Are you aware of these European driving laws?
There are many driving laws which Brits will surely know about when driving around the UK, from the strict penalties which are enforced if someone is caught on their mobile phone while behind the wheel to not smoking when there’s a child passenger in your vehicle.
However, are you aware of the unique driving laws enforced across Europe? If you’re looking to head on a driving holiday across the continent, check out this handy guide by Lookers — who can also assist with a Motability car search if you’re eligible for this government-funded scheme:
Unique driving laws in Belarus
There is so much to see when driving around Belarus, including the Victory Square in Minsk, the Braslav Lakes National Park and The Cathedral of Holy Spirit. Just be aware that you cannot drive around the country until you’re 18 years old — regardless if you hold a foreign driving licence or not.
You’ll also want to add some unique items to your packing checklist, as a warning triangle, fire extinguisher and first aid kit are all compulsory to have on-board all private vehicles. Keep your car looking great too, because it’s illegal to drive a dirty vehicle in Belarus.
Unique driving laws in France
There’s only the English Channel which separates us Brits from driving in France, though the nation does have some driving laws which are different to those seen throughout the UK. For example, it is illegal to drive with any device attached to your ear — with this covering headphones and headsets, as well as hands-free devices used to make phone calls from your mobile phone.
From November 2012, a law was also enforced across France which meant that drivers must carry a breathalyzer in their vehicles or risk being fined €11. Be aware that your breathalyzer has to be unused, display the French certification mark NF and be in date. This of course won’t be a problem if you’re in a rental car, unless the car was rented in another country, in which case it’s a good idea to either make sure your car can be provided with one, or pick one up right before or as soon as you cross the border.
Unique driving laws in Germany
You don’t need to venture too far for a driving holiday in Germany either, as the country can be reached from the UK within a day. Just like with Belarus though, you must be 18 years old (whether you hold a foreign driving licence or not) to drive a vehicle in the country.
If you’re looking to take in the German Christmas Markets within the nation where they originate from, take note that it’s illegal to drive without winter tyres at certain times of the year. These types of tyres protect you and all road users, and are especially important considering the country’s notorious high-speed roads.
Unique driving laws in Russia
With the 2018 FIFA World Cup taking place in Russia this summer, there’s a chance you could be heading to the country as a football fan. Just be sure not to pick up hitchhikers if you’re driving around the nation — it’s illegal to do so.
Much like Belarus, you’re not allowed to drive a dirty car in Russia either, while you’re also prohibited from turning left in large towns other than on stretches of road that have crossings with lights.
Unique driving laws in Spain
Spain has been one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits for decades, due to it offering hot and sunny weather without the need to travel too far. If you plan to drive around the country, remember to carry an additional pair of glasses if you wear them when driving.
Even though it may be hot when driving in Spain, don’t let the weather lead you to get a fine either. This is because you risk a fine of €200 if you drive when barefoot, wearing flip-flops or failing to wear a shirt. A €100 fine may also be coming your way if you drive with one hand or arm outside of the car — both laws are to do with maintaining full control of a vehicle.