America vs The UK: What’s The Difference In Cars?


Nothing is more exciting than getting granted permission to drive, no matter where you are in the world. However, it’s easy to forget how different the experience is across the globe, particularly between both the UK and America. For starters, we both drive on different sides of the roads, which can be really difficult to get to grips with when visiting the opposing country. Plus, there are so many cars that originate from one country to the other, with the classic Jeep in the US and the Jaguar in the UK, which are both firm favourites amongst many. But these are arguably just minor differences – what are the major ones? Read on to find out.


In the past, the US has loved to flaunt their bigger and flashier cars, ensuring that they make a statement on the road. You just have to look at some classic Hollywood films to see how proud the American’s are of their brasher cars. The UK, on the other hand, love flashy cars, but the vehicles manufactured and sold in Britain are much more focused on fuel efficiency as well as having a quieter motor, so this is really quite the opposite from America. The bottom line behind this though is that Americans pay a lot less than Brits for their petrol, with American’s paying roughly £0.60 per litre, and Brits paying around £1.40 per litre – this is a 40% difference! So, if you’re looking to save money, moving to America could be your best bet!

Having said this, Americans are slowly jumping on the efficiency bandwagon. In the US, there has recently been an ignited trend of buying smaller, more fuel efficient cars, such as the Mini and the Fiat 500. In addition, popular efficient vehicles in the UK such as the 3-Series BMW are becoming more apparent within the US.

Types Of Vehicles

London has the iconic bright red bus, but equally, America has the classic yellow taxi cab, and this will always remain a huge different in terms of vehicles. However, you can also take limousines as an example as well. In the UK, limousines such as the Rolls Royce or the Daimler are usually a lot boxier, although they do appear statelier than those in the US. Speaking of America, their limousines usually take the shape of Lincoln or Cadillac, and these vehicles are usually much longer are sit lower towards the ground. I’m sure we’ve all seen those films where there is a giant super stretch limousine, taking the characters to some exclusive, luxurious destination. Well, these are easily found in America, but not so much in the UK considering that they’ve actually never been built here.

Sports Cars

When it comes down to car racing, both America and the UK have their fair share in history, particularly with the vehicles involved. With UK racing cars, some of the most prominent brands that come to mind include Jaguar and Lotus. With the US, the racing cars tend to have a lot more throttle and power, and this is possibly due to the fact that speed limits are much lower in America, so driving a faster racing car puts more thrill into the drive. A classic example of this is the Jaguar XJS and the classic American Oldsmobile – the Jaguar is nimble and effective at turning sharp corners. The Oldsmobile however, is simply a lot faster, especially for those classic straight, American roads.

Manual vs Automatic

As you may not have previously known, a lot of cars in the US take an automatic form, making the need for a clutch peddle and gear stick completely unnecessary. When Americans venture over to the UK, they’re often heavily surprised at the amount of manual cars that are driven here. Therefore, if you’re American and you’re not entirely familiar with the manual driving process, it might be a good idea to find another way around the country, especially if the idea of driving on the left is peculiar to you as well.


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