Driving abroad can fill some of us with dread, particularly if you’re visiting a country where they drive on the opposite side of the road. It can be daunting from picking up your hire car to mastering the different driving laws.
But there’s no need to panic! As we have gathered together four must-read tips for driving abroad.
Take your time
It’s important that you don’t rush and take your time. Driving in the UK is different, it’s familiar to start with and you know your own car very well. Driving abroad is different. Don’t try and match the speed of other vehicles if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t try and overtake vehicles quickly – remember, everything is backwards. You overtake on the left, so you might not be as fast to respond to blind spots etc. There’s no rush so just slow the pace down and enjoy your holiday.
Read up on the local driving laws
Although some of the driving laws will be the same or similar to those in the UK, it’s a good idea to brush up on local driving laws. For example, if you’re going to the beach and you’re wearing flip-flops, in some countries it’s an offence to drive. In some countries, there are specific laws about how you use your indicators on a roundabout. Just be aware of the most common driving offences and you’ll dramatically decrease the risk of getting a fine.
Keep your car documents to hand
If you happen to get pulled over by the police, do as you would in the UK. Slow down, indicate and pull over into a safe place. The police can request your travel documentation, with some countries temporarily suspending your licence until you can present the required documentation.
Bring a small folder to stow your driving licence, car insurance details and passport. If you’re renting a car, keep the documents given to you by the company with you, too.
Consider renting an automatic
You might drive a manual car at home, so you might think it’s best to stick to what you know with a manual rental. Remember, you’ll be sat on the other side of the car with all kinds of new head turning and driving positions to get used to. Play it safe and hire an automatic. This way, you’re eliminating the need to use unnecessary pedal action, so you can concentrate on the road ahead!