Essential European Driving Equipment
If you’re planning on driving your own car in Europe for the first time then there are a few things you need to be aware of, to ensure you are safe and also compliant with the law.
Firstly, and most importantly, you must take care before you go that your breakdown cover, and your insurance policy, extend to the countries you’re planning to visit. If you’re not sure, contact the providers to check. You don’t want to be stuck with a costly repair bill in a foreign country that could ruin your holiday and deplete your travel finances.
Note that unless your number plate has the GB Euro symbol on it, then you must display a GB sticker on your car while in Europe. Failure to do so can result in a stop from the police and an on-the-spot fine.
You must also have headlight stickers to avoid blinding oncoming drivers, as cars drive on the right in most European countries, excepting the Irish Republic, Malta and Cyprus. If you forget, you’ll soon be alerted by somebody!
Research the legal requirements of each country. For example in France, where many Brits road-trip every year, you must carry a breathalyser in your vehicle in case the temptation for popping into the odd vineyard proves too strong; it’s also illegal to use satnav with radar equipment that alerts you to roadside speed cameras.
You need to have breakdown equipment with you including a fluorescent triangle, and a high-vis jacket. We would also recommend always carrying around a jack, a spare tyre, and a set of jumper cables.
If you’re unfamiliar with the road rules and signage, then always travel at low speeds and exercise caution.
Lastly, keep a stash of euro coins in your glove compartment, as there are a lot of toll roads in Europe.