Driving in Europe this summer?

Whether you plan to take your own car over land and sea or opt for a fly-drive package with a hire car, here is our essential guide to safe driving in Europe once you reach your destination country.

Be prepared

Your sat-nav is your best friend. Just make sure your software is fully updated for the regions in which you will be driving. Also be aware of special compliance requirements, for example, in some countries it is illegal to use sat-nav equipment which uses radar to detect fixed location speed cameras. It is also a good idea not to completely rely on technology and carry a good old fashioned road map as a backup.

Keep yourself right

This is driving in Europe 101! Most European countries (with the exception of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus) drive on the right-hand side of the road. One of the trickiest aspects of this is taking roundabouts anti-clockwise, which goes against all our British driving instincts, so be mindful of this. Similarly exercise caution when overtaking, particularly if you are driving your own (right-hand drive) car.

Tone down your headlights

When driving a right-hand drive vehicle in Europe it is illegal to dazzle oncoming drivers. Headlamp conversion kits are widely available from motoring retailers and service stations.

Adapt your driving style

Local driving styles vary greatly across Europe, (as anyone who has driven in central Rome will tell you!) The Foreign Office recommends adopting a defensive driving style and remaining observant and cautious at all times. 

Know the local laws – and stick to them

Talking your way out of a speeding ticket with an indignant gendarme is no-one’s idea of fun. As well as speed limits and normal rules of the road, make sure you read up on country-specific laws which could land you in hot water. Did you know that in Spain, it is an offence to wear flip-flops when driving? 

Use your head

Just because you are on holiday, don’t leave your common sense on this side of the English channel! Don’t use your mobile while driving, make sure you (and your passengers) always wear a seatbelt  and be considerate of other road users. Above all don’t take any risks which you wouldn’t take at home.

Is your car up to the journey? Contact us for a vehicle health check before driving in Europe this summer.