Once Christmas is over and done and the New Year begins, we all turn our thoughts to the middle pages of the Christmas Radio Times and the next big thing on the agenda of our lives – a holiday. Many of us decide to take a trip abroad and, to make life easier, we take either the ferry or channel tunnel in order to take the faithful family vehicle with us. But how many of us are aware of the rules and regulations for driving in Europe?
The RAC – the car breakdown cover specialists have many handy tips and advice on their site which includes information on driving in Europe. They help your search by offering you a drop-down menu for the specific Country you may be visiting to familiarise yourself with their rules and regulations.
The RAC have teamed up with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to offer essential information and tips on what to remember. These points include:
- Don’t travel without travel insurance – make sure it covers you for any activities you are likely to undertake
- If you are travelling within in the EU then make sure you get your free European Health Insurance Card for free or reduced cost emergency care. Bear in mind you still need travel insurance though! Remember you call 112 in any EU Country to contact the emergency services
- Make sure you have the correct visas for the country you are visiting together with a valid passport. Some Countries require that your passport is valid for six months after the date you travel
- Invest in a good travel guide to help you plan your trip
In some Countries you will also need an IDP (International Driving Permit). This is in addition to your UK Driving Licence – which you will also need to take with you if you are driving and/or hiring a car abroad. To be eligible for an IDP you will need to be 18 or over and hold a full UK Licence and be a permanent resident of the UK. Other things to note are:
- An IDP is valid for one year
- You can only get IDP within 3 months of requiring one
- You can’t get an IDP issued retrospectively
- There are 2 types of IDP (1949 and 1926) depending on which Countries you visit – the RAC can issue both
You can get an IDP from the RAC here.
From 1st July 2012, a number of changes have to been made in France to the motoring laws in support of the International Decade on Road Safety. These are:
- From 1st July 2012 all drivers in France, including vehicles registered outside of France, must carry one unused breathalyser to French certification. This includes Motorcyles.
- From 1st March 2013 failure to produce a breathalyser will result in an on-the-spot fine
- From 1st January 2013 all Motorcyclists are required to wear reflective clothing
In order to help THREE of my lucky blog readers with their motoring requirements to assist them with driving abroad, the RAC have kindly offered the chance to win an RAC European Motoring Kit. It includes the following essential motorist products for driving legally in Europe:
- Alcosense Single Breathalyser Twin Pack
- Warning Triangle
- Hi Vis vest
- Adhesive Tape
- Adhesive Bandages
- Large First Aid Packet
- Large Bandaging Cloth
- Small bandaging cloths
- Large gauze bandages
- Gauze Dressings
- Triangular Bandages
- Disposable Gloves
- Foil Blanket
- GB Sticker
- Headlight Converter Set
- Guidance Leaflet
They have kindly sent me one to review for you. When I first unpacked it, I felt it was much smaller than I had originally anticipated despite all the items inside. The kit bag is well-made, durable and waterproof. As well as all the items listed above, there is also a basic first aid leaflet and a leaflet detailing the European Motoring Legal Requirements and Emergency Information which covers all 40 countries in the EU. The information includes speed limits, alcohol limits, emergency numbers and safety advice. Some invaluable items all in one place without having to remember them!
To be in with a chance to win one of these fantastic kits then please enter using the Rafflecopter easy entry below.
With many thanks to the RAC – car breakdown cover specialists for their generous giveaway.
Full Disclosure: I was provided with an RAC European Motoring Kit to keep in order to give a review. All opinions are my own.
Need driving lessons? If you live in the Berkshire/Surrey/Hampshire area and are looking for a a Driving Instructor, then, try me! My website is http://www.madeeasydriving.co.uk. I also provide gift vouchers
Monday Motoring is back on 7th January 2013. Have a very Merry Christmas and wishing you all the best in 2013.