If you are taking a trip overseas, make sure you have the right cover and information you need. Here are some useful tips to help you before and during your trip.
Your policy may include cover for you
to drive your car abroad, but you should check if you are covered before you
go. Also check what level of cover you have and if your policy includes breakdown
cover, ensure you have contact details.
Plan your journey
As you are likely to be driving in unfamiliar locations, you should ensure that you plan where you’re going and the route you will be taking. It is recommended that you carry a satellite navigation system if your car does not have one built in. Try have your satellite navigation system pre-set so you don’t need to adjust it along the journey.
Rules of the road
The first thing you should check is what side of the road cars are supposed to drive on. Most Europe counties require drivers to travel on the right-hand-side of the road, so if you are driving in your right-hand-drive car it is likely that difficultly levels will be much greater. You should also familiarise yourself with different road signs, speed limits and other laws that we may not have in Ireland. If you’re towing anything behind your car you should make yourself familiar with the laws and speed limits
Check your car
Before embarking on your journey, make checks to your car to see whether there is anything likely to go wrong or changes required before you leave, such as tyres and wipers blades. If any concerns exist about larger maintenance work, consider having these done before you leave as it may leave you stranded should any of them fail. If you’re entering an area where you will be required to drive on the right, you may also need to have your headlights adjusted accordingly.
Some documents you may already have in your car, but it is likely you will need more documents than usual when driving abroad. You may need some, or all, of the following:
Driving licence for you and anyone else who will be driving your car.
Your Vehicle Licencing Certificate (Tax Book).
Your Certificate of Motor Insurance.
Green Card (we can provide you with one if required).
Passport for you and any other passengers travelling in the vehicle.
Driving on the other side of the road
This is likely to be the biggest challenge if your car is equipped to drive on the left-hand-side. Here are some tips that may help:
If you are driving on a motorway or dual carriageways, the overtaking lane is on your left side.
Be careful when overtaking. If your car is right-hand-drive, you may find you can't see the traffic around you properly. If required, wait until a straight part of road until you’re sure it is safe to pass.
If driving down a narrow road or laneway, you should pull in to the right to let oncoming vehicles pass.
When using a roundabout, give way to the left and drive anti-clockwise.
Pay attention to road signs; if they’re facing the way you’re driving, you’re probably going the right way.
Pay extra attention when you are taking off or leaving somewhere, for example leaving car parks or filling stations.