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Top tips for driving on the continent this ChristmasBack

If you’re planning to drive abroad this Christmas it is well worth planning ahead to ensure a relaxed and stress free journey.

Some of the roads will be very different to the UK in fact many roads offer far more space for drivers so driving abroad should make for a pleasant, relaxing experience, if you follow some top tips from the Trusted Dealers.

Firstly, check your car is up to the long journey. Check the lights, wipers, fluid levels and tyres, in particular, check there is enough tread left in your tyres to cover your journey ahead. Make sure that you have a suitable spare wheel in the back and the tools required to change a tyre should you need to en route. Most importantly, if you don’t have the new style of number plate which shows your country of origin, attach a GB sticker to the back of your car, so people are aware you are driving abroad.

Secondly, make sure you have all the relevant paperwork in which to drive abroad safely. You’ll need a copy of your driving licence to take with you, along with your photo card. If you have an old style licence, it might be worth changing it to a new style photo card and counterpart, to ensure you don’t cause any confusion with the foreign police who may not recognise the old licence style.

Check your insurance – most insurance policies will allow you to drive abroad for a maximum of 90 days, but it’s still worth checking which countries this applies to, to make sure you are fully covered at all times. Also, remember that most continental countries require the driver to be a minimum of 18 years old – the youngest age you can legally drive in Germany.

A couple of requirements for driving in France and most other European countries which does not apply in the UK is that you are required to carry a reflective jacket or vest in your car and wear it if you ever stop in an emergency. You’ll also need a warning triangle which should be placed 30 metres behind your car if you break down.

Purchasing a satellite navigation system is a good plan as it will usually contain detailed maps of where you are heading. Make sure that your sat nav is set up for European navigation and that the maps within the area you are heading are recent, up to date ones. It always helps to buy a road atlas as well and keep it within your car, don’t just rely on the sat nav.

Finally, always remember to stay on the right-hand side of the road. Although this might be obvious, many drivers are injured and killed abroad because they have veered onto the wrong side of the road during a lapse in concentration. Stay alert on the roads and take plenty of breaks if you need to, in order to be fully on the ball at all times.



Posted by Leana Kell on 21/12/2011