Travelling Abroad This Year?
Travelling in foreign countries has its own dangers from which side of the road to drive on to local by-laws, so it is a good idea to be prepared for the worst.
For example, in France, all drivers must carry an unused breathalyser kit in the car at all times, and in Italy traffic is severely restricted in many historical centres and major towns (These are known as ‘Zone a Traffico Limitato’ or ZTLs.)
So GEM Motoring Assist has produced a list of do’s and don’ts when away from Blighty.
David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, comments: “Every summer we stress the importance of preparing for driving abroad and this year is no different. Our free leaflet ‘Your Introduction to Driving in Europe’, including ‘Before you travel’ and ‘If things do go wrong’ sections, offers top tips to help drivers get ready for a stress-free journey this summer.
“With a country-by-country guide for driving in Europe, the leaflet, along with European Traffic Police Network advice at www.motoringassist.com/europe, provides up-to-date information and advice for those driving to a holiday destination. We’re confident that having this advice in one place will make everyone’s holiday planning that bit easier this year.”
You can download a copy of the leaflet at www.motoringassist.com/global/leaflets/euro-motoring-web.pdf or call 01342 825676 for a hard copy.
So here are the top tips before you go and when you are there.
AFORE YE GO!
It makes sense to have your car serviced before you go, but at the very least check the tread on the tyres, the oil and the water levels.
Keep a copy of your vehicle registration document with you at all times, and never leave it in the car
Make sure that your Nationality plate is the approved pattern, design and size
If your car is more than three years old make sure you take your MOT certificate with you
Be aware of the headlight requirements in the country(s) you are visiting; you will need beam deflectors
Take both parts of your driving licence with you; and if you haven’t updated your licence, do it now as the new style photo-card is valid in all EU countries
Make sure you have the following equipment: high visibility jackets for each person, at least one warning triangle, first aid kit, replacement bulbs and a spare pair of prescription glasses (if required.)
Take a detailed map (or SatNav that is attuned to the relevant country) and plan your journey well in advance.
WHILE YOU ARE THERE – Some unusual rules
In Finland, if you hit an elk or deer you must immediately report the collision to the police
Both Spanish and Swiss law demands that if you need glasses for driving you must carry a spare pair with you in the car
In Sweden, it is compulsory to have dipped headlights on during the day and night
If you are towing a caravan in Portugal you must have a current inventory of all contents in car and caravan to show a police officer if requested
In Germany, it is an offence to run out of fuel on a motorway and to make rude signs to other road users. Obviously not at the same time (although that is likely) – but they are TWO rules.
In Austria, you must not park a caravan within 500m of a lake
In Italy, police can impound your car if you do no present the relevant ownership documents
In Norway, vehicles travelling downwards on hilly roads have priority
In Greece, carrying a petrol can in the car is forbidden
In France, police have the power to confiscate your car and your licence on the spot if you are caught speeding
Still fancy driving?