How to Prepare for Driving Abroad

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For many, the idea of driving a car abroad can be a little bit daunting, especially if you’re used to driving on a different side of the road to the country you are visiting. But, with car hire becoming more readily available in a whole range of destinations and much more affordable to all kinds of travellers, hiring wheels of your own to explore a country, city or town at your own leisure is becoming more and more popular. With a little preparation, you can soon begin to feel much better and a lot more confident about the idea of driving abroad.

The Highway Code

When preparing for driving abroad, it’s a good idea to go back to the types of things that you learned about in your driving theory test. If you’re travelling in Europe you will be glad to hear that the majority of road signs used are the same as those at home in the U.K., so study up on road signs to remind yourself what each and every one of them means. It’s also a good idea to look up road signs in the particular country which you are planning to travel to, as well. If you’re travelling outside of Europe, be aware that road signs may be completely different so it’s vital to get to know them first.

Check Your Insurance

Before you get behind the wheels of a car when abroad, it’s essential to make sure that you are actually insured to drive. Whilst many car hire companies will provide insurance for you when you hire a vehicle from them, it’s also worth looking into whether or not you can get cover for your trip from your own car insurance company, as this could end up working out cheaper for you. If you’re unsure about the type of cover that you will need, the best thing to do is contact either your current car or travel insurance company, as they will be able to advise you on the best steps to take.

Read the Map

Looking at a map – or Google Maps – before you go can save you a lot of hassle when you are actually driving. When looking at road maps, it’s always important to be extra observant, especially if you’re planning to drive in old cities abroad. You may find that roads which look completely normal on the map are actually very narrow streets or alleyways, meaning that you will have to turn your wing mirrors in to be able to pass through. Studying maps beforehand, or printing out directions from Google Maps, also enables you to learn the best routes and ensure that you have a stress-free and pleasant journey.

Driving a car in a strange country and adhering to a different set of road rules can be a daunting idea, even for the most experienced of drivers. But, with the right preparation and planning, you can ensure that every trip behind the wheel abroad is a pleasant and easy one.

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Written by Ross French