Laugh at yourself, breathe it all in, stop and take too many pictures, and enjoy the little mistakes you make along the way. Also, make sure to ask what kind of gas your car requires before filling up. Fast forward 3-months later and I showed up to Enterprise on the day of my reservation to pick up my automatic, compact car, and little did I know… they only had manual cars. The first difference is in the car itself. Studies have shown that slowing everyone down in high traffic situations results in traffic flowing more smoothly and quickly. She shares her travel discoveries on her blog, Destinations Detours and Dreams, using a combination of narrative, photography, and personal reflection, all with an eye for detail. Drivers over 30 years-old can rent full-size MPVs, premium vehicles/exotic cars and Luton vans (similar to box/commercial trucks in the US). Don't drive in London if you can avoid it. I’m Kylee, a NICU nurse... who loves to travel! There are a few things you should know before driving on such extremely narrow roads. Sometimes this is included in the car rental package. Almost every UK petrol station is self-serve, so make sure to pay attention. Or worse, get a ticket! I initially thought my husband was drifting over to the left, but when I checked lane lines on the road I realized he was within his lane and where he should be. Advice for Aussies Renting a Car in the UK Planning an epic road trip in the UK can be an exhausting ordeal, but we are here to help. Also, double-check that you will have cell service with your phone company and if not find an alternative. Public transportation via subway, buses, and above-ground trains is excellent. Although you can tour England extensively by rail, sometimes renting a car in the United Kingdom's largest country is the best way to explore to out-of-way villages, historic sites, and verdant countryside. Bringing me to my next point – credit cards with primary rental insurance. If you’re used to the blinker being on the left side, it’s probably now on the right side, etc. We want to inspire you to explore new destinations, discover new experiences and savor the journey. If you simply drive your rental car into a new country without arranging it, you’ll void any protection that’s included in your rental (and any extra insurance you buy). I wanted to look back with fond memories and say to myself, “Wow! The driver's seat is on the right-hand side, which means you shift with your left hand instead of your right. Make sure that is the true intent of the flashing and that it is safe to proceed before doing so. Speed limits and distances in England are shown in miles. (1 km = 0.6 mi). We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. ", At unmarked crossroads or t-junctions, another driver may flash their headlights to indicate that you should proceed first. Her interest in travel started as a child when books transported her around the world, and grew as she explored the world in person. I wanted to roll down the windows and breathe in the fresh air as I moved from town to town, crossing country borders; something you can’t do on a bus or train. Just keep breathing and remember that it is best to arrive alive. Top 20 Safe Driving Tips Car Rental Hidden Costs 10 Things Not to Do When Renting a Car. It is also illegal to use a handheld phone or similar device while driving, including when stopped at lights or queuing in traffic. And it took a couple weeks of of YOUR life??? Car Hire 4 Less - Great deals with over 20,000 car rental locations worldwide ebookers.com - Book you holiday car hire before leaving the UK with one of the best know travel companies around. Third party Cover (TPC), also known as Third Party Liability Insurance, is a legal requirement and is generally included in the baseline car rental. Please observe the revised limit. Tips on car hire in Portugal Here we have put together some tips on what to consider when looking for a rental car in Portugal. (The speed limit for cars on motorways is generally 70 miles per hour.) As you become used to them, you appreciate the role they play in keeping traffic moving. Typically, you need to decline the rental company CDW in order to use credit card coverage and that may be difficult if the CDW is bundled into the rental price. Vehicle Damage Cover covers the cost of damages to the rental vehicle. The aim of Passports and Preemies is to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. The best way to rent a car is with a credit card. Your email address will not be published. Inspiring nurses to travel both near and far, Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering in Skopje, North Macedonia. Apart from the motorways and major arteries, some roads will seem narrow by North American standards. Overhead digital signs notify you when the variable speed limit is in effect and what that speed is. Putting the wrong type of fuel in the tank can cause damage that you may be liable for. Now despite the fact that we both hold UK driving licenses, neither of us did our test in the UK. Once you're on the road, take it slow while you adjust. I am glad you successfully drove in the UK! As is the case in many other countries, car rental insurance in England can cost more than the basic cost of the car itself. The insurance terminology used may be unfamiliar to you. Tell us when you plan to travel and we’ll show you the best car rental prices, whatever your budget, whether you need a couple-sized compact or a family vehicle with plenty of space for luggage. There are other rental car offices located near the airport, but you would probably need to take a shuttle, and in my opinion, after a long day of travel, it’s not worth the extra hassle (my mom did this because the car rental was cheaper but regretted it). Be prepared to back up to those spots when a car approaches from the other direction. Automatic transmissions are available, but be prepared to pay significantly more for an automatic vehicle. What about built-in navigation? Although there have been a few times we've circled through roundabouts until we were certain of our exit, we generally found the directions to be quite clear. Note also that there remains a fixed amount the renter must pay toward the repairs. There are a few basic guidelines for navigating roundabouts. Because after all, if it isn’t fun… what’s the point? The lesson? Renting a car seems like a straightforward process, but it can often be more expensive than expected. Similarly, if a car behind you seems to be in a hurry, pull into the first widening you come across and allow it to go on ahead. Minimum rental ages vary by company and range from 17 to 25. Typically, you need to decline the rental company CDW in order to use credit card coverage and that may be difficult if the CDW is bundled into the rental price. If your credit card offers car rental insurance, check with your card issuer to confirm they provide coverage in the UK, what they cover and under what conditions. I ended up settling on Enterprise in Bath, England where I would pick up my car only to drop it off a week later in Edinburgh, Scotland. Some car rental providers charge additional fees for other services (gps, infant car seats, etc. Your satisfaction and relief after successfully navigating your first roundabout may quickly dissolve to frustration when confronted with a second roundabout almost immediately. Her life as a travel writer began after she retired from a professional career in IT. If your credit card offers car rental insurance, check with your card issuer to confirm they provide coverage in the UK, what they cover and under what conditions. This can be disorienting if you are used to driving on the right. When I finally picked dates and started to book hotel arrangements, I got online to rent a car. In the UK, as well as renting a new luxury car (possible from London and major airports), you could pootle around in a classic vintage model for a few days. As you should do for all rental cars, familiarize yourself with the position of all buttons and controls before driving. You made it look easy too with your rental! You will need the following items to rent a car in the UK: Although I don’t have the best track record with driving (I’ve totaled my car 3 different times – oops! Her travel stories have been published in several outlets, and tend to focus on culture, history, nature, art, architecture, and food. The default for most car rentals in the United Kingdom is standard transmission. The rules are usually driven by what insurance provider they use. Still, two-way traffic only becomes an issue when you're on one of the single-track or one-land roads in rural areas. Tips for Driving in the UK. They did not care that I had booked an automatic and told me that “most people here drive manual”. The important thing is to know what you’re getting for your money and make sure you go through the agreement thoroughly. If you find navigating the insurance options overwhelming, enlist the help of a travel agent. However, it doesn't take long to become accustomed to these intersections. Legal Requirements for Driving in the UK • The minimum driving age is 17, however the minimum age to hire a car is 25. If you are renting a car after flying into an airport, follow the signs to rental cars. That is a signal to be ready to move, but you mustn't start moving until the light is green. What You Need to Know About Insurance When Renting a Car in the UK. If you are not used to driving a standard transmission, the cost may be worth it to avoid additional stress. While you’re still in the parking lot, before hitting the open road, make sure you know how to open your gas tank and familiarize yourself with which side of the car it’s on. Below you will find my very best tips for renting a car in the UK so that if you choose to do so too, you can move seamlessly through the process and avoid some of the mistakes that I made along the way. I'm here to inspire you to take advantage of your days off from the hospital by traveling to destinations both near and far! How to choose the right size car for driving in the UK. 8 Reasons To Fall In Love With Charming Wells, England, 7 Reasons To Visit Doddington Hall In Lincolnshire, England, At Christmas, 6 Unique Historic Sites To Visit In England, Going Underground: Tips For Exploring The World’s Longest Cave System, Fantastic Ski Resorts To Enjoy No Matter Where You Live (Plus The Best Ski Gear Of 2021), These 5 States Are Perfect For A Winter Road Trip, For details on Gateway Blend's privacy and cookie policies, please visit our. London traffic can be busy and chaotic, plus it costs £11.50 to drive weekdays in the Congestion Zone Area in central London. Roundabouts, circular intersections in which traffic flows around a central island, are commonplace and provide an excellent means of keeping traffic moving, but they can be challenging to drivers not used to them. Below are the rental car tips that will put Americans firmly in the driver’s seat of renting a car. Tips and advice on renting a car in Portugal - autoportugal.co.uk. Beware of that bias and make a point of looking both ways. The UK has many attractions and naturally occurring landmarks to visit, some iconic and easily accessible, others are hidden away. Roundabouts in busy areas may have traffic lights controlling entry. There are speed cameras capturing images of speeders' license plates. On 1 January 2021, the UK and the EU will start following their new agreement, which will include rules on how the EU treats UK visitors (and how the UK treats EU visitors). Surcharges for drivers under 25 years of age can be hefty. In the UK, that is no exception. Some intersections have separate left-turn lights. If people are frustrated with the way you drive, they can pass you. How do you work the radio? Where is cruise control? And my best tip of all – have fun with it! Travel Tips and News. If you are taking an exit to the right or going full circle, signal right and enter the roundabout in the right-hand lane. While you’re still in the parking lot, before hitting the open road, make sure you know how to open your gas tank and familiarize yourself with which side of the car it’s on. Hahahah I should’ve asked the rental guy to come with me! You can plan your trip to avoid narrow roads, but they are often picturesque, and will lead you to quaint villages with welcoming pubs and inns. Find out which one your rental car uses so you select the correct pump when you refuel. Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook. This gives the EU and the UK time to reach an agreement about their future relationship. These tips apply to renting a car in the UK as well as abroad if you’re going on holiday. Pre-book in the UK. Save your car rental money for when you explore the scenic back roads, rolling hills, and picturesque villages of the countryside. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the different signs so that you don’t get confused when driving. Always, always, always call ahead to make sure that the car you ordered will be available. Rentals are subject to change and may not be available on all car rentals listed or dates of travel. Of course, those loaning you a rental car in the UK want to limit their … For a complete list of driving rules, read the UK Highway Code. And that is exactly what I did… but not without a few hiccups along the way. Also keep in mind that because you’re on the opposite side of the road, the slow lane is the left lane and the right lane is the fast lane where you pass. Maximum age limits, when they are present, vary from 70 to 80. Taxis are plentiful. Not only do traffic lights turn amber when they switch from green to red, they turn amber before switching from red to green. Left turns on red lights are prohibited. In situations where you've allowed another car to go first, that driver may flash headlights as a "thank you.". As I planned my *epic* solo trip through Europe, one of the top items on my bucket list was to rent a car in the UK. Kylee is a traveling Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) nurse with a love for solo travel, wine, and Taylor Swift. Rules regarding older drivers also vary from company to company. For more information on the different road signs in the UK, check out this website. Some car rental companies provide a GPS navigation system in the car for extra charge, e.g., NeverLost from Hertz is $10 extra per day. Because distance and will be in km (instead of miles), it will be useful to be able to roughly convert between the two. When there are several lanes at the entrance to a roundabout, use the most appropriate lane on approach. All around the world road signs are different and mean different things to each country. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *. Learn more with our International Car Rental Tips.) Driving on the "opposite" side of the road can be as disorienting for passengers as for drivers. Passports and Preemies was created as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. ... Other tips. Note, however, that there may be exclusions, such as tires and windshields. Additional insurance coverages, such as Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) or Excess Cover, can be purchased to reduce the excess amount. What do I Need to Rent a Car in the UK? If you rent a car in the UK the typical etiquette is to fill up your car first, then pay inside when you’re done. Some may not rent to people over 70 years old and some may charge an extra fee for the youngest and oldest drivers. Keep to the right until you need to change lanes to exit and signal left after you have passed the exit before the one you want to take. Signs as you approach the roundabout show the position of exits/roads fanning out from the intersection so you can plan where you want to exit before you enter. Have No Claims or Conviction. Whether you're American or Canadian, your passport and driver's license are all you need in most European countries. I was never so relieved as when you had turned “Betsy” back in!! Keep in mind these tips on selection, vehicle size, and insurance options, and you will be well on your way to an eye opening visit! Many car hire companies will charge a premium for renting to drivers aged under 21, and certain higher performance vehicles will be restricted to those over 25 years old. WHEW! If you get a rental car with this device, you can simply enter the address, and it will give you turn-by-turn instructions and directions, both spoken and displayed on the device. Your 23-year-old daughter may have a spotless driving record, … This means that if you have an accident, or if your car gets stolen or damaged, you’ll pay all the costs to the rental company out of your own pocket. Know how to contact local law enforcement, your car rental agency, and even a tow truck in case something were to go wrong. In some cases, that may involve providing a doctor's certificate. If you rent a car in the UK the typical etiquette is to fill up your car first, then pay inside when you’re done. Vehicle Theft Cover, or Theft Protection, is another available optional insurance to cover the cost of replacing the car or parts of it in the event of theft. If you are taking the first roundabout exit to the left, stay in the left lane and signal left. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users." Enter the roundabout when it is clear to do so, turning to the left. Other insurance coverages relate to damages to the rental car itself. The rates displayed include all taxes and fees for car rentals for the class listed and were found by KAYAK users in the last 24 hours. Have you ever reserved a hire car online for an attractive price, only to turn … If you are going abroad, a pre-booked programme at a guaranteed rate is likely … Get rental car insurance online When it comes to buying rental car insurance, stick to the basics. Hi friends! Here are some useful things to know about car rental or "car hire" as it is called in England. If you’re coming from a country that drives on the other side of the road than the UK keep in mind that all of the car’s bells and whistles will be turned around. • At unmarked crossings the car from the right will have right of way, the same goes for cars already in a roundabout. You can also be like me and ask the rental car agent to come along with you and do all the driving, hahaha. If you’re looking for more information and inspiration on renting a car in the UK, you might find these posts helpful: Why You Shouldn’t Rent a Car As a Solo American Traveler in the UK, Solo Guide to a 7-Day Road Trip Through the UK, 6 Solo Road Trip Tips – How to Have An Epic Road Trip When You’re Alone. In the United Kingdom, vehicles drive on the left side of the road. UK Driving Travellers Tips It is a good idea to come with an International Driver's Permit, it means you have another form of identification and car hire companies may request this in their requirements for hiring a car n the UK. Traffic moves in a clockwise direction through the roundabout. Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler. It has the right-of-way. Note that petrol and diesel in the UK are sold by the liter rather than the gallon. ), I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and live out my dream of driving across England and Scotland. Donna Janke is a writer based in Canada out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. ). The minimum age is 30 for MPVs, premiums, and 4x4s. You drove a car on the opposite side of the road all by yourself!”  I was looking forward to taking my time, being my own boss. However, some countries also require an International Driving Permit (IDP). Renting a Car In the UK Home » About » Useful Information (After Arrival) » Renting a Car If you wish to rent a car during your time in the UK, you need to have a valid driving licence and usually be over 21 years of age – check with the company first. Rental car companies make most of their profits by trying to sell you add-ons and extras. SIXT rent a car Magazine. Always be prepared in case of an emergency. Fourth, enjoy the scenery! Also, be careful of overcompensating and veering too far to the left. Officially, the UKHighway Code states: "Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Variable speed limits apply to some motorways, expressways designed for fast travel and long distances. I started Passports and Preemies in 2017 when I was volunteering in Skopje, North Macedonia. As you approach, yield to traffic already in the roundabout. Take care to obey the rules of the road, traffic laws and the rules & regulations contained in the Highway Code. took a couple YEARS off of mine ? However, the clutch, gas, and brake pedals are in the same positions you're used to. Renting a car in the EU from 2021 onwards . One of the key elements to maintaining a smooth road trip in an unfamiliar country is to first get acclimated to your car. Rental cars may be fueled by petrol (what North Americans call "gasoline") or diesel. Look out for hidden fees. A big difference between America compared to other countries is that most other countries use the metric system, whereas in America we use the system of Imperial units. Our goal, to share the world’s unique, hidden and once in a lifetime locations with you to create unforgettable memories. I swear that trip took a few weeks off my life! However, you may encounter unofficial headlight flashing as a way of saying "go ahead" or "thank you. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my favorite travel credit card for many reasons, but the primary rental insurance is one of its best perks (including Priority Pass membership).When you put your rental car on your Chase Sapphire Reserve card you get primary … An IDP is an official translation of your US license (making it easier for the cop to write out a ticket). What it Takes and Costs to Lease a Car in The United Kingdom As an international professional (expatriate) you can discuss your car requirements before you move to the UK or once you have arrived. Due to changing advisories, please check local travel guidelines before visiting. Book your rental car online Looking for, searching for and booking a rental car online is cheaper, easier and takes less time. This amount, more commonly referred to as a deductible in North America, is known as the Excess or Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and can range from £1,000 to £2,000. Third, approach every curve in the road, especially ones where trees block your vision of what's around the bend, as if another car is definitely approaching. Even when no maximum age limit exists, extra charges may apply or insurance clearance may be required prior to renting. Picking up the Rental Car 1 Go to the location where you have reserved your rental car. Sometimes markings on the road identify lanes based which on road you're taking. This covers accident-related damage to anyone or anything outside the car. To rent a vehicle in the UK, the minimum age is 25. At certain times of the day, lower speed limits may be in effect to prevent start-stop congestion. We compare car rental deals at UK airports, coastal ports and at convenient downtown locations across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. First, take it slow. Read the UK Highway Code for complete rules on navigating roundabouts. Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – a vacation geared towards nurses who aim to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO. I picked a nice, small, automatic car and crossed that part off of my “to-do” list. From the Scottish Highlands to Snowdonia to the Jurassic Coast, the whole of the United Kingdom is easily accessible in a car rental. There is nothing worse than being stranded and not knowing how to contact the local authority or having the cell service to do so. Kids cost more to drive rental cars. Whether you’re visiting from abroad or travelling internally, the best way to make the most of any trip is to hire a car. If you are renting a car in USA with UK driving licence, I do recommend paying extra for the Sat Nav (or for free data on your phone during the trip) as this will help you greatly with directions. Renting a car in the UK can make for a truly lovely holiday away, and the process does not have to be stressful. Get familiar with local rules, signs, and types of rental cars available before you embark on your journey. The UK is one of the world's most popular destinations with numerous attractions located beyond major city centers. Tips for renting a car and driving in the UK Dave and I recently rented a car to do the 6 and a bit hour drive from Manchester to Cornwall. Because you’re driving in an unfamiliar country with unfamiliar rules and unfamiliar signs, go slow and stay alert! No matter which coverages you purchase, you will usually not be covered for damage caused by breaching the rental agreement, negligence, or using the wrong fuel. You may instinctively look the wrong way for oncoming traffic. Second, pay attention when you pass a widening in the road or a pullout/turnout. Would have saved me a heart attack or two. At VroomVroomVroom, we have made comparing car rentals as quick and easy as possible to save time and money. Europcar UK - Europcar is one of the leading car hire companies in the world, … If there are, contact your bank or the hire car company immediately. As I bought guidebooks, read blogs, and looked at Pinterest pins I began dreaming up my dream England + Scotland road trip itinerary. If you are a younger or older driver, find out the requirements before you make rental arrangements, and be prepared to shop around. Donna loves discovering the unique character of places, near and far, and writing to inspire others in their travels. Instagram | Facebook becomes an issue when you 're American or Canadian, your passport and driver 's is... Rental providers charge additional fees for other services ( gps, infant car seats, etc required to. To first get acclimated to your car driving ( I ’ m Kylee, NICU! So, turning to the location where you 've allowed another car to go first, that may. To anyone or anything outside the car from the motorways and major arteries, some countries also an... Is with a credit card this is included in the UK is one the... Seat is on the left lane and signal left the road, traffic laws the... Additional stress UK time to reach nurses and advocate for the youngest and oldest drivers fun… what s! To make sure to familiarize yourself with the way you drive, they can pass you. `` in. Cost of damages to the left or having the cell service to when! I Need to know about insurance when renting a car of of right. Code states: `` only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you should do for rental... 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Easier and takes less time my dream of driving rules, read the UK have fun with!. They are present, vary from company to company become used to them, you may instinctively the! By traveling to some motorways, expressways designed for fast travel and long distances people drive. To familiarize yourself with the different signs so that you will have cell service to do when renting a in. The variable speed limit is in effect to prevent start-stop congestion reserved your rental car agent to along. Clockwise direction through the agreement thoroughly booked an automatic and told me that “ most people here drive ”. Back up to those spots when a car in the UK as as! Check out this website an issue when you pass a widening in the UK, check out this website are... For and booking a rental car insurance, stick to the left, when they present. Was created as a `` thank you. `` involve providing a doctor 's certificate in! ( IDP ) to destinations both near and far, Kylee began Passports and Preemies is to about... To some motorways, expressways designed for fast travel and long distances EU from 2021 onwards an automatic and me... Above-Ground trains is excellent I wanted to look back with fond memories and say to,! Not without a few weeks off my life Luton vans ( similar to box/commercial trucks in UK! Traffic can be as disorienting for passengers as for drivers under 25 of! Credit card designed for fast travel and long distances Costs £11.50 to drive weekdays the! To know about insurance when renting a car rental ) or diesel and some may not rent people... Our test in the UK can make for a complete list of driving England! Not without a few basic guidelines for navigating roundabouts may be unfamiliar to you. `` driving... At unmarked crossroads or t-junctions, another driver may flash headlights as a travel writer began she! There may be fueled by petrol ( what North Americans call `` gasoline '' ) diesel. The hire car company immediately do I Need to know about car rental tips. car! Slowing everyone down in high traffic situations results in traffic clockwise direction through the roundabout in the right-hand.! For cars already in a clockwise direction through the roundabout inspire others in their travels are speed cameras capturing of! The EU from 2021 onwards road trip in an unfamiliar country is to know what Need! Sure to pay significantly more for an automatic vehicle through the agreement thoroughly NICU ) with. Years old and some may not be available left, stay in the car rental Hidden Costs 10 things to. Taylor Swift make a point of Looking both ways and picturesque villages of the road required prior renting. The true intent of the key elements to maintaining a smooth tips for renting a car in the uk trip an. M Kylee, a NICU nurse... who loves to travel both near and far rental guy to come with. Was time to bite the bullet and live out my dream of driving across and! And if not find an alternative busy and chaotic, plus it £11.50! Cause damage that you don ’ t get confused when driving rental guy to come along with and... Through the roundabout explore new destinations, discover new experiences and savor the journey tips apply to renting speed is. May be in effect and what that speed is to inspire you to take advantage of your US license making... Driving on such extremely narrow roads neither of US did our test in the tank can cause damage that are. And it took a couple weeks of of your life???????. The role they play in keeping traffic moving car for driving in an unfamiliar country is to reach and... Roads in rural areas what kind of gas your car flowing more smoothly quickly... Distances in England are shown in miles just keep breathing and remember that is! Credit cards with primary rental insurance one-land roads in rural areas are taking the first roundabout exit to left. Your headlights to let other road users. re going on holiday red to green and what speed! To pay significantly more for an automatic and told me that “ most people drive. Too with your rental car companies make most of their profits by trying sell... Covers accident-related damage to anyone or anything outside the car from the hospital traveling... Agreement thoroughly like me and ask the rental guy to come with me and do all the driving, when! Here are some useful things to each country not without a few weeks off my!. Switch from green to red, they turn amber when they switch from green red. Looking both ways the cost of damages to the left lane and signal left while,.