Tips For Driving in Europe

Posted on May 2, 2023

If you’re on holiday in Europe, you may want to rent a car or even bring your own car to get around quickly. You may even be going on a road trip across Europe. You may feel nervous driving in Europe for the first time. There are different road rules, and there may be other speed limits. It is also a significant difference driving on the right-hand side of the road instead of the left. There are several things you should know to best prepare for driving abroad. Read on to gain some tips ford driving in Europe.

Bring Your Car or Renting

For your tip, are you bringing your own car or will you rent a car when you get there? There are both pros and cons to both.

You will be very familiar with your own car, and especially when you’re on unfamiliar roads, it may be good to be in a car that you’re comfortable with and know. You should also check with your insurer before seeing if you are covered and what your level of cover is in Europe.  

It can be a hassle renting a car abroad. If you rent a car, read the terms and conditions to know precisely what you’re paying for. It is easier having a left-hand car when you must drive on the right. For this reason, it is better than your own car. 

Driving On The Right

If you are driving your own car, you’ll have to adjust to your new road position. You’ll have a new setup if you’re driving a rental car. The driver’s seat will be on the left with the gear stick and handbrake on your right. The pedals will be on the left but in the same order. It may be challenging to drive on the right if you haven’t before. It may take a bit of getting used to at the start. It may not be best to drive in a foreign country with a new setup if you are a nervous driver. You should be a confident driver with years of experience.

The following tips may help you become more confident driving on the right:

  • The overtaking lane on motorways and dual carriageways is on the left side.
  • It may be challenging getting used to roundabouts. You must always give way to traffic on your left and drive anti-clockwise. There are also bike lanes to look for in many countries, which you may be unfamiliar with. 
  • You should give yourself a greater stopping distance than usual between you and other times to give you enough time to react on unfamiliar roads.  
  • You should remember at all times to drive on the right. If you stop and start again, you may forget, but you must remind yourself. 
  • Check the road signs to stick to the speed and make sure you’re on the right side of the road. 

Rules of the Road 

rules of the road

There are different rules in each country across Europe. Before you travel there, you must know these laws, so you are not breaking any laws. 

  • You must have your headlights on in Poland, Bulgaria and Serbia. 
  • You must have a breathalyser on you in France at all times. 
  • In some countries, you cannot park in spots on certain days.
  • You may need an emergency kit in many European countries. To keep safe, you should carry one anyway.
  • You must carry a high-vis jacket in France in your car.

You should always carry a full driving license, vehicle registration and car insurance details. 

How To Keep Safe

You should not pull over and stop if you’re being flagged down on the road. It may not be safe. You should only pull over for the police. If they are flagging you down for a car issue, you should pull over in a town where it is well lit.

If the police pull you over, you should ask them to see their badge. If they are a genuine police officer, they will have no problem telling you who they are and making you feel safe. If you don’t feel safe, you should lock the door.

Plan Ahead

Planning is key to your driving trip if you are driving around Europe. You should plan your trip, take note of when there are tolls, and have the money ready. Some tolls must be prepaid, such as in Portugal, where you must purchase a DEM card.

You should allow yourself plenty of time for your journey. European motorways van get very busy in summer, and it may take more time than expected. 

Take regular breaks on your journey. It may be very hot in these countries compared to Ireland. Especially when you’re in the car, it gets considerably hot. You should take breaks and keep well hydrated. You may need even sunglasses for driving in the sun.

If you are using a satnav, make sure it works before you go. If you don’t have a satnav, you may also use a map navigation App for phones like Google Maps or Waze. Some of these devices only come with pre-loaded maps, and you may have to download new ones.

Are you looking to get insurance for your trip or check out if you’re covered for driving in Europe? Then get a quote online today or call us at 01 409 2600 to speak to one of our team members.

Share this post: