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:
full valid driving licence
original vehicle registration papers
valid motor insurance certificate
international driving permit (in certain cases)
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
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
Leaving the Eurotunnel (Channel Tunnel) or ferry terminals
Exiting from a service station or car park
Travelling on roundabouts
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.
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.