European road trips are as popular as ever. Whether you plan to interrail or drive yourself, for many it’s a quick way to tick off all your destination hotspots at once. However, if you’re planning to hit the road, make sure you’re prepared for any differences when it comes to driving on the continent.
Here, alongside Lookers, who offer a range of car service plans, we have provided you with a handy set of tips of what you must remember when driving in Europe.
Just like at home, it’s advisable to know where you are going 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.
Every country has different traffic laws no matter where in the world you are. 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.
Europe is known to have a high rental price for cars. 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.
Before you sign any rental agreement, make sure you have read all of the terms and conditions carefully otherwise 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?
You can use your national driving licence in any EU country, but 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 all that’s left to do is to choose your favourite driving music and hit the road!