You are in England, you have to move and you think about renting a car to move freely (Visit drivy.co.uk/ for more about car rental in England). But there is one small detail that you should keep in mind: here you drive on the left. Horror! But don’t worry, don’t panic, driving on the opposite side to what you’re used to is not as difficult as it seems to be, just follow these simple tips to make everything go smoothly, never better said.
Make sure your permit is in order
The first thing you need to know when driving in England is that there, as in the other countries of the European Union, you can do so with your Spanish driving licence. However, only for three years, after this time you will have to get your English driving license. With car insurance in order and the ITV surpassed (if you still have broken the mirror it is time to fix it) you will not have any problem to circulate by the British islands that yes, always by the left. An important question: if you have no points on your driver’s license, you will not be able to use it in Spain, England or any other country. It’s time to go back to the driving school to get them back. If, on the other hand, you are a novice and have had your driving licence for less than a year, you won’t be able to drive in the United Kingdom either, you have to wait.
Beware of breaking the rules
Here, as in Spain, you must buckle up and it is not allowed to drive around on your mobile phone. It is obvious, but you know the drivers who ignore this rule. Don’t be one of them. You also have to take into account one detail: if you are one of those who honk regularly, stop. In England it is not allowed to use it between eleven thirty at night and seven in the morning, so you risk being fined if you do.
Attention to signals
You are not used to seeing them, but you must know how to interpret them as soon as possible if you don’t want to have a scare. One thing to keep in mind is that there, in England, speed is not measured in kilometres per hour, but in miles (each is equivalent to 1.6 kilometres). Thus, if you drive at 30 miles per hour you will be doing it at a little more than 48 km/h, 50 miles are 80 kilometres and 70 miles, more than 110 kilometres per hour. Beware of this. In order to practice, it is best to first drive on sufficiently wide roads, preferably highways and highways, which will make you, lose your fear little by little.
Watch out for radars
When driving on highways and dual carriageways, beware of radars. There will be many sections where you will find signs that will warn you of the presence of speed controls, but others may not. For that you can use mobile apps that will keep you informed. If you go on a highway you should know that the limit is 70 miles per hour, as on dual carriageways; on urban roads and areas near cities, you should do it at 60 miles per hour at the most; and within cities, the English Highway Code states that the limit is between 30 and 40 miles per hour. In England, moreover, the technological development to control speed is more advanced than in Spain: there is a speed control system, especially on motorways, which calculates at what speed you have travelled during a specific stretch by collecting the speed at which you were going when you started it and the speed you took once it finished. So they know if you have exceeded the limit, so be careful to do so because you can get the complaint.
In the city things change
But it’s time to drive through a city. That’s when things change. You will have to be more attentive, especially in roundabouts and intersections, but if you have assimilated that your lane is the left one you should not have any problem. Here each intersection has a different rule, so you have to pay close attention to the signs to know how to drive in each of them. A good co-pilot always helps to remind you that you are not in Spain and that everything is done the other way around here. In the city you will have to take into account several signs. If you read Slow you should know that you have to drive at a slower speed. Keep clear means that you have to leave the lane you are in free. If you see squares or yellow rectangles crossed between them painted on the floor, the meaning is the same: leave it free. If you choose large cities such as London, you must bear in mind that, in order to drive through the city centre, you must pay a fee (called “decongestion”) if you plan to do so between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. (Monday through Friday). For ten pounds, which you pay by entering this website and entering the registration numbers, you save the penalty that can fall if you do not, as the camera system detects the offender, even if the car has no British license plate. So don’t risk a 50 pound fine.
Learn how to park
When it comes to parking, you have another challenge. You must manoeuvre for the opposite side for which you are accustomed. But, like everything else, it is a matter of doing it a few times in order to be able to get loose also in this facet. It will be very different to park in small English towns to do it in cities like London or Manchester, with a much more congested traffic. In the first case it will be relatively easy to find a place to park the vehicle, in the second not so much, especially the closer you get to the canter of cities. You can do it in regulated areas with parking meters, where you will have to pay for parking in the street. The Pay and display signal will warn you that you have to scratch your pocket to leave the car there. Then there is the option of parking, in some of which you will be asked for the last three digits of the number of the car (write it down before getting on if you do not want to have to get off in the middle of the parking entrance to take a look).
Once the vehicle is parked, it’s time to enjoy the city or town you’re going to visit. Wasn’t it so difficult? Considering these simple tips for travelling by car in England will not take you long to drive normally and become an expert driver, also on the left.