Whether travelling as part of our annual holiday or for work purposes, millions of Britons are opting to drive while abroad. This is an understandable trend as you can set your own timetable and schedule, make spontaneous excursions and potentially save rather a lot of money by driving rather than using trains, coaches, taxis and other modes of transport. A pitfall many us fall into though, is assuming that our motoring skills will compensate for a failure to learn the rules and regulations of the roads in the host country. An amazing 15% of UK citizens who have driven abroad admit to having driven on the wrong side of the road and only 20% of us trouble to familiarise ourselves with foreign laws. This is a potentially disastrous oversight.
Unless you are aware of the rules of the road in the country you are visiting, you risk your and your passengers’ safety. It’s a road user adage that it only takes a minute to have an accident, and this applies whether you are driving on Britain’s M1 or Germany’s famous autobahns. Accordingly, you need to be as attuned to the regulations around you, for example, speed limits and overtaking, as you are when navigating your own country’s highways and byways.
Much of the information you need is readily accessible. See, for instance, the RAC’s superb guide to driving abroad.
Ignorance of road rules won’t be accepted as an excuse for breaking them and you may be liable to a hefty fine. The regulations vary widely but, just to illustrate our point, were you aware that you now need an Air Quality Certificate (Crit’Air) to drive in Paris? Put simply, this notice identifies the emissions levels of your vehicle and, if yours is a poor performer, you might be excluded from driving in the French capital during times of high pollution.
If you lease your car from a company like http://leasing.totalmotion.co.uk/, providers of car leasing in Leicester, you will need to obtain the company’s written permission to drive overseas and also to ascertain the European Emissions Standard of the car for your Crit’Air sticker.
This is just one example of a law you might inadvertently break if you are unprepared when you drive abroad. It clearly pays to do your homework.