As we look forward to the summer holidays many of us will be taking to the roads of Europe before we hit the roads there are several checks that should be made to make your journey as trouble free as possible.
Prepare your vehicle
It is a wise move to have your vehicle serviced and checked out by a specialist such as A1 Clutches before you leave, our technicians will ensure that your vehicle is in tip top condition before you leave.
Well before you leave contact your GP or local NHS walk in centre to see if the countries you are visiting require any vaccines you can find your nearest NHS walk in centre.
Make sure that your passport is valid before you travel many countries insist that your passport is valid for 26 weeks after your departure date. If your passport does not fit this criteria order a new passport but bear in mind a new passport application can take 6-8 weeks. Passport information can be found on the below link
Some countries require you to have a visa you can find out if the countries you are planning to visit require you to have a visa on the below link
Prior to departure contact your insurance company to ensure that you are covered to drive abroad, your insurance company may require an extra premium to cover you for driving abroad.
As well as ensuring that you are covered to drive abroad travel insurance is a must for you and all your family, if you are not covered and become ill or have an accident whilst abroad you will face very expensive bill, also make sure your travel insurance covers you for any sporting activities you will participate in whilst on holiday.
You can apply for a free European Health Insurance Card which is not a substitute for travel insurance but it will entitle you to free or reduced-cost emergency care in isolated instances.
This is a must if you are travelling abroad there are several providers of excellent breakdown insurance including the AA, Green Flag and RAC. Most breakdown insurance can be purchased either as an add-on product within an existing car insurance account, or as a separate product shop around online as the are lots of great deals to be had.
Before you set off on your travels make sure that you fill in the emergency contact details section in your passport also inform a family member or friend of your journey plans and how you can be contacted just in case there is an emergency at home while you are away on holiday.
Your nearest British Embassy
It is a good idea to have the address, telephone and opening hour details of the British Embassy for all the countries you are travelling through it is highly unlikely that you will need their services but it is always better to be safe than sorry. You can find out the contact details of all British Embassy’s by clicking on the below link
Plan your route
Most vehicles to day are fitted with Sat Nav as standard if you do not have this facility there are several manufacturers of sat nav units that you can fix to your dashboard including Garmin and Tom Tom or you can use the tried and tested paper maps, which ever you choose make sure you have the latest up to date maps available to you.
Driving on the right
Other than the UK, Irish Republic, Cyprus and Malta all other European countries drive on the right-hand side of the road, so take extra care when approaching roundabouts as you will be entering the roundabout in an anti-clockwise direction rather than clockwise as you would in the UK.
Many countries in Europe charge for using major roads and motorways always ensure that you have sufficient money to pay for any toll charges.
As when driving in the UK accidents can happen, if you are involved in an accident
- Contact the Police
- Get the other drivers full details
- Get details of all witnesses
- Take photographs of the incident
- Contact your insurance company straight away
To find out what you can and can not bring back into the UK check bringing goods into the UK page.
Documentation you must have
- Before you travel ensure your vehicle’s tax and MOT are valid and up-to-date
- Full, valid driving licence
- Proof of vehicle insurance
- National insurance number
- Proof of ID (passport)
- V5C Certificate
- Travel insurance documents
- European Breakdown Cover policy number and documents
- Crit’Air (clean air sticker) – if driving in France these are inexpensive to purchase but without one the fines are expensive