Driving a Car Abroad

Practical Requirements

Gain familiarity with all the laws governing vehicles and traffic in the countries you plan to visit. Read up and maybe even join auto enthusiast sites whose members are natives to those countries. That would give you a feel for how the driving environment is there.

Be sure about the proper lanes for traffic as well as the right of way rules particularly for roundabouts. If the driving method in that country is the reverse of the UK then you must develop a mindset that will keep you on the proper side of the road at all times.

Get driving maps, even if you have a navigator. In the event that you lose your GPS navigator, you will still have access to your paper maps.

Go and have a chat with your cellular service provider. Discuss with them the details of your trip, specifying the countries and making sure you get the best rates for the roaming services.  Have details of all their telecom partners at hand to ensure that you are never without a signal. Do make sure that your cellular phone is ready for the drive abroad as well. To be sure, you may want to purchase a quad band, go anywhere with a brand new phone, spare battery and a car adapter.

Legal Requirements

Ensure that your driver’s license is valid in the country that your plan to visit. Check with your local authorities to verify this. You may also want to check the websites of the country you are visiting for more information regarding the latest vehicle laws that may be pertinent to your situation

Make sure that your vehicle registration papers are present and up to date. Ensure that your vehicle is in compliance with all the requirements of the different countries you are visiting

Go over your vehicle and personal insurance details. Verify that accidents and other untoward incidents in those countries are in fact covered by your insurance companies.

Always be aware of the speed limits. Not all traffic policemen take kindly to tourists and the fees involved may put a damper on your trip.

Preparing For the Trip

After reading up on the requirements above, there will definitely be some modifications that need to be made for your vehicle.

One would be to put a prominent GB sticker to identify your origin. This ensures that other drivers are aware of your situation and they can make the necessary allowances.

Second, the driving conditions in those countries may be quite different from the UK. Confer with your mechanic about the car worthiness of your automobile. Make sure that all the other requirements such as lights, horns, mufflers, etc are in compliance with those countries.

Third thing to do is while you are at your mechanic’s shop, have them do a safety check on your car. The prudent thing to do is to change anything that may be on their way out to minimize the need for servicing while abroad.

The fourth thing is to bring along all the spares that you might need for your vehicle. While you did have the safety checks, the fact remains that parts have this knack of failing at the most inopportune time.

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For more information on:

  • Ideal Preparation
  • Tips for the Actual Trip