Driving inWales

 As Wales is part of the UK, it is subject to UK road regulations. The information I have given below may be helpful to tourists who have never driven in the UK.             

 

Driving Licence

  EU licence holders,and those with a licence written in clear English do not need an International Driving permit to drive in Wales. You must be at least 17yrs of age. Carry all documents with you, because if you are stopped by

 the police, or involved in an accident, you must produce these on the spot, or at a police station within 5 days.

 

Driving on the left

 In the UK cars are driven on the left side of the road, and the vehicle controls, steering wheel, pedals, etc; are on

 the right side of the vehicle, which unless you are visiting with your own vehicle can be confusing.Most UK vehicle have manual gearshift. Be careful at road junctions, and roundabouts! At roundabouts, always give way to traffic on your right. Drive carefullyfor the first few miles.

Roundabouts known as "traffic circles" in those few places in the US where they are seen, roundabouts actually make some junctions a lot easier by keeping traffic moving. The two key things to remember are: Get in lane and stay there and give way to the right (traffic on the roundabout).

Approaching a roundabout, particularly a major one, there will be some form of sign displaying the various destinations and the lanes. Simply arrange yourself in the correct lane as soon as you are able, indicating as you approach the roundabout if you will be turning right or left. Don't forget to indicate left as you leave the roundabout, as it will allow cars entering the roundabout at the exit to know your intentions. Although many drivers don't indicate properly, especially on smaller mini-roundabouts, it is safer to do so.  If you're leaving at the first exits, stay in the left-hand lane, middle exits, middle lane (if only two lanes round the roundabout, stay in the left-hand lane for middle exits), last exits, right-hand lane, remembering to indicate left, and pulling out to the left-hand lane when nearing your exit.

 

Roads

Most main roads in Wales are well surfaced, but lanes in the countryside can be

very narrow, so beware of oncoming traffic and farm vehicles.

Road signs are bi-lingual throughout Wales. Signs to tourist attractions are often  

brown in colour.                          

Garages (Gas Stations)

Petrol, Diesel, is now sold in Litres not gallons. 1 litre = .25 US gallons. Most UK petrol vehicles use

unleaded petrol.

Most garages are self service ( Operate the pump yourself, then pay at the kiosk)

 

Motorway Breakdowns

  If your vehicle breaks down on a motorway, move safely over to the "hard shoulder" switch on your hazard lights,

  all occupants exit the vehicle from the passenger side and move to a safe point behind the crash barrier, do not stay in the vehicle. driver to follow telephone marker posts to the nearest telephone.

  This is better than using your mobile as it gives the operator your exact location. The phones are free and connect you    directly to the police. if using a mobile phone contact police by dialling 999.

 

Parking

 Before visiting towns make sure you take plenty of money in coins as most parking in Wales is "Pay

and Display"

 First park your vehicle, obtain a ticket from the nearest machine, and display it clearly on the inside of your windscreen. Some large towns operate a "Park and Ride" Follow the park and ride signs, park

your vehicle,

 use the "shuttle bus"(price included) to and from the town centre. It can be very difficult to find

parking space in town and city centres.The basic rules regarding on-street parking in Britain are as follows:

A SINGLE, CONTINUOUS YELLOW LINE along the kerb indicates that a parking restriction exists AT SPECIFIC TIMES OF THE DAY, and these times will be indicated on small signs on poles, lamp posts

or even screwed onto adjacent walls of buildings.  During these times you cannot park in these areas.

 

DOUBLE, CONTINUOUS YELLOW LINES along the kerb indicates NO PARKING AT ANY TIME.  Normally these appear along narrow roads or lanes, close to junctions or close to important buildings such as schools or hospitals.  Double Yellow zones are usually strictly policed by traffic wardens, and it is here that you run the biggest risk of being ticketed.

 

Do I need insurance?

It’s a legal requirement to have valid car insurance in the UK, even if you only plan to drive occasionally or stay in the country for a short time. (You will not need to take out your own insurance cover for a hire car, as this will be included in the cost of the rental.)

 

There are three levels of insurance cover available: The minimum legal requirement is third party cover, which only covers damage to other vehicles and property, and not any damage to your car; third party, fire and theft also covers fire damage and theft; comprehensive cover includes all of this as well as paying out for damage to your own car in the event of a claim.

If you’re bringing your own car to the country your existing insurance policy should cover you for third party damage while you’re driving in the UK. You may be asked to provide evidence of your insurance cover, and your insurer may issue you a ‘green card’ document for this purpose. Find out more about temporarily importing your car here.
You will need to take out a UK insurance policy if you’ve bought a car in this country. If you’re a visitor borrowing a friend’s or relative’s car while you’re in the UK, you must be added as a named driver to their policy — but be aware that this is likely to increase the policyholder’s car insurance premium.