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August 19, 2014Driving in Mainland Europe this Summer?

If you’re planning on driving in mainland Europe this summer while you’re on your holidays then it’s important to be aware of new legislation that has recently come into effect across popular holiday destinations.

Starting with France, their network of speed cameras has increased significantly over the past few years – while roadside signs warning motorists of the cameras have been removed. Also, speed camera detectors – including those built into satnavs have now been made illegal, so if you’re driving in France remember to keep within the speed limit. Those caught speeding could be fined up to 1500 euros (£1275)!

France also recently rescinded fines for cars not carrying a working breathalyser, so although it is still a legal requirement to carry a breathalyser you won’t be subject to an on-the-spot fine. It’s also a requirement that vehicles carry a serviceable and road legal spare tyre – or a tyre repair kit and reflective warning triangle.

There are strict and particular laws in other countries to be aware of as well. In Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria there is a legal requirement for all drivers to have a high visibility jacket that is accessible from the drivers’ seat – so that it can be put on before you have to exit the vehicle in an emergency. In Austria, you also need to carry a first aid kit in the vehicle, as well as a warning triangle – which is also a requirement in Italy, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland.

In all EU countries, GB plates are compulsory, as are your original vehicle registration, insurance and license documents. On the subject of insurance, it is always well worth checking your coverage as fully comp cover in the UK may not be valid in other countries – meaning you may only have third party cover and not be aware of it!

The trick is to be well informed before setting off, to make sure you have a great holiday without any nasty surprises!

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