To give you some of its top tips on travelling by car in Europe, we’ve teamed up with Lookers, who offer a variety of car service plans.
You must remember that the way the roads work in other countries can be different to what we’ve become familiar with here in the UK if you’re planning a trip around Europe. With this in mind, you must be prepared for when you get behind the wheel.
Planning your route in advance
Planning your route in advance is crucial to planning a trip in Europe. It’s important that you plan all of your routes to avoid any lost time and to ensure that you see as much of Europe as you can on your vacation.
Invest in a map of Europe or use an internet route planner — this will also help you locate any service stations and other facilities you may need, such as restaurants and hotels, which can be incredibly useful when you’re driving around.
Hiring a car for your trip
If you’re hiring a vehicle, it’s important that you check the vehicle before you leave to ensure that there’s no damage to it before driving off.
With any contract that you sign, it’s important to read over the terms and conditions properly so that you know what you’re actually paying for — whether this is highlighting the type of vehicle, times available and the end date. Not only that, you can avoid any unnecessary charges that could present themselves and ask any questions that you might have.
With tourists being charged extortionate rent prices for vehicles when they’re away, it’s always cheaper to rent by the week rather than by the day. If you were to book your vehicle in advance, this can also help reduce further cost, as rental companies will usually decide on this when their inventory is high. If you’re looking for a bargain, it’s always advised to look around to find the best competitive price.
How do traffic laws vary across the continent?
Universal rules will usually include the use of a seatbelt, speed limits and blood alcohol levels — which is something all drivers should be aware of. In continental Europe, all drivers drive on the right-hand side of the road, but in some local areas, people may drive down the centre of the road.
You’ll already know that across the world there are different traffic laws — so it’s important you become knowledgeable about what you should and shouldn’t do on the roads. If you plan to travel through different cities when you’re away, traffic laws could again differ. Drivers should be preparing themselves by learning the rules of the road.
Do you need any specific documents?
Depending on where you’re going, you might have to take with you an International Driving Permit in order to actually rent a car when you’re abroad and to ultimately drive on the public highway.
You might also want to carry proof of insurance with you, especially when it comes to crossing different borders around Europe. You’ll always be able to ask for further information from your car rental agency and they’ll likely be more than happy to explain what you need when travelling. Remember to take your national driving licence with you, as every country in the European Union you visit will require it.
Where is your next destination? This was our guide to driving in Europe and we hope it was of use to you!