(Last Updated On: 19/10/2019)

With hundreds of historic attractions and great views that range from sun kissed coastlines to cavernous mountains, Europe truly has it all. It is the perfect destination for a road trip, as it is possible to make your way from one country to another in a matter of hours. It is also one of the safest areas in the world to travel. Despite news that the EU recently failed to reduce dangerous driving levels, the average death rate is still the lowest it is ever been (1 in 49 million).

It is worth noting that there are certain policies and restrictions in place regarding rental cars and that each country has its own set of unique laws. What it is perfectly acceptable in one country (driving without a speed limit on the Autobahn in Germany, for example) might not be in another, so it pays to understand the rules of the road as you make your way through the continent.

With this in mind, we have prepared some handy tips to help you stay safe and within the confines of the law during your next European road trip:

 

1) Insure Your Vehicle

It is imperative that you have insurance and breakdown cover while driving in Europe. If you are taking your own vehicle, you will need to contact your insurance company to arrange this. Insurance is usually bolted on to your contract when you hire a car, which makes things slightly easier.

Amsterdam To London Trains

Paris to London Trains

Berlin to London Trains

Brussels to London Trains

summer mountain driving

 

2) Bring Spare Glasses And Contact Lenses

Did you know that if you need to wear prescription lenses while driving a hire car through Spain, you are required to carry a second pair with you at all times? Other countries are less strict about this, but it is good practice to carry a second pair of eye wear with you at all times, to ensure you are aware of all hazards during your journey should your primary eye wear break or become lost.

Brussels to Amsterdam Trains

London to Amsterdam Trains

Berlin to Amsterdam Trains

Paris to Amsterdam Trains

 

driving in the snow

 

3) Obviously Avoid Drinking And Driving

While this might seem like an obvious statement, you may not be aware that certain countries have a zero tolerance limit for drink drivers. This means that drivers are not allowed to have any alcohol in their blood whatsoever. The European Commission offers advice on the standard blood alcohol limit for each country. In Cyprus, it is even against the law to drink a soft drink while driving. This may seem strict, but it is important to respect the laws of the country you visit to avoid any unexpected fines.

Genoa to Milan Trains

Rome to Milan Trains

Bologna to Milan Trains

Florence to Milan Trains

 

4) Drive To The Right Or Left

Except for the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Malta, all European countries drive on the right hand side of the road. For UK residents, this can make maneuvers like negotiating a roundabout in a counter clockwise direction quite tricky, so it is worth taking time to adjust. Drivers should always stick to the right and avoid staying in the center lanes of highways they encounter. When overtaking, always remember to check your rear view mirror also.

Interlaken to Zurich Trains

Lucerne to Zurich Trains

Bern to Zurich Trains

Geneva to Zurich Trains

 

sleeping inside a car

 

5) Brush Up On Your Road Signs

Understanding European road signs will help you reach your destination safely and will help you to avoid breaching the law. Most European destinations use standard signage which is reasonably self explanatory, but minor differences in font or color tend to confuse. Before embarking on a journey, you might want to familiarize yourself with the subtle differences in road signage throughout Europe. At the very least, it may help to prevent confusion, and at most, it could save your life.

Luxembourg to Brussels Trains

Antwerp to Brussels Trains

Amsterdam to Brussels Trains

Paris to Brussels Trains

 

6) Understand How Toll Collections Work

Different countries have different toll rates and methods of toll collection. In France, for example, it is still acceptable to pay with cash at the toll gates. Other regions will require you to display a sticker on your car to highlight that you have paid to use certain roads. Familiarizing yourself with how tolls work in each of your intended destinations will help you to avoid any penalties.

Amsterdam to London Trains

Rotterdam to London Trains

Paris to London Trains

Brussels to London Trains

 

7) Take The Train Instead Of Driving

Well if you really want to enjoy your trip, leave the hassle of driving, and just take the train in Europe, everybody in this continent use the train, and unlike other places in the world, it is very easy to buy train tickets online with sites like Save A Train, and you get to travel and see the nature without worrying too much.

Amsterdam to Paris Trains

London to Paris Trains

Rotterdam to Paris Trains

Brussels to Paris Trains

 

Ready to enjoy Europe? weather you choose driving or take the train, remember us at Save A Train!

 

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