Driving In Europe: Tips, Pointers & Everything In Between


Even driving around your home town or city can be a tricky task but driving overseas is a whole different ball game. Let’s take the Arc de Triomphe; at rush hour quite a difficult feat.

To begin with, in most parts of the world a vehicle is driven on the right side so the hire vehicle controls are located on the left. Keep in mind that roundabouts you will encounter must be taken on counterclockwise as opposed to clockwise.

Driving overseas requires being extra careful as well as keenly aware. Following is a list of eleven tips and pointers to keep in mind when driving overseas:

  • Always have your driver’s license, insurance certificate of your vehicle as well as your V5 vehicle registration. If you are planning on driving in a non EU country request an International Motor Insurance Certificate aka Green Card from your car insurance company. If you are driving a company car also make sure your commercial fleet insurance cover will insure driving abroad


  • Make sure that you are covered by your insurance policy for driving abroad and that your breakdown coverage will be valid. Not only do you want to ensure that you do indeed have travel insurance but that the amount of coverage offered is broad enough.


  • Look into what side of the road is driven on in the area you will be visiting.


  • Make sure you know where you are going, you travels should be mapped out properly. If you do not have a good map invest in one and if possible us SatNav, keep in mind however that not all maps in all areas can be loaded.


  • Attempting to discuss a speeding infraction with local law enforcement with the use of hand movements or broken English can be quite difficult so it is best to adhere to the local speed limits.


  • The laws vary from country to country; some countries require you carry a fire extinguisher, a head lamp, spare lamp bulbs, a first aid kit, a warning triangle or beam reflectors. These are all a good idea to carry however it is important to find out what is required to carry and ensure that you are carrying at least that.


  • An EHIC card gives you and your family a right to be treated in case of an emergency are a state facility in the EU, this would be if either you or a family member were to be injured or become ill.


  • Look into getting a EHIC card, post offices offer application forms for it or you can also go online to the Department of Health’s web page and apply on there. Once you get it always carry it when traveling.


  • Have a clear GB sticker properly fixed to the back of your vehicle, somewhere visible and easy to see.


  • If you are camping make sure that you have a Camping Card International which provides you with ample liability insurance coverage as well as various discounts. For a small cost organizations such as RAC can provide you with one.


  • Any driver who will be driving a vehicle with nine seats or more must be at least 21 years of age, the drive must also have at least a year of driving experience with a full license.


  • If you run a LPG fueled vehicle make sure that the fuel pump adapter you are carrying is the right one. Keep in mind that an LPG vehicle does have certain restrictions, for example you are not permitted to drive an LPG vehicle in the Channel Tunnel and if driving through France you decide to take you LPG car through the Mont Blanc Tunnel you have to inform an attendant at the toll point and they will provide you with the adequate sticker.


  • If renting a hiring car make sure you have your driver’s license handy. When renting the vehicle make sure the rental company provides you with a collision damage waiver insurance which is comprehensive. This provides you with coverage in case of an incident or accident.
Charlotte is a journalism and English literature graduate. Linguistics, ballet and country-hopping are just some of her passions. She’s currently based in London but 9/10 times you’ll find her in another country. Always saving up money for the next plane ticket.

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