A Guide to Driving Abroad

With the summer approaching, many of us are turning our thoughts towards holidays in the sun. Whether you want to take a lazy few weeks touring Europe or embark on the Great American Road Trip, it’s important to put safety first when driving in another country.

Hiring a Car

It’s a good idea to do your research in advance and compare different rental companies to make sure you find the best deal. It’s definitely worth taking your own booster or car seats if you’re travelling with young children, as some rental companies consider a child’s safety seat a chargeable extra. Make sure you have the correct insurance coverage, as this may mean that you have to take out temporary or short-term car insurance for the duration of your holiday. Don’t feel bound to your current insurer, many companies including Sky Insurance Services offer competitive rates.

Remember the Essentials

You should never plan to drive abroad without being confident that you know the rules of the roads in the country you’re visiting. The blood-alcohol limits in other countries do vary so it’s important to be aware of this. The UK limit is 80mg but on the Continent this is reduced to 50mg. Some countries have a 20mg limit, so check before you drive. Some countries have higher maximum speed limits, but they may be reduced in wet conditions.

Taking Your Car On Holiday

If you’re interested in travelling in as cost-effective a way as possible, it’s probably worth bringing your own vehicle on holiday. You’ll save on hire fees and have the advantage of being completely comfortable with the vehicle you’re driving. Before you leave, check where it’s cheapest to fill your car. The AA publishes a monthly overseas comparison to allow travellers with their cars in tow to spend less on fuel. Before you leave, make sure that your driving license, insurance certificate and vehicle registration document are in order. It’s also a good idea to book your vehicle into the garage for some basic servicing, including checks on tyres, battery, water and oil, as this will reduce the likelihood of a breakdown while you’re travelling abroad. Some EU countries require drivers to carry spare car light bulbs, a fuse kit, first aid kit, spare wheel, jack, jump leads and a torch when travelling, so look into what’s required in the country you’re planning to visit. It doesn’t hurt to be well-prepared, and you’ll be glad of the extra gear in the event of an accident. 

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