Home THE JOURNEY Road Trip Top tips to avoid picking up a fine when driving abroad

Top tips to avoid picking up a fine when driving abroad

With most Covid travel restrictions now lifted ahead of the summer months, those looking to do an overseas road trip should take note of some of the rules and regulations before heading away.

Car finance experts Zuto has shared top tips for those planning to drive internationally, before revealing some of the stranger things that drivers could be handed fines for on the road.

1. Prepare your documents

Depending on the country you’re traveling to, there are multiple documents you may need to ensure you take with you.

Firstly, ensure you pack the relevant documents before heading off on your holiday, this includes your license. It’s probably worth making sure that your license is in date ahead of the trip to avoid any mishaps.

An IDP (international driving permit) may be required depending on where you’re traveling too as well.

For example, in France, you’ll need to ensure that you have your driving license, passport, insurance documents, and V5 registration certificate.

2. Do your research

Different countries have different rules and regulations when it comes to driving, therefore it’s important to do your research ahead of the trip.

  • In France, drivers could be fined for wearing headphones when behind the wheel
  • Keep your cool, drivers in Germany & Cyprus could face a fine if they’re caught making rude or offensive gestures to other drivers
  • Eating or drinking any snacks in Cyprus could get you into trouble with the authorities
  • Make sure to stay fueled if traveling on motorways in Portugal and Germany as it is illegal to run out of petrol on the road
  • Carry a spare pair of glasses if you’re heading to Portugal, Spain or Switzerland as you could face a hefty fine if you require glasses and don’t pack a spare pair
  • Traveling to Italy? Make sure to have the correct permits if you’re planning to travel through certain historical sites
  • If you’re planning to rent a car, make sure to avoid smoking in the car as this could land you a fine in Greece.

3. Understand the speed limits

Speed limits oversees can differ from those in the UK which may cause confusion if driving in a new country for the first time.

Make sure to conduct research ahead of any drive to ensure you fully understand any speed limits

  • Germany and Malta don’t have a speed limit
  • Poland is the only country that has a speed limit of 140km/h
  • When it comes to driving at 130km/h, nine European countries have this including Croatia, Italy and Hungary
  • In France, drivers can travel at 130km/h if the weather allows so, however the limit is set at 110km/h during poor weather and for novice drivers

4. Pack the essentials

As well as key documents including your driving license, make sure you’re well-stocked with other essentials for your trip. This could include water and snacks. However, you’ll want to check the laws surrounding consuming liquids behind the wheel to ensure that you don’t pick up a fine unnecessarily.

If you’re heading on a long trip, you may want to pack a spare pair of clothes or other essentials to freshen up during the trip.

5. Check your car

The last thing you want to do is face issues with your car overseas. To avoid this, ensure that your car is up to date with its services. Be sure to check your breakdown cover before making a journey as it might not cover you for overseas travel.

It’s also important to check your tires before going on any long journey.

Commenting on the research, Lucy Sherliker, Head of Customer at Zuto says: “It’s great to see so many people planning overseas trips again this year following the pandemic. “For those that are wanting to go on a road trip, it’s important to understand the laws around driving before you set off as these could differ significantly compared to the UK”.

For more information head to https://www.zuto.com/