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PI-driving-guide

If you’re bringing your car to the UK or hiring one once you get here, this guide will help you to get used to British roads. From driving etiquette to some handy tips from the AA, the UK’s biggest motoring association, we’ve got everything you need to have a safe and unforgettable trip.

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legal-risks  road-etiquette  aa

top-10-places-to-visit-by-car


Legal Requirements 

Bringing your car to the UK

If you decide to drive your own vehicle for your very own British road trip, then there are a few things to keep in mind.

Papers

What you need to bring:

  • Your passport or ID card
  • Your vehicle’s documents
  • A valid driver’s licence 
  • A European Accident Statement
  • Accident and breakdown cover
  • Motor insurance certificate
  • Green Insurance Card

Insurance

  • You must have motor insurance to drive your vehicle on UK roads
  • You can get international travel insurance as an add-on for your car liability insurance. Rates and options vary with each insurance company
  • Bring the certificate of international travel insurance with you
  • MTH RAILKING ERIE 4 BAY HOPPER COAL LOAD o gauge train freight car 30-1647-1-B,
  • You must wear a seatbelt in cars, vans and other goods vehicles if one is fitted

Hiring a car

Hiring a car can be a convenient and flexible way to get around Britain. 

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  • Piko 53253 Modernisierungsswagen Age 1. Klasse der DR Fabrikneu,Not all hire companies will have the same prices and some may even have special offers. If you’re using a holiday provider, see if they offer any inclusive deals
  • N SCALE 10 ENGINE AND BOX CAR LOT + EXTRAS FREE SHIPPING,Check your documentation to look for additional charges you may be surprised by when you return the car. If you’re not sure what they are, query them with your provider. Check your credit card bill in the weeks after your trip too in case new charges are added
  • NEW COPPLESTONE CASTINGS ASSAULT TROOPER CHARACTERS MINIATURE COLLECTIBLES FW9,The extra costs of a satnav can really add up on your car hire, so why not bring your own and save the money!
  • New Lionel 6-29830 Pacific Fruit Express Hot Box Reefer,Each hire company will have different fuel policies, so try to work out which is the best for you.NEW WARLORD GAMES IROQUOIS WARRIORS MINIATURE GAME COLLECTIBLE FIGURE WG7-FIW-59,

Equipment

Things that should be in the car: 

  • Warning triangle
  • Reflective jacket
  • First-aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Spare light bulbs 

Things that are forbidden:

  • Spare jerry cans are not allowed on ferries 

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Speed limits and fines 

speed-camera

Speed limits

The UK still uses the imperial system for road signs. All limits and restrictions are set in miles per hour (1 mile = 1.61 kilometres) and yards (1 yard = 0.91 meters).

Knowing the national generic limits for cars and motorbikes will make life a lot easier, so you don't have to convert in your head while driving. On UK roads, it is unusual to find speed limit signs unless the speed limit differs from the “standard” limit for that road type.

  New Fujimi Mokei Plastic model 1 150 Uji Byodoin Temple Kyoto Import Japan F S, Piko 38219 G White Pass & Yukon Route Mogul Locomotive with Sound, NIB MTH ELECTRIC TRAINS RAIL KING CSX DUMP CAR W OPERATING BAY 30-7925 O & O-27, PIKO 59700-2 DIESELLOK V 200 red der DB WM288, NEW SAGA 2ND AGE OF CRUSADES SCI FI MINIATURE GAME COLLECTIBLE FIGURES SRB22, 
Piko 35221 G R1 30° Brass Right Hand Manual Switch Turnout, 30mph (48kmph) 60mph (96kmph) 70mph (112kmph) 20mph (32kmph) 50mph (80kmph)
NEW AND USED VERY OLD AHM FIRE FOX SET. MANY EXTRAS WITH SET. IN Box, 30mph (48kmph) 50mph (80kmph) 60mph (96kmph) 20mph (32kmph) 50mph (80kmph)

Speed Cameras and Fines

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) generally suggests a margin of 10% plus 2mph of the posted speed limit before giving you a speeding ticket. Individual police forces can use their discretion, though, so even driving in excess of 1mph could result in a fine.

If police catch you speeding, you can risk the following:

  • A verbal warning
  • Attending a speed awareness course, which you'll have to pay for
  • A Fixed Penalty Notice (a speeding ticket) plus a £100 fine
  • Prosecution. You will have to go to court and you could face a fine of up to £1,000 (£2,500 if you were speeding on the motorway) and a possible driving disqualification
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20mph  (32kph) 24mph (38kph)  35mph (56kph) 
30mph (48kph) 35mph (56kph) 50mph (80kph)
40mph (64kph) 46mph (74 kph)   66mph (106kph)
 50mph (80kph) 57mph (91kph)  76mph (122kph) 
60mph (96kph) 68mph (109kph)  86mph (138kph) 
70mph (112kph)  79mph (127kph)  96mph (154kph) 

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Roads and signsNEW BOLT ACTION MINIATURE ALLIED STAR D6 DICE 14MM 16 OLIVE DRAB D6 408403001,

motorway

Roads

There are 3 main types of road in the UK and signs and speed limits will differ depending on where you’re driving. These 3 road types are:

  • New KATO 10-491 JR Kyushu Shinkansen Bullet Train Series 800 Tsubame 6-Car F S,High-speed roads (70 mph) where slow vehicles and pedestrians are forbidden. Motorway signs are blue with white text. Motorways are named with an M prefix or suffix (for example M6 or A6 (M)). Junctions and exits are announced one mile in advance, with several signs until the exit. Motorways are free to drive on except for a small part of the M6, north of Birmingham
  • Nuts Planet B005 1 10 The Aquila, Smaller and slower roads which can either be single or dual carriageways. Signs are green with white text. You can find both primary A-roads and primary B-roads, B-roads are generally regional and link up less populated areas.
  • Pathfinder Rpg - Module - Daughters Fureur De, These routes are often present when there is a primary route close by. They offer an alternative which may be more direct and avoid dual carriageways. They can be either A or B roads, and signs are white with black writing. 

You can also find C roads across the UK, but these are very small and not often noted on national maps.

Road signs  

Some road signs will be familiar, but there are a few that you can only find in the United Kingdom. Here are the main ones:

Main British road signs by Jean-Yves Scauri

Driving in London 

England’s capital is a must-visit destination for tourists. You may decide to ditch your car and get on the tube, but if you want to see the city from the comfort of your own car then read on to get our tips. 

a. London Congestion Charge 

To avoid traffic in London, there is a toll that drivers in the city centre must pay from Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm. 

To pay it, you have to register your license plate online before travelling. It costs £11.50 per car per day. 

Congestion charge sign and the areas where it applies:

congestion-charge-small congestion-charge-map

N scale vehicle Kiha 120 type diesel car (Kansai line) 92132,If you want to park on London’s streets, make sure that you know where you are allowed to. Here’s a breakdown of the road markings: 

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MTH Rail King O 30-90338 Row House, allowed not allowed
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NEW Vollmer Scenery Structure Covered Loading Ramp HO Scale VOL43631, NJ International 2161 N Crossing Gate Signals (Pair of 2),  allowed allowed at certain times and days with "pay and display"; free parking at all other times

You can also leave your car in one of these 7 car parks located just outside the congestion charge zone and close to tube stations: 

  • Park Lane / Marble Arch 
  • Queensway 
  • Knightsbridge 
  • Pimlico 
  • St. John's Wood 
  • Tower Bridge 
  • Church Street 

You can then use the Oyster card or the London Travelcard to travel around London with ease. 

b. Dartford Crossing toll 

dartford-crossing

There is another toll to pay if you drive on the east side of London. The Dartford Crossing toll can also be paid online in advance or within 24 hours after crossing. It costs £2.50 per car.

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Legal risks 

parking

Drink driving

  • The BAC (blood alcohol content) limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath
  • The limit in Scotland is significantly lower at 50 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath
  • Alcohol has a different effect on everyone and is dependent on factors such as weight, age and metabolism, but it is advisable to not drink any alcohol at all when driving.
  • The fine for being caught over the limit can be as high as £5175 and you may also lose your driving license 

Texting while driving

  • Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal in the UK. The penalty is a fine, starting at £90
  • It is allowed to use a phone in emergency situations when dialling 999 or 112
  • Phones can also be used when the car is safely parked
  • Hands-free phones can be used but drivers can still be stopped by the police if there are any suspicions that the driver is distracted

Seatbelts

  • You and your passengers must wear a seatbelt if one is fitted in the seat you’re using
  • You can get fined up to £440 if you don’t wear it
  • An exception to wearing a seatbelt is when the driver is reversing the car

Parking fines 

  • Familiarise yourself with UK parking signs and markings
  • Parking fines start at £60 

texting

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Road Etiquette and Tips 

Every country has its own driving etiquette and the UK is no different. Here are our top tips for using the road like a local! 

  • Horns should only be used when someone's driving behaviour is really dangerous - and only a quick pip. Any prolonged sounding of the horn is considered hostile. The use of a car horn is not permitted in built-up areas between 11.30pm and 7 am
  • In traffic, always let at least one car in at junctions and exits where possible. It’s only polite!
  • Don't ever try to queue jump (go up the wrong lane and then try to get in late). Drivers will not let you in and you may find yourself blocked deliberately.
  • Flash your lights or blink your hazard lights a few times to express ‘thank you’, ‘you’re welcome’ or ‘go ahead’, depending on the situation.
  • Allow fire, police and ambulance vehicles to pass safely and legally. Continue to drive until you find a place to safely pull out of the way but don’t stop dead in the middle of the road or break the law unless instructed by a police officer.
  • British roads are fairly narrow. The vehicle coming uphill is always given priority.
  • On British motorways, there is no so-called "fast lane". Unless you are overtaking another vehicle, you should remain in the left-hand lane ("Lane 1") at all times. If you change lanes, you must signal with your indicator.
  • The police can arrest you if you drive below the speed required. If an officer thinks your driving is a risk to other road users, even if you are driving slowly, you can be fined.
  • Don’t drive too close to the vehicle in front of you. Understand that some drivers make an effort to maintain a safe, legal, braking distance behind the car in front. 

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Five main concerns addressed by the AA 

The AA is the UK’s biggest motoring association. It is the most popular breakdown cover provider in the country, and also offers car insurance, driving lessons, route planning and driving advice. We’ve been in touch with Chris Patience, responsible for all of the AA’s online motoring advice and information, to get some tips about driving in the UK.

Driving on the left

NEW WARHAMMER 40K BLOOD ANGELS PRIMARIS HELLBLASTERS GAME WORKSHOP GW-BA-4128,With nearly 35 million vehicles, including almost 29 million cars, British roads are generally much busier than roads across mainland Europe.NME 510621 Spur H0 Getreidewagen Tagnpps 96,5m³, silver, SBB; 12. Betr.nr. Ep 6,.

On dual carriageways and motorways use the left-hand lane unless overtaking.

Pay particular attention when turning at a junction or rejoining the road after a short stop (refueling etc.) as this is when you are most likely to forget and revert to driving on the right.

There is no general priority rule. You must stop at junctions with a solid white line across the road and must give way to traffic on the main road when emerging from a junction with broken white lines across the road.

Roundabouts

N - Trix 15743 Eilzugwagen 2. Klasse Bm 234 Ergänzungswagen Eilzug Moseltalbahn,Roundabouts are very common in Britain and are generally safer than other types of the junction as long as you follow a few simple rules.

Traffic always flows in a clockwise direction around roundabouts.

The general rule is to give way to traffic approaching from your right unless you are directed to do otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights.

As you approach a roundabout pay particular attention to any signs and lane markings directing you to the correct lane for your exit.

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Driving in London

MTL Micro-Trains 111030 BN ETTX 820914,Noch 66711 HO Wooden Open-Sided Barn Kit,.

If you do drive in the central zone you will have to pay the congestion charge. The charge is payable Monday to Friday between 7 am and 6 pm and the zone is identified by signs and road markings displaying a white 'C' on a red background.

Accidents 

NEW WARHAMMER 40K THOUSAND SONS RUBRIC MARINES FANTASY GAME WORKSHOP GW-TS-4335,If you are involved in a road-traffic accident as a driver you must stop if anyone is injured, if there's damage to another vehicle or property or if an animal is injured.MTH Union Pacific Mallet 2-8-8-2 Steam Engine MT-3012L w Predosound,. Read more information here.

Breakdowns

ON30 NARROW GAUGE BACHMANN 0-6-0 CONgreenED 2-6-0.,Breakdowns are stressful enough at home but can be even more so if you're in a foreign country and don't know the language or who to contact. Talk to your national breakdown service provider to ensure that your policy is extended to include cover abroad.

If your car breaks down, get your vehicle off the road if possible. Make sure you warn other traffic by using your hazard warning lights, particularly if your vehicle is causing an obstruction

If your car breaks down on a motorway, do the following: 

  • Pull onto the hard shoulder and stop as far to the left as possible
  • Leave your sidelights on and turn on the hazard warning lights
  • Get out of the vehicle by the left-hand door and make sure that all your passengers do the same
  • Wait behind a barrier well away from the carriageway and hard shoulder
  • On motorways without a hard shoulder, use an emergency refuge area, motorway service area, or leave at the next exit
  • If you have to stop in a live lane, put your hazard lights on, and dial 999 or 112. Do not attempt to leave your vehicle unless you are in the left-hand lane and it is safe to do so.

Read more information and advice about car break down on the AA website

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Top 10 places to visit by car 

 

If you’re driving over to the UK using the ferry, then you’ll most likely arrive at the port of Dover. From Brighton’s famous Pier to the prehistoric Stonehenge monument, you can easily get to all of these fantastic places by car from the town. Here are our ten must-see locations.

dover

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When you arrive in Dover, take some time to explore the city, including 16th century Deal Castle, and enjoy the beautiful panoramas of the famous White Cliffs.

bexhill-on-sea

MTH RAILKING 30-76182 HARLEY-DAVIDSON FLAT CAR O GAUGE 4 SPORTSTER MOTORCYCLES,

From Dover, take a scenic drive along the south coast on the A20 and A259. In about 90 minutes you'll arrive in Bexhill, where you can admire the seaside and get a splendid view of the English Channel.


brighton

MTH---------GREAT NORTHERN FA-2 ABA--PredO 2,

From the A259, continue on the A27 for 31 miles to arrive in Brighton. The city's famous pier is fabulously British and features a funfair, restaurants and traditional seaside fun.

london

N-Scale DC READY ATLAS GP-40,

Make sure you stop by the capital to visit famous monuments like the New N Gauge A1191 Jnr 70 System Ska color, It Appeared During Hematopoiesis 5-Ca,, Big Ben and the Tower of London. To reach London from Dover, take the A2 and then follow the M2 for 76 miles.


windsor

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From London, take the A4 for 25 miles to Windsor to visit the O Scale Boo Rim Brass Parts - Large Lot of Gears & Bearings - Unused AI 626,. Windsor Castle is the official residence of The Queen and the beautiful grounds cover 13 acres.

stonehenge

NEW SAGA GODFREY OF BOUILLON SCI FI MINIATURE GAME COLLECTIBLE FIGURES SHCA01,

Take the M3 from London, take the A303 for 88 miles and stop in Wiltshire. This picturesque county is home to the prehistoric monument Stonehenge. Walk in the footsteps of our Neolithic ancestors and discover how they lived 4500 years ago.


oxford

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From London, take the M40 then the A40 for 46 miles to stop in Oxford, a city that revolves around its prestigious university, established in the 12th century. Drive on the A44 to Woodstock to visit Blenheim Palace, one of the finest country houses in Britain, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

warwick

N Scale Life Like GP38 'CSX' Road Item,

Continue on the M40 for 95 miles to arrive in Warwick and visit the famous Warwick Castle. This medieval castle was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1068 and is home to one of the world’s largest working siege engines.


cambridge

Piko 51519 H0 Locomotora con Sonido Eléctrica Br 141 Db Ag V,Tráfico de Red,

From London, take the M11 for 63 miles and stop by Cambridge to visit one of the world’s most famous university towns and see some of the finest scenery in southern England.

cardiff

Piko 51847 - E-Lok- Br-111 - Ocean bluee Beige -ac- Mfx Suitable -db- Epoch IV,

From London, drive on the M4 for 150 miles and you’ll be in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. This port city is home to Onyx Path Werewolf The Forsaken Werewolf - The Forsaken (2nd Edition) HC NM,, a marvel of Roman, medieval and Gothic architecture.


Driving in the UK can be a challenge at first and you should always prepare before you start driving in the country. This guide should help you with all of your preparations. Remember to read up on all rules and regulations, but most importantly- enjoy your holiday!

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Sources and additional information

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