Tips for driving abroad
27 June 2012
A road trip is an excellent way to explore a new country and there are many wonderful Caravan Club affiliated sites in various locations overseas.
However, it can be daunting the first time you drive overseas as you may not be familiar with what is expected of you, from what you should keep in your car to which side of the road you should be driving on.
Fortunately, the Club provides a comprehensive checklist that you can use to make sure that you're completely prepared for any eventuality.
On your vehicle itself, you'll need GB stickers or EU number plates and a warning triangle in case of a breakdown; in fact, if you're travelling in Spain or Croatia you will need two. You should also have headlight converters or adjustable beams, and high visibility vests to wear if you have car trouble.
In terms of paperwork, which can be much more of a hassle to organise, your basic overseas holiday will require five things: your passport (and visa, if needed), your MOT certificate if your vehicle is three-years-old or more, your car or motorhome V5C, your driving licence and your insurance certificates for your car, caravan or motorhome.
However, these are just the basics, and you might need more depending on where and when you're travelling. If you're going through France, it's compulsory that you carry two disposable breathalysers. If you're driving in the winter, you could require snow chains in your vehicle.
In some countries, it's also compulsory that you carry your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) and photocopies, an international driving permit and your CCI (Camping Card International).
There are also certain items that you don't necessarily have to take with you but that might make your trip more pleasant and give you peace of mind, such as a tool kit, first aid kit and spare bulbs and keys. In addition, make sure that your spare tyre is in good working order, just in case.
Maps, directions to the campsites, a phrase book or dictionary and an address book with essential contact numbers for your bank and insurance policy are all useful additions to your trip pack.