Driving in The United Kingdom

Find out about the essential rules, road taxes and regulations on driving and alcohol...

The minimum age to drive a car in the UK is 17 years. Drivers must have a valid driving licence. The minimum age to ride scooters or motor bikes varies depending on a bike's size, beginning at age 16 for mopeds.

The Highway Code, published by the Government's Department for Transport, sets out all the rules and regulations for car drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in the UK.

Rules and Regulations

  • Drive on the left in the UK
  • Seat belts must be worn at all times by the driver and all passengers
  • Third party insurance is obligatory
  • All vehicles must be taxed. Since October 2014 motorists no longer need to display a paper tax disc in the windscreen as an electronic system is now in operation
  • Children up to 135cm tall or the age of 12 (whichever comes first) must travel with the correct child restraint for their weight and size
  • Mobile cellular telephones may not be used while driving except with a "handsfree" system
  • Motorists must always overtake on the outside or right lane
  • When approaching a roundabout/traffic circle, give priority to traffic approaching from the right, unless otherwise indicated
  • Motorists must always stop at a red traffic light
  • Motorists must not drive over 30mph in built-up areas
  • All traffic signals and road signs must be obeyed
  • All vehicles must give way to emergency services vehicles
  • The use of a car horn is not permitted in built-up areas from 23:30-07:00
  • It is illegal to drive in bus lanes during restricted hours. See signs by the side of the road for times