Driving a Hire Vehicle in Europe

Things to Consider When Driving in Europe

Are you planning a trip continental Europe, perhaps in one of our spacious and luxurious rental cars? There aren’t actually that many differences between being on the road in England and, say, Spain. But it is important to know what differences there are, and how you need to adapt.

Here are a few things to consider when getting behind the wheel in Europe.

Drive on the Right Side of the Road

Unlike the UK, most countries in Europe require their drivers to drive on the right-hand side of the road. The exceptions are Ireland, Cyprus and Malta. This can be difficult to get used to, especially if you’re in a car with the wheel on the right.

Roundabouts can be particularly tricky, so exercise caution until you feel you’ve got the hang of them. Traffic lights, left turnings and signs won’t be where you expect them to be either, so take you time in understanding exactly what you need to do.

Plan Your Route

Although a lot of people tend to rely on satnav devices to get from point A to point B nowadays, it’s also a good idea to look at the details of your route before and as you are travelling. Then, should your satnav get something wrong or run out of batteries, you have something to fall back on.

You must also consider the type of device you have. Some may be illegal in certain countries, for example; those that point out to you where speed cameras are located cannot be used in France – so make sure what you have isn’t going to get you into any trouble with the local police.

Expect Toll Roads

Most people in the UK don’t concern themselves with the concept of toll roads. London occupants will be aware of them, but besides a few tunnels and bridges scattered around the country, nobody else is used to paying money to travel in certain places.

It is completely different on continental Europe. You should expect to see toll roads in the majority of countries you visit. It’s a good idea to keep some change with you at all times, you don’t want to be stuck arguing with a foreign official about how you can’t afford to drive on the roads.

Check the Laws

Each individual nation will have different laws when it comes to driving, so it’s wise to research what they are before you leave. Many will be the same as the UK, but everywhere has their own quirks that need to be abided by. For example, it’s illegal to wear flip flops while driving in Spain.

Speed limits also need to be taken into consideration as, once again, everywhere is different. If you’re only travelling through one or two countries then the rules should be easier to follow than if you’re doing a tour around the entire continent.

Make Sure You’re Covered

The last thing you want to happen when you’re travelling abroad is to get into an accident, or have your vehicle let you down in the middle of nowhere. Getting covered is arguably the most important thing you can do before your trip, so put your mind at ease and enjoy your holiday.

If you decide to rent a car from Capital Hire and are travelling abroad, then it is a requirement that you purchase European Cover. You will receive all the neccessary documentation and be entitled to 24 hour breakdown assistance, so it really is worth having anyway.

Are you looking to drive through Europe? Check out which countries we provide European Cover in here.