Driving abroad this winter: 5 top tips

 In Star Automotive News

Driving abroad this winter: 5 top tips

If you are lucky enough to be catching some winter sun or are visiting family abroad over Christmas, you should consider some of these 5 top tips for driving abroad.

Do you know the laws and limits?

Laws and speed limits vary considerably across Europe, for example in some countries such as Germany, it’s illegal to not have winter tyres fitted from November. In many countries, it’s also a requirement to carry all your documents such as driving license and car registration details. Most European countries measure their speed limits and distances in kilometres so take note of which metrics to use. Also always make sure you are aware of the speed limit when you are driving abroad as speeding fines will stay with you and fines can differ from place to place.

Consider the road conditions

Winter road conditions abroad can be much more dangerous than we are used to in England.If you are travelling somewhere with minus temperatures, keep in mind ice on the road and how it could affect your driving.  

Be careful who you trust

Unfortunately, although it’s unlikely, in some countries people will target tourists and pretend to be a person of authority (for example, a police officer) and flag your car down. If you do get flagged down and suspect something suspicious make sure you are in a built up, busy area before you stop, and don’t get out of your car until you know it’s genuine.

Don’t get scammed

Hiring a car abroad can be a stressful and expensive process if you don’t do your research first. It’s definitely not worth just booking through the cheapest hire car company as they will usually have a lot of add-ons that they don’t tell you about before it’s too late. We’d recommend always trying to book your hire car before you get there, look at all the T&Cs to ensure you know the insurance policies and what the excess is.

Top tip: take pictures of your hire car before you leave the hire centre in case they try to charge you for damage you haven’t done.

Make sure you’re confident on the roads

Ensuring that you are confident on the roads is key when driving abroad. For example, driving on the other side of the road may seem nerve-wracking at first, but you will soon become accustomed. Always know where you are going and make sure you have enough fuel, as well as knowing where the nearest petrol station is. If you feel nervous about driving abroad, pull over on the side of the road before setting off again.  

Using your own car? Make sure you’re prepared

If you’re driving your own car in a country you don’t know very well, the last thing you want to happen is it to breakdown because you haven’t properly serviced it before your trip. Get your car checked before you leave to make sure everything is working the way it should and your tyres are ready for the road trip.

Call Star Automotive on 01202 697933 to chat to Robbie and book a service appointment or for any advice you require. Alternatively contact us here and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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