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Car & Motorcycle

If you want to see the more remote regions of Wales or to cram in as much as possible in a short time, travelling by car or motorcycle is the easiest way to go.

Getting around North or South Wales is easy, but elsewhere roads are considerably slower, especially in the mountains and through Mid-Wales. To get from the northeast to the southeast, it's quickest to go via England. Rural roads are often single-track affairs with passing places only at intervals, and they can be treacherous in winter. In built-up areas be sure to check the parking restrictions as traffic wardens and wheel clampers can be merciless.

Wales can be a dream for motorcyclists, with good-quality winding roads and beautiful scenery. Just make sure your wet-weather gear is up to scratch.

If you're bringing your own vehicle from abroad, make sure you check that your insurance will cover you in the UK; third-party insurance is a minimum requirement. If you're renting a car, check the fine print – policies can vary widely and the cheapest hire rates often include a hefty excess (for which you are liable in the event of an accident).

Speed Limits

  • 30mph (48km/h) in built-up areas
  • 60mph (97km/h) on main roads
  • 70mph (113km/h) on motorways and dual carriageways

Automobile Associations

The main motoring organisations – such as the Automobile Association, Royal Automobile Club and the Environmental Transport Association – provide services such as 24-hour breakdown assistance, maps and touring information. Others, such as the Auto-Cycle Union and British Motorcyclists Federation, are more like clubs.

Car Hire

Hire cars can be expensive in the UK but you'll usually get a better rate by booking online in advance. To hire a car, drivers must usually be between 23 and 65 years of age – outside these limits special conditions or insurance requirements may apply. You will also need a credit card to make an advance booking and act as a deposit.

For a compact car, expect to pay in the region of £110 a week (including insurance etc). Most cars are manual; automatic cars are available but they're generally more expensive to hire. If you need a baby chair or booster seat, specify this at the time of booking.

Hire-car companies include the following:

Alamo

Avis

Budget

Europcar

Hertz

Holiday Autos

Road Rules

A copy of the Highway Code can be bought in most bookshops or read online at www.gov.uk/highway-code.

The most basic rules:

  • Drive on the left, overtake to the right.
  • When entering a roundabout, give way to the right.
  • Safety belts must be worn by the driver and all passengers.
  • Motorcyclists and their passengers must wear helmets.
  • The legal alcohol limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood or 35mg on the breath.
  • It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving a car unless you have a hands-free kit installed.