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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 QEEQ' 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 QEEQ’ 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 /
E.Mazor

December 2, 2022

Destination: London

10Excellent

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A.IZZARD

December 1, 2022

Destination: Exeter

9.3Very good

I had an upgrade which was great which was offered by the helpful agent,iam glad i did

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D.Fagelson

December 1, 2022

Destination: London

8Very Good

The car I received exceeded my expectations. I was very happy with it. However the car collection took a very long time. We lost a large part of our day especially because the shuttle bus took an hour to arrive and then made lots of stops before we arrived at Green Motion. There was hardly any fuel in the car so I had to quickly find a gas station to avoid breaking down.

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November 27, 2022

Destination: London

8.7Not as good as normally is

The car had damage on the back left of the boot which I told the staff about before I drove off. There was a message on the dashboard saying service required-4500 miles and then I noticed another message saying washer fluid required Clearly this car had not been checked over before I had it

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D.Taylor

November 25, 2022

Destination: Edinburgh

9.3Trouble free and good value

Efficient,friendly, helpful

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M.ISMAIL

November 24, 2022

Destination: London

10good experience

excellent staff

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J.Flood

November 22, 2022

Destination: Leeds

8.7Very easy

Car was fine

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G.Zohdy

November 21, 2022

Destination: Manchester

9.7Excellent.

The agent at the check in desk was very helpful.

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M.Soyturk

November 21, 2022

Destination: London

10Everything from booking to returning the car was perfect. Thank you

The car was much better than we expected.

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J.Massey

November 16, 2022

Destination: Manchester

9.3Rental spoilt by alternative vehicle supplied.

The friendly professionalism of the yellow taxi (van) driver, on pick up and drop off was awesome. I ordered a Kia Ceed, which is classed as a crossover SUV. The Toyota Corolla I was given, describes itself, in its manual, as a sports hatchback, and being a hybrid, carried batteries below it's rear seat and boot. The resulting boot space was pathetic, barely accepting one large case. The second large case, and two smaller cases were placed along the rear seat, a dangerous option in the event of a forward collision.

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K.Lightfoot

November 15, 2022

Destination: London

9It was ok overall

Tires kept loosing air so had to keep filling

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November 12, 2022

Destination: Edinburgh

7.3If they had a better car this would of been one of the better car rental experience's

Excellent staff at the Europcar counter very friendly and helpful, processed quickly, location is good. Car was just awful I've hired and driven alot of cars and without question the Vauxhall Crossland X is the worst car I've ever driven, 3700rpm at 70mph in top gear thing was screaming, gearbox felt like it was outta Kombi, ratios are horrendous, terrible fuel economy and pretty sure it wasn't firing on all 4 cylinders.

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April

November 10, 2022

Destination: Shetland Islands

7.7Very good service.

The first car was significantly damaged on collection which wasn't noticed until the day after due to darkness and torential rain. This car should never have been issued to us. However, once contacting them they immediately changed the vehicle and were really helpful.

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M.Panzieri

November 9, 2022

Destination: Edinburgh

6Average

Direi vergognoso in quanto il noleggio di quest’auto mi è costato 108 euro più 305 euro per 2 giorni…412 euro??sconsiglio vivamente

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Salwan Finj

November 7, 2022

Destination: London

10It was excellent!

The service and staff were excellent and I highly recommend booking with Alamo.

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M.Randell

November 2, 2022

Destination: Belfast

10Excellent

Excellent service from the young Eastern European lady on the desk on the 29 Oct at 10.20. Super helpful and friendly. Unfortunately have lost the piece of paper with her name!

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R.Thomas

November 2, 2022

Destination: Exeter

9.7Very smooth process

Very smooth transaction, the car was clean and comfortable. Would recommend

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G.Warner

October 30, 2022

Destination: London

10intend to use this company again in the near future

Given a free upgrade very nice gesture!

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E.Everett

October 29, 2022

Destination: Inverness

9.3Excellent, thank you.

Very pleased with the service, staff were very accommodating, polite and helpful, the car was rented at a very reasonable price, and the car ran perfectly without any issues. What’s not to like

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Alison Barrass

October 28, 2022

Destination: Newcastle Upon Tyne

9.7Easy, quick and efficient car rental services.

Although not the car we booked, it was sufficient for our needs and very economical. Pick up and drop off was very easy, with online check-in.

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D.Campbell

October 28, 2022

Destination: Glasgow

8Excellent

Car was ample for out requiems. Avis staff was very helpful.

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O.Williamson

October 27, 2022

Destination: Belfast

6.7Rubbish

Hired car for Northern Ireland whose road signs are mph. Was given south plates and a Speedo only in kmh Unusable. Counter staff told me to email a complaint. Useless

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Annie H

October 25, 2022

Destination: Newquay

9.7Excellent

I got an upgraded car because the one I had ordered wasn't available. The collection and drop-off service was timely and excellent. It was quite a long walk from the terminal at Newquay airport to the collection point so bear this in mind if you have mobility problems.

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J.Legg

October 24, 2022

Destination: London

10Fabulous!

The whole process was quick and easy. All the staff I encountered were extremely polite, friendly and professional. I will definitely use Europcar again and will highly recommend to family, friends and colleagues.

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October 24, 2022

Destination: London

7Good

The only issue we have was only while picking up the car. We came on time at 9am however the car was not ready. We have to wait for them to clean the car and we told them that we were rushing. Once we get the car, we ask the staff if we need to do anything else, complete the paper work or make any deposit payment twice but he said ni. We left the place and we got a call asking is to turn back. It’s a miss communication internallh they need our credit card details for deposit. We cant turn back and I have to provide my details via the phone. Service at this Centre definately need to be improved.

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October 17, 2022

Destination: London

10Efficient

Fast, easy and straightforward

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G.Montgomery

October 17, 2022

Destination: Bristol

9.7Best Ever.

Best car hire yet. Walked in, told them my name and they never me the key. Brilliant!

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M.Idris

October 14, 2022

Destination: London

9.7It was a splendid vacation with an excellent service support from Europcar.

I took my rental car from Heathrow. At Manchester airport, the car had a flat tyre. I managed to drive to Europcar at Manchester Airport to get it repaired. But they decided to provide me with another car. Same model Toyota Corolla Hybrid. The guy who attended to me was MAURICE. Grateful to him for his prompt action and very fast to provide with another car. At the end of the journey I have to thank the front desk at Heathrow airport for convincing me to take the Hybrid Toyota. I ended up driving almost 1100 miles and it really save the fuel. Europcar was also flexible for me to drop the car in London instead of Heathrow. (drop box was available) this is my second time renting from Europcar.

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Saed

October 13, 2022

Destination: Newcastle Upon Tyne

7.7All good.

All good, but the petrol was not full when received and had to return full to avoid conflicts later.

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m.CAMPBELL

October 13, 2022

Destination: London

9.3A trouble free rental.

A reliable and trustworthy company that provided me with a great vehicle and quick and dependable shuttle service from the airport.

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M.Martin

October 11, 2022

Destination: London

8.7Very Good

Very shocked that they class a Crossland X as a SUV, it’s not!!!

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CKT

October 11, 2022

Destination: Manchester

7.7Nice rental experience which was smooth and efficient.

The quality of the car met my expectation. It was a hybrid car which was fuel efficient.

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D.MacLennan

October 10, 2022

Destination: Kirkwall

10First class support. Highly recommended.

Great support in Kirkwall.

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Hieng Kiing Ngu

September 30, 2022

Destination: Manchester

7.7Walking into a trap set by Europcar

At the end of it I feel like I’m walkinh into a trap set by Europcar after enticing me with attractive discount. Even after paying for full coverage using QEEQ platform. The counter staff refuse to recognize and insist that I have to took up full protection with Europcar. The rate for Europcar protection is almost same as the car rental. End up I have to pay double. Upon returning the vehicle, they charge me extra 1 day because I’m late by 32 minutes but they took more than 30 minutes to process my picking up. I don’t have proof when did I actually get my car but I’m quite sure when I get my car it’s over 9:30am but their system says my pickup time is 8:59am. And my return time they set at 9:31am. Just 32 minutes and I have to pay the full day of rental plus Insurance !! Lesson learnt, be very very careful with Europcar. They will find all means to charge you and maximize their profit

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Michael

September 26, 2022

Destination: Taunton

9.3Seamless booking and pick-up processes

We received an upgrade, so that was welcome

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LK

September 26, 2022

Destination: London

10Great experience

The car meets our expectation. Pick up and drop off are easy. Staffs are good.

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P.Woodall

September 25, 2022

Destination: London

10Hassle free

Excellent service and I extended the hiring for an extra day with no problem

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c.davies

September 21, 2022

Destination: Manchester

8.7very good

excellent knowledgable staff at pick up

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September 21, 2022

Destination: Belfast

5.3Poor quality of rental vehicle using third party to book.

Completed faster check in but only one queue so didn't save any time. The hire car was damaged and not very clean but were told to hand it back fully valeted. Felt as it was booked through third party, they were not as interested as with any previous bookings.

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A.W

September 16, 2022

Destination: London

10A good experience

Helpful team and efficient

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M.Hilditch

September 15, 2022

Destination: Belfast

7Disappointing

The only comment I have is we were disappointed to have to pay £100 insurance because we didn't have a credit card

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L.Mash

September 14, 2022

Destination: London

10Efficient and simple.

Avis were extraordinary. Amazing customer service. Jay who I believe was the manager was an absolute gentleman. Natasha who worked along side was a pleasure to work with after such a long flight. I will absolutely be back every time.

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H.Bethell

September 13, 2022

Destination: Inverness

9Very good

The instructions about where to meet the transport at Inverness was not clear otherwise everything was very good

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Avi Kogan

September 12, 2022

Destination: London

10These guys and Sixty are the best in Luton

The people working were very good. Especially the guy on the return. Quick, efficient, polite. Will aim to rent with these guys again

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J Ren

September 8, 2022

Destination: Guildford

10Easy but wld like clarity on insurance policy, ie who to call if you actually were in an emergency

Upgraded at Hertz, absolutely delightful gentlemen at Guildford who went above and beyond to explain car and return process which was after hours on a Sunday. Really delightful.

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M.Fuller

September 6, 2022

Destination: Norwich

8.7Ideal

Bit disappointed with car as was expecting something bigger, but served the purpose

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D.Roberts

September 5, 2022

Destination: Edinburgh

10Better than expected

Focused on customer service. Large staff helping out. Process was fast smooth and efficient.

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M.Perry

September 5, 2022

Destination: Birmingham

9Would have been great if I’d been given the car I’d asked for.

The reason I wanted to hire a car was I needed more boot space for luggage as my car is to small. I wanted a estate car and that’s what I thought I was getting, but after I’d payed I was given a 2008 Which wasn’t big enough.

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Tim Richards

August 29, 2022

Destination: Bristol

8.3On the whole effective lacking in pick up detail was annoying

Hertz fulfilled their part of the deal well

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J.Bains

August 29, 2022

Destination: London

10Fantastic and smooth

I was given almost brand new mercedes Benz, only 1200 miles Very happy with the vehicle, and budget staff

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Best car rental deals in United Kingdom

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

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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