Because of how different roads are in Europe as oppose to other countries in the UK, you must be very cautious and plan your journey in advance. This will enable you to be familiar with your surroundings, regardless of how different it may be.
To give you some of its top tips on travelling by car in Europe, we’ve teamed up with Lookers retailers of Motability vehicles, which specialise in new and old cars.
How do traffic laws vary?
You’ll already know that across the world there are different traffic laws — so it’s important you become knowledgeable about what you should and shouldn’t do on the roads. If you plan to travel through different cities when you’re away, traffic laws could again differ. Drivers should be preparing themselves by learning the rules of the road.
Universal rules will usually include the use of a seatbelt, speed limits and blood alcohol levels — which is something all drivers should be aware of. In continental Europe, all drivers drive on the right-hand side of the road, but in some local areas, people may drive down the centre of the road.
Which travel documents are necessary?
Remember to take your national driving licence with you, as every country in the European Union you visit will require it. Depending on where you’re going, you might have to take with you an International Driving Permit in order to actually rent a car when you’re abroad and to ultimately drive on the public highway.
You might also want to carry proof of insurance with you, especially when it comes to crossing different borders around Europe. You’ll always be able to ask for further information from your car rental agency and they’ll likely be more than happy to explain what you need when travelling.
Are you aware of your route in advance?
As you’ll likely be driving in unfamiliar areas, it’s important that you plan all of your routes to avoid any lost time and to ensure that you see as much of Europe as you can on your vacation. Invest in a map of Europe or use an internet route planner — this will also help you locate any service stations and other facilities you may need, such as restaurants and hotels, which can be incredibly useful when you’re driving around.
Are you planning to hire a car?
With tourists being charged extortionate rent prices for vehicles when they’re away, it’s always cheaper to rent by the week rather than by the day. If you were to book your vehicle in advance, this can also help reduce further cost, as rental companies will usually decide on this when their inventory is high. If you’re looking for a bargain, it’s always advised to look around to find the best competitive price.
With any contract that you sign, it’s important to read over the terms and conditions properly so that you know what you’re actually paying for — whether this is highlighting the type of vehicle, times available and the end date. Not only that, you can avoid any unnecessary charges that could present themselves and ask any questions that you might have.
One thing that you must do is check the vehicle before you leave to ensure that there’s no damage before you drive off.
Where is your next destination? Wherever it is, we hope you take our guide to driving in Europe with you!