Driving in Edinburgh – Our Top Tips
The historical city of Edinburgh is a gem for tourists. However, before you explore the delights of this medieval city at the heart of the Lothian Region, by car there are a few things you need to know. Read on for more about our top tips for driving in Scotland’s capital city…
· Make sure you drive on the left hand side of the road!
· The driving speed limit in the city is 30 miles per hour. Some roads you can reach a speed of 40mph so keep an eye on the signs! The rural areas afford a speed limit of 60mph on regular roads, whilst the highways and motorways allow you to drive at a speed limit of 70mph.
· The rules for using roundabouts in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland are as follows: give way to all vehicles coming from your right.
· Best advice – don’t drink and drive! Note that the blood/alcohol limit for driving in Scotland is 80mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. As in all countries, it’s a serious offence to be above the legal limit, so don’t ruin your holiday by drinking and driving!
· Edinburgh is a bicycle friendly city – so please be aware when driving of the presence of cyclists on the roads in the city when driving.
· Edinburgh is known for having a strong presence of unmarked police cars on the roads; so make sure to always have your seatbelts on, in both front and rear. Child restraints/baby seats are standard by law, so please ensure all is in order when hiring your car. Children under 12 years of age who are under 135cm (4.5 feet tall) are required by law to use a child seat that is proper for their height.
· Please note that it’s illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone when driving, and also be aware that you could still be prosecuted for not having proper control of your vehicle when using a hands free phone.
· Driving Licenses – Holders of overseas driving licenses are permitted to drive motor vehicles for up to 12 months in the UK. There are plans afoot to have the minimum drivers age increased to 18 years of age. At the moment, being 17 years old can enable you to drive in Edinburgh, however you must be accompanied by a fully qualified licensee with at least 3 years driving experience. Ensure to have your drivers licence with you at all times.
· Parking in Edinburgh – check out our article Car Parking in Edinburgh.
· Edinburgh can be an extremely cold place in winter, and a lowest city temperature of -15 degrees Celsius was once recorded in 1982, so it’s important to be prepared for freezing conditions! Watch out for black ice on sheltered roads, have the de-icer and anti freeze handy and check those tyres before you head onto the roadways – make sure that they adhere to the minimum thread depth of 1.6mm. Check out the following article for Winter Driving in Edinburgh.
Find out more about the rules of the road in Scotland using the Highway Code in the UK.
So, there you have it – a guide to the top driving tips in Edinburgh! If you’re travelling to Edinburgh this year, and want to hire a car, take a look at our car hire Edinburgh page.
Been to Edinburgh and have some driving tips to share? Please let us know!