International Drivers

Driving in the UK for the First Time

Driving in the UK for the first time

Driving in the UK for the First Time

So you have just arrived in the UK and you decide to hire a car at the airport. Firstly you will require an EU driving licence or an international drivers permit, a credit card along with your passport.

Driving in the UK for the First Time – Controls in the Car

The UK driving can be extremely challenging due to a number of factors not found in other parts of the world. The obvious difference is that the steering wheel will be on the right-hand side. Once you sit in the driving seat, you will soon realise that you will have to change gears with your left hand. You may wish to consider an automatic car which will enable you to focus more on the road rather than the driving itself. As soon as you start moving, you will realise that you will have to look up towards the left in order to check your rear-view mirror. This can be rather confusing and will take time to get used to.

Driving in the UK for the First Time – Driving on the Left

The most important thing to remember that in the UK, we drive the left-hand side of the road. This can be very confusing especially at roundabouts the forms of junctions. The UK loves its roundabouts. In some UK cities, you will find one roundabout after another. The rule at these roundabouts is to give way to traffic on the right. Generally speaking, you must always plan to stop but at the same time be prepared to go. Why not consider watching this Youtube video on “Roundabouts”

Driving in the UK for the First Time –  Speed Limits

When hiring a car in the UK, it is essential that you are aware of the speed limits. The national speed limit on UK motorways 70 mph, the speed on the single carriageways is 60 mph and all residential roads are 30 mph. However, it is essential that you actively watch out for road signs and road markings as sometimes you will find a change to the speed limits. The UK has many speed cameras. In London itself, you will find a speed camera every few minutes.

If you do hire a vehicle, make sure it is fitted with a satnav.  Getting lost on the UK roads can be a nightmare. Most satnavs will also warn you of speed cameras. Unlike in many countries, it is not illegal to use speed camera detecting equipment.

Driving in the UK for the First Time – Residential Roads

The residential roads in the UK are very narrow often with the parked cars on both sides. Be prepared to give way to oncoming vehicles. Look “O.U.T” for hazards. O for over the cars, U for under the cars and T for through the windows. 8) Parking in the UK is a luxury. Try parking in a car park whenever possible. If you have to park on a public road, please read the signs properly and don’t end up with a parking fine.

Driving in the UK for the First Time – Driving a Friend’s Car

If you decide to drive a friend’s car, you must make sure that the vehicle is insured for you to drive. Unlike many European countries where the vehicle is insured and covers all drivers, in the UK not only does the car has to insured but the driver must also be insured. Some people may have an insurance policy that will allow others to drive. However, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are insured.

Driving in the UK for the First Time – Settling or Studying in the UK

If you are planning to settle or study long-term in the UK, you may be able to exchange your foreign licence for a UK driving licence. However, if you are able to exchange your foreign licence and you plan to stay here for more than six months, you must take a British driving test. The average waiting time for a practical test is just over 2 months. However, can arrange a driving test cancellation within days.

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