Guide

Locate your business in the UK

Transportation in the UK

The UK has an integrated transport system of airports, seaports, rail and road. Which transport system you use will depend on your business needs and the kinds of products or services that you buy or sell.

Air

The UK has some of the largest and busiest international airports in Europe.

Leading international airports include:

  • London Heathrow
  • London Gatwick
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham International
  • London Stansted
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Cardiff
  • Belfast International

Road

The UK has a network of 417,000 kilometres of roads, including 3,600 kilometres of motorways. The majority are toll free.

The road network provides for easy access to major cities both within the UK and in mainland Europe. Plan a journey on UK roads with the AA.

In order to drive in the UK, you need a valid licence. If you already hold a licence that has been issued in another country, you may be able to legally drive in the UK.

This will depend on where it was issued and your status as either a new resident or a visitor. Read about driving in Northern Ireland as a visitor or a new resident.

In addition to a valid licence, you will need a minimum of Third Party insurance cover. Your vehicle will also need a licence, known as a tax disc.

Rail

The rail network provides links nationwide and to Europe through the Eurostar connection and the Channel Tunnel.

Sea

Sea transport may be a good option if you need to transport large volumes of goods cheaply. There are a total of 100 active ports in the UK, handling over 550 million tonnes of freight each year.