Guide to Driving In Isle of Man - Drive Safe in Isle of Man

Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in Isle of Man?

Driving in Isle of Man

Watch out for narrow roads in the hills. The Isle of Man is bigger than you imagine and around Douglas, the traffic can be busy, especially in summer. In the winter, it's not unusual for snow in the hills.
 

Driving Laws

Seat Belt Laws

The Isle of Man law insists that every occupant of a moving vehicle must wear a seat belt or appropriate restraint system.

Drinking and Driving

The drink driving laws in the Isle of Man are the same as on the UK mainland. You must have no more than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood and there are regular police patrols who will stop and breathalyze you.

Must Have Documents

UK and EU citizens only need to have their photo licence with them but if you stay on the island for more than three months, you’ll need to apply for a local licence. Other nationalities only need to have their licence printed in the Roman alphabet.

Speed Limits

Outside of the towns there are no set speed limits but the police will stop you and charge you if they consider you are driving dangerously.

Minimum Driving Age

Unlike in the UK you only have to be 16 to be able to drive in the Isle of Man. If you're renting a car the minimum age is 21 and you’ll need to have at least a year’s experience of driving. Under 25 and you’re likely to have to pay a premium for your lack of experience and age. Newly qualified drivers have to display a red R plate for a year.

Safety Camera Warning Devices

Safety camera warning devices are legal on the Isle of Man but as there are only limits in towns, they should be unnecessary.

On the Spot Fines

If you are stopped by the police, you’ll be given a fixed penalty notice for minor offences. More serious ones will see you summoned to a court appearance at which you can be fined, have your licence suspended or withdrawn or face a custodial sentence.

Child Safety Rules

In the Isle of Man, no child under the age of twelve can travel in the front of a car. Instead, they must be secured using an age and size appropriate restraint in the rear of the car. Ask when booking your hire car and we will supply the appropriate restraint for your family.

Insurance

A minimum of third party insurance is compulsory in the Isle of Man and you must carry proof of it by way of a valid certificate.

Rules of the Road

Standard European driving laws apply with one or two exceptions which include:
 
Newly qualified drivers can only travel at a maximum of 50 mph

Towing Regulations

As long as the vehicle being towed is securely attached and you have good visibility, only common sense is required.

Speed Cameras

The lack of a national speed limit means there are no fixed speed cameras on the Isle of Man but mobile speed traps are sometimes found in the towns.

Using Mobile Phones when driving

It’s a very serious offence to be caught driving whilst on the phone and you’ll face a fine of up to £1000 and the ignominy of being shamed in the local press.

Parking

Parking regulations
 
The Isle of Man is often very crowded, especially in the summer months. To be able to park, you’ll need a parking disc available from the ferry terminal, the airport and tourist information offices. 
 
Paid parking
 
There is plenty of paid parking in the towns in private and municipal lots and garages. Free parking for up to two hours is available in the disked zones.
 
Enforcement
 
Enforcement of parking is done by the police and traffic wardens and you’ll receive a fixed penalty notice if you overstay your allotted time.
 
Disabled parking
 
The Isle of Man recognises the Blue Badge scheme and in the disc controlled parking bays you’ll get unlimited time. Elsewhere, check for your entitlement under the scheme.

Motor Way Signs

There are no motorways on the Isle of Man

Phrases

Everyone on the Isle of Man speaks English but some people speak Manx Gaelic, a language that is on the endangered list.

Traffic Lights

In the Isle of Man traffic lights follow the same system on the UK mainland and should be familiar to most nationalities.

Toll Roads

There are no toll roads on the Isle of Man.

Emergency

The emergency number on the Isle of Man 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 number given to 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 the Isle of Man which includes offices of many of the UK mainland organisations.
 
In the event of an accident you must stop. If damage is minor and no one is injured, you can simply exchange insurance details. If there is substantial damage or injuries, you must call the emergency services and await their arrival. Advise your car hire company too.

Fuel Costs

As of August 2014, the average price of 95 octane unleaded petrol in Jersey is £1.44 whilst diesel is £1.51. Prices can vary between the towns and the smaller villages.
 

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Hiring a Car

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in Isle of Man and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.