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Take The Safe Route To Europe

Take The Safe Route To Europe

From time to time we at Motor Blogger like to offer some hints and tips to help you on your automotive way. We don’t profess to know better – we’re just trying to help. This time, because we know that some of you will be driving in foreign countries, possibly for the first time, we politely offer some tips for driving abroad. Remember, they do things differently over there.

The weather in the UK hasn’t been great but at the time of writing this piece it seems like British Summer has finally arrived. This is probably too late for you if you have booked to head for somewhere with guaranteed sun.

roam1 Take The Safe Route To EuropeFirst off – prepare your car beforehand. An easy way to do this is by taking your car in for a service, if it’s due, but there are also checks you can make yourself. Obviously you should be doing this routinely anyway but always check tyre pressures – you never know what tyre gauges will be like at your destination – and tread, as well as topping up oil and coolant.

Going on a touring holiday means that you will be using your vehicle for long periods of time, that’s a given; therefore there will be attendant additional wear and tear, as well as a build-up of dirt. Make sure you make daily checks of the tyres, windscreen, mirrors and lights.

Be sure to take a comfort break after every two hours of driving to combat fatigue. This is especially true because the changes in driving conditions and rules will increase your levels of concentration especially as you will be driving on the wrong (that is the right) side of the road.

You’ll need to take appropriate documentation to comply with requirements of immigration and customs: driving licence, driving licence counterpart, vehicle registration document (V5), insurance certificate and passports (for all those travelling). You must display a GB sign on your vehicle unless your number plates include the GB Euro-symbol, assuming you remain in the Union.

Most countries require drivers to carry reflective jackets and warning triangles. Don’t forget, if you’re driving through France you are obligated to carry not one but two breathalysers. The word is that French authorities are not enforcing this but you never can tell. If in doubt about what to take, have a trawl around the ‘net and see what is required for the countries you are visiting or just passing through. Also, don’t forget to reset your headlights or risk the wrath of continental drivers!

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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