Navigating British roads – Tips and pointers for foreign nationals

Explore the United Kingdom! Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

Foreign nationals may find driving in the UK puzzling, however, its one of the best ways to savour the varied landscapes spilling right outside your car window. Britain consists of many reputed drives like Cheddar Gorge and Peak District drive plus 245.8 thousand miles of road that pass by some of the UK’s most striking sceneries. With many toll-free motorways and trunk highways sprinkled across the country; your favourite attractions are just a drive away.

Vehicle Insurance in the UK is mandatory

Vehicle insurance is considerably more expensive for foreign nationals. Overseas motorists are unconsciously trained to drive on the right side of the road, plus the road systems are entirely unlike those abroad, which are a few crucial reason insurers to consider overseas as unsafe drivers.

Here’s how to save on your insurance costs.

To be eligible to drive in the UK, you need to bring in your existing driving licence, valid insurance documents and proof of ownership of the vehicle you intend to drive. Include an international driving permit s if you need one. Drivers opting to use rented vehicles must carry proof of the rental arrangement. Uninsured vehicles can be fined up to £1000 in court. Irrespective of who may be at the wheel, the owner of the car is answerable for all fines. Driving an uninsured car holds a £100 fixed penalty sand you risk the chance of having your car seized. If you are apprehended driving an auto, you are not insured to drive you can face a fine of £300 plus six penalty points.

If you intend to visit the UK for an extended period, then it’s advisable for foreign motorists to apply for a UK licence. Foreign nationals carrying non-exchangeable driving licences will be required to retake the test for your driving license.

Click here to check if you are eligible to drive in Great Britain with a foreign license or swap your foreign driving licence here.

Now that you’re ready to drive, here are a few locations you might consider visiting.

Tips for driving in the UK

  • Motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road and overtake on the right.
  • Drinking and driving carry a £5,000 fine and a jail sentence extending to six months and a 12-month seizure of the offenders’ license.
  • The three roads you will drive on in the UK are motorways, primary roads and non-primary roads.
    – A motorway is identifiable by the M prefix and is generally free to ride on except for specific lengths along the M6.
    -Primary roads carry a slower traffic flow and contain traffic signs of white texts on green backgrounds.
    -Non-primary roads offer a less congested direct alternative and contain road signs of black text on a white background.
  • Speed limits on motorways and dual carriageways reach a maximum of 70mph while speed limits on restricted roads range between 20 mph – 40mph.
  • Blue parking signs specify parking spots and are easier to find around popular tourist attractions. Keep coins in hand in case you need to park at a metered parking space. Inspect the road signs to ensure you don’t overstep parking restrictions.
  • Wearing a seat belt is obligatory.
  • Texting or calling when driving is a firmly discouraged.
  • It’s best to keep a map handy even though many car rental firms include a GPS device in vehicle.


Now that you know the correct steps to ensure your travels around the UK is safe and within the law, let Wecancar’s smooth car hire connect you with the right vehicle!