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Top Tips for Driving Abroad

09 Sep 2010 at 15:30

driving-abroad

By Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Guest blogger

Every year, events and festivals abroad become more and more popular. From La Tomatina, to the Munich Beer Festival, the 'Running of the Bulls', to Benicassim, us Brits are increasingly getting in the car with friends (and some basic camping equipment!) to take part.

And, in just a few months, ski resorts will also be opening, enticing thousands of us to jump in the car, as a cheaper way of getting to the slopes.

With so many Brits either driving from the UK, or hiring a car at their destination - be it summer or winter - the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has some top tips for those driving abroad...

Tips for Driving Abroad

  • Familiarise yourself with the driving laws of the country you are visiting – including local speed limits and which side of the road they drive on!
  • Check with your insurance company that you're fully covered to drive abroad, including breakdown recovery and any medical expenses resulting from an accident.
  • Check whether you need an International Driving Permit in the country you plan to visit.
  • Drive defensively and expect the unexpected – the local driving style may be different to that of the UK.
  • Don't drive when you're tired, and take regular breaks on long journeys.
  • Don't drink and drive – the alcohol limit may be lower than in the UK and in some countries there is zero tolerance for drink driving, which could result in immediate imprisonment.
  • If you're involved in an accident, contact your insurer immediately and take plenty of pics of damage to your vehicle.
  • If hiring, rent from a reputable company and check your insurance cover as it is often limited to the legal minimum of the country or state you hire in. You could be held personally responsible for any claim for injury or damage over this limit.
  • Make sure your travel insurance covers you before you decide to drive or be a passenger on a motorbike - check the exclusions carefully. Make sure repatriation to the UK is included.
  • Visit www.fco.gov.uk/drivingabroad for more info before you hop in a vehicle abroad.

These tips are designed to ensure that you remember your holiday for all the right reasons. That way, you can start planning the next one as soon as you’re back.