Hints & Tips for Driving Abroad
If you are planning a road trip abroad then you will probably have plenty of questions. Where should you go? What should you pack? How should you drive? The list of concerns seems endless. Fortunately, armed with a little bit of preparation, driving outside the country shouldn’t be too difficult. Here’s a list of tips to help you successfully navigate the process and make the most of your trip.
Which side of the road should I drive on?
In the United Kingdom, we are used to driving on the left side of the road. However, many other countries in Europe drive on the right side of the road. It is vitally important that before you drive abroad, you research which side of the road you will need to be driving on. If you are renting a vehicle abroad, then you will need to ensure that you do your research to ensure that the vehicle you are renting suits your needs. To see an extensive list of countries which drive on either the left or the right side of the road, please click on the link below.
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Plan your route
Even the most experienced drivers can get nervous when driving abroad. To help try and ease these nerves, try to make sure that you plan your route beforehand. Try not to worry, many drivers pick up driving abroad very quickly. Planning your route can make you aware of any toll roads where you may need to pay a toll to drive on certain roads abroad.
Pack Emergency Supplies
Make sure you pack emergency supplies such as a first aid kit, high vis jacket and a tyre inflator. Hopefully, these will not be needed but it is good to be prepared in the case of an emergency.
Check your tyres
Ahead of any long journey, it is vitally important that you check your tyres. If you are using your own vehicle and driving abroad, make sure that you check your tyre pressures and tyre tread level beforehand.
It would also be advisable to purchase a tyre inflator to put in the boot of your vehicle. At your local National branch, we offer a free tyre safety check to ensure that your vehicle’s tyres are safe to drive. If you are abroad and rent a vehicle, which is a common practice for many British holiday goers, you need to check the tyres at the earliest opportunity.
Alternatively, if you are driving in countries with drastically different weather conditions than the United Kingdom, you may need to change your tyres from summer tyres to either all-season or winter tyres. If you are going to be driving in the snow it may be a good idea to purchase snow chains to ensure that you are safe when driving in snowy conditions.
Service your vehicle
If you are driving a vehicle that you own abroad, then before you leave it would be advisable to book the vehicle in for a car service at your local National branch. At National, we offer a range of servicing packages from a standard oil and filter change to either an interim or full service. If it has been over a year since your vehicle has been serviced, it would be advisable to book in for a full service before your trip abroad. This will give you that extra peace of mind that your car is safe to drive abroad.
We understand that car servicing can be expensive, however, we don’t want the price to deter drivers from ensuring that their vehicles are safe to drive. To help with this, we offer Payment Assist, which helps our customers spread the cost over a number of months. To find out more about Payment Assist, please click on the link below.
Check your car insurance
If you are driving your own vehicle outside of the UK, you will need to make sure with your vehicle insurer that you are legally insured to drive abroad. Alternatively, if you are renting a vehicle, you will need to sort out insurance to ensure you are legally allowed to drive in a particular country.
If you are in the unfortunate circumstance where you break down abroad, then you need to make sure that you have the correct breakdown cover. Companies such as RAC and the AA offer European Breakdown Cover and Roadside Assistance.
Driving abroad can be daunting however, it can also be extremely fun. Make sure that your vehicle is safe to drive, you have inspected your tyres and that you have all the correct legal documents that you need. The government offer additional information when driving on holiday, to read more on driving abroad please click the following link: Driving Abroad. Please note, that this link will take you to the www.gov.uk website.