Tips for tak­ing your car abroad

Middleton Guardian - - MIDDLETON PEOPLE -

GO­ING away dur­ing the sum­mer is some­thing that many look for­ward to.

Pre­ven­tion is bet­ter than cure and if you are tak­ing your own ve­hi­cle abroad it is a great idea to be pre­pared for the un­ex­pected events that can oc­cur when on the road.

This week’s tips give ad­vice on driv­ing abroad from IAM Road­S­mart’s head of driv­ing and rid­ing stan­dards, Richard Glad­man.

• Make sure you have the right in­sur­ance and break­down cover. In an event of a break­down you want to make sure you have in­ter­na­tional cov­er­age and also know what num­bers and com­pa­nies you have to get in touch with.

• Plan your jour­ney. If you know you are go­ing to be do­ing a few trips it is bet­ter to know the road and not rely on sat navs. Some sat navs do not func­tion in­ter­na­tion­ally and un­less you have a lot of data it can be costly us­ing your phone as a nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem. In some coun­tries sat navs with speed cam­era in­for­ma­tion in them are il­le­gal.

How about go­ing old school and in­vest­ing in a new map to plan your jour­ney out? If the tech­nol­ogy lets you down at least you have a back up.

• If pos­si­ble do not go it alone. It is bet­ter to have two driv­ers who can take turns to avoid fa­tigue. On a fam­ily trip chil­dren can ap­pre­ci­ate a bit of at­ten­tion, how about tak­ing a turn in the back? Give your­self plenty of time and don’t set un­re­al­is­tic dead­lines to catch fer­ries or to ar­rive at your ac­com­mo­da­tion.

• Make sure you have the right doc­u­men­ta­tion. We rec­om­mend tak­ing your full driv­ing li­cence, your in­sur­ance doc­u­ments, both the car and travel doc­u­ments, you ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion cer­tifi­cate and lastly Euro­pean Health In­sur­ance Cards and pass­ports, de­pen­dent on your des­ti­na­tion.

• Le­gal and equip­ment re­quire­ments vary from coun­try to coun­try. Check web­sites such as www.­eign-trav­e­lad­vice.

• Don’t drink and drive or break lo­cal speed lim­its as fines can be is­sued on the spot in some coun­tries and the ex­change of in­for­ma­tion be­tween po­lice forces is now com­mon place so your mis­de­meanours may fol­low you home.

• Check your mo­tor be­fore you leave. If you are not up to date with your car ser­vic­ing we rec­om­mend go­ing in for a full ser­vice to avoid any hic­cups whilst trav­el­ling.

Richard said: “Driv­ing abroad can be ex­cit­ing, but it brings a new set of chal­lenges that you must be pre­pared for.

“By en­sur­ing that you get the ba­sics right you can be much more relaxed and able to en­joy new sights and ex­pe­ri­ences safely.”

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