Most of us before travelling abroad make endless lists and print entire forests-worth of documents to ensure the holiday goes without a hitch. Clothes list, toiletries list, first aid list, maps and guides, booking confirmations and the occasional useful phrase are all things at the front of our minds when preparing to travel abroad. However according to recent research, UK travellers are neglecting to research into local driving laws before travelling leaving them exposed to potential on-the-spot fines.

A survey carried out by found that many drivers are unaware of differences in speed limits, mandatory safety equipment and other driving regulations which differ or are in addition to the UK laws they are used to.

The survey found that:

  • 98% of UK motorists were unaware that it is mandatory to carry spare headlight bulbs when driving in France and Spain
  • 95% didn’t know that it is illegal to drive with a satnav that alerts drivers to upcoming speed cameras in France. This is in stark contrast to the UK as motorists are alerted to upcoming cameras hundreds of yards in advance to deter speeding rather than to catch speeding motorists out.
  • 94% of drivers weren’t aware that it is a legal requirement to carry a breathalyser in France.
  • 82% didn’t know what the local speed limit was where they were driving or were unable to covert mph to km/h.
  • 35% of motorists were unaware that headlight convertors are mandatory when driving on the right hand side in Europe. In case you’re wondering, headlight convertors are installed to reposition the angle of your beam ensuring that you don’t dazzle oncoming traffic.
  • 18% of motorists didn’t realise that, when driving in France, reflective jackets must be carried at all times in the car carriage in the event they have a roadside breakdown., leading provider of car hire excess insurance which protects European hire car drivers against excess charges relating to damage and loss of a vehicle, produced an infographic detailing Driving Laws in Europe to help educate UK motorists about the different laws operating throughout Europe.

Remember - Do your research before driving anywhere unfamiliar!

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