With over 60 years of experience in the travel industry, 20,000 rental locations worldwide, and extensive travel resources to assist you in putting together the perfect itinerary, Auto Europe is well prepared to send you on a road trip of a lifetime through the United Kingdom. If you've read our comprehensive United Kingdom travel guide and still have questions about driving in the United Kingdom, hopefully they're addressed below, but if not, check out our general car rental FAQ, or reach out to one of our travel experts toll-free at 1-888-223-5555. Our team of award-winning travel experts is available 24/7 for your convenience and we'd more than happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about renting a vehicle in the United Kingdom.
UK Car Rental FAQ
What side of the road do people drive on in the UK?
Vehicles in the United Kingdom travel on the left side of the road, just like driving a car in Ireland, India, Japan, Australia, or New Zealand, among others. Driving on the left side of the road emerged from popular horseback-riding styles; by having the wheel on the right side of the car, the sword or pistol hand is left free for combat. Although you probably won't be doing much sword fighting while cruising in your rental car, it's certainly useful to understand how to drive on the left side of the road.
What type of vehicle is best for touring the UK?
The appropriate vehicle for your tour of the United Kingdom depends entirely on your travel plans and needs. Traveling with the family or a large group of people on an extended road trip? You'll probably want a 7-passenger van rental that will comfortably fit your passengers and all their luggage. Are you spending extensive time in the city and don't plan on driving much? Consider a compact car rental that will be able to easily navigate narrow city streets and save you money on gas. Planning on hitting the rugged countryside or the highlands of Scotland? Perhaps a four-wheel drive SUV rental would be the ideal vehicle for you. Ultimately, the best vehicle for your trip is the one that perfectly balances your travel needs and your budget, review our fleet guide in the UK to determine what class of vehicle fits your needs and budget.
How old do I have to be to rent a vehicle in the UK?
You must be at least 22 years old to rent a vehicle in the United Kingdom, although some suppliers require the driver to be at least 25 years old. Additionally, drivers under 25 years old may be required to pay a daily "young driver surcharge" to rent a vehicle.
What if I find a better deal for a car rental in the UK?
Should you find a better price for a car rental in the UK, Auto Europe offers a best-rate guarantee where we'll beat any price for a comparable car rental. If you do find a better price, we invite you to fill out our Guaranteed Best Rate Form and we'll get you a better deal. Not only does this provide you with a great price, it also ensures you're receiving the guaranteed best price in the car rental industry.
What do I do if I get into an accident or have any problems with my car rental in the UK?
Should you have any sort of problem or get into a collision or accident with your rental car in the UK, immediately contact Auto Europe toll-free at 00-800-223-5555-5 (if calling from the UK). Our travel experts are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you with any problems you may be having with your rental vehicle, whether you've had an accident with your rental car, or are having a disagreement with an agent representing the supplier of your rental. Arguably the biggest benefit to booking with a broker like Auto Europe is our longstanding relationship with our car rental partners, we're here to assist you and advocate on your behalf should any issues arise with your rental vehicle.
Are there any discounts or specials for long-term rentals?
In addition to offering the guaranteed best rates in the car rental industry, Auto Europe offers great special offers and discounts for long-term car rentals. If you're planning to rent for 21 days or more in the United Kingdom, you could acquire a factory-new, tax-free short-term car lease for a Peugeot vehicle at a spectacular price. There are tons of benefits to booking a short-term lease over a traditional rental, so contact us today at 1-888-223-5555 if you're planning an extended stay in Europe.
Do I need a credit card to rent a vehicle in the UK?
Technically, there may be some suppliers that will allow you to rent a vehicle with a debit card in the United Kingdom, although most suppliers require a credit card held in the name of the primary driver. Check out our page on car rental insurance for more info regarding the pro's of renting with a credit card, and if you don't have a credit card, contact one of our travel experts at 1-888-223-5555 who can see if they can find a supplier who will rent a vehicle to you without a credit card.
Can Auto Europe assist me in making arrangements for my other travel needs in the UK or elsewhere?
Of course we can! Auto Europe's sixty years experience in the travel industry means we have partners representing every aspect of travel; we can assist in making arrangements for hotel accommodations, private chauffeurs, and luxury vehicle rentals. Don't hesitate to contact us if you need assistance making any of the above arrangements, and if you're looking for a package deal, great discounts can be had when booking car rentals or hotels with your flights to Europe.
UK Travel FAQ
What are the entry requirements for visiting the UK?
Canadian citizens are not required to purchase a visa when traveling to the United Kingdom for visits lasting less than six months. All pets, including domestic cats and dogs, must be quarantined for at least six months once they have arrived in the UK. Pet owners must also fill out an important "Pet Passport" application prior to arranging any kennel accommodations. The Pet Travel Store is a helpful resource for requesting Pet Passports.
What is the time difference in the UK?
The United Kingdom operates five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) in the United States and Canada.
What languages are spoken in the UK?
English is spoken throughout the United Kingdom, but accents and dialects vary greatly. In addition to English, Welsh is also spoken in Wales, and Gaelic is spoken in Ireland and Scotland.
What type of electrical outlets are found in the UK?
The UK operates on 240 volts and 50 Hz via the three-flat-pin plug. Although many hotels and shops offer converters, you may prefer to purchase the adapter prior to your departure at any electronics store.
Are there any restrictions for passing through UK customs?
Travelers are not required to pay duty on an appropriate amount of items transported to the United States for personal use. No more than 1 liter of alcohol and 2 liters of wine are permitted at a time, as well as 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco per consumer.
Where can I exchange currency and find banking services in the UK?
Scotland's currency is interchangeable with Bank of England pounds (with the exception of one-pound bills) and is accepted throughout the UK. Banks are typically open from 9:30am to 3:30 or 4:30pm during the week, and some locations offer Saturday morning hours as well. In addition, British ATMs can typically access American and Canadian checking accounts. While traveling in the UK, you may find that your local bank will not charge an additional fee to make cash withdrawals, preferable to the local currency exchange. Although currency exchange kiosks are plentiful in London, rates are not usually as favorable. Your local bank will usually offer the most competitive exchange rates, and it is advised to exchange currency prior to departing. Please note that credit cards are as widely accepted for services throughout the UK as they are in Canada.
How much should I be tipping when traveling in the United Kingdom?
Service charges are often included in your hotel or restaurant bill, but otherwise, a tip of 10-15% is customary. Tips are also expected for taxi drivers (10%), porters or bellhops (£.50 per suitcase), and hairdressers (£2 plus £.50 for the assistant who washes your hair). Tips in pubs are not necessary, but you may wish to 'buy the tender a drink' when superior service is provided. If accepted, it is left to the bartender's discretion to either keep the money or indulge in the libation; this gesture is a good rule of thumb and prevents you from offending the servers with a cash tip.
What are the typical business hours for institutions in the UK?
Museums: Hours vary regionally, but typical hours are 10am - 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday, with additional Sunday afternoons in select locations.
Post Offices: General hours are 9am - 5:30pm on weekdays and 9am - 12:30pm on Saturdays.
Restaurants: Breakfast is served between 7:30am and 9am while lunch is typically from noon to 2 pm. Dinner, on the other hand, is served between 7:30pm and 9pm (later in big cities), and high tea takes place around 6pm. (High tea replaces dinner in some locations.)
Shops: Most shops operate from 9am - 5:30pm, Monday through Saturday, while others close early on Wednesdays and/or offer evening hours on Thursdays. Most major retailers in London keep extended hours throughout the weekend.
Where is the Canadian Embassy in the UK?
High Commission of Canada
Canada House, Trafalgar Square
London SW1Y 5BJ
020 7004 6000
Where in Canada is the UK Tourism Board located?
2, Bloor Street West, Suite 3403
Toronto, ON, M4W 3 E2 Canada
+1 416 925 6368
Have More Questions About Travel & Car Rentals in the UK?
Still looking for answers to questions regarding an upcoming trip to the UK? Check out Auto Europe’s helpful travel tips section for detailed information on a variety of travel topics, from car rental insurance types and additional rental accessories to trip planning guides and discount codes.