A Guide to Driving Differences: US and UK Road Rules


Driving on the opposite side of the road is just one of the many differences between driving in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK). If you’re planning to drive in either of these countries, it’s essential to understand the unique road rules and regulations. Here you will also learn about Tips for US drivers visiting the UK and vice versa.


One of the most noticeable disparities lies in the position of the steering wheel. In the US, vehicles have left-hand drive, while in the UK, they have right-hand drive. This means that the driver is seated on the opposite side of the vehicle in each country. This difference greatly impacts visibility and road positioning, and it may require some adjustment for drivers from either side to get used to.

road rules and regulations

The second major distinction is the side of the road on which vehicles travel. In the US, cars drive on the right side of the road, while in the UK, they drive on the left. This variance affects several other road rules, such as overtaking, merging, and priority at roundabouts. Always remember to keep to the correct side of the road to avoid potential accidents.

Another noteworthy difference is the use of the roundabout or traffic circle. In the US, these are relatively rare, whereas in the UK, they are frequently encountered. When approaching a roundabout in the UK, always give priority to traffic coming from your right. This is the opposite of the US, where vehicles entering a roundabout yield to those already inside. Understanding these opposing priorities is vital to ensure a safe navigation of roundabouts in both countries and comparing maximum speeds and variable limits in the US and UK.

Additionally, speed limits vary between the US and UK. In the US, speed limits are typically posted in miles per hour (mph) and are displayed in large, clear signs. In contrast, in the UK, speed limits are communicated in miles per hour but may also be indicated in kilometers per hour (km/h).

Driving in the US and UK requires an understanding of the distinct road rules and regulations. From driving on the opposite side of the road to varying speed limits and roundabout priorities, there are numerous differences that must be considered to ensure a safe and successful driving experience. Examining license requirements in the US and UK is also included here that should be consider.