What to Know if You are Travelling in Europe by Car?

Driver’s Licence

Driver’s licence that is issued in one European country is valid in whole territory of European Union. In some countries, driving a car, you have to take with you not only a valid driver’s licence, but also a vehicle registration certificate. Remember that in the majority of European countries it is allowed to drive a car if you are at least 18 years old.

The minimum age for car renting is not determined in the level of European Union, but usually is varies from 20 to 23 years. Also the maximum age for car renting is determined, and usually it is from 65 to 75 years.

Car Insurance

Travelling in Europe, your car insurance automatically ensures the minimum coverage, which is determined in the law and which is ensured by third party liability insurance (OCTA). It also applies to Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway. Before you leave your country, check, whether you insurance policy is valid in other European countries as well.

If you are planning to travel in European Union, you do not need a Green Card, but it is useful as internationally recognized proof of insurance, and it relieves an administration of damages if a traffic accident has happened. The Green Card System is introduced in 48 countries, and it is managed by association of insurers. If you do not take a Green Card with you, you have to take an insurance policy.

Your insurer can give you an agreed statement, which is standardized and valid throughout the European Union. You and the other party, which is involved in the accident, can fill this form after the accident even if it has happened abroad.

Safe Driving

In all countries of European Union you have to use a seat belt in any kind of transport, also in buses and minibuses. Cars, lorries, and other vehicles have to be equipped with proper child safety products.
Usage of mobile phones while driving significantly increases the risk of traffic accidents and is more or less forbidden in all countries of European Union.

Despite the fact that in the majority of European countries the maximum allowed amount of alcohol in the blood is 0,5 promilles, in some countries it is from 0,2 to 0,8 promilles, but in some countries it is forbidden to drive a car if the driver has drank an alcohol, no matter what quantity. European Commission has advised to introduce an equal limitation of alcohol amount, which is 0,5 promilles.

Remember that in such countries as Ireland, Cyprus, The United Kingdom, and Malta you have to drive on the left side of road, and in some countries, for example, in Belgium, Netherlands, France, and Portugal you have to give a way to those drivers who drive from the right side. On high-speed roads speed limitations usually are 110, 120, or 130 kilometres per hour, but in populated places – 50 kilometres per hour. Before you travel to some country, find out what restrictions and special conditions are actual in that country.

Toll Roads

Toll roads are widespread in many European countries, for example, in Austria, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Ireland, United Kingdom, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Hungary. In some countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary) you have to buy so called vignette, which has to be affixed on car’s windscreen. Vignette is a small, coloured sticker affixed to motor vehicles in several countries of European Union to indicate that road tolls are paid.