Taking your car on holiday can seem like the obvious answer when planning how to get around. No flights and no hours wasted in airport car parks or queuing at check-in. No need to rent an expensive car for the couple of weeks that you get there. Just take your trusty vehicle on the ferry or the Eurostar and you can be gliding around the serene roads of Belgium and France in no time at all.
However, any road trip outside of your home country requires a few serious considerations. AA Cars have some handy tips and things to think about before you take your car over onto the continent.
1. Plan your trip before you depart
If you’re a relatively experienced driver, you probably don’t need to consult roadmaps before setting off for a trip to Norwich or Sheffield. You know which motorway to hop on, which junction to get off at and the necessary rights and lefts to take. Unless you are a very regular visitor to the Ruhr Valley or Brittany, it could be a sensible idea to dust off a map of Europe’s roads and do a bit of prep.
2. Bring the right paperwork
Paperwork can feel like an absolute pain at times but you need to make sure that you have all the right documents with you before you travel. That could mean your motor insurance certificate or a green card, the paper bit of your driving licence and the car’s registration documents.
Don’t be forced to cut your trip short because you forgot to take a piece of paper with you.
3. Be aware of local rules
Each country will have its own speed limits and local customs when it comes to motoring. Flashing lights in Italy may mean something very different to those in Austria so do a bit of reading beforehand and try to make sure you understand local customs and regulations.
4. Have regular rest stops
Europe might not be quite as large as Asia or Africa but it still covers a vast expanse of land, and a trip that may look relatively small on a map could well take you a much longer amount of time than previously anticipated.
Book yourself into a hotel for an overnight rest stop if you’ve got a serious journey on your hands and most importantly: have a happy holiday!