Driving in the UK is slightly different, and have different rule to other parts of Europe. If you have not driven in the UK before, you will find it very different to what you are used to. We found it very unusual driving in France for the first time, but here are some tips on driving in the UK.
Checks to carry out on the vehicle
We would always advise to check your water for the radiator, engine oil, tyre pressure, and window washer fluid before any trip, to ensure your vehicle is topped up. It is always a good idea to do this a couple of days before the trip, and if the vehicle is low on water or oil, this gives you the chance to refill before you travel. It also helps to identify if you have any problems with the vehicle before you leave and get this resolved. To keep your vehicle in a good condition it is always an idea to do regular checks. Make sure all lights and indicators are working before the trip, you may need to ask a friend to help.
We will always check our vehicle over before any long distance travel, especially before we drove to France, but we will often check over our vehicle every couple of months.
Items require in your vehicle
- Driving Licence – You must have a EU driving licence or an international drivers permit, and over the legal age of 17, to drive in the UK.
- Car Insurance – It is a legal requirement to have third party insurance cover on the vehicle.
- Children travelling in the vehicle – Children aged 3 years or under, must be in an appropriate child car seat for their age and weight. Children between 3 and 11 year of age and under 135cm in height, must use the appropriate child car seat at all times.
- Documentation – Ensure you have with you, your insurance documentation, green card, and driving licence with you when driving, this maybe requested by the third party if you are involved in an accident, or the police may request this to be produced.
It is not a compulsory requirement to carry in your vehicle a warning triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher or a reflective jacket, but it would be recommended.
Driving in the UK
The main thing to remember when driving in the UK, is that they drive on the left, and travel around the roundabout clockwise. We are the only country in Europe that drives on the left, and are used to it, so just as we found, it will be unusual driving in a different country on the different side of the road. At any junction or roundabout, you must give way to the right, if you are already on the roundabout, you will have priority over vehicles looking to enter the roundabout, as such drivers approaching the roundabout must stop to give way.
The highway code applies when driving in the UK, for which you may wish to review some of the laws and etiquettes before driving in the UK. Please click the following link to access the Highway Code for more information.
If can’t drive or don’t want to hire a vehicle, then you could use public transport to get you around the UK.