Advice and Tips

Tips for driving abroad

Moneybarn News // 24 June 2016

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Don’t let the rain fool you, summer is finally here! Which means it’s time for us Brits to head out to somewhere a bit sunnier. Whether you’re driving from your house to France, or hiring in car in America, we’ve got a few tips for driving abroad.

Documents checklist

Having the right documents with you is essential for driving abroad. You could be asked to show certain documents at any time, and if you fail to present these you could be fined or even have the car taken away. To avoid unnecessary stress you must carry the following items:

  • Your valid full driving licence
  • A copy of your DVLA driver record and a licence check code to share with a car hire company
  • Your vehicle’s original V5C registration document – if driving in your own car
  • Your insurance documents. It’s a good idea to inform your insurer to check if you need to extend your cover for your trip
  • Your passport
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Depending on where you are, you may need visa documents

Check for extra charges

If you’re travelling across Europe many cities now operate low emission zones, congestion charges, and other restricted access schemes. You should do some research before your trip as some of these will require registration before you travel, some will accept cash.

Ensure you have travel insurance

Regardless of if you’re driving abroad, or just going on a relaxing beach resort holiday, you will need travel insurance. When selecting your travel insurance take a look at the policy and see if it includes any extra cover for driving abroad.

Call your bank

Some UK credit cards will not work in stores or petrol stations in other countries. If you call your bank, you can inform them of where you are going and ask for advice where your card will and won’t work. Making sure you have enough cash to last the trip is a safe backup.

Vehicle checklist

When driving your own car abroad it is important that your vehicle is kitted out with the correct equipment. We’ve got a checklist of what we recommend you take:

  • GB sticker: when driving in a foreign country, you must display a GB sign. Your number plates might include the GB euro-symbol but, if not, you can buy a GB sticker for your car.
  • Reflective jackets: many countries require cars to have reflective jackets to wear if your car breaks down or if you have to leave during an emergency.
  • Warning triangle: In some countries, it is compulsory to carry a warning triangle. We recommend you always carry with you regardless.

It’s always best to check the rules and regulations of the country you are travelling to before you take your journey.

Get your car serviced

It’s an idea to get your car serviced before you travel. Checking tyre pressure, oil, water, and screen wash are a few essentials that could reduce the chance of a breakdown whilst you are away. If your credit history isn’t in the best shape and you’re looking to finance a new car, Moneybarn is a specialist lender who may be able to help. It doesn’t matter if you are a new driver looking to get your first car, or if you’ve suffered financial trouble in the past, speak with one of our team at Moneybarn who can provide you with a quote.