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The best UK campervan hire deals

UK Motorhome Hire
 

Let Motorhome Republic guide you on a UK holiday adventure. However, once you’ve rented your campervan, RV or Motorhome, where do you go first? The beauty of the United Kingdom is that whether you travel north, south, east or west, there’s nothing to compare to the variety of landscapes, things to see and do and welcome of the British people. England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland – it’s all here for you. So compare the best campervan hire deals and get booking, it couldn’t be easier. 

 

Hire a motorhome to enjoy British cities

No matter which region you pick up your campervan in the UK, you’re sure to have a memorable time. The main focus is of course London, with a population of more than eight million. However, campgrounds are few and far between in the central area, so you have to look slightly further afield. But don’t just zone in on the capital, as there are plenty of other reasons to hit the road in your motorhome hire. 

 

The natural beach beauty of the south coast, the character of the Norfolk Broads in East Anglia, the cultural attractions of Liverpool and Manchester, Scotland’s stunningly rugged beauty and the charm of Northern Ireland – the list goes on and on.

 

Pick up your campervan at the airport

The beauty of booking your camper rental with Motorhome Republic is the fact that we have so many pick-up locations for the hire vehicle. Whether it’s Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, etc… just click the filter and arrange the ideal collection point. Our friendly customer service team can help you with any queries you may have. If your knowledge of UK geography isn’t strong, we will make sure you know where you’re going, which is especially important if you’re embarking on a family holiday in your motorhome.  

 

Natural wonders of the UK

As one of the premier travel destinations in Europe, the competition for campervan & RV rental is fierce, which is why Motorhome Republic are a step ahead of the rest with the cheapest hire deals online. And once you’ve decided to hit the UK highways with your ‘portable hotel’, you have to decide where to go. Here are some ideas.

 

Campervan holidays on the UK South Coast:   

This region is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, with Land’s End at Cornwall truly breathtaking. The Jurassic Coast of Dorset is a vision of crystal-blue sea and gorgeous sandy beaches, while Brighton is an incredibly pretty, cosmopolitan city, with a huge number of clubs, bars and restaurants. Effectively a south coast London but nowhere near as busy. Or pop across the water the Needles of the Isle of Wight. Kind of a rite of passage down south!

 

Take your motorhome hire east:

How about the Norfolk Broads? An extremely popular holiday destination, the beautiful rivers and countryside host a variety of wildlife and pleasure-filled cruises. Deep in the south-east is the picturesque cathedral city of Canterbury and is one of the most-visited UK cities. A delightful historical destination, it really is the heart of all things British. 

 

Go west in your campervan or RV rental

Also growing in popularity is the mountainous country of Wales. Perfectly built for UK campervan hire, you can scale the gorgeous Brecon Beacons in the south, or Mt Snowdownia in the north, although you’ll probably have to park the camper and take a tour. There are also fantastic, youthful cities such as Cardiff and Swansea to explore. The Mumbles of Swansea are a ‘must-see’ in your camper hire. 

 

The Northern lights

Hosting sporting events and international exhibitions, the likes of Liverpool and Manchester in England, and Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland, are world-leading cities of Europe. Cultural and musical hot-beds, these destinations are also highly regarded for their restaurants and vibrant nightlife – and the down-to-earth people are great too!   

 

Built for a motorhome adventure

With a truly international customer service team, Motorhome Republic can help you create your perfect UK itinerary, no matter where you want to go. Book yourself a fantastic deal today.  

 
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Motorhome Review Review Rating: 4.5/5 based on 120 reviews

A guide to driving a motorhome in the UK

Hiring a motorhome is one of the best ways to see the UK in all her stunning glory. A country of many rich cultures, landscapes and of course, fascinating history, the UK offers something for everyone. A self-drive holiday allows you to soak it all up without missing a thing. Although an extensive train network links the city centres, the real charm is found off the beaten track – from quaint countryside pubs to tiny coastal villages, you’ll never run out of interesting places to explore. 

 

The road system is well-maintained and – in most parts – highly sophisticated. While you will encounter walled country lanes and cobblestone streets in some areas, the majority of the roads are modern, efficient thoroughfares; think multi-lane dual carriageways and toll roads. 

 

This driving guide covers everything you need to know about negotiating the UK’s roads with ease. 

 
Just one thing before we start: don’t forget to drive on the left!

In the UK, you drive on the left side of the road – this can present a steep learning curve for many people. If you’re used to driving on the right, then take extra care and remember to stay left when turning corners. It’s also a good idea to spend some time getting to know your motorhome, as things such as indicators, windscreen wipers and of course, the gearbox, are likely to be found on the opposite side. 

 
 
UK Road Rules

For an official guide to driving in the UK, look no further than The Highway Code. There are two different versions: The Great Britain version (for England, Wales and Scotland, which is available in both English and Welsh), and the Northern Ireland Version which is available in English and Irish. 

 
Speed limits

In the UK, distances are measured by miles as opposed to kilometres. All speed signs will refer to miles per hour (mph). On motorways and dual carriageways, the default speed limit is 70 mph, whereas on dual carriageways it’s 60 mph and in urban areas, it’s 30 mph. 
 

 
UK speed limit
   
Alcohol limits

The breath alcohol limit in the UK is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath, and the blood alcohol limit is 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood. However, we strongly advise that you avoid consuming any alcohol before you drive. 

 
Seatbelts

All passengers (and the driver) are required to wear a seatbelt whenever the motorhome is in motion. It’s up to the driver to enforce this rule for all passengers under the age of 14. If you’re travelling with children, the driver will also need to ensure they are seated in an approved child restraint. 

 
Mobile devices

It is illegal to use any type of hand-held mobile device while driving. Hands-free sets are permitted, although please note that if an officer of the law believes you are distracted and driving unsafely due to your hands-free device, they have the authority to take action. 

 
Licensing

Foreign visitors to the UK are allowed to drive for up to 12 months as long as they have a valid driver’s licence from their home country and are 17 years of age. Visitors from certain countries, such as those in the EU, may be able to use their home licence for up to three years. If your licence is not written in English, you’re advised to obtain an international driver’s permit.

 
Indicators

Also known as ‘signals’, indicators are used to convey your intention to other road users before actions like changing lanes, turning left or right or leaving a parked space. Remember, indicators show intention only; they do not require other cars to accommodate your move, so be sure to indicate at least a few seconds before you intend to act, and always wait until it’s safe.

 

Lanes

Lane markings

The centre of the road will either be marked by a broken white line or two white lines (one solid and one broken). When there is only one broken white line, you may overtake if it is safe to do so. You may also overtake if there are two white lines and the one closest to you is broken, providing you can complete the action before the line closest to you becomes solid. When the line closest to you is solid, you are not allowed to overtake. 

 
Lane dividers

These are used to mark different lanes for traffic heading in the same direction on multi-lane roads, such as motorways. You must stay in your lane. If you need to change lanes, indicate, check all of your mirrors and blind spots, and only move when it is safe. 

 
 
Overtaking other cars

If you need to overtake another vehicle, you do so on the right. Please only perform this maneuver if you are sure the road is clear and there is enough space in front of the car you are planning to pass. Travelling in a motorhome, you will likely find that other cars want to overtake you; if safe, pull over to the left and give them plenty of space to pass.

 
 
Stop and Give Way signs

You must come to a complete stop at a stop sign, and only once there is a safe gap may you continue. At give way signs, you are not required to stop completely, but you must give way to other traffic before continuing. 

 
 

Traffic junctions and intersections

There are many different junctions in the UK; below are the main ones to be aware of.

 
Box junctions

Marked by criss-cross yellow lines, box junctions are square-shaped and unique to the UK. You must wait to enter the box until your lane is clear, with one exception – if you are turning right and are prevented from doing so due to oncoming traffic, you are allowed to enter the box and wait until it’s safe to continue.

 
Traffic lights

The UK traffic system follows the universal pattern seen in most places throughout the world; green means you may go, red means you must stop and amber/orange means you need to come to a stop if you can. Some traffic lights also feature coloured arrows which indicate if it is safe to turn-only. 

 
Right turns

To turn right is to turn across oncoming traffic, therefore take extra caution and give way to oncoming traffic before you turn. When waiting, pull into a marked turning bay when possible, or sit as close to the centre line as you safely can to avoid holding up other cars on the road.

 
Roundabouts

Also known as ‘traffic circles’ in some countries, roundabouts are not controlled by traffic lights and therefore rely on the give way rules. As you approach the roundabout, slow down, indicate your intended final direction and prepare to give way to your right. When the road is clear, veer to the left and join the roundabout. Just before you leave, indicate to the left to signal your exit to other drivers. 

 
 
Emergency vehicles

Keep an eye out for emergency vehicles, such as police cars, ambulances or fire engines. These vehicles are usually brightly coloured and easily recognisable. If they are flashing blue, red or green lights, or their headlights, or operating a siren, they have right of way and you must pull over so that they can pass (providing it is safe to do so). 

 
UK police car
 

Road Signs

Here are some common road signs to keep an eye out for.

 
Red, white and black signs

Road signs with these colourings tend to convey an order, warning or prohibition, so pay close attention and take extra care.

 
Speed limit signs

These signs are white and circular in shape, with a red border and black numbers.

 
Prohibitive signs

Similar to speed limit signs, these are also white circles with red borders, only on the inside they feature pictographs which convey instructions like ‘no cycling’ or ‘no left turn’.

 
Stop signs

Hexagon-shaped and red in colour, these signs feature the word ‘STOP’ clearly marked in white letters. 

 
Give way signs

These are triangle-shaped with a red border and ‘GIVE WAY’ written in black lettering. 

 
Warning signs

Similar to Give Way signs, warning signs are triangles with red borders, except they feature pictographs and symbols to indicate upcoming hazards, such as junctions, traffic lights, sharp bends, road narrowing or level crossings.

 
Instructional signs

Signs featuring driving instructions or information are usually blue and white and use symbols to convey action, such as arrows. 

 
Parking signs

These are blue squares with a white ‘P’ marked in the centre. If parking restrictions apply, these will be clearly detailed on the sign. 

 
Directional

Signs which indicate upcoming motorways, roads or destination information are usually blue and white. Those which feature directions, place names and distances are green and white on primary routes, or black and white on non-primary or local routes. 

 
Directional road sign
 
‘No waiting’ or ‘no stopping’ signs

These are blue circles with red borders and one or two diagonal bars.

 
Roadworks signs

Signs which indicate roadworks are yellow and often feature information about the work being undertaken. These are usually accompanied by temporary speed limit signs.

 
Areas of interest

Keep a close eye out for brown and white signs, as these indicate that an area of interest is nearby, such as tourist attractions, zoos or historic sites. These signs are also used to mark public facilities like toilets and picnic areas.

 

Parking in the UK

The ease of finding a park varies widely across the UK. In large cities like London it can be quite a challenge, and given the size of the average motorhome, you’re probably best to use public transport for the day instead. Fortunately, in smaller towns where public transport isn’t great, there tends to be ample parking available. 

 
Free parking

As a general rule, you can park for free in marked road bays or on the roadside, but the following exceptions apply:

  • No parking on the hard shoulder of a motorway

  • No parking in a taxi bay or on a pedestrian crossing

  • No parking on a road with double white lines down the centre

  • No parking in tram, bus or cycle lanes during hours of operation

  • No parking within 10 metres of a junction

  • No parking on a clearway

  • No parking where there are double yellow lines or a white zig-zag line

 

If you’re unsure, look for parking signs; these will outline information about any restrictions that apply. Certain parks are for residents only; these will be clearly marked with a white ‘P’ on a blue background and the words ‘Resident permit holders only’.

 
Paid parking

If you’re not lucky enough to nab a free space, there are plenty of paid parks to choose from. In most cases, these are operated by local councils and payment is taken via a parking meter; be sure to carry some spare coins.

 

You will also find paid parking spaces in private carparks; as these aren’t council-owned, prices vary widely. Expect steep charges at tourist attractions or in big cities.

 
Parking in the UK
 

The UK road system

Motorways, A-roads, B-roads and local routes form the bones of the UK road network. See below for an overview of each road type.

 
Motorways

Clearly marked with an ‘M’ prefix, these roads are controlled-access, dual-carriageway highways. Each main motorway is assigned a number. In England and Wales, you will find M1-M6, and in Scotland M7-M9. Smaller motorways which link to the main motorways are assigned a second number. For example, the M18 is linked to the M1, and the M80 to the M8. In Northern Ireland, the numbering system is separate to the rest of the UK; look out for the M1, M2, M3 and M5, as well as a network of smaller motorways.

 
UK road sign
 
A Roads

These are primary routes which are not motorways. The numbering system is nearly identical to that of motorways, except routes are marked with an ‘A’ instead of an ‘M’. For example, A8-A9, and A38. Again, Northern Ireland operates independently but the same numbering pattern applies. 

 
B Roads

These are important local routes. The numbering system is similar to that of A roads, except they usually feature three or four digits after the letter ‘B’. 

 
Toll roads

Surprisingly, toll roads are few and far between in the UK. Most are located in England and in or near London. The largest toll road is the M6 Toll, which also goes by the name of the ‘Birmingham North Relief Road’. As the name suggests, it was constructed to provide an alternative route and minimise congestion. It runs parallel to the M6 and is completely optional. The cost of travelling on this road varies depending on the time of day. To give you an idea, you can expect to pay about five and half pounds on weekdays. 

 

Several bridges and tunnels in the UK also incur charges. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Dartford Crossing (Greater London)

  • Humber Bridge (Kingston upon Hull)

  • Mersey Tunnels (Liverpool)

  • Severn Bridge (near Bristol, connecting England to southeast Wales)

  • Tyne Tunnel (between Newcastle and South Shields)

 
Congestion charges

In London and Durham, congestion charges apply in certain areas and certain times of the day. These are in place to minimise traffic and discourage people from driving through highly congested areas. In London, there is a designated ‘Congestion Zone’ which covers the majority of the city centre, so it’s best to use public transport if you want to avoid this charge. If you do decide to drive, you can pay online at Transport for London. In Durham, the congestion charge only applies to Saddler Street in the city centre. You can pay by calling 0191 384 6633 or by visiting ‘The Parking Shop’ on Finchale Road.

 
 

Quirks of driving on UK roads

While these aren’t official ‘road rules’ as such, here are some common quirks to be aware of when driving on UK roads. 

 
Narrow roads

Roads in the UK tend to be very narrow, especially in residential areas. Throw in parked cars and cycle lanes, and it can be quite a mission to navigate them, especially in a motorhome! The trick is to take it slow and be very courteous to fellow road users. Be prepared to pull over and give way to oncoming traffic often; you can signal that you are giving way by flashing your headlights or indicating. In rural areas, also watch out for animals on the roads.

 
UK roads
 
Manual transmission

Many motorhomes in the UK have a stick shift, which is located to the left of the steering wheel. If you’re used to driving on the right side of the road, or are inexperienced with manual transmissions, be sure to request an automatic vehicle when you book your motorhome rental.

 
Double roundabouts

Don’t be surprised if you come across a double roundabout! These are quite common throughout the UK. Treat each roundabout like a new intersection. The same give way rules apply. This may mean you need to come to a stop on the first roundabout until you can safely join the second.

 
Border crossings

One of the best things about a self-driving holiday in the UK is the chance to experience different nations within a relatively small region. You can wake up in Wales and drive to England within minimal fuss. Borders are marked, but they are not controlled, so going from country to country is easy and enjoyable. 

 
UK town, City sign
 

Travel information

Below are some useful resources to help you plan your motorhome holiday in the UK. 

 
Motorway Service Areas

Driving on the motorway can be tedious and tiring, so you’ll want to make the most of the motorway service areas. These are mini shopping areas in themselves, featuring petrol stations, convenience stores, fast food outlets and WiFi. They are the perfect spots to refuel, grab a bite to eat and rest before you set out on the road again. 

 
Tourist Information Centres

Keep an eye out for signs marked with a lowercase ‘i’ throughout the UK; this indicates a ‘Tourist Information Centre’. Featuring maps, guides and other useful travel information, these centres are the ideal place to find out about local hotspots.

 
Helpful websites

Plan your trip online with the help of these great websites:

 
Travel apps

Smartphone apps are fast becoming popular holiday-planning tools.

  • If you don’t have a GPS unit, Google Maps (available on Android and iOS) will help you find your way.

  • Use WiFi Finder to ensure you never go too long without internet (Android and iOS).

  • Never go through the pain of hailing a cab in London again; Hailo will send one your way.

  • Keep an eye on local weather with the Met Office app (available on iOS and Android)

  • Discover delicious culinary delights with Foodspotting.

  • Book a motorhome rental in advance through the Airport Rentals App, which offers an easy and convenient way to secure a vehicle from several locations throughout the UK.

 

Last but not least, have fun and safe travels! A motorhome trip in the UK will provide you with amazing memories to last a lifetime. Enjoy every moment. 

 
General disclaimer
This information is provided on a 'best intentions' basis. While we do our best to ensure the information is error free, we do not warrant its accuracy or adequacy for any intended purpose.
 

United Kingdom

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