Things to know about the United Kingdom
- Within the United Kingdom there is a network of roads stretching to about 262,300 miles total, and this network consists of motorways, A or B roads, as well as more minor roads.
- The speed national speed limit for a single carriageway is 60 miles per hour (97 km per hour), whereas dual carriageways and motorways have a limit of 70 miles per hour (113 km per hour). For more built-up areas, the standard speed limit is 30 miles per hour (48 km per hour), but all of these limits are variable depending on the type of vehicle being driven. Any changes to the speed limit on a particular road are indicated by round road signs with a red border, so it is important to be aware of relevant signage.
- There are plenty of scenic routes to be taken around the UK, and any tourist is spoilt for choice when considering the abundance of beautiful and panoramic sights in the countryside. Examples include the 3-hour 140-mile road trip from Glasgow to Fort William, giving you the opportunity to take in the breathtaking views of the Scottish Highlands and Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in Britain, or for some gorgeous literary history, driving through the North Yorkshire Moors can take you to Whitby Abbey, the site that inspired Dracula, Bram Stoker’s classic vampire tale.
- To make the most of driving around the United Kingdom and see all the sights on your wishlist, add a Sat-Nav to your booking so that you don’t get lost
Some rules of the road
- Remember to drive on the left side of the road, with the outside right lane used to overtake on motorways
- Speed cameras can be found on any kind of road
- When driving in London, there is a congestion charge to be paid
- It is illegal to call or text while driving
- Any child under the age of 12 or shorter than 4 foot 5 inches must use a child seat
This information is a good starting point, but it is important to also undertake your own research as to the rules of the road that are most applicable to your visit, as speed limits and toll or congestion charges can differ depending on your destination.
Car hire in UK airports
Booking your hire car in advance allows you a greater choice when choosing your vehicle, and allows you to save money with our 5% online discount. Costs vary according to your choice and the time of year for your booking, with the popular times of spring and summer being more expensive. Depending on your requirements, car hire can be as little as £8 a day. Typical car hire companies at UK airports include Alamo, Enterprise, Sixt, Thrifty, Easirent and Europcar.
Guide to the UK
The United Kingdom uses the GMT time zone, with Daylight Saving Time applying in the winter months before returning to the standard time of GMT. With a population of 67.6 million and four different countries within the UK, there is plenty to see and do no matter where you go. The UK is steeped in a rich history, with each country offering its own diverse and enriching culture. Whether it be by visiting various English Heritage sites adorned with the iconic blue plaques, the striking National History Museum in St Fagans Castle, Cardiff, Wales, or any number of similar sites, your visit is sure to be a remarkable one.
Much of the food of the UK is indebted globally to other countries and cultures that have proved majorly influential, but there remains a deep love for the hearty and comforting meals. England offers the warming roast dinner or a tasty fish and chips, Scotland boasts the traditional haggis and a dish of Collops for Burns Night on January 25th, Wales enjoys the classic Welsh Rarebit, and there’s no better place for a great stew than Northern Ireland.
London is one of the most popular tourist spots there is, and for good reason. Whether you are there for a family holiday, to enjoy the local history, or experience the iconic theatre of the West End, there is something for everyone. Why not take a hop on hop off bus tour to get a broad sense of this eclectic and exciting city, or head to Madame Tussauds and have your picture taken with the brilliant wax figures all of your favourite celebrities.
If you fancy a break by the sea, there are plenty of places to choose from. Head to Brighton, England to take a wander down the Lanes, full of a diverse selection of independent shops and boutiques, a stroll along the beach front, and play some fantastic games on the famous Brighton Pier. Head to Swansea, Wales for the beautiful bay, colourful seaside villages and refreshing coastal walks. Or book a stay in a Northern Ireland cottage before visiting the dramatic cliffs and sandy beaches that are dotted along the coast.
Places to visit in the UK
London is famous for being a tourist hotspot, offering a variety of activities and sites to visit that will satisfy all ages. However, the UK also offers a great many other locations that would make the perfect holiday destination. Bristol is a colourful and vibrant city located in the South West of England, with plenty of restaurants for the most avid foodie, its own hop on hop off open top bus tour, a walking tour to see artwork by the likes of Banksy and others, and the brilliant Smoke & Mirrors theatre pub offering comedy and magic for a great night out.
For some of the best that Northern Ireland has to offer, head to Belfast, the capital city. History buffs will love visiting the Titanic Belfast and Crumlin Road Gaol, and any Game of Thrones fans will be well served by the sightseeing tour that takes you to a number of locations used in the globally popular television show. Other great tours that offer unique insights into this wonderful city include the Traditional Music Trail, the Hidden Tours, and the Theatrical History Tour.
If you’re seeking a lively and rewarding trip, you would be on the right track by heading to Glasgow in Scotland. Glasgow is the place for an exciting city break with impressive architecture, stimulating museums and compelling art galleries, many of which are free. Some of this bustling city’s hidden gems include Ashton Lane, the charming cobbled street you might have missed in the West End, ready to offer you a great selection of bars and restaurants for a lovely evening out. Don’t miss out on having a wander around Glasgow University for some gorgeous architecture and the opportunity to take photos, or, for the art and history buffs, check out the Hunterian Museum on campus.
With so much to offer in these four diverse and exciting countries, the hardest part of your trip will be deciding where to go first!
Getting to and from the UK
There are numerous airports serving every country and most areas in the United Kingdom, ready for you to visit every inch of this great destination. Scotland’s capital city is served by the Edinburgh airport, London, England has Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, City and Luton, head to Belfast International airport in Northern Ireland or Cardiff Airport in Wales. Alternatively, if you’d like to visit multiple countries in the UK during your stay, you can also take the ferry over to Northern Ireland.
No matter where you go or how you get there, hiring a car with Enjoy Car Hire is the best way to ensure you have a chance to see all the brilliant things this destination has to offer.
FAQ's about car hire in the United Kingdom
How much is the cheapest car hire in the UK?
You can hire an economy car from around £7 (around €6) per day in certain cities and airports if you book a long way in advance.
Which side of the road do I drive on in the UK?
You will drive on the left hand side of the road.
Which are the biggest airports in the UK?
The biggest and busiest airport is Heathrow, following by Gatwick then Manchester, Stansted, Luton, Edinburgh and Birmingham. Heathrow is amongst the busiest airports in the world.
What is the speed limit in the UK?
On the motorways it is 70 MPH, however watch out for the Smart motorways which have variable speed limits. In built up areas it is 30 MPH unless otherwise indicated.
Which are the biggest cities in the UK?
Aside from London the next biggest cities are Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow.
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