Planning a European Road Trip? Here’s What you Need to Know
by Ed Scott
Planning a European Road Trip this year? Chances are if you’ve got a UK driving license you should be fine to drive on the continent, but there are a few more rules to remember too so we’ve compiled the top 5 tips to keep you safe on the roads during European Road Trip.
1 Driving on the right
OK so this is an obvious one, but it also means you need to think about your headlights. As your lights are tilted to not shine in the face of oncoming traffic, driving on the other side of the road switches things over. Don’t worry though this can be fixed with a pair of headlight reflectors like these, they’re arguably the most important bit of kit you need.
2 Legal age of driving
Here in the UK, you can get a license from the age of 17 but over in France, you need to be 18 to drive a car. Also if you’re planning on hiring, many rental companies will not offer vehicles to anyone under 25, some will allow 21 and above but you may find the insurance to be very expensive.
If you happen to be pulled over by the police you could be asked to produce a few things, so you need to make sure you’ve got all the relevant documents that prove you and your vehicle are road legal. Photocopies are fine if you’re not comfortable with taking originals but you should have with you:
- Driving License
- V5 Log Book
- Insurance Documents
4 Safety Equipment
Better hope there’s some boot space left after you’ve packed your bucket and spade because there are a number of other things you need to bring along for driving in France. Luckily you can usually find these all in a handy travel pack (like the one below from Halfords) but you will need:
- Warning triangle
- Hi-visibility jackets for driver and all passengers within reach inside the vehicle
- GB sticker or European plates
- Headlight beam deflectors (as previously mentioned)
- Spare headlight bulbs
5 Drink driving
Here in the UK the limit is 80mg per 100ml of blood but in France, it is just 50mg, so just over half. This is reduced even further to 20mg for drivers with less than 3 years experience, so as ever the best advice is when planning to drive avoid alcohol altogether.
So there you have it, drive safely and remember those rules and you should be fine getting around Europe this summer.
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