This summer more than two million of us will be crossing the channel and heading off across foreign soil in our trusted vehicles. Follow these preparation tips for a hassle free trip. And remember even if you regularly drive abroad it is important to check the local rules of the road before you go, as requirements do change.
Check your insurance Don’t assume your insurance provider automatically covers you abroad. Once you leave the country your insurance is often downgraded to third party.Check before you set off.
Consider breakdown cover Many breakdown services are void outside the UK yet you will probably more likely to need breakdown insurance than any other time. Consider a breakdown, spare parts for right hand drive cars may be hard to find, language barrier, car needs transporting back to britain. Ask yourself, is it really worth skipping the expense?
Put together a pack of all your essential documents. You will need to comply with the legal requirements of the country you are travelling in so check this out before you leave. The pack should include your European Health Card (EHIC) which entitles you to free state healthcare, passport, driving licence and driving licence counterparts, vehicle documentation (V5), motor insurance certificate, International Driving Permit, Breakdown policy, contact numbers, travel insurance documents and emergency helpline numbers. Check the driving laws of the country you are visiting. There are so many laws different to our laws here, they will include speed limits and alcohol limits. Remember most European countries drive on the right-hand side of the road (the exceptions are: the UK, Irish Republic, Cyprus and Malta)
Make sure you adjust your headlamps ready for driving on the right hand side of the road. You must display your country’s id letters (ie. GB) but if your number plate already has this symbol you won’t need the sticker. Failure to comply to this regulation could leave you with an on the spot fine Check your sat nav is uptodate.
Remember to bear in mind that sat-nav requirements may differ from country to country – for example, in France, it is illegal to use sat-nav equipment with radar detection indicating where fixed speed cameras are located
Stock up on your in-car ‘tool kit’ make sure you have a breakdown kit in your car including: fire extinguisher, first-aid kit, tool kit, torch, blanket, warning triangle and reflective jacket1. A jack and wheel removal tools in case of a puncture could come in extremely handy when you’re on the move abroad. For the full list of compulsory or recommended equipment required in your car visit.
For more information a good place to start is here www.theaa.com