Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Guernsey?
The only things to be aware of on Guernsey are the slow pace of life meaning no rushing traffic, the limited number of roads and the low speed limits. Relax and you'll have a great time!
Seat Belt Laws
By law, everyone in the front and rear of a moving car in Guernsey must be properly secured with a seat belt. Whilst driving is generally safe in Guernsey, narrow roads can mean that there is the potential for accidents and belting up is the best way to stay safe.
Drinking and Driving
The drink driving laws in Guernsey are the same as in the UK. You must have no more than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood and there are regular police patrols on the island to catch those that flout the law.
Must Have Documents
You will need to have both parts of your driving licence; paper and card, or an international driving licence. If you’re from the UK you’ll only need your UK licence. You will also need to carry a valid certificate of insurance.
The speed limits for Guernsey are as follows:
Open roads: 56 km/h
In and approaching towns: 40 km/h
Ruette Tranquille: 24 km/h
Minimum Driving Age
You have to be at least 17 to be able to drive in Guernsey. 20 is the minimum age for hiring a car but you’ll pay extra for your youth and you’ll need to have at least a year’s experience of driving. This applies until you’re 25.
Safety Camera Warning Devices
Safety camera warning devices are legal in Guernsey but it’s far more sensible to keep to the limit, especially as the roads aren’t suitable for high speeds.
On the Spot Fines
There are no on the spot fines in Guernsey. If the police stop you, they will issue a fixed penalty notice for minor offences or give a court summons for more serious offences.
Child Safety Rules
In Guernsey, children under the age of twelve cannot travel in the front of a car. Instead, they must be secured in the rear of the car in an age and size appropriate restraint system. Ask when booking your hire car and we will ensure that the appropriate restraint for your younger family members is fitted.
You must carry proof of having third party insurance by way of a valid certificate.
Rules of the Road
Standard European driving laws apply with one or two exceptions.
• Yellow lines at a junction mean that you must stop and give way
• Many junctions have ‘filter in turn’ in operation and you must follow the instruction
• You must not park facing the direction of traffic at night and must have parking lights on if not parked in a recognised parking bay.
You should make sure that what you’re towing is securely attached and that you have good visibility.
There are no fixed speed cameras in Guernsey but regular mobile speed traps are in operation. You’ll receive a penalty notice from the police at the scene the amount of which will depend on how far over the limit you are.
Using Mobile Phones when driving
It’s illegal to talk or text on a mobile phone whilst driving in Guernsey unless you have a hands free kit.
Guernsey is often very busy, especially in peak season, and you’ll find that parking isn’t easy to come by.
Most parking is free but you need to buy a parking disk to take advantage of the free but limited parking. You can buy the disks from the police station, post offices, some petrol stations and information centres.
Enforcement of parking is done by the police and traffic wardens and if you exceed your time you’ll get a fixed penalty notice.
Although only loosely part of Europe, Guernsey does recognise the disability blue badge system and, if you park in municipal parking areas, you should check the signs for your entitlement which usually give you extended time.
Motor Way Signs
There are no motorways on Guernsey
Everyone on Guernsey speaks English but you might get a chance to practise your French too!
In Guernsey traffic lights follow the same system as on the mainland UK so drivers should be familiar with the sequences. You cannot turn on a red light unless an arrow indicates you can.
There are no toll roads on Guernsey.
The emergency number in Guernsey is the UK standard 999 for all emergency services including the coastguard. You can also use 112.
What to do in an emergency
If you have a problem with your car you should phone the assistance number given to you on the rental documents or attached to the windscreen of your car. If you are driving your own vehicle, use your emergency assistance company's partner in Guernsey which includes offices of the major UK roadside assistance organisations.
Accidents not involving injury do not need to be reported, you simply need to exchange details. All other accidents must be reported within 24 hours; not to do so is an offence.
As of August 2014, the average price of 95 octane unleaded petrol in Guernsey is £1.20 whilst diesel is £1.15. Prices can vary between the towns and the smaller villages.