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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 /
Steve Burge

January 31, 2023

Destination: Manchester

10Perfect

Upgraded on arrival, slight confusion over where to leave the car on drop off, but was able to speak to someone there even though it was early.

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P.Austin

January 31, 2023

Destination: Edinburgh

8.7Very Good

Return check in involved waiting in cold car park while very pleasant man went through his job, but was that necessary that I had to be there? On other hires I just dump the keys, or else someone is checking the car as soon as I pull up and start offloading the bags.

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N.Edwards

January 22, 2023

Destination: Manchester

9Remember there is no spare tyre in most modern cars.

The only problem we had with the car was a flat tyre on the motorway. Which as the car did not have a spare tyre resulted in a three hour wait at the side of the motorway and we had get the tyre replaced at a cost of 204 pounds. As we had paid for zero excess this was refunded by the hire company. Some to think about when hiring a car. Arnold Clark were helpful and the service was quick and efficient.

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J.M.

January 11, 2023

Destination: Aberdeen

8.7Very Good

If You have any problem any kind of problem everything becomes a nightmare.

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I.Bushnell

January 10, 2023

Destination: Southampton

9.3Good.

The pick-up point was at the far end of the car park which would have been a fag had I had more luggage. The staff were cheerful and friendly and Tony did his job very well.

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Rob.McLean

January 10, 2023

Destination: Glasgow

10Very Happy With QEEQ and Avis

Offered an upgrade at pick up. Although this was additional cost the car was terrific. The staff were polite and very helpful,

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VaRAd aGGaRwaL

January 9, 2023

Destination: London

10Smooth booking process, great prices and car rental experience.

They gave me a free upgrade. Happy with the service. Would be better if they were more closer to the airport.

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D.Griffiths

January 8, 2023

Destination: Manchester

9.3Great value - upgrade

Got a good upgrade to a Hybrid car that was excellent

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Anonymous

January 5, 2023

Destination: London

9.3Excellent service by the staff!

Both of the staff excellent, helped a lot, give a good explanation, especially when we returned the car, we are in hurry to catch the train to Paris, he willing to help & send us to the nearest train station, if not we definitely will missed the train.. tq so much!

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F.Holmqvist

January 4, 2023

Destination: London

8.3Stor besvikelse.

Vi blev debiterade för en saknad del inne i fordonet som vi inte hade kännedom om när vi hämtade fordonet. Personen som mottog fordonet sa att han måste notera bristen, men inte skulle debitera oss, vilket man sedan gjorde. Vi har bett om att få pengarna tillbaka.

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M.Yamada

December 30, 2022

Destination: Manchester

9.7Easy to use

Great service quality car hassle free

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Gilbert Moase

December 29, 2022

Destination: Southampton

10Easy as ABC

Great team at collection and drop off

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C.Hoo

December 27, 2022

Destination: London

10A very Good and Comfortable Driving experiences at London

I have a very good experiences on the car rental . when return car the Staff Name Marina . she was perfect and she guild us the best and help to drop us at the station. Additionally , I have a very good and comfortable driving with the car .

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December 23, 2022

Destination: Belfast

9.7Quick collection, Quick drop off, Spot on Car.

Got a free udgrade which was very much appreciated. The car was great and the pick up process at the counter incredibly quick. Not sure if this was because I had signed up for the Budget Quick Pass but it really worked. Faultless service and car.

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F.Walsh

December 19, 2022

Destination: London

9.3Excellent

Staff overselling upgrades and unable to process deposit due to machine error twice

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C.Hutson

December 13, 2022

Destination: London

8.7Amazing experience

The counter staff, both at pick up and drop off, were amazing. I cannot praise them highly enough.

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Rowbottham

December 12, 2022

Destination: London

10Very happy with how it all went. Thanks.

So I had an issue with my credit card PIN number but the staff did all they could to help.

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Andy

December 9, 2022

Destination: London

9.7Excellent service all round.

Counter staff were excellent and the drop off was so quick and easy. The shuttle bus was great too , can’t recommend Avis Heathrow enough.

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Sajid Baksh

December 8, 2022

Destination: Watford

10Amazing

Exceeded my expectation, smooth transition of booking and handover of car the best one i had ever.. Great staff, Great deals totally worth the time....

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J.MURPHY

December 8, 2022

Destination: Edinburgh

10Good experience. I'll use you again!

Everything went perfectly

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E.Shambare

December 8, 2022

Destination: Leeds

9.3Very good

Car a bit old and stained seats inside

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R.Caldwell

December 7, 2022

Destination: Manchester

9.3Very good experience

Everything was quick and convenient. I took pictures of a few blemishes prior to driving the car but this was unnecessary. A very good experience!

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A.Barnes

December 7, 2022

Destination: London

10An excellent experience and will be using them again.

I was so impressed by Rodney who assisted at Europcar. He was polite, friendly and went above and beyond. I was very happy with the upgrade he gave and made my day. Rodney is by far a credit to Europcar and will certainly be using them in the future. Nothing is too much trouble for him, thank you!

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W.COPLEY

December 6, 2022

Destination: Newcastle Upon Tyne

10Very fast and easy experience.

The car at Keddys exceeded my expectations, the guy in the office was very efficient and pleasant. Totally nice experience. The drop off was just as pleasant.

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M.Thornton

December 4, 2022

Destination: Leeds

10Really good

Easirent we’re very efficient lovely helpful staff. Car very clean. Great service

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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