Important Advice for Driving Abroad This Summer

Important Advice for Driving Abroad This Summer
© Provided by Motoring Research

By Gavin Braithwaite-Smith, Motoring Research

Thankfully, the huge queues at Dover seem to have subsided, but driving abroad this summer could still be stressful.

These easy-to-follow tips should help. Put together in association with Goodyear, they cover everything from speed limits to tyres (OK, no surprises there).

Driving on the right

It sounds obvious, right? But you’d be surprised just how many drivers forget to drive on the right when travelling in Europe. Particularly after a night’s sleep or when leaving the ferry terminal.

Take your time and give yourself plenty of space, especially if you are driving a motorhome or towing a caravan.

Car insurance

Many car insurance companies will offer European cover as standard, but comprehensive policies will often be reduced, offering just the minimum level of cover available.

Check with your insurer before travelling and consider arranging temporary comprehensive cover if required. It could save you a lot of headaches later.

Speed limits

Speed limits vary from country to country, so do your homework before travelling. Most nations display speed limits at border crossings, but look out for weather-related restrictions – such as lower limits when it rains.

If you’re not careful, you might find a speeding ticket waiting for you when you get home.

Read More:If You See an Orange Tag on a Car, This Is What It Means

Using a sat-nav

A sat nav could be essential if you’re driving through Europe, but some countries prohibit the use of systems that alert you to the presence of speed cameras.

You could also use Google or Apple for navigation purposes, via your smartphone. But be wary of potentially costly roaming charges – including within the EU. Thank you, Brexit.


In most European countries you will be expected to carry your car ownership document (also known as the log book or V5C), and you could receive an on-the-spot fine if you’re caught without it.

Also, don’t forget to pack your driving licence. It’s a useful source of ID, as well as proving that you passed your test.

Safety equipment

Did you know that you must carry a spare pair of glasses – if you wear them – in Portugal, Spain and Switzerland? You’re also required to keep a rope in the car in Serbia.

Do your homework before you travel. Start by downloading the European Union’s ‘Going Abroad’ app, which explains the important road safety rules in the different countries.

Toll roads

Some European countries, such as France and Spain, are renowned for the quality of their toll roads.

However, they can be expensive way to cross the continent, while some countries require you to buy a pre-loaded card. Plan your route carefully.


There are around 58,000 reported tyre-related incidents on roads every year, says Goodyear, so check that you have enough tread before venturing abroad. Also ensure that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, especially if you’re loaded up with passengers and luggage.

Also, while this advice is focused on driving abroad in the summer, remember it’s a legal requirement for vehicles to be fitted with winter or all-season tyres in some countries during the winter months in some countries.

See more at Motoring Research

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Autos Magazine: Important Advice for Driving Abroad This Summer
Important Advice for Driving Abroad This Summer
Easy-to-follow tips for driving abroad this summer, covering car insurance, safety, speed limits and which side of the road to drive on...
Autos Magazine
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