Whether you’re off on a family trip or simply exploring a new place, you may want to hire a car to help you get around. Maybe you’re even driving to your destination via ferry. Either way, it can be quite scary driving in a foreign country.
If you’re looking for some simple tips on how to make your holiday as stress-free as possible, read on to find out how to drive abroad.
Remember the correct side of the road!
This may seem like a pretty obvious tip, but driving is second nature to most of us so we can be in danger of cruising along in autopilot!
Most European countries are the exact opposite of the UK, and drive on the right side of the road, rather than the left. Motorists across Europe will also appear to go around the roundabout the wrong way, but don’t panic! Just remember to double check the road rules in your chosen country before you set off on your travels to be certain you’re driving correctly and safely.
Research the law
Holiday research is crucial, and arguably one of the most fun parts about preparing for your trip! Once you’re finished looking at which bars you’ll visit and what time the waterpark opens, it’s a good idea to brush up on your desired location’s road laws as there will be some you’re not familiar with, and some of the rules may seem quite strange to you.
For example, in Italy you can only park in the direction of the flow of traffic. In Beijing, its actually illegal to stop for pedestrians and in Germany, their autobahn network – the equivalent of the UK motorway – has no speed limit, and it’s illegal to stop or break down! Knowing these rules is the difference between having a memorable time driving abroad and ending up with a possible hefty fine.
Watch out for toll roads
We’ve all been there – taking the family out for the day and coming across a toll booth with an empty purse and no change in the cup holder of your car. There are 23 toll roads across the UK alone, imagine how many are spread all over Europe!
When changing your money to Euros, is a good idea to keep some change in your hire car as you never know when your journey will take you via a toll road.
Brush up on basic car repairs
One of the last things you want to experience while you’re driving abroad is a car fault. Whether it’s your own car or, even worse, a car you’ve hired, an issue with your transportation can be really disruptive to your day.
Before you start driving in a foreign country, it’s a great idea to brush up on your basic car maintenances such as topping up your engine oil and changing a tyre. Some standard vehicle health checks might also be a good idea, just to ensure the hire car you’ve been provided is safe to drive. Confirm that all your lights are working, the spare tyre is present, and that all the tyres meet legal requirements.
Take regular breaks
Another great tip for driving abroad is to ensure that you’re fit to drive by taking regular breaks. Whether you’re driving across the country to get to an attraction, or you’re simply just taking in the sights, concentrating on driving for a long period of time can be tiring, and can lead to accidents.
Take some time to pull over and give yourself a break. I’m sure there will be some beautiful landscapes to enjoy while you do!
Consider an automatic car
If you want a really simple tip for driving abroad, why not consider hiring an automatic car? As the gears won’t be a factor in driving, you’ll have more time and energy to concentrate on the road and the journey ahead.
If you were wondering how to drive abroad, we hope our top tips have helped you to plan your holiday driving. Just remember to relax and abide by the country’s road and traffic laws, and you’ll be enjoying the road trip in no time.