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    Car rental in the UK at the best price

    As one of the world’s major tourist destinations, the United Kingdom has much to offer and see. The union consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, each with their distinctive cultures, histories and traditions. The UK is located in northern Europe, above France and adjacent to the Republic of Ireland. Very few countries successfully merge history and tradition with a modern society and innovation. With a car rental from the UK you’ll be able to drive the whole scope of the island and explore each corner of this kingdom at ease.

    With over 60 years within the car rental industry, Auto Europe is well poised to help you find the right car hire deal in the UK. Having partnered with many local, national and international car hire suppliers allows us to provide you an excellent fleet of vehicles to choose from, at multiple locations across the globe. Along with car our many special offers, we also provide motorhome rentals and an exclusive luxury car hire service. Contact one of our reservation agents today to discuss how we can help you find the best car rental deal.

    What are the most important driving rules in the UK?

    The UK has over 342,000 km of roads and as such has a rigorous Highway Code to make sure everyone reaches their destinations safely. Driving standards are quite civilised and high in the UK, with driving in major cities being more hectic as opposed to rural areas. Petrol stations such as BP, Shell and Esso can be found throughout the country. Many major supermarkets such as Tesco and Morrison also provide a refuelling service. The following rules and regulations apply throughout the UK with some exceptions in Northern Ireland:

    • Vehicles must drive on the left-hand side of the road and overtake on the right-hand side
    • There is no priority from the right-hand side
    • General speed limits for vehicles is 48 km per hour in built up areas, with some areas dropping down to 32 km per hour
    • Single carriageways generally have a speed limit of 96 km per hour
    • Dual carriageways and motorways generally have a speed limit of 112 km per hour
    • Seatbelts must be worn by the driver and all passengers
    • Children must travel in an appropriate car seat
    • Using a mobile phone whilst driving is prohibited unless using a hands-free device
    • Parking is prohibited in residents, motorbike and in disabled bays
    • Generally single yellow lines allow for parking on Sundays and during public holidays
    • No parking is allowed on double yellow lines, nor is parking or stopping allowed on a red line
    • Within England, Wales and Northern Ireland blood alcohol limits cannot be higher than 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres, whilst breath alcohol limits stand at 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres
    • In Scotland blood alcohol limits are stricter and cannot be higher than 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres, whilst breath alcohol limit is 22 micrograms per 100 millilitres.

    What to do in the UK

    Renowned for its iconic landmarks, beautiful scenery and, historical and cultural richness, a visit to the UK won’t fall short of your expectations. From Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Stonehenge, to numerous medieval cities and towns to explore, making a to-do list can often be daunting. We would recommend the following places to visit whilst in each country that forms part of the UK – all with their individual contributions to British heritage.

    • A visit to Big Ben should always be on your list whilst in England. Located in the English capital of London, Big Ben is the clock tower which forms part of the Houses of Parliament
    • Visit Buckingham Palace - the official royal residence - and watch the changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony
    • Visit Stonehenge and be in impressed by this prehistoric monument surrounded by countryside
    • Enjoy a show at the Globe Theatre. The original one burnt down, however this reconstructed replica of the 1599 William Shakespeare Playhouse is wonderful
    • Take a photo crossing the Abbey Road zebra crossing, made famous by the Beatles.
    • Visit the iconic Edinburgh Castle and enjoy some breath-taking views over the city. The castle along with its coloury history is now an official War Museum
    • Learn everything you need to know about Scottish Whiskey by spending a day in one of its numerous distilleries
    • Head to the 1901 Railway Glenfinnan Viaduct, featured in the Harry Potter films
    • Take in some sweet mountain air in the Scottish Highlands. The scenery especially during winter is simply breath-taking
    • Hike in the Trossachs National Park and enjoy the Scottish wildlife, nature and beauty
    • Drive towards Inverness and locate Loch Ness, famous for the legendary Loch Ness Monster sightings.
    • Discover Snowdonia National Park and enjoy its varying landscapes and wildlife
    • If spectacular beaches are more your thing, then head towards Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Here you’ll be greeted by an abundance of unspoilt sandy beaches
    • Visit Cardiff Castle and enjoy a historical tour of the city of Cardiff. Its lavish interior and the Victorian Gothic walls will leave you impressed
    • With only two rooms and with a width of only 1.7 meters, Wales boasts the smallest house in Great Britain – a photo here would definitely be for the album
    • Enjoy a traditional day at a Welsh Rugby match at the Principality Stadium – home to Welsh Rugby.
    Northern Ireland:
    • Visit the Belfast Titanic Museum and learn all about this iconic cruise liner. Immerse yourself in some of the recreated cabins, decks and learn about the ships voyage
    • Stretching across north Atlantic, from the mainland to a small island, consider a walk across the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge – a thrilling experience
    • Spend a day surrounded by beautiful flowers and plants at the Botanical Gardens – only ten minutes from Belfast city centre
    • Be mesmerised by the splendour of what is known as the Giant’s Causeway. Rising up from the sea along the northern Irish coastline, these basalt columns are very unique
    • Play a hand of golf at the 1889 Royal County Down Golf Club. This globally renowned golf course has a total of 36 holes.
    • Visit during St. Patricks Day and you’ll be given the opportunity to witness numerous parades and parties.

    Road trips with my car rental in the UK

    The UK has a large and varied landscape to explore, from lush forests, beautiful mountains and rolling coastlines, to seemingly endless plains. With thousands of kilometres of roads and a car rental in the UK, you’ll safely, effortlessly and securely get to wherever you’d like to go. When you’re visiting the UK, it would be a shame to just stay in one place. That’s why we have put together the following road trip suggestions to help you discover this historically rich island.

    • Scotland’s North Coast 500: Commencing in the Scottish northern city of Inverness, drive along what it considered one of Scotland’s nicest road trips. Lose yourself in the wonderful coastal roads, beautiful scenery and never-ending country tracks. Travel westwards to Applecross and then head north to Ullapool, stopping at Torridon along the way. View John o’ Groats and Caithness then head south towards Dingwall. Take a much deserved rest before heading back up to Inverness.

    • Northern Ireland’s Coastline: Setting off from Belfast head towards Carrickfergus Castle, making sure you stop along the route to enjoy some Irish hospitality. Once you have fully explored this 12th century fortress, drive to The Gobbins and spend some time enjoying what it has to offer. From caves, suspension bridges to spectacular tunnels, you’ll surely be entertained. From here, head towards the Giant’s Causeway and be mesmerised by the sheer beauty and power of the Atlantic Ocean.

    • London to Cardiff: Once you have enjoyed everything that London has to offer, drive towards Cardiff, capital of Wales. On your route stop off at the Roman Spa town of Bath, a wonderful little town with ample history, beautiful architecture and monuments to explore. Continue heading west until you reach the seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare. Here you’ll be able to enjoy the seafront, take a traditional donkey ride along the beach and simply unwind in one of its boutique coffee houses. Head north from here until you reach the Prince of Wales Bridge and cross over into Wales. Drive towards Cardiff and enjoy the rest of your stay surrounded by history, museums and a vibrant nightlife.

    • Doven to Cornwall: Starting off in Devon, drive south to Torquay and enjoy this wonderful seaside town’s attractions, natural beauty and vibrant town centre. From here drive west towards Plymouth and spend some time in the National Marine Aquarium – full of seahorses, sharks and other interesting marine life. Continue your journey westwards and into Cornwall, one of the most naturally beautiful regions of the UK and popular for surfing. Whilst in Cornwall, visit Land’s End – the furthest point away from London you can reach in the British Isles. Don’t forget to also try the legendary Cornish Pasty, whilst watching the sunset over the British channel.

    How old do I have to be to rent a car in the UK?

    In the UK you are allowed to drive with a minimum age of 17. In regards to renting a car however, a driver must have held a driving licence for at least one year. In addition, individual car hire companies impose their own age restrictions on renting a vehicle - these are generally between 18 and 22 years of age.

    Some companies will add a young driver charge for anyone under the age of 25, or a senior driver charge for anyone over 75. Sometimes a medical certificate is also required for senior drivers. Please consult the “Product Information” section during the booking process for further details.

    Do I need to pay tolls when driving my car hire in the UK?

    Generally much of the UK road infrastructure does not have tolls; however, they do exist on some bridges, tunnels, city centres and motorways. For example, the City of London has a congestion charge, and likewise a toll system exists for the M25, M48, M4 and M6 motorways. Charges will vary depending on vehicle type and day or time of travel. Paying the tolls can either be done at the toll booth, if one exists, or via your mobile phone, the internet, the post office or at an authorised corner shop.

    A Bit of History

    Ruled, occupied and invaded by countless peoples throughout the centuries, the British Isles have been home to the Celts, Romans, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings, Angles and ultimately the Normans in 1066. With the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, between English nobility and King John, a new rule of law was cemented - in effect limiting the royal authority. Throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, England was embroiled in the Hundred Year War against its neighbour France.

    As a result of the losses incurred by this war, England saw numerous internal skirmishes come to light, which ultimately led to the War of the Two Roses. This was a power struggle between the House of Lancaster and the House of York, with peace being eventually accepted during the Tudor period. Once King Henry VIII came to power and due to his desire to divorce, he announces the separation from the Catholic Church with the founding of the Anglican Church – with him at its head.

    Following a period of religious disputes, which also resulted in a momentary period without a monarchy, it wasn’t until 1660 that a monarchy was again established. The United Kingdom itself was not established until 1707 comprising of England, Wales and Scotland – also known as Great Britain. Ireland joined the UK a hundred years later, until southern Ireland gained its independence in 1922. With southern independence, Northern Ireland was formed and has remained in the UK until this day.

    Presently the UK covers an area of around 150,679 km sq. with an estimated 65 million inhabitants. The union’s capital is London, which is also the capital of England and one of the world’s financial powerhouses. The UK is one of the world’s top businesses, innovative and cultural centres, exporting its influence globally through films, music, arts and technology.

    What is the currency in the UK?

    The UK’s currency is the British pound (GBP, £). Pound sterling for Scotland has a different design compared to England and Wales, however it has the same monetary value and are accepted everywhere. The only exception to this is the Scottish pound note, which is not accepted outside Scotland. Northern Ireland notes are rarely seen outside of Northern Ireland.

    Currency exchange bureaux’s can be found at major high streets, transport hubs and inside some banks, post offices and travel agencies. Alternatively, ample ATM machines can be found across the country for you to withdraw money. Please take note of the currency exchange rate and if any additional fee applies before using a cash machine.

    What time zone is the UK in?

    The UK sits on the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+0) time zone. It also adheres to British Summer Time (BST), which sees clocks move one hour towards the end of March until the last Sunday of October.

    Electricity - Do I need a power adapter in the UK?

    The UK uses a three pin Type G plug, with a 3, 5 or 15 amp fuse. Its plugs are also designed for three pin usage. Electivity voltage in the UK is 220/240 AC, 50 Hz. If you are travelling from a country that does not have the same voltage or plug type, your equipment may need a suitable adapter. Adaptors can be bought at all major transport hubs and travel shops.

    Do I need a visa to travel to the UK?

    At present there are no visa requirements for people from the European Union (EU), however in light of the UK leaving the EU, a visa system may come into effect. In either case, we advise always consulting with your countries relevant embassy or consulate for up-to-date visa and travel information. The UK has globally an estimated 229 embassies and consulates, with a total of 282 foreign embassies and consulates located in London.

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