39% of Brits said they are nervous about driving on the wrong side of the road and encountering “crazy” locals.

From a survey of over 2000 UK car hirers, over 50% of women and 31% of men who have hired a car on holiday said it was not something they look forward to. They also said not understanding the local road signs was another reason they do not enjoy the experience of driving in a foreign country.

When we break down the numbers, over a quarter of those asked (27%) had a general fear of driving abroad, and 53% confessed to feeling nervous about having to drive on the other side of the road. The increased likelihood of an accident is also a concern, with 25% of respondents saying this is something they worry about. Perhaps this is not surprising when 23% said they had trouble understanding road signs in other countries. On top of this, 10% admitted to accidently driving on the wrong side of the road.

The local drivers were also a factor in the dislike of driving abroad, with 28% saying they worried that they would drive too fast and act “crazy”.

For British people hiring a car abroad, they may be asked by the rental company for a licence ‘check code’. This allows a driver to share their driving record, including any penalty points or disqualifications they may have. It is valid for 21 days and can be obtained here. If driving in some non-EU countries, an International Driving Permit may be required.

For a useful guide on driving laws in the major EU countries, click here. Also, since May 2017, a new EU cross-border directive on traffic offences means Brits can face a fine of up to £640 if caught speeding in the European Union. This new law allows foreign police officers to track down drivers who’ve committed offences abroad by using data obtained from the DVLA.

Ernesto Suarez, the CEO here at iCarhireinsurance, says this: Driving abroad is a great way to get to know a country but it can be stressful if you don’t check the rules and regulations of the country you’re driving in. Those hiring a car also need to be aware that they are responsible for the hire car complying with all local laws. In France, for instance, you can face an on-the-spot fine if you don’t carry reflective jackets, a warning triangle and a breathalyser.

Disclaimer: All prices contained in this article were correct on the original date of publication. Prices may change over time, so for current prices, please get a quote.