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What you need to know when driving abroad

The endless organisation that is required when travelling abroad often means that certain things slip off your radar, particularly when it comes to your car. If you are planning to drive abroad, you need to carry out thorough research in order to ensure that you meet the legal requirements of that country. 


You are mistaken if think that a driving licence is a sufficient form of documentation to enable you to drive abroad. In European countries, you need this alongside a Vehicle on Hire Certificate, your motor insurance certificate and your passport. You can be asked to produce these documents at any time and failure to do so can result in receiving a police fine or confiscation of your vehicle; remember too that photocopies will not be accepted.

Tyre Legislation

Regardless of the legislation that you follow in your home country, every country that you visit has its own rules. 

The minimum legal tyre tread in most countries is 1.6mm, so it is important that you check your tyre tread is above this, either by using a tyre tread depth gauge or by paying a visit to your local tyre specialist. A good tyre tread ensures excellent grip and reduces the risk of accidents.

If you are travelling abroad in winter, your car may need to have cold weather tyres installed. In many European countries, such as Germany, Sweden and Austria, cold weather tyres are mandatory. The wide variation in rules makes it essential to do your research before you travel.


Special Equipment

As well as checking the legal requirements for your vehicle, you should ensure that the law does not require you to carry any special equipment. For example, a reflective jacket is a compulsory item that must be carried when visiting Croatia, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy. It is recommended to carry at least two of these, one for the driver and one for the passenger, and they should be accessible in case of an emergency when they need to be worn. 

All legal requirements for your vehicle can be found on the government travel advice website [].

If you require any kind of tyre service prior to travel, contact Imperial Tyres today. Our Wiltshire-based services will ensure that you have the safest journey possible when travelling abroad.