Driving in Europe A guide to driving across Europe
Essentials you need to takeThere are a couple of essentials you need to take with you whendriving abroad either in your own car or a rented one:• A valid UK driving licence; the photo card AND paper counterpart• GB sticker to the back of your car, or European registration plates• A copy of your motor insurance certificate (also give it a good read to see what you are insured for when driving abroad).• A warning triangle to use if you break down or need to pull over; this is a legal requirement in many European countries.• Headlamp converters (these are stickers to put over your headlights, so your lights dont dazzle motorists)
General Advice• To drive abroad, you need to be 18 or over.• Across Europe it is illegal to carry radar detection equipment (whether it is switched on or not).• You also should get the number of the local authorities in case of an accident as in many European countries it is a serious offence not to report and accident.• You should carry: • Fire Extinguisher • First Aid Kit • Green Card (a back up to your insurance to prove you have the minimum legal cover) • Reflective yellow jacket in case you breakdown and need to get out of the car.
France• Speed limits: Towns- 50kph, Open Roads- 80-100kph & Motorways- 110-130kph• It is now illegal to drive in France without a NF-approved (Norme Française) breathalyser in your vehicle. Failure to comply results with a spot fine.• There are a number of automatic barriers to pass through, so carry change.• If you want the car in front to give way, you need to flash your headlights.• The final car in a slow-moving queue has to use their hazard lights as a warning.
Germany• Speed limits: Towns- 50kph, Open Roads- 100kph & Motorways- No limit, recommended max of 130kph.• If your GPS shows you speed cameras, you have to disable this function.• Blinking yellow lights at junctions mean you need to stop.• You can’t overtake a school bus if it’s slowing down and getting ready to stop.• If you approach a ‘green zone’ you need a special badge to drive in them which can get at repair centres & dealerships.
Italy• Speed limits: Vary between across the country so look out for signage• On toll roads, the time taken to cover the area between the tolls is often monitored by police to ensure you aren’t speeding.• If you are caught committing a driving offence, you will be fined on the spot which are usually between €150 – €250.• DON’T use your horn in built up areas, unless it is an emergency. However DO use your horn elsewhere to let them know you want to pass them.• Be careful at service stations as thieves often operate here. Also be wary of anyone looking to help you with your flat tyre.
Spain• Speed limits: vary between across Spain so look out for signage.• Give way to cars on the left, especially on roundabouts.• You can’t have any screens in the front of the car, aside from a SatNav.• Do not cross an unbroken white line on the road- whether you are on a dual carriageway or on a motorway slip road.• Use your indicators when overtaking; both when pulling out and puling back in.• You can’t get leaded petrol in Spain so make sure you check with your car rental spain which fuel your rented car needs!