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Driving abroad


Don’t drive abroad unprepared - read our advice on travel insurance, european breakdown cover, accidents and driving conditions abroad.

 

Before you go


  • Bpoint  Familiarise yourself with the driving laws of the country you are visiting – including local speed limits and which side of the road they drive on!
  • Bpoint  You should be aware that provisional licences are a national document issued within the framework of driver training and do not entitle the holder to drive outside the territory of the issuing member state.
  • Bpoint  Check with your insurance company that you’re fully covered to drive abroad including breakdown recovery and any medical expenses resulting from an accident.
  • Bpoint  Check whether you need a Green Card for the country you’re visiting – this provides minimum insurance.
  • Bpoint  Check whether you need an International Driving Permit.
  • Bpoint  Service your vehicle before leaving the UK.
  • Bpoint  Check you can comply with the vehicle requirements of the countries you’ll visit.
  • Bpoint  Check your safety equipment, bulbs, jackets, warning trianagles etc. Many are required abroad by law.

 

Find out what you need to take:


The regulations of what you need to carry with you in your vehicle when you're abroad can differ very much from the UK. One example is your proof of vehicle ownership (V5 log book). In the UK, you are advised not to carry this in your vehicle, however in many European countries if you don't then you could be subject to a fine.

 

Whilst you’re away:


  • Bpoint  Drive defensively and expect the unexpected – the local driving style may be different to that of the UK.
  • Bpoint  Don’t drive when you’re tired and take regular breaks on long journeys.
  • Bpoint  Always wear a seat belt and make sure other passengers do too.
  • Bpoint  Don’t drink and drive – the alcohol limit may be lower than in the UK and in some countries there is zero tolerance for drink driving.
  • Bpoint  Don't use your mobile whilst driving.
  • Bpoint  Don’t overload your vehicle and ensure you can see out of the back window.
  • Bpoint  If you’re involved in an accident, contact your European Breakdown Cover immediately and take photographs of damage to your vehicle.

 

Driving your own car


You should have a GB sticker clearly visible on the back of your car if your number plate doesn’t include this information. You’ll also need headlamp converters if you’re driving on the right-hand side of the road.

 

Motorbikes


  • Bpoint  Make sure your travel insurance covers you before you decide to drive or be a passenger on a motorbike - check the exclusions carefully. Our recent research shows that a quarter of young travellers admit to driving or being the passenger of a moped or quad bike without checking if their insurance covers them first!
  • Bpoint  Always wear a helmet and protective clothing, whether you’re the driver or a passenger.
  • Bpoint  There should never be more than two people on a bike.
  • Bpoint  Never ride the bike when you have been drinking alcohol.