The rules you need to know when driving abroad

Do you research driving laws in Europe before you hit the road? Research from RAC shows that just four in 10 (43%) spend between one and two hours researching all aspects of driving before they go abroad, while 14% of British drivers spend just half an hour finding out what they need to know before heading to foreign roads. Here are just 10 of the most surprising laws you need to be aware of.
  1. In Europe, unless your car has got number plates that include a GB symbol, you’ll need to display a GB sticker.
  2. It is compulsory for all cars on French roads to carry a portable breathalyser, however you are no longer subject to a 11 euro fine if you are not carrying one. Motorists in France are also legally obliged to carry a warning triangle and fluorescent vest.
  3. First aid kits are compulsory when travelling in Croatia.
  4. In some cities in Spain, cars must be parked on different sides of the road according to the day of the week.
  5. In France, children under 10 are not allowed to travel on the front seat of a vehicle without a special child restraint.
  6. In Sweden, it is compulsory for all motor vehicles to use dipped headlights during daytime, all year round and on all roads.
  7. In Cyprus, unnecessary use of the horn is prohibited. It is also prohibited to use a horn between 10pm and 6am and in the vicinity of hospitals.
  8. In Spain, if you need to wear glasses, you are required to carry an additional pair when driving.
  9. In Germany, a vehicle is considered to be parked if it remains in the same place for more than three minutes.
  10. In Portugal, it is illegal to carry a can of petrol at any time.

And remember....

  • Ensure that you’re fully covered to drive abroad before you go, MORE THAN customers can check their policy here.
  • For free or reduced state healthcare when you're abroad, get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
  • Never assume your breakdown cover extends abroad. You may need to increase your existing cover or take out standalone European Breakdown policy to avoid unnecessary tress and significant additional expense if anything goes wrong.

There's more information on driving abroad on the RAC website. Enjoy your trip!

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