Driving in a foreign country is daunting at the best of times. Driving on the other side of the road is difficult enough without a foreign language, unfamiliar road signs and sometimes aggressive drivers to worry about!
Like everything else though, a little preparation can go a long way and help you to avoid potential bumps in the road. Here are our top tips to make your foreign driving experience more manageable.
Before You Travel
Before you head off there are a number of essentials you will need to have:
Your driving licence – Ensure your full driving licence is valid and with you. Keeping your passport to hand can be useful also as a second form of identification.
Log book – Ensure to have your vehicle registration document before leaving for your trip.
Insurance – Ensure your car insurance policy covers you for your trip abroad. Allianz comprehensive and third party, fire and theft car insurance policies cover you for up to 60 days driving with in EU and other countries*. If you are not an Allianz car insurance customer, please check your cover with your insurer before you travel.
Maintenance – Is your vehicle in a suitable working order? Make sure you check tyres for condition, pressure and tread depth. Are your headlights, brake lights and indicators in full working order? Remember, if driving at night, ensure your dipped headlight beam doesn’t dazzle other road users.
Know the legal requirements – Some countries will require you to have, a warning triangle, hi-vis jacket, fire extinguisher, a first aid kit among other things. Make sure to check your destination country’s legal requirement before you travel as they may vary.
Have a plan – Before you set of it is a good idea to plan out you route. Update your SatNav and pre-load your route, be on the look out for roadworks and know the local speed limits.
European Health Insurance Card – The EHIC allows the holder to access healthcare services when travelling to or on holiday in another EU or EEA country. It is a good idea to have yourself and your family covered with the EHIC while in the EU or EEA countries.
No changes have been made to the EHIC service following the results of the EU referendum. The NHS Business Services Authority is continuing to provide the EHIC service as usual, and you can apply for and use your card as before.
Learn more about the EHIC here.
For additional travel insurance, check out Allianz Global Assistance, which sells and underwrites a range of travel insurance products, including: single trip, multi-trip and backpacker cover and more. **
While You Are Abroad
In case of emergency – 112 is the emergency call number in the European Union.
Security – Ensure your vehicle is locked and secure at all times. Do not leave bags and valuables in plain sight at any time. Valuables should be locked in the glove compartment or boot.
Drinking and Driving – Never ever drink and drive.
Know your side – Ensure you know which side of the road you will travel on before you go. Pay particular care when approaching roundabouts and when merging lanes or leaving petrol stations.
And remember the basics: belt up, slow down and allow plenty of time for your journey.
Information correct as of 27/04/17
*Your Policy is automatically extended to cover you to travel to or on the Continent of Europe for up to 60 days in any period of insurance. The insurance also operates during the course of Sea Transit, Channel Tunnel Transport or Rail Transport (including loading and unloading). For travel to any country not referred to above, or if your intended period of foreign travel exceeds 60 days you must contact Us. Allianz, plc. will also provide the minimum legal insurance required by law to use the Car in any European Union country and any other country which has made arrangements to meet the minimum insurance requirements set by the European Union.
**Allianz travel insurance is underwritten by AWP P&C SA and sold by Allianz Global Assistance. Allianz Global Assistance, trading as Mondial Assistance Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. AWP P&C SA is authorised by L’Autorité de contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution in France and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules.
This guidance is for general information purposes only and does not purport to provide legal advice or other professional advice. This guidance is intended to supplement the Rules of the Road and is not intended to replace or to be used as a substitute to the Rules of the Road. Allianz accepts no responsibility or liability for any losses that may arise from any reliance upon the information contained in this guidance.