It has never been easier to drive to Europe. Whether you drive onto a ferry, or hop on the train and go through the tunnel, you're there in no time and ready for the exciting journey ahead. Be careful when overtaking on a two-way stretch, as it's harder to see ahead when sitting on the 'wrong' side! As well as making sure you're driving on the right, there are a few other things you need to bear in mind and pack before you book the accommodation.
Driving In Europe: After Brexit
If and when the UK leaves the EU it has been said that any motorists will need a 'green card' to get across borders. This 'green card' is really just an international insurance certificate proving you have the minimum level of cover.
Some insurers have already started offering these to customers that upgrade their cover but if you don't you may need to give two weeks notice as to your intention to travel.
It's currently up in the air as to whether these green cards will be necessary as the bill to waive them hasn't made it through the legislation so if you're planning on travelling soon we recommend getting one sooner rather than later.
Driving In Europe: Pre Holiday Checks
The car itself really ought to have a few checks. The basics should do, oil, water, any other fluid levels and make sure your tyres are all legal and inflated.
Ask the garage about whether you can manually adjust the headlamp beam to dip to the right. Or whether you need a set of deflectors to stick onto the glass. Remember that the car must be legal, so that means a current MOT, road tax and insurance.
Driving In Europe: What Documents Do You Need?
Before going anywhere, make sure that your car insurance covers you for the journey. If not, get an extension and ensure that you print out the relevant information to take with you.
Don’t forget breakdown recovery, does your existing policy cover Europe or will you need more?
Proof that you own the car is also required, so the V5C registration should be put in a folder with all your other documentation. Also, if your registration plate does not have GB or GB Euro signage than you'll need a GB sticker as well.
Driving In Europe: What Extra Items Do You Need?
Obviously, you aren't going anywhere without a passport, but you'll also need your driving licence. Never mind a bucket and spade, there are other items you will need, depending on the countries you intend to visit, most standard European Driving kits contain:
- Reflective jackets for all passengers
- A breakdown warning triangle
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- GB Sticker
- Foil Blanket
- Headlamp Beam Converters
It's important that you research the countries you're travelling to find out if anything else is required. For instance, in France, you need a breathalyser in your car and an emissions sticker to avoid a fine.
You may also want to take some basic essentials, like oil, coolant and empty fuel can.