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Driving in Europe Checklist 

Introduction

Apart from keeping your car in shape for a cross-country journey, there’s a lot more to consider before driving across Europe. This indispensable guide will explain to you whatever you need to know about driving in Europe, from what documents to pack to what to remember once you arrive.

Necessary Documents

Here is a compilation of some important documents you should always carry in your vehicle if you are driving in Europe.

Driving License

Before you hit the road, double-check that you have your full driver’s license. It is among the essential things and will save you in an emergency. While driving through Europe, you must have a complete driver’s license. Your driver’s license is valid across the European Union, the European Economic Area, and even Switzerland if you are 18 or older.

Passport

Another thing that will help you with your ID is your passport. If you want to save yourself from the hassle of unnecessary interrogation by the European traffic authorities, your passport is something that will make sure of that. 

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

All motorists need to have a Global Health Insurance Card in Europe to get driving permission. 

International Driving Permit

If you’re renting a car for your trip anywhere in Europe, you’ll probably need another kind of identification: an International Driving Permit. It painfully expensive mistake not to pay for the document that translates your license into ten languages.

Car Insurance Document

It’s crucial to double-check with your car insurance company that you’re protected to drive in your desired European country. Your degree of coverage may vary based on your location, so it’s important to double-check these data before leaving. If you are driving a rented automobile, though, you should consider car hire excess insurance. A little scrape or shattered windscreen can easily happen to the automobile, but you should expect excess fines of up to €1,000 when filing a claim on the hired car’s insurance policy. This is when car rental excess insurance comes in handy.

Emission Sticker

Most European countries’ governments have taken this step to combat global warming. When driving in Europe, you’ll notice that certain places have stringent restrictions requiring you to purchase and display an emissions sticker that shows how much pollution your vehicle produces. They are inexpensive, but the penalties for failing to show one can be substantial, therefore it is typically worthwhile to get one.

Emergency Equipment

Dashcams

When it comes to accidents, dashcams are sometimes overlooked, although they have a lot more potential. Dash cams record critical footage in the event of a road mishap or accident. Dashcams are a one-stop solution when it comes to monitoring the driver, passengers, road, and surroundings. Dashcams are increasingly regarded as a must-have in every vehicle, especially public transportation, due to their tremendous benefits. 

If you are a foreigner, driving anywhere in Europe, you are less likely to encounter any restrictions on having a dashcam in your vehicle. Alternatively, it can benefit you if any mishap takes place.  

Spare Tyre and Jack

We’ve all been in a situation where a tire failed and there was no nearby repair shop. Before leaving the house, make sure you have a spare tire and a tire jack in the trunk, especially if you know the journey will be longer. These are the essential tools that will save you a lot of time and effort. 

Jump Starter

It is a lifesaver when your vehicle shuts down all of a sudden. You will thank yourself for keeping it with you. They work by transferring electricity from a portable battery to a drained vehicle battery. Jump starters do not charge your battery; instead, they give the required power to start your vehicle. The alternator will charge the battery once the engine is started.

First Aid Kit

In some European countries like Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Austria, and more, it is mandatory to carry a first aid kit in your vehicle. A car or vehicle’s emergency kit can be useful not only in the event of a catastrophic accident, but also in minor mishaps like cuts, scrapes, and burns. The pack is necessary for providing assistance to an injured individual while further medical assistance arrives.

Warning Triangles

Other cars and road users are warned by warning triangles that they are approaching an unexpected stationary vehicle. When people break down, they frequently utilize their Hazard Warning Lights to warn others of the hazard. Countries like Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, and more, require drivers to carry at least one warning triangle inside their vehicles. 

Reflective Jackets

Reflective jackets are required in countries such as Andorra, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, and others. Please note that in many countries, wearing fluorescent apparel is essential for anyone walking outside a broken down car or onto rural roads at night.

Things to avoid while driving in Europe

Keep your phone away

In most European countries, using a cellphone while driving is prohibited. In most circumstances, hands-free mobile phones are permitted, however, it is preferable not to use your phone to avoid paying a fee. To prevent motorists from being distracted from their surroundings, the use of headphones or earbuds is prohibited in France. Denmark, the Netherlands, and Spain have some of the most expensive penalties.

Don’t turn right on a red signal

Throughout most European countries, including France and Russia, turning right when the traffic light is red is unlawful. British drivers will have no trouble adapting to this law because it is the same in the UK. In so many other regions, however, a signpost or signal affirms that you can turn right even though the light is red.

Conclusion

Whether you travel internationally frequently or maybe once in a while, it’s critical to be properly prepared before setting off on your adventure. If you’re traveling for whatever reason, remember to keep all the above things, you may relax and enjoy yourself by planning ahead and making sure you have everything you need.

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