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Documents For Driving In Europe

It is important to have all necessary documents to hand should you be stopped by police. Failure to show these papers could result in a fine or your vehicle being impounded. Documents you may require include:



For those drivers travelling on foreign passports issued outside Europe or on a UK passport issued outside of the UK, visas may be required for entry into certain countries.

Safety Measures

Generally, car insurers offer third party cover as standard on most policies. Additional cover to upgrade to fully comprehensive can be arranged for the period that you plan to be driving abroad. Alternatively, separate cover can be taken out with a different insurer. Shop around for the best deal.

Don't drink and drive. Authorities do not take kindly to this misdemeanour and this is reflected in the laws and penalties if you are caught. Similarly, the use of hand-held mobiles while driving is prohibited. Use of speed-trap detection devices is also illegal and stiff penalties may apply.

For peace of mind, purchasing European breakdown cover is advisable.

It is best not to leave anything in view when you leave your car unattended. Take all valuables with you.

Taking out travel insurance is a sensible precaution. Whilst medical treatment is subsidised according to reciprocal health-care agreements between the UK and various European countries, this cover is not necessarily all inclusive. For example, returning someone to the their home country for treatment, should this be required, is generally not covered. However, travel insurance policies may provide for this and other potentialities.

Remember which side of the road you are meant to be driving on. In Europe drive on the right. Take special care in the following circumstances: Compulsory Car Kit  

Displaying your home country sticker on the rear of you vehicle is compulsory. On the spot fines are given to those failing to comply.

As you will be travelling on the right, adjusting the headlamp pattern on your vehicle is an essential pre-requisite for driving in Europe. This is so that the headlight beam does not dazzle oncoming drivers.

Headlamp beam converter kits are available from many motoring outlets. They are inexpensive and easy to fit.

For those motorists driving cars with xenon or halogen type headlights, reference to the owner's handbook or contacting the dealer may be required.

If driving in Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Spain and Italy a warning triangle is a requirement. Though not compulsory in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal, it is recommended by authorities in these countries.

There are many breakdown callouts at holiday times of the year, having adequate breakdown cover makes good sense.

Optional Extras

SatNav - love them or hate them, they sure do come in handy when driving in Europe. Most makes such as TomTom, offer models which include extra features of European maps and destinations as well.