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Driving in York

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in York.

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in York, can be a unique experience, especially if you’re used to driving on the right side of the road. In the UK, driving is on the left side of the road. The city is known for its narrow, winding roads and heavy traffic, especially during peak hours. It’s also a city with a lot of history, which means there are many pedestrian zones and restrictions on motor vehicles in certain areas.

2. Choosing the Right Car

Given the narrow streets and limited parking, a smaller car is often a good choice for driving in York. It’s easier to manoeuvre and park. Manual transmission cars are more common in the UK, but if you’re not comfortable with that, you can still find automatic cars.

3. Parking in York

Finding parking in York can be challenging, especially in the city centre. There are several car parks available, but they can fill up quickly. Parking can also be quite expensive, especially for long periods. It’s often more cost-effective and less stressful to use public transport or park and ride services.

4. Driving with an International License

As a foreigner, you can drive in the UK with an international driving permit (IDP) for up to 12 months from the time you became a resident. After that, you will need to get a UK driving license.

5. Getting a UK Driving License

To get a UK driving license, you will need to apply to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). The process involves a theory test and a practical driving test. If you’re from a country with a driving agreement with the UK, you might be able to exchange your foreign license for a UK one without taking a test.

6. Be Aware of Cyclists

York is a very cycle-friendly city, so always be aware of cyclists, especially at junctions and when opening car doors. They have the same rights on the road as cars, so be sure to give them enough space and consideration.

7. Familiarize Yourself with UK Road Signs and Rules

UK road signs and rules might be different from what you’re used to. Before you start driving, take some time to familiarize yourself with them to ensure you’re driving safely and legally.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Additional Information:

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