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It has got to that point of the year where many of us will be booking or will already have booked our summer holidays. If you have a European destination in mind, you may be considering taking your own vehicle or renting a car once you arrive so that you have the flexibility to visit multiple places on your trip. It is important to be aware of how you should prepare your vehicle for driving in a foreign country and the documentation you will need to have so that you are following all legal procedures. Allow us to help you get ready for your road trip on the continent or beyond…

What vehicle documents do you need when driving abroad?

If you are going to be driving in Europe or EU countries, as well as selected other countries such as Norway and Switzerland, you will no longer need to carry a green card. However, this is still required for some countries in Europe such as Turkey, so you will want to leave enough time to sort this out. You should also check that you have the correct insurance to drive. Your standard UK car insurance will provide you third party cover in the EU and other European countries. However, you may want to consider paying a bit extra to upgrade your insurance, so that you have European breakdown cover or are protected in the event of an accident. You should have the following documents ready to provide to the rental company or authorities if required:

  • Driving licence
  • Vehicle registration certificate (V5C)
  • Passport
  • Visa if required.
  • VE103 certificate to hire a car

Driving kit for travelling abroad

The old GB sticker that was once needed when abroad has now been replaced, so you should have a UK sticker displayed clearly at the rear of your vehicle if your number plate does not display one already. You will also need a warning triangle, spare bulbs, a first aid kit, headlamp converters, and reflective jackets as safety precautions. These are required should you break down.

Driving laws

One of the first things people think of when on the continent is driving on the opposite side of the road. This is the case in most European countries, apart from Cyprus, Ireland, and Malta. You should be aware of the other driving laws in place, which vary depending on the country you are travelling to. One example being speed limits. In Spain you can be fined between €100 and €600 depending on how much over the speed limit you were, whereas in France fines can go up to €1500 with no discounts allowed. You may be more tempted to drink drive if you are abroad, but bear in mind that the punishment can be severe if caught. Six months imprisonment, unlimited fines, and a one-year driving ban can be handed out if you are guilty of this, so it is never worth the risk.

Whether you are driving your own vehicle or booking through a hire company, it is important that you are aware of driving laws abroad so that you are prepared for any situation. In order to ensure that your car is ready for your long journey, you should have it checked over by experienced mechanics. Here at Double Dee Autos, our expert team can carry out servicing or repairs to guarantee everything is in working order. To make an enquiry call 020 8460 3040 or email [email protected] and we will get your vehicle booked in as soon as we can.