The road-trip adventures are becoming as popular in Europe as they are stateside and Down Under. Driving or interrailing are great ways to quickly tick off an array of destinations at once. However, if hitting the road is your preferred option, you should be prepared for any differences you may face when driving on the continent.
Here, with Lookers, who offer a range of car servicing parts, we have come up with a handy guide to help you remember important information about driving in Europe.
Plan in advance
Just as you would in the UK, it’s recommended that you plan out your route in advance. Make sure you invest in a map or use an internet route planner or sat nav to ensure you don’t take a wrong turn and get lost in an unfamiliar area. Planning your route will save you time in the long run and help you locate service stations and restaurants along the way. This can let you sit back and relax on your journey, removing any unnecessary stress from your vacation.
Research car rental companies
It’s known that Europe is expensive when it comes to renting a vehicle. That being said, you can still find savings, especially if you rent a vehicle for a week instead of daily. It’s also beneficiary to book a car in advance as rental agencies may be willing to reduce costs during times when their inventory is high. To find the lowest prices, you should shop around and check a number of car hire companies before making your decision. You may also want to consider a wholesale rental consolidator.
Make sure you have read your terms and conditions before you sign any rental agreement. If you don’t, you may find that you end up needing to pay unnecessary charges. Also, it’s crucial that you give your rental vehicle a thorough inspection and to note down any damage that you find before driving it away from the rental office. You don’t want to be charged for something that wasn’t you, do you?
Become clued up on local traffic laws
No matter where you visit, every country has different traffic laws. They may also be different in each province or town, so you need to make sure you’re well prepared. By learning all you can about the specific rules of the road where you plan to go, such as seatbelt use, speed limits, and blood alcohol levels, you will avoid any hiccups with the local police. Unlike the UK, driving on the right-hand side of the road is universal throughout continental Europe.
Keep all your travel documents with you
The EU allows you to use you national driving licence. However, there are many other regions that require an International Driving Permit before you rent a car or drive it on the public highway. Depending on the countries you are planning to visit, you may also need to carry proof of insurance, especially when you are crossing certain borders. Generally, you will find that staff at the car rental agencies you choose will happily explain more to you about such requirements.
Then, the only thing left to do is hit the road and go exploring!