Recent research by AXA has shown that less than half of people who are taking their vehicle abroad research the rules of the road before they leave. This can lead to people breaking the law when they are driving abroad without them even knowing it. AXA has said that this information should really urge people to check out the local laws before they decide to drive abroad.
AXA stated that there are many issues about driving abroad that people don’t tend to make themselves aware of and it can leave them wide open to prosecution in a foreign country if they are not careful. There might be various requirements for your vehicle if you are travelling on the continent that don’t exist in the UK, such as the obligation to carry warning triangles and reflective jackets. Some European countries also mandate the carrying of a first aid kit.
It is also the case in some European countries that you have to carry all of your documents in the car with you, something that is not necessary in the UK. If you are pulled over by the police abroad you might be asked to show them proof that you own the vehicle, as well as a driving licence and various insurance documents. Most people will not carry all of these in their car in the UK, so make sure you dig them out of filing before you had to the continent.
One of the most common rules that is not obeyed when people are going abroad is that they need to have a GB sticker on their car. The survey estimated that only around half of people meet this requirement when they are travelling abroad.
A more serious problem is that around one in three drivers were unaware of whether their insurance would allow them to drive internationally. Your insurance might not cover you when you are driving abroad so you should make sure that you phone your insurance company first to make sure.
AXA has said that in the summer many people drive their cars abroad when they are visiting countries such as France and Spain. They have stated that not following the rules is a recipe for disaster and drivers need to make themselves aware of the local laws of the road and whether their insurance is going to cover them. There is no excuse for not being well prepared and drivers should take every effort to inform themselves.