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Home > car news > 10 Things to Keep in Mind when Driving in Europe

10 Things to Keep in Mind when Driving in Europe

Europe is well known for being the capital of art and culture. With so many sights to see, delicious food to sample and things to experience, it comes as no surprise that many Brits are spending the holidays in Europe. When it comes to driving in Europe, some people can find it a bit nerve wracking when they're not clued up on the rules and regulations. Here are 10 things you need to know about driving abroad:

  1. You'll need to have the right documentation with you at all times. Keep your Passport, driving license, International Driving Permit (if needed), insurance documents, vehicle registration documents and travel insurance documents in the glove compartment of your vehicle, so that they're easily accessible should you need them.
  2. The law tends to vary from country to country in Europe. There's no hard and fast set of rules when it comes to driving abroad; check the rules and regulations of the country you're going to be visiting well in advance in order to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.
  3. Plan, plan and then plan some more. The worst thing that could possibly happen when driving in Europe is getting lost. Before each journey, map out your route carefully and always have a backup in case any roads are closed off. Sat Navs have a habit of letting you down when you need them the most so there's nothing wrong with carrying some old-fashioned maps!
  4. Get your mind used to driving on the right side of the road. The UK is one of the few European countries that drive on the left and even though it may take some getting used to, it's important to abide by all foreign traffic laws.
  5. If you're planning on visiting a city such as Paris or Berlin, you may want to reconsider not driving at all. Do as the Europeans do, leave your car behind and hop on public transport. You'll more than likely be a lot less stressed doing it this way than trying to navigate around a bustling city. Furthermore, you'll experience what it's like to be a true European city-dweller!
  6. Having your car serviced before your trip is always a good move. You want to enjoy the time you're going to be spending away and the last you need is a major fault with your vehicle. Furthermore, knowing your car is in good working order will definitely give you peace of mind.
  7. If you're travelling with kids, the laws may be slightly different in Europe. Many of the rules still apply but in countries such as France, laws regarding child seats are different in that they are based on the weight of the child rather than height.
  8. Your breakdown cover may not apply when you're driving abroad. Even though you pay for this in the UK, this doesn't necessarily mean someone will come to help you out in France, Spain, or any other European country. Read the fine print and discuss the optional extras with your provider so that you are covered in any circumstance.
  9. It's worth carrying a camera with you at all times whilst travelling abroad. Should you be involved in an accident, it's important that you document the scene as language barriers could make it difficult to support your case. If you then need to go on and contact your insurer in relation to the accident, you have indisputable evidence on your side.
  10. Enjoy the experience. Ultimately, Europe has a wealth of sites to see including bustling cities and glorious countryside; opting to drive whilst on holiday is the perfect way to take advantage of these sites. Keep a clear head, understand that things are naturally going to be different from driving at home and make the most of all the beauty Europe has to offer!

If you're in the market for a high quality used car to take on holiday this summer, Carbase has a fantastic selection available.

Visiting France this year? Why not take a look at one of our other articles, The Comprehensive Guide to Driving in France.