Driving abroad: useful advice

Driving abroad: useful advice 12th August 2014

There is no doubt that having your own car with you while on holiday considerably amplifies your sense of freedom. If you are planning to take your car across to mainland Europe this summer, just make sure that this feeling isn't halted because you were not properly prepared.

Your first port of call is to make sure that your car is in good condition so that you avoid breaking down in a foreign country. This includes checking that your car's fluids are topped up and that your tyres are not damaged in any way.

It is worth getting it looked over by an expert and ATS Euromaster are offering a Summer Vehicle Health Check for £20, which includes getting your car inspected and having your oil topped up while you get the remainder of the can to take with you.

Once you are sure your car is ready for the long journey, you need to make sure your knowledge is too. Remember that road laws can vary abroad and may require you to adjust your driving style or to carry extra items with you.

For example, in France you need to have a warning triangle, high visibility jacket and your own breathalyzer on board your vehicle. If your sat nav has a feature that allow you to detect when there are speed cameras on the road it is illegal to use this.

Make sure you have a route planned out well and be prepared for road signs, including place names, to read slightly differently to your English maps. For example, The Hague in the Netherlands appears on road signs as Den Haag.

Be careful not to overload your vehicle too. It may be tempting to fill your car with items that you think you may need for the trip but putting too much in your car can also put a lot of strain on your tyres and could potentially cause an obstruction.

Lastly, don't forget your official documents, like your passport and your driving licence, or else you won't be going anywhere.

Posted by Danielle Barge