Driving in Europe
Thousands of motorists load the car each summer and off they go on a European holiday looking forward to a nice restful break in the sunshine. Unfortunately, some won’t get that nice restful break because without a bit of forethought and the correct preparation the holiday could easily turn into the worst nightmare!
MUST HAVES, listed opposite, as failure to carry them can either result an on-the-spot fine or, at the very least, cause grief if suffer a breakdown or get involved in an accident.
GENERAL PACKING TIPS WARNING: Try to make sure all heavy or hard luggage is packed in the boot or securely strapped in place, only soft items should be carried within the passenger compartment. Remember if you have to brake really suddenly in an emergency stop situation, then items of luggage are likely to become very dangerous projectiles aiming for the back of your head.
WHAT IF THE WORST SHOULD HAPPEN: Get in touch with your insurance company before you go and ask a few things. Firstly “Am I covered?” Secondly do they have a local country phone number you should call in the event of you having an accident or you have your car stolen.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS: Use a packing checklist as it stops you from getting in a panic at the last minute, and can be very useful if you lose or have anything stolen on the trip. If you have medicines and any other important items make sure they are at the top of the case or preferably in a small hand luggage size bag in the car with you rather than at the bottom of a suitcase in the boot.
CAR CHECKS: Make sure you check the oil, engine coolant and water in the windscreen washer bottle and don’t forget to check windscreen wipers, also give windows and lights a good clean. Make sure tyres have the correct tyre pressure (check when tyres are cold) for a fully loaded car.
HEADLIGHTS: Headlamp beams for UK cars will be pointing the wrong way for Europe, that’s why it is illegal to drive without the headlamp bean deflectors.