Driving in a foreign country can be a daunting and stressful time, shouting at the Sat Nav, trying not to confuse your left and right, when you just want to enjoy your time away. This guide will help outline the top tips to consider when preparing to drive abroad.
Plan & Prepare
First check that you are eligible to drive in the country you are visiting, car rental companies often have different age restrictions, some may allow drivers just over 18 while others only allow above 21 or 25 years of age.
Plan your route in advance, in this technological age we have all argued with the Sat Nav for sending us through the most inconvenient places! That’s why it can be useful to have an old fashioned road map to hand.
Research the drink/drive limit, some countries such as Romania can be very strict so the best advice is don’t drink at all, just drive.
Contact the insurance provider to make sure you’re covered for driving abroad or arrange third party cover. Dig through the piles of paperwork to find your driving licence counterpart, you are going to need to take it with you, along with your vehicle registration document (V5c) and Insurance certificate.
Equip your car
In most foreign countries it is required by law to have certain equipment in the car, adding to the kitchen sink. For example in France it is obligatory to have a Breathalyzer in the car while in Italy a fire extinguisher is required. Be sure to pack spare bulbs and have a GB sticker clearly displayed on the back window.
If an unfortunate breakdown becomes apparent, it is best to know what to do in the situation, for example, in France it is essential to place a warning triangle at least 5 metres behind the car and for the driver to wear a high visibility jacket.
Renting a Car?
When deciding to rent a car abroad it is best to look at reviews and go with a reliable brand – the cheapest is not always the best. Most car rental companies don’t accept debit cards but do accept credit cards with excess.
It is advised to be more cautious and swot up on the foreign road sign meanings. Use more space while driving and make sure you are comfortable switching left for right… you won’t be the first person who has gone the wrong way on a roundabout!
With these tips in mind, driving abroad will be a breeze!