Driving Tips Whilst Travelling Abroad
Bring the right documentation
The most important tip for driving abroad is to ensure you have all the correct documents with you. Remember to bring your driving license, car insurance certificate, and international driving permit.
Understand the driving laws
Make sure you understand the driving laws of the country that you are visiting. When driving in Europe you need to be aware of what side of the road you are driving on, the speed limit, and other important regulations.
Check your car insurance policy
If you’re planning to drive your car abroad, it’s just as important to make sure you have all of the covers you need. Before you pack your bags, take a look at your car insurance policy to check whether you’re covered to drive overseas and, what level of cover you will have. Check how long you will be covered while abroad as insurers will have limits. If you’re unsure about anything, give your insurer a quick call before you travel to have peace of mind while you’re away. If you have a breakdown cover, check whether you’ll be able to use this while you’re away. Many standard policies will not include European cover so you might need to add this on before you set off.
Find out the rules of the road
In the UK drivers drive on the left side of the road, so you’ll probably need to prepare to drive on the other side of the road. Research the country that you’re visiting, as they have specific rules around traffic lights, road markings, pedestrian crossing, and more. Some countries also require you to carry items such as warning triangles and high visibility vest, you’ll need a UK sticker if taking your car, and will need to alter your headlights for driving on the other side of the road. Familiarise yourself with the conversion between miles per hour and kilometres per hour, confusing the two will not get you out of that speeding fine.
Prepare for the long journeys
Prepare your car before your trip by making sure that it is serviced. You should also complete all other basic checks including checking your tyre pressures and tread are what they’re supposed to be, ensuring your oil is topped up, and checking that your coolant is at the right level. If you’re visiting a hot country, take a look at our blog on driving in summer to ensure that you’re fully prepared.
Keep hold of loose change
Many European countries operate toll roads, so make sure you have plenty of loose change in the correct currency when driving in Europe.
Radar and Speed Cameras Detectors
The devices that alert drivers if there’s a speed gun is pointed at their vehicle or nearby speed cameras are illegal in some countries. These devices help the driver by giving them time to slow down and avoid a fine. If those devices are spotted, the police can confiscate them.
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