23 August 2011

Driving in Europe? 10 things to remember.

More and more UK motorists are taking their cars to Europe, both for holidays and business trips. Flying is becoming more stressful and subject to delays, and low cost flights now seem to cost more in surcharges than the flight itself. Plus there are restrictions on the amount of luggage you can take.

With a car the journey becomes part of the holiday. Enjoy the changing scenery and architecture; notice how everything becomes a little bit different the further you venture from our shores.

But you do need to make a few preparations, and below we list 10 things which will help to ensure a trouble free trip:

1. Remember to drive on the right everywhere in Europe (except the UK and Ireland).
2. Several countries now insist you carry reflective vests in the vehicle in case of emergency.
3. Buy or hire snow chains if you are driving in mountainous areas in the winter.
4. Carry a warning triangle, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, and spare bulb kit.
5. Do not exceed the speed limit - radar traps are frequent and on the spot fines can be severe.
6. Take out vehicle breakdown insurance for Europe.
7. Contact your car insurer and tell them you are driving abroad - not all policies provide automatic European cover.
8. In Spain you must carry spare spectacles (if you wear them).
9. Do not drink and drive - many countries have stricter limits and heavier penalties than the UK.
10. Buy and affix headlamp stickers to ensure your lights do not dazzle oncoming motorists.

If you follow this advice you should enjoy a trouble free driving trip. You can find more detailed advice on our country-by-country pages about driving in Europe.