driving abroad

Driving Abroad

Healthy Driving  |  By

Whether you’re doing a booze run to France, driving to that holiday villa in Spain, or touring through the winding roads of Italy, there are several things you could do, and quite a few things you should do, to ensure your journey is safe and legal. As usual, Vavista has you covered on the main ones….

Did you know?

Although many countries in the EU have the same EU laws, there are variations in driving laws such as speed limits or items you need to be carrying with you, so it’s always useful to check for your specific destinations. The RAC has some good checklists here.

What should I do to drive abroad?

  1. Make sure you carry the right documents, these should include;
    • Full valid driving insurance, you should also check if an international driving permit is required
    • National insurance card
    • Proof of vehicle insurance and valid tax and MOT for the duration of your journey
    • Proof of ID (driving license although some countries might require a passport)
    • V5C – car registration document and travel insurance documents incl EU cover


  1. Get your headlights adjusted for the relevant countries. You can get specific beam deflectors from good motoring stores
  2. A warning triangle and reflective jackets (some countries require one for the driver and each passenger)
  3. A first aid kit – compulsory in Austria, France, and Germany
  4. A breathalyser – compulsory in France
  5. A GB car sticker, although if you have a GB Euro number plate this is sufficient
  6. Have your emergency contact details in your passport, and share your trip details with someone if you can. Also, carry extra funds for emergencies, a mix of currency and traveller’s cheques is a good idea (remember to record the cheque numbers!)


Additionally, we would recommend a ‘driving / travel kit’ which should include;

  • Replacement bulbs, engine oil, and water (of course check these before you travel, and keep an eye on them)
  • Fire extinguisher and spare fuel can
  • Sun cream, refreshments, a blanket and torch
  • A satnav or spare maps
  • Games for the kids
  • Extra medication you might use in case this isn’t available abroad

As you can see, most of these things you’d already have or can buy cheaply. And it’s better to have them and not need them, than vice versa…. Happy travels and safe driving!

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