Driving direction in UK : keep to the left

Driving direction in UK and Northern Ireland

The driving direction in UK and Northern Ireland is to the left.

If you come from a country where they drive on the right side, chances are that when you get your rental car, you will go and sit on the front passenger seat! Remember, however, if you are going to drive in the UK, the driver sits on the right side, changes the gears and secures the handbrake with the left hand and drive on the left side of the road!

Drive on the left sign

The roads - almost always- have markings that help you remember to stay on the left. For example, when approaching a T-junction, the left side of the road has broken double white lines and a triangle.

These markings also help you to remember to stop and yield to the traffic coming from your right. Once clear to cross, you cross on the opposite side of the road. You might find the driving direction in UK and Northern Irealand a chaallenge at first, but you will quickly get used to it.

Driving Direction in UK and Northern Ireland - the Road System

  • Roads that are marked with an M are Motorways (highway /autobahn). On the road signs and usually the maps they are marked with blue.
  • A roads are smaller than Motorways. They may be dual carriageways (two lanes of traffic each way) or have only one lane. They connect several major cities and towns in Northern Ireland. They are marked with Green.
  • B roads. These are smaller than A roads that go through villages. They might be narrow and twisty and are marked with yellow on the map.

Driving direction in UK and Northern Ireland -Which is the fast lane?

On motorways and dual carriageways, the left lane is used for cruising.

You can use right lane if you need to overtake other vehicles and if you need to turn right. Once you have overtaken another vehicle, you should go back into the left lane as soon as it is safe to do so.

Driving direction in UK and Northern Ireland - Speed limits

  • Motorways: 70 mph or 112 kph, unless otherwise indicated.
  • Most A roads outside urban areas: 60 mph or 96 kph, unless otherwise indicated. Dual carriageways 70 mph unless otherwise indicated.
  • Urban areas: 30 mph or 48 kph unless otherwise indicated.

Northern Ireland travel driving roundabout

Driving direction in UK and Northern Ireland - Roundabouts

Roundabouts are (most of the time) a handy piece of road design aimed at facilitating the flow of traffic. My South African friend calls them circles. Very popular in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, they are less common in other countries.

Who is having priority at a roundabout?

The one who is going around the roundabout has priority over the one who is entering, unless otherwise indicated (e.g. by traffic lights).

If you are in a multi-lane roundabout and realize at the last moment that you need to take the left exit and you are on the inside lane, do not swerve, because you might cause an accident.

Since the roundabout is in the shape of the circle, just follow it around once more, this time position yourself better for a timely and smooth exit.

driving direction in UK roundabout

Driving direction in UK and Northern Ireland - Seatbelt Safety

You should be wearing a seatbelt at all times when driving in UK and Northern Ireland. Please review the rules for Seatbelt Safety here.

Driving direction in UK and Northern Ireland -Drink Driving

Drink driving is a serious offense. Never drink and drive. Do check the regulations regarding drink driving here.

And that concludes our driving direction in UK page. If after reading this you are still not sure how to drive in the UK, better let someone else do it and enjoy the trip from the passenger side.

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