Driving Abroad: Rules and Regulations

Exploring different roads in other countries is always more exciting when being behind the wheel. However it is always important to know the rules and regulations of the road prior to your journey.

Rules of the road

Road regulations are different in almost every country you go to.  Road etiquettes and driving systems vary across continents such as the USA and Europe.  However, even countries within close vicinity to each other such as France and Spain, have subtle differences which need to be researched before heading on your travels.

It’s not just about driving on the other side of the road which needs to be thought through. There are also rules over how to operate vehicles and how to approach traffic lights.

In Spain and other European countries, Lorries often flash their indicators if it is safe to overtake, whereas on British roads this would rarely occur.

Similarly, some countries use traffic lights as a supplementary traffic calming measure – only stopping at red lights if it is vital to do so (because of oncoming traffic or an obstruction). In the UK, driving through a red light even if there are no other road users would constitute a driving offence.

We’ve gathered some key road rules for a few of the countries to be aware of.


Drive on the right

•Traffic on the right-hand side has priority in built-up areas

• Bus lanes can only be used by buses, bicycles and taxis

•All children under 10 years of age must use a child seat

• Warning triangles, breathalysers and reflective jackets must be kept in vehicles at all times


• Drive on the right

• Traffic on the left-hand side has priority on a roundabout

• School buses should not be overtaken

• Do not leave the vehicle if stopped by the police

• Seat belt laws differ between states so check this before departing


• Drive on the right

• Certain historical areas of Italy cannot be driven in – check these prior to your journey

• All children under 3 years of age or less than 150cm in height must be seated in an appropriate child seat

• Warning triangles and reflective jackets must be kept in vehicles at all times

• Motorway speeds are capped at 80mph (130km/h) unless otherwise stated


• Drive on the left

• Drivers on the right-hand side have priority on roundabouts

• Give way to pedestrians on zebra crossings

• All children under 3 years of age or less than 135cm in height must be sat in a suitable car seat

• Overtaking must be completed using the outer, right-hand lane

To find out more, read from Avis’s road rules for other countries.


The details of this blog post were correct at the time of publication. Offers are subject to change. Please check the website for confirmation.


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One Response to “Driving Abroad: Rules and Regulations”

  1. Paul E G Cope Says:

    USA Turning right on a red is illegal in some states, but not in others. Beware!

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