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What You Need to Know About Driving Your Car Abroad

Aug 17, 2007
If you are planning on driving whilst on your holiday it is very important that you do some research to ensure that you not only stay on the right side of the road but also the right side of the local law! In some countries the basic rules of the highway will be the same as in Britain but there will be local laws that you obliged to follow even if you are not used to them or even think they are pointless. For example, it's compulsory to carry a fire extinguisher if you are driving in Greece or Poland, and motorists travelling in Spain must carry a red warning triangle in the event of an accident or breakdown - in fact this is the case in most European countries. Failure to adhere to such laws may result in a fine or even worse depending on the offence.

It is your duty and responsibility to find out what the local driving laws are and to follow them correctly. Ignorance is not an excuse.

If you are using your own car then you must display "GB" stickers on the rear of your car. If you are going to a country where you will be driving on the right hand side then you'll also need a set of headlight converters so that your headlights dip away from oncoming traffic.

Your UK driving licence should cover you for driving abroad although in some countries you may also need an International Driving Permit which is sometimes called an international driving licence. The AA and the RAC are both able to issue these and can tell you where they are required. Again it is your responsibility to check whether your driving licence covers you for driving in another country.

Any breakdown cover that you have for the UK probably won't cover you whilst abroad so contact your breakdown cover provider to see if they have a service available or one they can recommend for the country you are travelling to. If you do get cover then ensure you take the policy numbers and helpline contacts details with you.

Your UK car insurance will cover you in most EU countries but check first with your insurer, and to see what is covered and what may be excluded. Your insurance company will also advise you on what cover is needed in countries that are not covered by your UK car insurance.
About the Author
Guide2Holidays is here to take some of the stress out of your holiday and its planning so that you plan ahead, get to the airport, arrive at your destination and enjoy your holiday as much as possible. For more information please visit http://www.guide2holidays.com .
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