With summer just around the corner, a lot of people are beginning to plan their holidays. While on vacation, if you’re hoping to hire or take your own vehicle, make sure you follow our top 6 tips for driving abroad.
International Driving Licence
Generally, if you are driving in Europe (the EU, EEA & Switzerland), you can just use your Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving licence. If you are driving outside of the EU however, you need to have an International Driving Licence.
International Driving Permits cost £5.50 and you must:
be over 18,have a full driving licence,be a resident of Great Britain or Northern Island.
It is important you check your car’s insurance policy before driving abroad. Some policies allow you to drive in the EU, whereas others do not. If you are going further afield to North America or Asia for example, you will need to take extra steps.
Generally, car insurance providers will only extend the policy as third-party-cover. This way you will still be covered against claims from other drivers, but if your vehicle need repairs you will have to pay for it.
Always ring and talk to your insurer if you’re planning to drive anywhere outside of the UK.
Like your car insurance, you will need to double check whether your breakdown cover can be extended to the EU and beyond. It may be the case that you have to take out a standalone policy.
This is worth doing simply for the sake of having peace of mind. Avoid the unnecessary stress and costs of breaking down by taking this essential step.
Driving economically to save fuel and money won’t be your only concerns when driving abroad. As can be expected, different countries have varying road laws.
For example, laws for seatbelts are not so strictly followed in some US states, whereas Canada enforces their use. Some countries may drive on the right-hand side of the road, and some on the left, too.
While the UK’s minimum driving age is 17, this can also differ between countries – as can speed limits for different roads.
It is of vital importance that you research these rules and laws before travelling. Just like you research activities in a country, you should learn as much as you can about their road laws if your plan to drive there.
There are plenty of resources around to help you learn the basic road laws in the EU, as well as other places.
If you are driving anywhere outside of the EU, it is essential you have a GB sticker on your car.
Within the EU however, you can either have a GB sticker or an EU registration plate, which has the EU symbol and GB letters on it.
Some countries require all international drivers to have a set of compulsory items in their car. Failure to have these can result in a fine.
If you are driving in France, for instance, all international drivers must have a warning triangle, high visibility vest, spare headlight bulbs and headlamp converters in order to drive there. Failure to have any one of these items could result in a fine of anywhere between €80 – €130.
Double check the laws of the country you’re visiting to avoid any unnecessary hassle and fines!
If you’re still concerned about the essential items you need, many trusted companies like the AA and RAC have produced driving abroad kits and checklists. This is the best way to ensure you are fully prepared to make the most out of your trip.
Staying in the UK?
While you can’t use one of our vehicles to drive abroad, we still believe it’s essential to provide you with our expert advice.