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So, you’ve decided to drive in Europe…

We’ve all thought about driving around our neighbouring European countries, get away from ‘life’ for a week or so but what we tend to forget about are the different road laws between UK and European countries. We have compiled a condensed list of everything you need to know before travelling to our European cousins.

First of all, you will need to make sure that the country you are planning to drive to or through accepts your UK driving license. That’s a FULL UK license, no provisional are accepted. As much as you might show off to your mates about being ‘canny good’ at driving around the fictional island of San Andreas, you will need a full UK driving license. At the time of writing this, a UK license is valid in all countries in the EU and European Economic area. Please make sure to check back after Brexit has happened as this might have changed. Countries in the EU and EEA.

Are you going to be taking your beloved motor with you into Europe? Make sure you have consulted with your insurance, whether you are checking your policy yourself or contacting them to check you are covered abroad. If you are hiring a vehicle overseas its best to obtain a DVLA license check code. Some hiring firms will ask for this so its best to take just in case to avoid any delays to your euro-trip.

It is compulsory in some European countries to carry particular equipment. A reflective jacket and a warning triangle are two common items that are required by law in some countries, such as Belgium. Not carrying this can result in a fine up to €1500 which is the last thing you need while you are on your way to Bruges. Make sure your hire car includes this equipment before you pull away too.

As we are driving on the correct side of the road in the UK, you will need to consider a few things: you will be forced to drive on the opposite side of the road as part of European road laws – I know, ridiculous. Another thing is you will need to purchase are headlight converters – this is because headlights in the UK are angled slightly so that we do not dazzle drivers on the other side of the road. Without the headlight converters you are susceptible to a fine for blinding the users of the other side of the road. It will also help you see the road properly also so it’s a no-brainer really.

You will be required to identify yourself as being from the UK. You will need to display a GB badge on your car, or ensure you have the GB symbol located on your number plates. You can attach magnetic or sticker badges to your vehicle, but if you haven’t already bought your plates from us, we sell GB gel badges to attach to your number plate so make sure you get one if you are planning on travelling to Europe – Utopia Plates will sort you out.

Finally, we hope you enjoy your journey around Europe, our plates where stated are compliant with UK road laws are therefore compliant with European road laws. Make sure you send us a picture of your car driving around the Nürburgring with our plates attached. We will definitely feature this on our social media sites and be very envious.

Drive safe!

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