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  • 04 August 2015
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    8 Tips For Driving Abroad Over Summer

    If you’ve got a holiday abroad booked this summer, it’s time to start prepping now!

    Driving in a foreign country may seem stressful but don’t worry- we’ve got you covered with our easy tips to help you keep cool, calm and collected on the open road. Driving on foreign roads requires organisation, and it’s very important to follow the correct mandatory requirements before you set off on the long journey.

    Here are some useful tips to help get you and your car prepared and ready…

    1. Always carry your license

    First and foremost, when driving abroad you must have your license and passport on you at all times. These are extremely vital, as they will be very useful if you get caught in an unexpected situation!

    1. Check your Insurance Policies

    Before you even set foot in your vehicle, make sure your car insurance policy covers international driving. Check with your provider if there’s anything else you need to do before you set off, and don’t forget to review your travel insurance policy so you are aware of what’s covered.

    Take Note: Some countries may require you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP), so ask your car insurer beforehand.

    1. Buy Breakdown Cover

    Purchase some trustworthy European breakdown cover and ensure it applies in all the countries you wish to travel to. Print off 2 copies of the documents; a copy to keep in your car and a copy to leave in your luggage so you don’t end up stranded!

    1. Check the car

    To avoid any risky business, make sure you’re 100% certain that there are no issues with your car before you depart. Check oil levels, tyre tread, inflation and any other necessary parts to guarantee that everything works fine.

    Take note: Around 2 weeks before you leave, check the car so you have enough time fix any problems.

    1. Buy a GB sticker

    If you leave the UK you MUST have a GB sticker fixed onto the rear of your car- if you don’t you may run the risk of getting pulled over by the police. You can purchase a sticker online or from a car accessory shop for a small price. If your car incorporates a blue and yellow GB logo on the left-hand side of the number plate then you don’t need to buy a sticker.

    1. Learn the rules

    Other countries have a variety of different driving laws which apply, for example, in Spain you’re not allowed to wear flip-flops and if you wear prescription glasses, it's necessary to carry a spare pair in your car under law otherwise you can be fined. In Australia you’re not allowed to hang arms out of windows and in Greece you’re not allowed to smoke. Check the driving laws and experiences of other drivers to avoid having to pay a hefty fine.

    1. Don’t forget a map

    You may have your smartphone, your tablet and your Sat Nav, however a map can be handy and accurate when manoeuvring down windy roads or if you become lost. Buy a map before you leave and have it at the ready in your car at all times so it’s accessible for checking directions if you become lost.

    Take Note: Learn the lingo! You don’t have to be fluent in a countries native language, but you can invest in a handy phrase book so if you’re completely lost you can stop and ask a local for directions.

    1. Right or Left?

    In the UK we drive on the left hand side of the road but in most European countries, cars are driven on the right hand side of the road. Be sure to double-check which side you will be driving on before you leave!

    For more car advice and the latest Howards info, take a look at our news page here!

Howard Garages (Weston) Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Automotive Compliance Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No 497010). Automotive Compliance Ltd’s permissions as a Principal Firm allows Howard Garages (Weston) Ltd to act as a credit broker, not as a lender, for the introduction to a limited number of finance providers and to act as an agent on behalf of the insurer for insurance distribution activities only.

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