10 unwritten 'rules' of British driving

When it comes to driving in this country, there are a number of unwritten rules one must always abide by, or else face the tutting, head-shaking scorn of the British motorist. If you’re a new driver, or you’re new to our roads, these things will be new to you – so please take some time to familiarise yourself with the unwritten rules of driving in Britain.


Any driver who gives pause to allow you to enter the flow of traffic must be IMMEDIATELY thanked with a half-lifting of the hand from the steering wheel.


Too much, Forest.


When a driver intends to let someone out into traffic, they must signal their intention with a flashing of their headlights. A gesture of the hand is also acceptable.

Failing to respond in a timely manner will elicit this kind of response…


Bowie disapproves.


If you see someone driving in anything less than daylight without lights on, you should draw their attention to it, in as animated a fashion as possible.



If someone is approaching on the opposite side of the road with their full beam headlights on, you must inform them with a flashing of your own lights.

If they do not respond, you must turn your own on to full beam as an act of revenge.



If offered “petrol money” for carriage of a passenger, you must refuse it at least once – no matter how long the journey was.



Similarly, as a passenger of a British motorist’s vehicle, you must offer “petrol money” at least once – no matter how short the journey.



On entering a car park, a motorist may offer you a ticket with time left on it. This paragon of humanity should be shown the utmost gratitude.



During winter, lengthy debriefings are held in British workplaces, in which motorists must describe the ordeal of their journeys.


Drivers of automatic transmission vehicles are to be treated with suspicion.


Passengers being dropped off on the side of the road must exit the vehicle as quickly as possible. This is not the place for drawn-out goodbyes.


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