Max Q
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Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Tue May 14, 2019 10:28 pm

Planning a trip there and considering renting a car

I haven’t driven there before, afaik a US
license is acceptable for renting and driving


Any other considerations to take into account? Like insurance?


Other than driving on the left that is
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flipdewaf
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Tue May 14, 2019 11:01 pm

Yeah, you’ll be fine. It isn’t just driving driving on the other side( I’m from the uk so it’s normal for me) but apparently the roads are narrow and bendy, thinking time is not on your side on UK roads.

Fred


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RyanairGuru
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Tue May 14, 2019 11:07 pm

Insurance is included as standard with car rental in Europe (indeed pretty much everywhere outside North America) but the deductible (excess in British English) is normally really high, generally around GBP 1500-2000. The rental car company will offer you excess reduction for about GBP 20 per day, but check your travel insurance policy as most decent policies actually cover the rental car deductible.

The other thing to consider is that most rental cars in Europe are manual. Even if you are confident driving a manual I would recommend booking an automatic, even though it will almost certainly be more expensive. The reason is that the gears go the opposite way to what you are used to, for left hand drive you push away from the driver when changing up whereas in right hand drive you pull towards the driver.

I learnt to drive in a manual car in Australia (right hand drive) but lived in the USA so am very confident driving left hand drive. However I've only ever driven auto in the US so if I was renting a car on mainland Europe I would rent an auto because I have a hunch that I would struggle with the gears going the "wrong" way.
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flipdewaf
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Tue May 14, 2019 11:17 pm

RyanairGuru wrote:
Insurance is included as standard with car rental in Europe (indeed pretty much everywhere outside North America) but the deductible (excess in British English) is normally really high, generally around GBP 1500-2000. The rental car company will offer you excess reduction for about GBP 20 per day, but check you travel insurance policy as most decent policies actually cover the rental car deductible.

The other thing to consider is that most rental cars in Europe are manual. Even if you are confident driving a manual I would recommend booking an automatic, which will almost certainly be more expensive. The reason is that the gears go the opposite way to what you are used to, for left hand drive you push away from the driver when changing up whereas in right hand drive you pull towards the driver.

I learnt to drive in a manual car in Australia (right hand drive) but lived in the USA and am very confident driving left hand drive. However I've only ever driven auto in the US so if I was renting a car on mainland Europe I would rent an auto because I have a hunch that I would struggle with the gears going the "wrong" way.

That’s interesting about the gears. I learned to drive in a tractor where the gear lever is in the middle and I never had any trouble with manual on either side. A good shout on the automatic option though.

Also don’t worry about getting something “small” a Ford Focus is totally normal here and you’ll get round the streets best in something like that.

Fred


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Max Q
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 12:46 am

Thanks so no issues with US license acceptance for rent or driving in the UK ?
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LittleFokker
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 12:56 am

I went to Scotland about 3.5 years ago and rented a car for my first experience driving outside of the US. Flew into EDI, drove up to St Andrews, then went to the west coast around Turnberry, then flew out of GLA, so I did get a pretty good sampling of Scottish roads. I did pay extra for the automatic transmission (even though it was a terrible transmission) and for the insurance just because. Took about 10 minutes to adjust to driving on the opposite side of the road, but felt fine after that. That part is not as a big of a deal as you think it is.

Where I got burned, and you should do research before you leave, is how much different signage is in the UK vs USA. Learn what the different signs mean (I'm referring to colors and shapes), because it's not obvious if you're not used to it. And remember everything is in Kilometers, not miles. Also, study the hell out of Google Maps for the areas you intend to stay and drive around in. Learn the major roads and highways and try to plan out your routes as much as possible beforehand. The more surprises you can eliminate ahead of time, the better driving experience you'll have.
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 12:57 am

Max Q wrote:
Thanks so no issues with US license acceptance for rent or driving in the UK ?


No. You'll be fine with that. Hell, I was even once able to use a TX issued license there once. . .
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 1:01 am

flipdewaf wrote:
Yeah, you’ll be fine. It isn’t just driving driving on the other side( I’m from the uk so it’s normal for me) but apparently the roads are narrow and bendy, thinking time is not on your side on UK roads.

Flipdewaf is not just "whistling Dixie" here. From what I've seen on various travel vlogs, once you're off the main highways and especially in the more rural areas, winding one-lane roads bordered by hedges or stone walls seemingly inches away from the pavement on one or both sides are not uncommon.

Case in point: Scottish Highlands- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNLEiQdjs6E
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chimborazo
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 1:48 am

We have some fabulous roads to drive.

I’d imagine Max, as a pilot of quite some years judging by these threads, would have no problem driving a manual on the correct (left side*) of the road.

Just take a moment to mentally “swap” what the hands do.

* majority of people are right handed. People passed on left so sword hand was towards an unknown on-comer. This is why driving on the left is correct :-)
 
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 1:48 am

Max Q wrote:
I haven’t driven there before,...
Any other considerations to take into account? Like insurance?
Other than driving on the left that is

From the replies already received, there is a mixture of good advice, some curious observations, and one or two absolute howlers. :lol:

However, I'm not going to embarrass the guilty parties so y'all just have to figure out for yourself who is spreading little nuggets of misinformation. (or you can PM me)

Basically you'll be fine, and the only question is will you genuinely require a vehicle for the entirety of your stay? For some people the thought of managing without a car for a few days causes a panic attack, but there is no point in hiring a car straight off the plane at Heathrow if you are going to spend your first week in London seeing all the sights.
Clue; plenty of Brits wouldn't even consider taking their car into London - it's just too much hassle.

I could add more if you were able to provide details of your proposed itinerary, but I'm guessing you haven't nailed that down for yourself yet.

Have a good trip!
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ltbewr
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 3:30 am

I have driven on the 'other side' of the road at least 8 times, the last in November 2017 in the UK. Your USA state Drivers License, so long as valid for past your planned rental time is fine.

In that last trip, I drove a Ford Fiesta with stick and petrol engine, was just right for me for size, especially on narrow country lanes in England and Wales and had enough performance despite it's 3 cyl./1 L size. It also had a 'up-shift - down-shift' light to suggest when to do so. A car is necessary if want to travel to the country areas. You don't want a car in any cities due to traffic, complicated traffic patterns, congestion charges.

Check out various 'shopping sites' for pricing. Automatic shift cars can be 30-40% more to rent but shop around. Watch out for the few toll roads and bridges, check with the car rental company as to how they handle any such tolls. So is a atlas map, you can get one cheap at discount bookstores in the cities. Some map Atlases also note 'scenic' routes. Your phone can also be used as a GPS.

Some other hints.
Petrol is expensive, about = $7.00 a US Gallon last I checked. Small car = better fuel mileage.
Sometimes your USA based credit card won't be accepted at the pump for payment, usually you will have to go to a human to process the transaction.
Speed limits may be strictly limited, in some areas their are 'average' speed zones of several miles so doing well over the limit for the stretch may get you a ticket on your credit card months later.
Know how to use the 'roundabouts' as instead of lights with intersections, you have them, sometimes doubled up and with a number of roads off them. They can be very confusing, know the route number your taking and city/town direction going toward.
Driving and drinking a cup of coffee or a can of soda may be ok here but in the UK, is considered distracted driving with possible fines. Seat belt laws are strictly enforced.
As others noted, watch out for side roads, many have hedging or walls close to the road at intersection corners so others may not see you or you might not see them.
If traveling in the summer, air conditioning may be necessary, but almost all but the cheapest rentals have it anyway.
Take photos on your phone if any scratches or bumps and note them on inspection at pickup so if upon return you are not responsible for them.
You may have to pay for parking in towns, usually purchasing a ticket at a machine (keep some 20p, 50p and 1 Pound coins handy. or use your credit card. Many towns require you to park in lots off the 'High' (=Main) Street.
DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. The UK standards are 0.05, vs. the USA's 0.08 states. Besides you have a rental car and in a strange place.
Check if your credit card offers LDW (Loss Damage Waiver or Deductible) coverage. If you don't have it, you will need to purchase it separately as a steep price.
On multi-lane roads (like Motorways = Interstates). you pass on the right, must use your turn signal when passing, don't speed over the limit and follow lane discipline - left lane for slow vehicles (like trucks - or as they call them HGV's - Heavy Goods Vehicles - limited to 56 MPH. Right lane for passing. If 3 lanes in each direction, center lane for car speed limit or close driving.
Just take your time, make sure you are in the correct side of the road, plan your route, and use caution and driving in the UK is no problem.
 
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 9:11 am

Wow! In depth. But.... no no no no no on the last point. It doesn’t matter if there are two lanes or 15 lanes in the motorway: you drive in the left lane unless overtaking. I.e. if you’re not overtaking, move back to the left lane WITH the HGVs and indicate right again to pass. Our roads are more congested because of the mistaken belief in using different lanes for different speeds. Left lane is driving lane, any other is a passing lane until clear then you move left again.

Unless you are in a BMW or Audi in which case use whichever lane you want, ideally the right lane all the time whether you are at the limit or not and remember: never, never, never use your indicators as the car will explode or rear view mirror because it will pull your eyes out.
 
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 9:31 am

23yrs in the car rental business at LHR, gotta say the Americans were one of the better drivers we encountered. One biggie which tended to throw em was Roundabouts. Not to many in the US so not much experience of them, give way to the right when entering.Enjoy the ride.
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Aesma
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 9:56 am

I was surprised to not see roundabouts being mentioned !
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 10:35 am

LittleFokker wrote:
And remember everything is in Kilometers, not miles.


Actually we have some weird hybrid metric/imperial thing going on at the mo.

Things are sold in metric but speed and distance are imperial. So you could drive 2 miles at 30mph to buy 2L of Cola. (Not that anyone would go through that effort for cola)

What I like about our signs compared to the US is that we get junction diagrams on signs about a mile before the junction, whereas in the US I found that the signs were near enough on the junction, therefore not good if you need to get over a lane or two.
 
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 11:10 am

chimborazo wrote:

* majority of people are right handed. People passed on left so sword hand was towards an unknown on-comer. This is why driving on the left is correct :-)


And the shield was worn with the left hand, and you wanted to have it between your body and an unknown on-comer. This is why driving on the right is correct...
 
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 12:15 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
chimborazo wrote:

* majority of people are right handed. People passed on left so sword hand was towards an unknown on-comer. This is why driving on the left is correct :-)


And the shield was worn with the left hand, and you wanted to have it between your body and an unknown on-comer. This is why driving on the right is correct...

In feudal times you needed to get on your horse from the left (still the custom) as your sword was generally on the right and you would want to get on and off from the side of the road not the middle. When multiple horses were used together to tow a wagon the 'driver' would sit on the rear left horse and keep his right hand free for control of the other horses (most people doing the whipping with the right hand). He would intentionally drive on the right so that other wagons would not collide wheels with his.

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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 1:28 pm

Aesma wrote:
I was surprised to not see roundabouts being mentioned !


Not only roundabouts, but also:

Mini roundabouts - often nothing more than a painted circle in the middle of a junction. Unfortunately, quite a few Brits treat minis somewhat differently to a normal roundabout. You often see a 'Mexican standoff' at a mini roundabout with multiple drivers all looking at each other wondering who should go first. Drives me mad - it's just a roundabout FFS!.

Multi-way roundabouts (I don't know if they have a proper name - a big roundabout with mini roundabouts at each junction). Designed such that traffic flows round in both directions. :spin:

TBH, I don't think there are many around, but best example is just inside Hatton Cross at Heathrow:
Image

PS Looking at that image again, I don't think that is Hatton Cross, but very similar.
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 1:34 pm

scbriml wrote:
TBH, I don't think there are many around, but best example is just inside Hatton Cross at Heathrow:
Image

The first 2 times coming across that roundabout was hell! Last January I did alright I think, having finally figured out how to handle it.
 
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 2:50 pm

Yeah, THAT looks a bit terrifying! (just a bit.) The one I thing I learned is: It is turning a corner that will get you (at the beginning). I got the driving on the left thing no problem, then turned a corner and found myself on the wrong side... :spin: Quickly corrected but almost did it at least two other times when there was no other cars around. Just force of habit. Not that hard to overcome but at the beginning it was weird. (Got a good laugh from my cousin who was with me and lives there).

The other thing I found weird was the "head" habit, which direction you look first when approaching an intersection. I couldn't fully overcome it so I just started looking both ways for any intersection.

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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 3:27 pm

I've lived as an adult in both the UK and the US so familiar with driving in both.

The standard of driving in the UK is, IMO, much higher in that lane discipline is something that people observe and that driving is something people are very conscious about so you really won't see people texting/using their phones/doing makeup for example! Drink driving is also taken very seriously. Most people I know will either not drink if they are going to drive or might have half a pint at the beginning of their meal for example. I have lived in NYC and you won't see the aggressive driving of others in the Northeast of the US in the UK as a rule of thumb.

Traffic in London and the southeast of England can be troublesome, especially during rush hour and those can extend out to most A roads (major roads) and Motorways (freeway/interstate).

Manual cars and those with smaller engines are very common primarily due to fuel cost and smaller roads/parking spaces in general. SUVs aren't the mainstay of cars as they seem to be in the US now. As others have said get an automatic car just to make things easier.

scbriml wrote:
TBH, I don't think there are many around, but best example is just inside Hatton Cross at Heathrow:
Image

PS Looking at that image again, I don't think that is Hatton Cross, but very similar.


You'll terrify the man, threre really are so few about that they aren't worth getting worried about, but the easiest way to look at them is to treat them as they are....a series of mini-roundbaouts to be treated one at a time.

That one is the Magic Roundabout in Swindon, the Hatton Cross one is pretty tame:
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Aesma
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 4:32 pm

Those things look ridiculous, in France we just have a big one and you manage it by instinct :

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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 4:36 pm

Tugger wrote:
Yeah, THAT looks a bit terrifying! (just a bit.) The one I thing I learned is: It is turning a corner that will get you (at the beginning).


What regularly got me was:
Getting off the hotel/B&B premises into a small road on the second morning :-)

First encounter with driving on the left was with a Honda Dax driving once along the coastline
Harwich |>England, Scotland, England, Wales, England >|Harwich

Later never had issues with cars and road "sided"ness : ( all 4 permutations :-)

I am absolutely taken with Roundabouts in the AngloSaxon world.
German road engineers turned it into a tool of torture.
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 4:57 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
23yrs in the car rental business at LHR, gotta say the Americans were one of the better drivers we encountered. One biggie which tended to throw em was Roundabouts. Not to many in the US so not much experience of them, give way to the right when entering.Enjoy the ride.


I guess that depends where in the US you are because there are plenty of US cities full of them (but we don't call them roundabouts). Boston especially.
 
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 5:13 pm

Curious, what is the american word for a roundabout?
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TSS
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 6:59 pm

Kno wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
23yrs in the car rental business at LHR, gotta say the Americans were one of the better drivers we encountered. One biggie which tended to throw em was Roundabouts. Not to many in the US so not much experience of them, give way to the right when entering.Enjoy the ride.


I guess that depends where in the US you are because there are plenty of US cities full of them (but we don't call them roundabouts). Boston especially.


readytotaxi wrote:
Curious, what is the american word for a roundabout?

I'm wondering that, too. "Roundabout" is the only term I've ever heard for them.
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 7:48 pm

TSS wrote:

readytotaxi wrote:
Curious, what is the american word for a roundabout?

I'm wondering that, too. "Roundabout" is the only term I've ever heard for them.


Traffic Circle. In frequent use where applicable here.


There are other terms, but that one is the most prevalent in the US. . .
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Kno
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 8:07 pm

TSS wrote:
Kno wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
23yrs in the car rental business at LHR, gotta say the Americans were one of the better drivers we encountered. One biggie which tended to throw em was Roundabouts. Not to many in the US so not much experience of them, give way to the right when entering.Enjoy the ride.


I guess that depends where in the US you are because there are plenty of US cities full of them (but we don't call them roundabouts). Boston especially.


readytotaxi wrote:
Curious, what is the american word for a roundabout?

I'm wondering that, too. "Roundabout" is the only term I've ever heard for them.


In New England and the north east in general we call them rotaries. In other parts of the country they are often called traffic circles. Although I have seen them in most states they seem to be the most common in Massachusetts by a long shot, they're all over the place here. I might be in the minority who likes them but I think they help difficult intersections flow smoothly and quickly when used properly.
 
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 8:25 pm

Another thing to look out for is fuel. Not sure about the UK, but in many parts of Europe diesel is as common as gasoline, if not even more so. Diesel cars are very rare in the US, so more often than really should be the case American tourists have completely bricked rental cars (or led to expensive disassemblies of the fuel system, etc.) because they decided to fuel up a diesel rental car with gasoline. Always pay close attention to what you are doing at the pump - fuel doors normally have stickers to let you know what to do, but that may not always be the case.
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 9:03 pm

In the UK petrol stations now have diferent size nozzles on the pumps which fit the fuel tank, making it "almost" impossible to put the wrong type of fuel in the tank.
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 9:22 pm

Kno wrote:
In New England and the north east in general we call them rotaries. In other parts of the country they are often called traffic circles. Although I have seen them in most states they seem to be the most common in Massachusetts by a long shot, they're all over the place here. I might be in the minority who likes them but I think they help difficult intersections flow smoothly and quickly when used properly.


readytotaxi wrote:
I'm wondering that, too. "Roundabout" is the only term I've ever heard for them.


You should go to Carmel, IN (Suburb of Indianapolis), the home of gajillion roundabouts (We call them roundabout here in Indiana).

But yes, speaking of roundabouts, people seriously don't know how to drive in one here in US. Some people just stop at every single road where a car may enter. :banghead: :banghead:

BlueberryWheats wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:
And remember everything is in Kilometers, not miles.


Actually we have some weird hybrid metric/imperial thing going on at the mo.

Things are sold in metric but speed and distance are imperial. So you could drive 2 miles at 30mph to buy 2L of Cola. (Not that anyone would go through that effort for cola)

What I like about our signs compared to the US is that we get junction diagrams on signs about a mile before the junction, whereas in the US I found that the signs were near enough on the junction, therefore not good if you need to get over a lane or two.


Speed limits sign in UK are oddly in miles per hour, just like in US.

Aesma wrote:
Those things look ridiculous, in France we just have a big one and you manage it by instinct :


Ahh...the famous Place de l'Étoile (Place Charles de Gaulle).
 
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 9:32 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
BlueberryWheats wrote:
LittleFokker wrote:
And remember everything is in Kilometers, not miles.


Actually we have some weird hybrid metric/imperial thing going on at the mo.

Things are sold in metric but speed and distance are imperial. So you could drive 2 miles at 30mph to buy 2L of Cola. (Not that anyone would go through that effort for cola)


Speed limits sign in UK are oddly in miles per hour, just like in US.


Yeah, that's what I was saying. :D

I hope that here in the United Kingdom we stay imperial for speed and distance. Because of our strange ways I struggle to judge distance in km rather than miles, but at the same time have no clue how many ounces something is but can guess at how many grams.
 
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 9:37 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
In the UK petrol stations now have diferent size nozzles on the pumps which fit the fuel tank, making it "almost" impossible to put the wrong type of fuel in the tank.


That only works one way, though. The diesel nozzle is larger than the unleaded one, meaning it's difficult to put diesel in a petrol car but the reverse is much easier. Which is a bit daft because petrol in a diesel engine is much worse than diesel in a petrol engine.
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Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 9:43 pm

scbriml wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
In the UK petrol stations now have diferent size nozzles on the pumps which fit the fuel tank, making it "almost" impossible to put the wrong type of fuel in the tank.


That only works one way, though. The diesel nozzle is larger than the unleaded one, meaning it's difficult to put diesel in a petrol car but the reverse is much easier. Which is a bit daft because petrol in a diesel engine is much worse than diesel in a petrol engine.

Petrol in a diesel will make the engine stop but won’t damage it significantly, biggest issue is probably if it goes for too long you’ll have to replace the diesel pump as it relies on the specifics of the diesel for lubrication. Often you’ll find a diesel (particularly an old one) will run better after a misfuel as you get a really hot burn and a good de-coking.

Fred


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SheikhDjibouti
Posts: 1698
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 11:23 pm

All you ever wanted to know about Roundabouts, but were afraid to ask. :lol:
As several have already pointed out, the image shown earlier is of County Islands in Swindon.
Constructed way back in 1972, it was originally known as "County Islands" but locally (& rudely) known as "The Magic Roundabout" after an epic children's TV program. The name stuck and over time the road planners gave in to popular demand hence...
Image
Somewhat surprisingly in 2009 it was only rated "Fourth scariest road junction" in the UK :rotfl:
Those of a nervous disposition will be pleased to note that there is a Hospital conveniently nearby (refer to sign above).

This amazing construction even has it's own dedicated page on Wikipedia, where you will see references to further examples at Hemel Hempstead, High Wycombe, Denham, and more recently Colchester. Many years ago I "collected" the full set as they existed then (a kind of motoring equivalent to Munro "peak bagging"), taking great delight in going the "wrong way" (anticlockwise) around the Plough Roundabout in Hemel whilst long queues formed to go the regular route because people were scared to try something different. :biggrin:

Wikipedia wrote:
Historically, experience with traffic circles and rotaries in the US was almost entirely negative, characterised by high accident rates and congestion problems. By the mid 1950s, construction of traffic circles and rotaries had ceased entirely. The experience with traffic circles in other countries was not much better
Widespread use of the modern roundabout began when the UK's Transport Research Laboratory engineers re-engineered and standardised circular intersections during the 1960s.
Starting in the 1990s the US saw a revival of mostly smaller traffic circles, termed "roundabouts" The modern roundabout finally arrived in the United States in 1990 in Summerlin, a major Las Vegas residential subdivision.
American confusion at how to enter and especially how to exit a roundabout was the subject of mockery such as featured in the film European Vacation and the television series The Simpsons. By 2011, however, some 3,000 roundabouts had been established, with that number growing steadily.(e.g 4800 as of December 2015)

Fun Fact; Half of the world's roundabouts are in France (more than 30,000 as of 2008), including the abomination that gyrates haphazardly around the Arc de Triomphe. (see aerial image above showing multiple utterly ridiculous vehicle angles, and a localised log-jam even when 80% of the circuit is empty. :banghead: )

Whilst I don't have exact numbers for the UK, the United Kingdom has more roundabouts as a proportion of the road than any other country, and therefore probably comes a close second with around 16,000. I'm not entirely happy with these numbers as it only leaves ~14,000 roundabouts for the rest of the world, with 5,000 of those being in the USA. On the other hand I observed at first hand the introduction of possibly the first roundabout in Tenerife, and for sheer entertainment value, watching Spanish drivers trying to come to terms with it kept me amused for several years. :rotfl:
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
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WildcatYXU
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Wed May 15, 2019 11:43 pm

Nah, guys, all these roundabouts suck. This is the only Roundabout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1-NsnlPc54
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chimborazo
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Thu May 16, 2019 12:08 am

Good info on the side of the sword, multiple horses etc. However.... I’m English... so the left is the correct side :-)

All these examples of difficult roads. I’m currently in Bogotá... wow! Not only are all the various slip roads on and off the main roads that go in seemingly crazy directions and are difficult to navigate, in some places the cops can actually change the configuration of a close set of intersections with various gates. The mind boggles!
 
WIederling
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Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Thu May 16, 2019 8:04 am

chimborazo wrote:
Good info on the side of the sword, multiple horses etc. However.... I’m English... so the left is the correct side :-)

All these examples of difficult roads. I’m currently in Bogotá... wow! Not only are all the various slip roads on and off the main roads that go in seemingly crazy directions and are difficult to navigate, in some places the cops can actually change the configuration of a close set of intersections with various gates. The mind boggles!


they do that for the "Elbtunnel" ( 4 tubes with 2 lanes each)

One road in Hamburg turns direction depending on the commuter traffic.
Another one changes the lane assignment from 2in,2out to either 1in,3out or 3in,1out.
( just by setting up some traffic cones )

Video on youtube shows a US road bridge where the massive center divider is "rearranged" on a regular basis by a purpose built machine. ( fun to watch )
Murphy is an optimist
 
Bongodog49
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:35 am

Re: Renting a car and driving in the UK with a US drivers license

Thu May 16, 2019 1:30 pm

Hiring a car is little different in the UK to the US, its generally the same people (Avis, Hertz etc) and they will try to sell you an upgrade and extra insurance.
ts of good points above, and one or two howlers such as signs being in kilometers.
The big things I would point out are:
Red lights mean stop under all circumstances, no turning left (equivalant to your right turn on red) if the road is clear.
Use of mobile phones and blatant eating and drinking whilst driving are illegal.
Big inner Cities are best avoided as the traffic is horrendous, but that's no different to the USA.
Drivers tend to pull away from junctions a lot faster
Parking tends to be more expensive.
Camera enforcement is widespread, not just ordinary speed cameras, but average speed sections as well. You can also come across cameras detecting cars jumping red lights, catching cars driving in bus lanes, and even catching people stopping for more than 2 or 3 hours in a supermarket car park. Any of the fines for these will end up on your credit card via the car hire company.
Road signage tends to be clearer and more consistent than the USA. There is a design code for road signs that applies across the whole of the UK.
At a petrol station just pull up at the pump, press the button to select pay at kiosk and they will turn the pump on, you don't have to go into the shop and hand over your card or cash before they turn the pump on.

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