Driving in a foreign country can be an exciting experience – providing you stick to the rules.

Whilst you navigate your way around your chosen travel destination, take some time to find out about local traffic rules to keep yourself and other road users safe during your travels.

Prepare for your trip

It is always a good idea to read-up on foreign driving laws before you set foot in a vehicle abroad. After all, you don’t want to break the countries road rules and run the risk of a fine or even imprisonment.

Each country has its own driving laws and sometimes it can be hard to know what you can and can’t do and where you can and can’t do it. This is why you need to check specific rules for the country you’re visiting rather than assuming all countries will follow the same regulations.

Which side of the road?

One of the most common driving laws which catches British drivers out is remembering which side of the road to drive on. This is a fundamental part of driving that many of us do subconsciously so it can take a while to adjust to doing things a different way. The majority of European countries drive on the RIGHT hand side of the road – but check out our country specific page to make sure before your trip.

Am I insured?

Insurance is a legal requirement for car owners in the UK but you should check that your policy covers you when you are driving abroad too. Double check whether medical expenses and breakdown recovery are included.

What about new legislations?

There are also many new legislations in foreign countries that impose strict rules on driving which you may not be aware of. For example, France has just brought in a law that requires all drivers to carry breathalysers in their vehicle.

There are more subtle rulings that many of us will be unaware of (like the compulsory use of indicators when overtaking a vehicle in Spain) so always investigate these before leaving. Speak to one of our staff if you’re worried you’ve missed something – we’re always happy to help and can help you find all the information you need.

What about driving permits?

If you are planning to drive abroad it is worth investing in an International Driving Permit (IDP). It can come in useful even if you decide not to drive (acting as a form of identification) and is recognised in over 150 countries worldwide.

Drivers should also carry their license and a certificate of motor insurance no matter where they’re travelling.

We have created a whole new section on the Avis website about the driving laws in different countries. Head over and read up on the road rules in the country you are visiting next.

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