For many Easter is a great time to jump in the car and take a trip to the continent, but there are some potential pitfalls to be aware of on European roads.
Over a third (35%) of UK motorists* say they would not know what to do if caught in an accident or breakdown while driving abroad. This can be especially problematic when there are additional requirements for driving in many European countries.
Mark Bowe-Dyke, Chairman of Be Wiser Insurance, comments:
"It's easy to forget the requirements for driving abroad because driving is something we're all so familiar with. Yet, forgetting them could cause more trouble than anyone would want in an unfortunate situation."
For example, from 1st July in France you will be required to carry a breathalyser in your car as well as hi-visibility jackets. Equally, in Belgium motorists are expected to carry a fire extinguisher in the car which should be accessible from the driver's side.
Mark Bower-Dyke continues:
"These are items which wouldn’t even cross the mind of the average British motorist to pack, especially when there is more focus on, like getting everyone organised, or finding a route which won't be clogged on the Easter weekend!"
With this in mind Be Wiser Insurance offers a safety checklist for driving abroad:
- Let your insurer know that you'll be driving abroad
- Contact your insurer to make sure you're covered wherever you're driving
- Ensure that everyone driving the vehicle will also be covered, as it may only be the main driver who is covered for driving abroad
- Check the level of cover will be the same when you’re driving abroad
- Take some time to check the requirements and rules for driving in each country you're visiting; most requirements can be easily dealt with and breaking the rules can see you landed with a hefty on-the-spot fine.
Mark Bower-Dyke concludes:
"Taking some basic precautions can make all the difference to a road-trip abroad. While much of it is to do with safety some will simply help you avoid awkward conversations with a foreign traffic policemen - something we'd all like to keep to a minimum while we're on holiday!"