Know the rules of the road when driving in Europe this summer
UK drivers should be aware of local laws to avoid a large fine this summer.
With the summer in full swing, many holidaymakers will be packing up their car and heading off to European holiday destinations. It is estimated that over 400,000 cars will travel through the channel tunnel over the summer, but drivers should be aware that their trip could cost more than they bargained for.
France, Spain and Italy are the three favourite destinations for Brits driving abroad, but new rules across Europe mean it is much easier for local police to stop and fine drivers breaking the laws in their countries.
We've put together some of the most important things to be aware of to help make sure drivers don’t hit any bumps in the road.
By law, UK drivers in France must carry certain items in their car. These include a GB sticker, spare headlight bulbs and a high-visibility jacket. Any drivers caught without these items face an on-the-spot fine of £135.
French law also states that drivers must carry breathalysers in their car. As well as carrying a breathalyser, drivers should be aware that drink driving laws in Spain and France are much stricter than in the UK, with the European countries enforcing a limit of 0.5mg (a small beer) vs. the limit in the UK of 0.8mg (a pint).
As well as having the right kit, drivers should also be aware of some of the more unusual overseas laws. In Spain, drivers can be fined up to €200 for driving while shirtless and driving in flip-flops is also against the law. In France, it is illegal to drive with headphones on.
Check if your car insurance will cover you when driving overseas. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of taking a car abroad as most drivers believe their insurance will offer the same over when driving abroad.
Not all insurance policies will offer this cover, so it’s important to check before you head on your trip. It is also important to travel with insurance documents, as this will save a lot of time and hassle should drivers need to make a claim.
And lastly don't forget, if your tyres are showing signs of age or excessive wear before you travel you can quickly review prices for new tyres.
Back to all articles