7 Road Tips to Remember if You’re A Newbie To UK Roads

Renting a vehicle is one of the best ways to experience another country, especially if you’re travelling to Scotland from abroad. 

Scotland is not just about Glasgow or Edinburgh. In fact, the majority of this country is made up of the Highlands, a vast open space, filled with rolling hills, wide vistas, mountains, lochs, and glaciers. How can you hope to explore that without a trusty vehicle to take you wherever you want to go?!

That’s why we recommend hiring a motorhome in Scotland. With a motorhome, you have the whole day to explore without having to worry about booking a hotel or staying in a B&B. The whole holiday can revolve around your vehicle, giving you complete freedom to experience Scotland the right way. 

Having said this, if you are travelling from abroad, you’ll need to know a few things about UK roads. As with any other country, many of the road rules here are unique to the UK, and the last thing you want to do is fall foul of them. With this in mind, here are a few UK road tips to familiarise yourself with before you set off on your Scotland adventure.

Driving On The Left

The first – and most obvious – rule is that people in the UK drive on the left side of the road, not the right, as you would in the US. This is going to feel a little weird at first, so make sure you take it easy during your first drive and take the time to get used to it.

Be Prepared For Narrower Roads

Speaking of the US, countries like this tend to have far wider roads – mainly because the vehicles themselves are larger. When driving in Scotland, however, you’ll come across plenty of narrow roads, so make sure you take them steadily.

Welcome To The Roundabout

The UK is also home to several roundabouts. No matter whether you’re in a large city, a small town, or a rural region, you’re likely to come across either a multi-lane roundabout or a mini roundabout. The rules are pretty simple. You’ll always turn left onto a roundabout and travel in a clockwise direction – making sure to give way to traffic approaching from the right. If you haven’t come across one before, however, make sure you read a detailed description of how roundabouts work before you arrive. 

Speed Is Measured In MPH

Most countries around the world use kmph, but in the UK, you’ll find that the speed limits are measured in mph. Road signs to represent speed are also standardised – unlike in the US – so this is another thing to be aware of before you arrive.

Failing To Adjust Headlamps Is A Fineable Offence

When you’re using your headlamps, make sure that you are not dazzling any oncoming motorists. If you don’t, you could get fined, and worse still, you’ll be putting other people’s lives at risk. Make sure you adjust your headlamps at night-time to prevent that from happening. 

Get Clued Up On Road Types

There are plenty of different road types that you need to be aware of in the UK, including:

  • M Roads

These are motorways, which are the largest and fastest roads in the UK.

  • A Roads

These are generally main roads that have a speed limit of around 60 mph. Some “A” roads will be on dual carriageways, however, which have a speed limit of 70 mph.

  • B Roads

These are smaller roads that are not as long as “A” roads or “M” roads, but they can still carry heavy traffic.

  • C Roads

Lastly, you’ll find C roads, which are generally small roads or single-track roads, typically found in rural areas.

Giving Way To Emergency Vehicles

Although this is a rule in plenty of other countries, it’s still important to mention it. If an emergency vehicle – such as a police car, an ambulance, or a fire engine – is travelling toward you or from behind, make sure to safely give way to them. There is information on how to do this in Rule 219 of the UK highway code, including how to give way while still obeying traffic signs on the road, so make sure you give it a read.

Get Ready For Your Scottish Adventure

Travelling in a motorhome beats any other type of accommodation, but it must be done safely. So speaking of the highway code, it’s a good idea to look through it before you begin your journey here in Scotland, as it will shed some light on things we might not have mentioned. These are the most crucial tips to remember, however, and following them will ensure your Scottish adventure goes off without a hitch!