Hiring a car while on holiday can lead to some memorable trips, as you can get to know the country first-hand and away from the well-trodden tourist trails. Driving does present some new challenges when abroad though, and motorists have to be sure that they are following the law to the tee, which includes having the correct insurance for their vehicle.
Licence Requirements for Driving Abroad
The first thing to ascertain is whether your licence will allow you to drive in another country, and there is good news for drivers from the UK in this area. This is because they are permitted to drive in all EU/EEA countries (as well as Switzerland) without having to do a thing. Simply ensure that your licence is with you when on the road and you’ll be completely road-legal.
If you are planning on driving in a country outside the EU/EEA, such as the United States or Australia, the process is slightly more complex – although certainly not too difficult. This is because UK residents will have to apply for an International Driving Permit. This can be purchased directly from the Post Office and costs just £5.50. Drivers must also be 18 years old or over in order to get one.
Make Sure You Have the Correct Equipment
In the UK there are no requirements surrounding specific items that must be carried in cars, however there certainly are in other countries. Perhaps most important is the fact that nearly all countries require British cars to have a GB sticker prominently displayed on the rear of their vehicle, as well as a headlight adjuster, which redirects the beam in the correct direction when driving on the right hand side of the road.
But what else is often compulsory for drivers? Well, in many countries, including France and Italy, it is the law that a vehicle must have a warning triangle and a reflective jacket. Most countries also require a driver to be able to produce both the registration document and the insurance certificate when required, so this must always be in the car on journeys. Of course, it makes sense to remove the registration when the car is left unattended though. It’s also worth remembering that most countries forbid radar detectors, and this includes ones found in standard Sat-Navs.
Get the Right Insurance Cover
Insurance is one of the most important things to consider before heading abroad, and it is vital that you check your insurance documents to ensure that you are covered in all eventualities. It is also good practice to inform your insurance company that you’ll be abroad before making the journey, just to check that everything is correct with your policy.
If you are currently in the process of renewing your insurance and know that you’ll be driving abroad in the future, it makes sense to stipulate this requirement. This will cause your premium to rise slightly, however you can still get some great deals by using the car insurance comparison tool on this website. All you need to do is fill in the different sections of the form, and you’ll then receive quotes from multiple companies. After that, it’s a simple case of picking the one that is right for you.
Breakdown Cover: Essential for Driving Abroad
The final thing to think about before heading abroad in a car is breakdown cover, as you really don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road in a country you don’t know. If you have a breakdown policy for the UK, it is first worth checking to see whether it also covers driving abroad, and if it does, checking the amount of cover it provides. If you don’t have breakdown cover for the country you’re visiting though, contact your current provider and enquire as to how much it will cost to add.
In order to save money, it is often beneficial to bundle your breakdown cover in with your car insurance. Why not look through the different car insurance quotes we can provide and see which offers the level of breakdown cover you require? You can also give our friendly team a call on 01243 219300 if you have any queries.