Make sure you know the laws of the country. If you plan to go on a Grand Tour this summer, remember that speed limits vary from country to country – from a maximum of 90 km/h on Norwegian highways to unlimited speeds along the German autobahn (unless otherwise stated).
Don’t even think about the radar detector if you don’t need a major fine, a driving ban or extended prison leave! These devices are illegal in most European countries, as do the POI functions of GPS navigation systems that not only display nearby tourist attractions, but also indicate the location of fixed speed cameras. In some countries, including France, where the rules of conduct are strictly enforced, you may be punished for owning such a device, even if you never use it.
According to traffic rules, large fines on the spot can reach 3,000 euros, and the authorities have the right to confiscate the device together with your car! Fortunately, this rule does not apply to standard satellite navigators because they only provide information that is already publicly available. Contact the manufacturer for specific advice.
Do not get caught for speeding, the French police can pick up your driver’s license, and if you are the only person in the vehicle with a valid UK driver’s license, your car may be delayed for a certain period of time.
Apply for an International Driver’s License (IDP). You must apply at least 3 months in advance, through a central post office or car organization such as the RAC or AA. This license is valid for 12 months from the date of issuance and can only be used with valid UK driving licences that allow you to drive a private car in Europe.
When applying, indicate where you are going, as the type of IDPs (Convention 1926 or 1949 Convention) varies from country to country.
Make a checklist of all the necessary documents, including: valid full driver’s license (not preliminary) with accompanying papers, if you have a photo ticket; If necessary, an international driver’s license; Original registration certificate; Your car’s insurance Your passport; Any visa required by specific countries; all documents related to immigration law, customs, health care and other legal matters.
When it comes to drunk driving, the best advice is not to. In most European countries, drunk driving laws are extremely strict and provide for serious penalties for violations. The same goes for using mobile phones while driving. Strictly taboo!
Provide adequate travel insurance for at least 1 month to cover both your car and yourself in the event of a breakdown, accident or illness. You can find more information in DoH’s Travel Health Tips, which can be obtained at your main post office, but it is advisable to contact a reliable insurer as national programs may be incomplete.
Be prepared for any unforeseen event. In the event of a crisis, call 112.
Not all UK credit cards are accepted abroad, so find out in your card company how to use their services in the country you are visiting.
Keep an eye on decency. Bring a set of Mer car care products to keep your car beaming everywhere.