Driving Abroad: Do You Have What You Need?

If you enjoy driving then there’s no better way to visit lovely European neighbouring countries than by road. Not only do you get to experience stunning landscapes and scenery first-hand but it also gives a fantastic feeling of adventure to have the freedom and possibility of exploring almost anywhere you want! But before you jump in your car and whizz away, there are some pretty important details that you’ll want to be sure of before you set off.Here are a couple of the main ones that you can’t afford to skip.

Official Documentation

Yes, we all know that paper work is boring, but you could land yourself in some serious trouble if you don’t have the right documents to show when asked. Of course you will take your driving license with you but you should also check if you’ll need an International Driving Permit for the trip depending on where you plan to go. Another crucial document is your insurance policy as you will need specialist cover for visiting foreign nations, also make sure you have breakdown cover for places like Europe, just in case anything goes pear-shaped. Car stickers are also important as you’ll need to stick a GB sticker on your car boot if you have a plain, non-European number plate.

The Rules of the Road

Different countries will vary in their regulations and requirements for legal driving. You will need to check the local speeding limits and who has right of way. Although it’s a given, stay risk free by keeping your speed below the maximum as well as not drinking or using your mobile phone at all while driving. Consult reliable information guides on European road regulations as you might need to prepare certain items of equipment in the back of your car. In France for example, you must carry a warning triangle, reflective jacket, and at least one unused, sealed, NF-approved breathalyser.

Don’t forget Comfort

Even though you might be thinking about all the places you want to visit, don’t forget to check that your car is optimised for the long roads with both safety and comfort. Be sure to do a thorough maintenance examination on tyre pressure, oil and coolant levels as well as brake fluid and lights. For the inside of the car, give it a good clean, of course, and pack it with Tetris-like precision. Phone chargers, plenty of snacks and refreshments as well as tissues and carrier bags for rubbish and any queasy travellers are always welcome on long journeys too!

Road trips are great fun for all the family but preparation is key for a stress-free and smooth journey. Make a checklist of the details you need and you’ll soon be on your way to experiencing beautiful European sights first-hand.

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