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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Kelvin
    • By MSE Kelvin 7th Aug 18, 5:45 PM
    • 34Posts
    • 86Thanks
    MSE Kelvin
    8 WOW
    Discuss the Driving in Europe guide
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 5:45 PM
    8 WOW
    Discuss the Driving in Europe guide 7th Aug 18 at 5:45 PM


    Hello there,

    We've written a new guide to Driving in Europe and would love your feedback on it.

    Please let us know if you find it helpful, what improvements we could make and if there are any other tips you think we should add.

    Thanks for your help!

    MSE Kelvin
    Last edited by MSE Kelvin; 08-08-2018 at 4:12 PM. Reason: Amending link error.

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Page 1
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 7th Aug 18, 6:58 PM
    • 2,861 Posts
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    unforeseen
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 6:58 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 6:58 PM
    Definitely for Spain, and it may be other countries as well. If you require spectacles to drive then you must also have a spare pair in the vehicle
    • knightstyle
    • By knightstyle 7th Aug 18, 7:03 PM
    • 4,783 Posts
    • 1,780 Thanks
    knightstyle
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 7:03 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 7:03 PM
    Two suggestions to add to a good article.
    1. Download a European Accident Statement form in English and the language where you are going to take with you.
    2. In France you must have the car docs with you at all times and the reflective jacket must be in reach of the driver.
    3. In France the town and village name signs are the speed limit start and end. White background 50kph, black background 70kph.

    OK, that makes 3, I never was any good at maths!
    Strangely in our area there are 3 lane roads and they are 90kph in the two lane direction and 80kph in the single lane direction, fortunately there are plenty of nice new speed signs so no excuses!
    • richardw
    • By richardw 7th Aug 18, 8:46 PM
    • 18,715 Posts
    • 7,829 Thanks
    richardw
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 8:46 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 8:46 PM
    Andorra, Croatia and Greece are missing from country specific guides.

    Can you take a hire car on ferries?

    What happens if I accidentally take a hire car out of the country? i.e hire in Italy take a wrong turning around Lake Como and end up in Switzerland?

    Is it worth buying a car seat at a local supermarket near the airport instead of taking your own?

    Driving to Ski resorts from the airport, do you save on transfers?

    When is it worth hiring a car with automatic transmission?
    Last edited by richardw; 07-08-2018 at 8:59 PM.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
    • lovesgshp
    • By lovesgshp 7th Aug 18, 9:20 PM
    • 1,285 Posts
    • 723 Thanks
    lovesgshp
    • #5
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:20 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:20 PM
    When driving in Italy, watch out for signs saying TUTOR on the motorways. These are average speed cameras between different points.
    Also road work speed cameras. The Italian police are usually quite good when they set up a mobile speed trap as they put up a sign a few hundred metres ahead to let you know?
    Checks by the Carabinieri are quite frequent for documents and licenses are quite frequent, with one of them standing with a sub-machine gun as a guard.
    Italian drivers are usually on their mobile phones and many have never discovered what a indicator is for either.
    Don't be surprised if the car behind is inches from your bumper and then decides to overtake on a blind bend as this is normal.

    Watch out for motorcycles on weekends as they obey no rules and all think the road is a racetrack.
    As Manuel says in Fawlty Towers: " I Know Nothing"
    • cubegame
    • By cubegame 7th Aug 18, 10:35 PM
    • 1,479 Posts
    • 749 Thanks
    cubegame
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:35 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:35 PM
    Biggest tip.

    If the locals drive like utter tits, don't try and compensate for it. Join in. You don't want to look like the British hire car driver who obeys the speed limits when no one else does.
    • Peterhg56
    • By Peterhg56 8th Aug 18, 6:22 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Peterhg56
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 6:22 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Aug 18, 6:22 AM
    AS most modern cars no longer have spare wheels nor the tools to change one, what doyou doin Spain if you get a puncture??
    • Peterhg56
    • By Peterhg56 8th Aug 18, 6:35 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Peterhg56
    • #8
    • 8th Aug 18, 6:35 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Aug 18, 6:35 AM
    Having had a puncture whilst in Germany in April this year, Good old RAC European Breakdown took me to the nearest Main dealer for reasons best known to themselves who did not stock tyres and I was advised it would take 1-2 days to obtain one, no hotel rooms available locally, so after 4 hours they managed to find a WINTER TYRE, which whilst it was the correct one I had to be restricted to 80klms all the way back at a cost of 198.72 cash only, so was back on the road by 8.15pm. RAC response this was fine and that the dealer looked after us well which they did, being that I am a MOBILITY VEHICLE USER I found this all to be bizarre at the very least, on returning and researched tyre specialists in Germany I found one 15 minutes away in the next town who stocked my tyres. as an aside a lady who worked at the dealership and had a similar car to mine spent 20 minutes looking for a spare tyre that was not there, so me next time will be taking my own tyre with me along with the tools if possible, SO BE AWARE.
    • Cambia
    • By Cambia 8th Aug 18, 7:24 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Cambia
    • #9
    • 8th Aug 18, 7:24 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Aug 18, 7:24 AM
    Can you add in driving speed limits for motorhomes? Lots of us go abroad and this would be a great help. Thank you.
    • Emily Engel
    • By Emily Engel 8th Aug 18, 8:00 AM
    • 2 Posts
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    Emily Engel
    Driving License expiry dates: we usually assume that our driving license is valid until we reach age 70, but in fact more recent photo Id licenses expire after 10 years, when you need to up-date the photo. I didnt realise this and was refused a hire-car last year as I had not taken the paper license. I'd never noticed the expiry date on the replacement license I received after reporting mine lost. On return, I found the 'lost' one which was valid until age 70.
    Please remind people to check / renew their plastic card in good time before their holiday, or use the paper license.
    • FoweyBoy
    • By FoweyBoy 8th Aug 18, 8:26 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    FoweyBoy
    No mention of dash cams, banned/restricted in some countries, or speed camera detectors/alerts, also banned in some countries.
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 8th Aug 18, 8:30 AM
    • 32,346 Posts
    • 20,343 Thanks
    DCFC79
    Can you add in driving speed limits for motorhomes? Lots of us go abroad and this would be a great help. Thank you.
    Originally posted by Cambia
    Should help you.

    https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/overseas-holidays/planning-your-route/european-speed-limits/

    I see to turn the sat nav is mentioned but you dont mention (Apologies if you have I couldnt see it) radar detector/ speed trap detection device.
    Have you mentioned about taking the alcohol test kit, dont think its a requirement but useful.
    Last edited by DCFC79; 08-08-2018 at 8:44 AM.
    • lovesgshp
    • By lovesgshp 8th Aug 18, 9:53 AM
    • 1,285 Posts
    • 723 Thanks
    lovesgshp
    Dashcam restrictions in Europe:


    https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/998528/Dash-cam-car-Europe-fines-prison
    As Manuel says in Fawlty Towers: " I Know Nothing"
    • backroad traveller
    • By backroad traveller 8th Aug 18, 11:51 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    backroad traveller
    I just joined the forum today and would thank you for the driving in Europe guide. We have just purchased a camper van and my wife and I plan to travel around Europe next summer. This guide will be very useful to us and we will keep a lookout for any updates that are posted on your site.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 8th Aug 18, 12:05 PM
    • 7,689 Posts
    • 4,392 Thanks
    martindow
    Why does the banner in the OP link to an article on sanitary products!?

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/cheap-sanitary-products/
    • MSE Kelvin
    • By MSE Kelvin 8th Aug 18, 4:13 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    MSE Kelvin
    My bad martindow

    I copied the code used for the Cheap Sanitary Products thread - have amended it now.

    Thanks for the heads up!

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    • MSE Kelvin
    • By MSE Kelvin 8th Aug 18, 4:18 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    MSE Kelvin
    Thank you very much for the feedback, backroad traveller. I'll endeavour to add more to the guide over the next few weeks.

    Really pleased you've found it useful. Sounds like you and your wife's trip will be ace

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    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 8th Aug 18, 6:32 PM
    • 16,302 Posts
    • 12,329 Thanks
    hollydays
    The issue of gb stickers.
    It's not just that you should have gb on your number plate , in tiny letters, it's useful for other drivers to clearly see you are a furriner so as to anticipate any stupid moves you might make, this is particularly important for larger vehicles.
    Also to let motorcyclists know you are right hand drive.
    • lovesgshp
    • By lovesgshp 8th Aug 18, 9:12 PM
    • 1,285 Posts
    • 723 Thanks
    lovesgshp
    This may be of interest to anyone traveling to Italy over the winter months. It mainly covers those months on the motorways.

    Police vehicle checks for tyres/chains can also happen on other routes as well. Many Italians change their tyres just before the required dates.


    https://www.autostrade.it/en/la-nostra-rete/operazioni-invernali
    As Manuel says in Fawlty Towers: " I Know Nothing"
    • AlexMac
    • By AlexMac 9th Aug 18, 7:32 AM
    • 2,106 Posts
    • 1,837 Thanks
    AlexMac
    (Excellent feature. I may have missed it, but how about adding a specific cautionary note about !!!8230

    Car Hire Pitfalls
    Some operators, including those listed by intermediaries; holiday operators' or brokers' sites, advertise very cheap headline rates of a few pounds per day, but have a business model based on high pressure selling of top-up insurance or other expensive extras, sometimes with intimidation at the pick-up desk or threats of delay or over-rigourous inspections on return. Even worse, there are some Companies who routinely bill clients' credit cards for unjustifiable (but difficult to recover) sums after return, for imaginary damage, minor scratches or chips which were already there but which went un-noticed on pick up, excessive fuelling charges or cleaning fees.

    Check the T&Cs; Whether hiring through a broker or a holiday operator, it is the local car hire company's terms and conditions that count. Read these before booking, again at the desk and understand what you are signing.

    Check online reviews of the local rental operator (not of the agent or the brokers) before booking. The most notorious European car-hire Company gets over a quarter of a million hits; mainly allegations of fraud or overcharging. Regional Tripadvisor forums can help identify reputable or rogue companies; use that website's forum search facility. Cheapest is not always best.

    Check fuel policy and cost; full-full, full-empty, any initial charge and if they will refund for a full or art-full tank on return, and any admin charges for refuelling?

    Take out Excess Insurance; most rental quotes include minimum legal cover but typically demand a sizeable excess for even minor scrapes, and do not cover damage to tyres, windscreens, underbody etc. Freestanding excess insurance is available cheaply online, or if not, consider whether you want to pay for the car-hire Companies' more expensive cover (local operators will try hard to sell you this, even if you have your own, often with aggressive sales techniques or hints of delay when you return the car). Some companies demand a deposit on your credit card, some take the money and refund, others just block the amount and unblock on return.

    Check for even minor defects; inspect the car, including underbody and wheels and ensure all damage is listed on the contract paperwork; you can even take photos of the outside and inside of the car including the dashboard when you pick up the car and also when you return.

    Check the boot; for a replacement tyre or repair kit (people have been charges for replacements even if missing on pick-up) and any other legally required kit such as hi-viz jackets or safety triangles.

    Familiarise yourself; with indicators and how the lights are switched on before you set off.

    Leave time for check in on return; ensure lots of time to catch your flight in case you do have a problem with the return; especially if you have not taken up the rental companies' own top-up insurance as this may mean they conduct a more thorough inspection of the vehicle.
    Last edited by AlexMac; 09-08-2018 at 7:34 AM.
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