Planning a Europe street journey? Questioning what you want to have the ability to drive in Europe? What package to hold and paperwork to take? Right here’s all the pieces you could learn about driving in Europe, whether or not you’re travelling by automotive, motorhome, campervan, caravan, bike or anything!
Don’t overlook to seize your FREE Driving in Europe guidelines to assist hold you organised.
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What do you could drive in Europe?
Once you’re planning a European street journey, it could all really feel a bit overwhelming. There are questions over what paperwork you could take, do you want a inexperienced card, what gear do you want in your car and are breathalysers STILL a factor?
NOTE: This publish has been accomplished up to date in 2021 and takes into consideration all modifications for driving in Europe after BREXIT and new French legal guidelines. There have been some modifications to each gear you could carry in your car, and to paperwork you could carry. Particulars on each are beneath and all checklists have been up to date to conform.
Driving in Europe Guidelines
After we deliberate our first driving vacation to Europe, there wasn’t a straightforward useful resource or guidelines for a automotive, motorhome or campervan *cough, you recognize, just like the one you may get beneath* and all of it felt a bit overwhelming.
So, to make your life simpler, here’s a listing of what you could drive in Europe. Truly, there are some belongings you NEED to take with you (legally) and there are some you SHOULD take (as a result of they make life extra enjoyable!)
Need to head to Europe along with your motorhome?
Seize your FREE (printable) guidelines and uncover 25 belongings you NEED to take with you while you journey in Europe. Make your life simpler as we speak.
Important Highway Journey Equipment for driving in Europe
I’m sorry to say that many of the equipment you NEED in your Europe journey package aren’t very attractive or enjoyable. However they’re aimed toward rising your visibility and security and the police DO test in the event that they cease you- they usually do high quality in case you aren’t carrying all the pieces try to be.
Issues you could drive in Europe- security gear
Not like within the UK, there are some belongings you legally MUST carry in your car when driving in Europe. These are:
- Hello-vis reflective jackets – one per individual (These MUST be accessible with out getting out of the vehicle- ie, don’t hold them within the storage until you may attain them from inside!)
- Warning triangle
- Headlight beam convertors– have to be fitted earlier than you drive in Europe.
- UK automotive sticker connected to the again of automotive or reg plates.
- First assist package – obligatory in lots of international locations, together with France and Germany. Discover out what we feature in our European first assist package right here
TOP TIP: Purchase these necessities for driving in Europe upfront. One of many most cost-effective locations is on Amazon. In case you use someplace like Halfords or wait till you’re on the ferry, you would spend two and even THREE occasions as a lot!
Do I want a breathalyser to drive in France or Europe?
Repeat after me- you do NOT want a breathalyser to drive in Europe.
It was a legislation France handed a number of years in the past… after which quietly eliminated for no matter purpose. Many posts rating extremely in Google nonetheless listing a breathalyser of their important Europe driving equipment listing, however I promise you you don’t want one.
Different beneficial Europe driving package to hold for security
- Spare bulbs for all lights within the car
- Fireplace extinguisher
- Blanket- helpful in case your passengers get chilly! (Do you know you should buy a 12v heated blanket? It’s superb!)
- Water and snacks- simply in case you run into visitors or breakdown someplace distant.
Highway journey equipment you MIGHT want when driving in Europe
The next package are belongings you may want to hold in your automotive, motorhome, caravan or campervan, relying on when and the place you’re planning your street journey in Europe.
- Snow chains/ winter tyres– test the principles on the nation you’re visiting and pay shut consideration to the DATES when the snow chain/ snow tyres guidelines come into power. In case you’re undecided, learn THIS. France handed a legislation in November 2021 about winter tyres and snow chains- learn it in full right here.
- Clear Air tax in some French cities, referred to as Crit’Air. Right here’s what you want to learn about these.
- Blind Spot Stickers. In case your motorhome is over 3.5 tonnes and also you’re planning to go to constructed up areas in France, you’ll must match these Blind spot warning stickers.
- Motorway tax/ Vignette. These are enforced in a number of international locations throughout Europe, together with Switzerland and Austria. It’s essential to have them fitted in your car earlier than/ as you cross the border. You should buy them in garages very simply. Keep in mind, if you’re motorhoming in Switzerland in a car over 3.5t, you may want greater than a traditional vignette.
- Watch out for Portugal, the place you could carry a short lived toll system to be able to use a number of the motorways- learn our information to motorhoming in Portugal
- Pink/ white warning board signal – for bike racks or something overhanging the tip of the motorhome or campervan. These aren’t presently obligatory in France, however they ARE obligatory if motorhoming in Italy or Spain. Get the dearer aluminium one – the cheaper variations aren’t authorized in Italy.
What paperwork do you could drive in Europe?
In case you’re driving in Europe, you could carry the next paperwork:
- Passport (or id card)
- Driving licence (test it’s in date!)
- Automobile Insurance coverage documents- test you’re coated for driving in Europe
- Breakdown cowl
- Automobile V5 logbook (which should present your right handle)
- Automobile have to be legally taxed and MOT’d
- Trailer certification (if required)
- Inexperienced card (if required- often just for trailers. Examine & get out of your car insurer)
- Worldwide Driving Allow if required
- Private journey insurance coverage
Do I want a global driving allow to drive in Europe?
Most UK residents don’t want an IDP to drive within the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein when you’ve got a card driving licence issued within the UK.
You may want one when you’ve got:
- a paper driving licence solely
- a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man
(In case you do want an IDP, right here’s an in-depth information on get an Worldwide Driving Allow and which one(s) you want from a UK publish workplace.
Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?
Driving in Europe- Different helpful belongings you may want
We’ve been touring Europe in our motorhome for a number of years. We’ve tried all kinds of kit- some helpful, some not a lot.
Here’s a listing of issues we extremely suggest when driving in Europe, however that are NOT important:
Motorhome/ Camper journey equipment for Europe
In case you’re travelling Europe in a motorhome or camper, listed here are some additional belongings you may discover useful:
Tolls in Europe
Most international locations in Europe which don’t have vignettes have tolls. Usually, the tolls are computerized and take card funds, however in case you can carry change you’ll discover the queues for these lanes are typically shorter.
It’s a little bit field which sticks to the windscreen and every time we undergo a toll it provides itself to our invoice, which is emailed to us on the finish of the month. Fee is taken routinely if that’s what you favor. They’ve related methods for Scandanavia as well- we used BroBizz after we had been over 3.5 tonnes on our motorhome vacation to Norway
It’s not an important motorhome accent, and you may fortunately tour Europe with out it, nevertheless it actually does assist.
Driving in Europe- issues to do earlier than you allow
Don’t overlook to do these important car checks earlier than you allow to be able to be sure to don’t have any disagreeable surprises in your journey!
Fundamental car upkeep:
- Examine tyre stress
- If the car hasn’t been began for some time, begin the engine and provides it a run, simply to make certain!
- BRAKES. Examine your brakes and brake fluid. Please. Halfords do a free brake test and after our horrible expertise of driving down a mountain in Switzerland with none brakes, we test ours frequently!
- Tyre tread. In case your tread could be very low and also you’re about to set off driving round Europe, think about doing the identical. In case you’re going for a few weeks and your tread is okay, try to be high quality till you get again. In case you’re undecided, ask your native storage.
- Windscreen. Examine for chips, cracks or different imperfections. Chances are you’ll be coated by insurance coverage in Europe, but when it cracks fully, it’s going to eat into your vacation time. Higher to get it sorted now and never have to fret about it.
- Lights. Make certain all of your lights, indicators and so on are working. It’s scary what number of motorhomes and caravans we’ve seen with indicators or brake lights which aren’t working accurately. Don’t give the European police a straightforward purpose to high quality you. (And people fines are on the spot!)
- Washer fluid
- Water ranges in radiator when you’ve got an older motorhome/ campervan.
- Battery- if you’re in any doubt in regards to the starter battery or motorhome home battery (or another battery you will have), get it checked and substitute if crucial
- Examine fluid in washer fluid reservoir
- Examine windscreen wipers
- Examine something fastened to the skin of the motorhome is safe
- Examine door locks- a lot simpler to get it fastened now than later! We fitted an extra motorhome door lock for safety.
- Examine to make sure bolts haven’t labored free on bike rack
- Examine towbar and all electrics
- Examine straps for fraying
- Examine tread on trailer tyres
- Examine brakes if it’s a braked trailer
- Examine fixings on roof bins/ exterior baggage carriers to make sure they’re nonetheless correctly fitted.
- In case you’re planning a motorhome, campervan, RV or caravan journey, test as many car methods as possible- heating, aircon, fridge, photo voltaic panel, water, rest room, batteries… in case you discover an issue now you continue to have time to repair it earlier than you journey if you could.
What to do if you’re renting a car to your European street journey?
In case you are hiring a motorhome or camper in Europe, it’s YOUR accountability to verify the car has the required security gear. The on-the-spot fines apply to you as the driving force, not the corporate. Examine upfront with the corporate what package they are going to present with the car and what you have to to convey.
Take an inventory of what’s legally required with you and test it off one after the other as you’re given the handover. Don’t drive till you’re glad you adjust to the native legal guidelines.
Be sure to have proof which you could take the car throughout a border into one other nation if that’s what you’re planning on doing.
I hope you now really feel higher ready for driving in Europe.
Different Europe Journey suggestions you may discover useful:
For extra info, go to our Europe journey part for recommendation, vacation spot concepts and extra.
Final replace on 2023-11-20 / Affiliate hyperlinks / Photos from Amazon Product Promoting API