Driving in the European Union can be different from the roads in the UK, and failure to abide with laws and regulations can cause legal problems, as well as serious accidents. So if you are heading off in your motorhome to Europe or beyond then here’s a round up of our top motorhome driving tips!
- Get ready to drive on the right hand side of the road. Its weird and takes some getting used especially at roundabouts but after a few hours it becomes second nature.
- Add EU Emergency number 112 to your mobile phone contacts.
- Familiarise yourself with driving laws, rules and regulations of each country as they are all slightly different. The AA and RAC are good websites to visit.
- Check your motorhome insurance covers you for travelling outside the UK and also check the length of permitted travel. Some insurance companies limit to 90 days European travel, some don’t impose time limits and some offer longer longer periods for an additional premium.
- European Break Down Cover. We have the cover as part of our insurance package and it gives us peace of mind that we can always get home in the event of a break down or accident.
- Document pack – we have a paper and electronic travel pack of documents. This includes passport, driving license, international driving permit, insurance policy and contact details, travel insurance, EHIC, MOT, V5 and other important documents.
- GB Identification – if your license plate does not a euro plate then you must place a GB sticker on the motorhome before you travel.
- International Driving Permit (IDP). We purchased an 12 month IDP direct from the Post Office for £5.50. You can also apply for an IDP via AA and RAC but they administration fee on top of the IDP fee. An IDP is required in certain countries along with a valid UK drivers license but we were never asked for an IDP on all of our European travels.
- Check out compulsory equipment like reflective triangles for the country you intend to visit before you set off.
- It is illegal to dazzle on coming drivers, so make sure you adjust your headlamps for driving on the right hand side and then switch back again when your arrive in the UK.
- Sat Nav’s, GPS. Tom Tom’s are invaluable pieces of equipment. You may need to update your system with European maps and we strongly recommend you do this before you embark on your journey. The map data file can be quite large and to download over mobile or free internet may not be possible. We also use CoPilot App for our iPad and find it much more user friendly than the standalone navigation system.
- Keep loose change to hand then you can easily pay for tolls, tunnels or parking.
- Road signs vary from country to country and sometimes they make sense and sometimes they don’t. If in doubt use common sense and your gut instinct…if it feels wrong then it probably is wrong.
- Accidents happen. If you are unfortunate to have an accident just call 112 for the police, inform your insurer, take photographs and exchange details with the driver and any witnesses.
- You will notice some roads have two road numbers. For example A43 and E70. The A43 will refer to the country road number and the E70 will refer to the European route number. The E routes are usually green background and white numbers.