Europe has a veritable spaghetti junction of different driving laws and rules, so much so that the Foreign Office has designed a new online tool to help British holidaymakers be better prepared for driving abroad.

The Foreign Office highlighted the high incidence of road traffic incidents in countries popular with British tourists including Thailand, Australia and Spain.

The Road Safety Tool gives people specific road safety advice for the country they will be driving in and is available at http://www/

We've compiled a selection of some of the laws and rules, below, which you might not have been aware of:

  • In France, it is a legal requirement to carry two breathalysers
  • In Spain, if your wear glasses you must carry a spare
  • In Scandinavia, it is illegal to drive without headlights, even in daylight.
  • In Belarus, it is illegal to drive a dirty car
  • In Serbia, it is compulsory that equipment held by driver includes a tow bar and 3m rope
  • In Russia, it is forbidden to pick up hitchhikers

Lynda St Cooke, from the Foreign and Commonwealth's Know before you Go campaign, said consular staff assist thousands of British nationals a year who have got into trouble on foreign roads: "We will do everything we can to help but we can't pay medical bills, we can't fly you home if you need repatriation back to the UK and we can't interfere in another country's legal system."

Lynda St Cooke advised people to familiarise themselves with no road laws and customs in advance of their travel and to take out a comprehensive travel insurance.

Also, if you're hiring a car make sure you have your car hire excess insurance policy. When driving on unfamiliar roads, there's always more risk that you could damage the car and also don't forget it doesn't matter how good a driver you are it only takes someone else's carelessness to leave you with a bill for hundreds of pounds.

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