a slight adjustment if you’re accustomed to driving on the right.

Next, you must stop at all STOP signs and red traffic lights, just as you would do in the US. Failure to do so can result in a fine and points off your license. And, remember to give way to pedestrians when the light has turned green to ensure there are no accidents. While it’s different than the US, there are no four-way or multi-way stops in the UK (only roundabouts). So understanding UK driving rules and signs is essential to stay safe on the road.

Remember, when driving in the UK, you must give way to all emergency vehicles with their sirens and lights flashing – failure to do so could result in a fine.

And finally, when driving, you must follow all posted speed limit signs. These signs also include motorway speed limits, typically 70mph (112kph) on dual carriageways and 60mph (96kph) on single carriageways.

It’s essential to understand all UK driving rules and signs on the road in London to remain safe. For a complete list of UK traffic signs, head to the UK’s Department of Transportation’s official list before leaving for your trip.

Types Of Roads in Driving In The UK – Understanding UK Driving Rules and Signs. 

There are four main different kinds of roads when driving in the UK.

First are “M” roads, or motorways. Motorways are the biggest of the four road types in the UK and are always designated by blue signs with white lettering. Motorways are made only of concrete and usually have three to four lanes of traffic each way. When driving on a motorway, don’t expect to see any roundabouts or traffic lights. The average speed limit on a motorway is 70 mph.

The next road type is an “A” road. Generally, these are the main roads in the UK, and the average speed limit is 60 mph. Most “A” roads are designated by green signs with white (or yellow) writing.

“B” roads are more minor roads and are almost always linked to “A” roads. They tend to be shorter than “M” and “B” roads but still carry their load in traffic.

And finally, “C” and “D” roads. These are single-track roads. You may come across these single-track roads in more rural settings, and they tend to be minor roads.

Tripiamo’s Top 5 Tips for Driving In The UK

Tripiamo's Top 5 Tips for Driving In The UK

At Tripiamo, we are dedicated to making travel safe and easy for anyone. So here are our top five tips for driving in the UK.

First, never use a handheld mobile phone while driving unless it is an emergency call (it is illegal even to hold it in your hand while going). If you need to use your phone while driving, make sure you have a car mount to keep it or earphones to speak hands-free.

Next, always obey the “keep left unless passing” rule. Like you would in the US, all traffic should stay to the left unless you need to pass a car that’s moving slower than you.

Our third tip; if you’re not sure what the speed limit is where you are, it’s safe to assume 60 MPH on a more significant road and 30 MPH on more minor, more rural roads. In general, no driver may exceed 70mph (110km/h) on motorways and dual carriageways (unless otherwise specified), 60mph (96km/h) on single carriageway roads, and 40mph(64km/h) in built-up areas unless otherwise specified.

Fourth is essential and very different than American driving laws. If you are stopped at a stoplight in the UK and need to take a right turn, you cannot take a right on red.

Our fifth and final tip is how to navigate the “Give Way” sign. If you come across a Give Way sign while driving in London, you must give way to other vehicles as you approach it (it does not require a full stop). But, if there is no one there, you do not have to stop entirely!

Understanding how to safely drive in the UK is easier than you think. With the right tools, you can safely navigate anything. Tripiamo offers the most comprehensive guides to ensure foreign travelers have the experience and information they need to adventure safely and travel confidently.

Learn more about driving in the UK here.