Driving Rules & Regulations in Scotland

cheap car rental ScotlandThe only way to really get under the skin of Scotland is to travel the high roads and low roads by car. Read up on the rules of using the roads before you rent a car in Scotland, and you’ll enjoy the experience even more.

Visitors can drive in Scotland on a full, valid licence from their own country. If you are visiting from outside the European Union, you can drive on a valid licence for up to 12 months.

Remember to drive on the left-hand side of the road.

Speed limits are frequently indicated by a circular sign with a red border and a number. Remote speed cameras are common. Maximum speed limits on UK roads are:

70mph (112kph) on motorways and dual carriageways

30mph (48kph) for residential areas, although areas near schools often have a 20mph (32 kmph) maximum speed limit.

60mph (96kph) for cars outside built-up areas.

In rural areas, roads are often single track with passing places. For details of how to use a passing place on a single track road read point 155 of the UK Highway Code. Watch out for grazing sheep and other wildlife that may stray onto the roads.

When using a roundabout, give way to all vehicles proceeding from your right and always turn left on entering the roundabout.

All drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts.

All children under 12 who are under 135cm (4ft 5in) tall, must use a child seat suitable for their weight. Order your child seat when arranging your car rental in Scotland.

Never drive after drinking alcohol. There are heavy penalties for driving above the legal blood/alcohol limit (0.08).

It is illegal to use a hand-held phone, or similar device, when driving a vehicle in Scotland.


If you have any tips for driving around Scotland, please let us know in the comments box below.