Motability dealers, Lookers, have teamed up with us to provide you with all of the things you must know before driving in Europe. With summer fast approaching, be sure to read below to prepare yourself for when you get behind the wheel during your road trip across Europe. You must remember that the way the roads work in other countries can be different to what we’ve become familiar with here in the UK!
Are you aware of the route you’re going to take?
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 as it’s likely that you will be driving through unfamiliar areas. To prevent this, it would be sensible to 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 there any necessary documents to take with you?
When you’re on your vacation, you may 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.
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.
How do traffic laws vary in each country?
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.
It’s already common knowledge that traffic laws vary from country to country. As a result of this, 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.
Inspecting the chosen vehicle
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.
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.
One thing that you must do is check the vehicle before you leave to ensure that there’s no damage before you drive off.
This was our guide on how to survive driving across Europe, where is your next destination?