Categorized | Auto Blog

Driving in Europe

Driving in Europe

Britain is separated from Europe by much more than La Manche. That’s French for sleeve, by the way. Apart from the fact that people on the continent resolutely continue to refuse to speak English as their first language, they also insist on driving on the right. Why, it’s downright perverse.

On the plus side, whilst we may moan and complain about all the motoring legislation designed to thwart our every turn, as it were, the poor old Europeans have it much worse than us. Take France – well we’ve done it before! No, sorry about that. Just a little joke, honest. We don’t do xenophobia here. France is a wonderful country with an interesting culture. It is also the place where the original Citroen DS was designed and that is an enduring thing of beauty.

Sadly, they are also very fond of bureaucracy. The latest wheeze from the French legislature is that it is illegal to carry a device – and this includes sat-navs – that give the locations of speed cameras. Not very sporting, is it? If that isn’t bad enough, the government is installing hundreds of new, unsigned speed cameras and removing signs warning of existing sites. Can you imagine the furore if that happened here?

From the 1st July 2012, drivers, including motorcyclists, must start carrying a breathalyser and this law will be fully enforced from November. It must conform to a standard and be replaced annually. They are not very expensive but it’s another cost to the poor, downtrodden motorist. How long before we all have to carry a full set of car parts?

The rules and regulations change from country to country. Driving in Greece, for example, is not for the faint-hearted and fines, as you might expect in this cash-strapped country, are high and enforced. Across Europe you will be generally expected to carry, variously, one or more high-visibility jackets, warning triangles, fire extinguishers, replacement bulb kits and so on. If you are visiting a specific country then always ensure you check the rules of the road before departure. If you’re touring then take the lot and hope for the best! And keep right! On roundabouts, give way to traffic coming from the left except in Italy where experience has shown that it makes no difference what you do. So the next time you complain about our rules think yourself lucky you don’t live ‘over there’.

Maybe the answer is not to take your car at all. Hiring cars can be a little bit chancy so go for a reputable firm, but at least the steering will be on the right, that is to say, the wrong side and the car will also include the accessories you need to have. Returning to France, if you rent yourself a nice new Citroen DS3, say, you can blend right in with the locals. Baguette optional.

This post was written by:

- who has written 56 posts on Motor Blogger.


Contact the author

Leave a Reply

All comment forms are spam protected.

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