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Tips When Driving Abroad

It’s getting to that time of year where everyone is beginning to jet off abroad on their holidays, so here are some tips when driving abroad.

However, some of us prefer to travel in the comfort of our own vehicles and so Prestige Vehicle Repairs have provided you with some top tips to make your journey run as smoothly as possible.

Firstly, it may seem obvious but it is crucial to remember that most other countries drive on the opposite side of the road to us and it can be easy to forget this due to routine.

You need to bare this in mind, in particular when approaching roundabouts. A majority of accidents abroad are caused by driving the wrong way around a roundabout, so ensure that you are alert and focused to lower any risk of putting yourself in danger.

When abroad the speed limits are not always measured in miles per hour but can instead be measured in kilometres per hour. This makes the speed limit appear faster than normal, make sure that you are aware of this as it is not always an easy task to explain your mistakes to a foreign police officer!

As a general rule, it is legally required to adjust your headlights to prevent dazzling oncoming drivers as you are now driving on the opposite side of the road. You can buy headlight converters, which stick onto the lights to deflect the beam and these are easy to purchase.

The legal requirements vary in different countries so you should be sure to check the regulations before setting off. Here are a few examples of requirements you may come across:

Must obtain:

  • Spare wheel
  • A jack
  • Jump leads
  • Torch
  • First-aid kit
  • Spare light bulbs
  • Reflective jacket
  • Warning triangle
  • Breathalyser

Remember, the alcohol limit can also vary depending where you go travelling.

Different countries have a lot of rules that may seem unusual to us and definitely surprising so please be sure to double check their rules and regulations to avoid any misunderstandings.

We also advise that you plan ahead for your journey to lower your chances of getting lost, as you are on holiday it should be as stress-free as possible! Plus, another advantage of planning your route beforehand is that it will enable you to focus on your driving with more confidence.

Try to keep some spare cash or change with you at all times so you are not at risk of being caught out or left stranded if something doesn’t go to plan.

Before you travel you should also contact your insurance company in advance to clarify what their agreements are once you leave the UK as you may not have the same cover that you do at home.

If you are driving outside of Europe you should also ask your insurance provider if you can apply for a ‘Green Card’ as this is proof that you are insured for the minimum legally required third-party liability insurance.

In addition to your insurance, you should ensure your licence, M.O.T and tax are all up to date and that you take any necessary paperwork along with you on your holiday.

Now, although you are on holiday you should still remember the key rules that you follow day-to-day back at home, such as wearing your seatbelt at all times, keeping your vehicle locked in a safe area and if you have the misfortune of having an accident while away, be sure to call the police, exchange insurance details with the other driver and get any necessary photos of damage, car positions and number plates. You should also get contact details (names and addresses) from any witnesses of the collision and try to take down some notes of how the accident happened.

When the police arrive, ensure that they provide you with a copy of their report and don’t hesitate to request an interpreter if you don’t understand what is being said. You may also be provided with a European Accident Statement if travelling in Europe. This form will create a statement of what happened and will require a signature from you so make sure you check and agree with what it claims before signing and request that they provide you with a copy.

It is very important to inform your insurance provider of the accident and provide them with as much detail as possible and as soon as possible to start the claim process.

Last but not least, don’t hesitate to bring your vehicle into Prestige Vehicle Repairs for an all over check to provide you with the confidence that your car is reliable and ready to go!

If you have any queries or would like to book your vehicle in, simply call 01708 868864.

We hope you have a wonderful and stress-free holiday and remember to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest before hitting the road!

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