Driving in Europe

Our checklist to drive safely, enjoyably and stress free in Europe.

Europe has many delights and surprises to offer, but here at Budget Insurance we don’t want you have any nasty experiences on your travels. We have teamed up with our friends at RAC and have come up with a six point check to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable journey, wherever you decide to go.

Understand the driving laws of the country that you’re travelling to

Apart from the obvious, such as driving on the other side of the road for some countries, there are many laws that you may need to be aware of to avoid any unwanted stress and fines. Try to familiarise yourself with speed limits, road signs and paperwork or documentation that may be required.

Check you and your car are covered

There are three areas you may want to check are covered before leaving for your trip: Your car is insured to drive abroad, you have breakdown cover and you have cover for healthcare. Check with your insurance company that you have cover for overseas driving as not all levels of cover include this. Ensure your breakdown cover extends to Europe or look into a standalone policy which covers you for European breakdown. Follow the link to get a quote for RAC European Breakdown.

Consider getting a European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to either free or reduced healthcare if you are ill or injured abroad. You can apply for one by visiting the NHS website here.

Follow the link for Budget’s Self Service Centre.

Take it with you, just in case

Some countries in Europe such as France have laws for compulsory in-car equipment such as portable breathalysers and warning triangles. It is important to check these laws first, just to save any unwanted fines. Although it may not be compulsory, it may be worth taking an in-car tool kit, which could include a fire extinguisher, first-aid kit, tool kit, torch and a blanket. Check out the RAC Shop for products that you may find useful when travelling.

Be roadworthy

When travelling long distances you want to make sure your car is as ready as you are for a holiday! So why not take an hour to carry out your own mini-service. Check your oil levels, tyre pressures/tread and your coolant level and even simple things like screen wash too. Also refer to your vehicle’s handbook for correct levels. These simple tasks could be the difference between your car running smoothly and your engine overheating, causing you to wait by the roadside.

Don’t forget your passport!

Many countries require proof of documentation, as part of their laws. In addition to your passport and driving licence, this could include Vehicle Registration Documents (V5), your motor insurance certificate or a driving permit. Also ensure you have telephone contact numbers in the unlikely event that you will need emergency assistance.

Don’t want to pay? Make sure you display

Ensure you have displayed the appropriate country identification letters, such as GB. Choosing not to do this can lead to on the spot fines. However if your number plates includes the GB Euro symbol, you won’t need to get a sticker.

Products you may be interested in

Budget Insurance offers RAC Car Breakdown Cover and Assistance. For further information please follow this link.

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