… even if some of them are a little, well, odd…
If you’re driving aboard in your own car this summer, check out our guide to car insurance and breakdown in Europe before you check yourself on the ferry.
Whether you’re driving your own car or hiring one – best read through our a-z of road rules before you drive. Ok, it’s more like an C to T (with a heck of a lot of the alphabet missing in between) but you get the general idea…
Tell you what? Why not add some of your own?
C is for Cyprus and their Car snacking rule
Make sure you pull over for a drink or snack in sunny Cyrpus as there’s a whopping great fine for anyone caught sipping or snacking behind the wheel. And no, not just alcohol, even water can get you in, er, hot water.
If you fancy seeing some of the finest views in the country, take a drive to the highest peak in Cyprus, Mount Olympos in the Troodos Mountains, at 1,952 metres – you’ll even see snow in winter.
(Check out visitcyprus.com for more info)
F is for Finland and their be Fair to wildlife law
It’s illegal not to report an accident with a large animal to the police. So if you have a close encounter with an elk, a reindeer or any other animal, you need to call it in.
It’s also illegal to use your HORN in Finland unless you’re in danger. Best keep your temper in check at the traffic lights then, eh?
Winter conditions add an additional challenge to driving, but with proper winter gear and caution, anyone can manage on the Finnish roads.
(More tips here VisitFinland.com)
F is also for France and their Fairly tough road rules
You can’t use a device which can detect speed cameras in France so if you have these built in to your satnav then you MUST disable that function before you drive on French soil. And it’s not an idle threat – French police can confiscate your license and impound your car if you break this or any other French driving law.
G is for Germany and their Good Samaritan Laws…
If you’re driving in Germany, remember that you are required drivers to stop and offer assistance if you encounter an accident scene. It sounds like just good manners to us, but nevertheless, important to have it reinforced.
And when you’re pootling along the autobahn, be aware that lengthy sections of the equivalent of out motorway has a 130kmh speed suggestion. It is, however, just a recommendation – but also remember it’s illegal to stop on the autobahn even if you run out of petrol. So check your dash, in more ways than one.
Tailgating is also frowned upon – and strictly enforced.
(More German road rules here – howtogermany.com)
J is for Japan and their Joint drink driving fines
In Japan they believe that getting IN TO THE CAR of a drunk driver is just as bad as the act of being drunk behind the wheel yourself and you’ll be just as harshly penalised.
And Hallelujah! You can also get a penalty for splashing pedestrians if you drive through a puddle too fast – we call for this to be a world-wide road rule, please
Local driving tip: If you wish to drive a car while in Japan, you need to carry your national driving licence as well as obtain an International Driving Permit prior to departure
(More sensible rules from the Japanese here – seejapan.co.uk)
N is for Norway and their No drinking rule
Not only does Norway have a zero-tolerance rule on drinking and driving it’s also COMPULSORY to keep your headlights on 24 hours a day, all year round. Now, I know what you’re thinking, in the summer the sun doesn’t even set in some parts of the country – it doesn’t matter, lights on please. (more tips at visitnorway.com)
R is for Russia and their Really dirty car rules
Russian police don’t like dirty cars in some parts of the country. Define dirty? Well, that’s up to the police on the scene at the time – and it’s not to be taken lightly – if your car is not clean enough you can have your licence confiscated or pay a penalty fee.
More top tips from the Russian National Tourist Office, Visitrussia.org.uk
S is for Spain and their Spectacle-based driving laws
If you normally need glasses to drive then make sure you have a spare pair or extra contact lenses as if you misplace your specs, or split a contact lens, you’ll be fined if you’re caught driving without them. Sounds sensible, si?
And finally T is for Thailand and their Topless laws
It can be pretty sticky in Thailand when it’s peak season but however hot you’re getting in the car, turn up the air con DO NOT take off your top. It’s punishably by law and you could land yourself in prison or dealing with a large fine.
So keep your shirt on.
Information correct on Aug 15th 2015