Follow our top tips for driving on European roads from the experts at used vehicle specialists Lookers…

More and more people are taking road trips across Europe, and here the team at Lookers, which stocks a variety of car servicing parts, offer expert words of advice:

Take plenty of time to plan your road trip

It’s unlikely that you would leave home for a road trip in the UK without having a faint idea of how to get to your destination, so why would you leave your navigation skills to chance when driving abroad? Make sure you invest in a map or use an internet route planner or sat nav to ensure you don’t take a wrong turn and get lost in an unfamiliar area. Planning your route will save you time in the long run and help you locate service stations and restaurants along the way. This can let you sit back and relax on your journey, removing any unnecessary stress from your vacation.

Pack all your essential travel documents

While a national driving licence can be used in any country across the EU, some other regions in Europe will require you to have an International Driving Permit before you can rent a car or drive a vehicle on a public highway. Depending on the countries you are planning to visit, you may also need to carry proof of insurance, especially when you are crossing certain borders. Generally, you will find that staff at the car rental agencies you choose will happily explain more to you about such requirements.

Do some research on car rental rates

Cars often have a high rental price in Europe. That being said, you can still find savings, especially if you rent a vehicle for a week instead of daily. It’s also beneficiary to book a car in advance as rental agencies may be willing to reduce costs during times when their inventory is high. To find the lowest prices, you should shop around and check a number of car hire companies before making your decision. You may also want to consider a wholesale rental consolidator.

As much as it may seem like a chore, take the time to read through all of the terms and conditions before signing any rental agreement too. Choose to ignore these notes and you may find that you end up needing to pay unnecessary charges. Also, it’s crucial that you give your rental vehicle a thorough inspection and to note down any damage that you find before driving it away from the rental office. You don’t want to be charged for something that wasn’t you, do you?

Get clued up on local traffic laws

From one country to the next, each nation across the globe will have their unique set of traffic laws. They may also be different in each province or town, so you need to make sure you’re well prepared. By learning all you can about the specific rules of the road where you plan to go, such as seatbelt use, speed limits, and blood alcohol levels, you will avoid any hiccups with the local police. Unlike the UK, driving on the right-hand side of the road is universal throughout continental Europe.

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