RAC Cars News


Brush Up On Foreign Driving Laws

By raccars Published

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You may think you are super-prepared and organised for your summer holiday driving abroad ? you have serviced the car, checked your insurance and breakdown policies to ensure the correct cover, updated your satnav and made sure you are carrying the correct paperwork and emergency equipment, including warning triangles and high-vis jackets ? but how far did you go with your research? Are you aware of some of the more unusual rules of the road in your destination country? Visit our driving abroad page for more details on country specific laws, advice and travel information.

Before setting off, your first step should be to check underneath your car to make sure there are no children sleeping there ? if you are in Denmark, that is. Obviously a fine is the least of your worries if you forget to do this!

Having a dirty car can earn you a fine in a number of countries, including Russia, Romania and Belarus.

When driving in Spain it is very easy to find yourself falling foul of local driving laws. For a start, you must not drive barefoot or in flip flops, which is fair enough, but neither can you wear shoes with open backs or open toes or high heels while driving.

The Spanish are also rather cavalier about roundabouts, careering merrily around the outside whichever exit they are taking and cutting up those trying to move over from the inside. Officially roundabouts are supposed to be used in the same way the British use them; however, local custom sees the driver moving from the inside lane getting the blame in the event of a collision rather than the driver using the outside lane for the fourth exit.

Parking in Spain is also fraught with danger; for example, one-way streets often employ changing parking variations whereby on odd-numbered days of the month you can only park on the side of the street with odd numbered houses, and vice versa for even-numbered houses on even-numbered days.

By now you are probably considering sticking to driving in France instead; however, if you do, remember to carry a couple of DIY breathalyser kits. The law is murky on this point but it is not worth getting into a debate with a police officer. It is best just to go prepared.

Cyclists travelling in Portugal will need to remember that bikes cannot legally be carried on the back of cars, even using a proper bicycle carrier, while in Italy you cannot travel with more than one uncaged animal in your car.

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