WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL
There are many exciting things about travelling to Europe. Even if you have driven in a part of Europe before, the laws and rules can vary widely from one region to another. Research the rules regarding speed limits, traffic laws, and the limits on alcohol consumption (if you plan to imbibe).
The good news is, most of Europe follows the same righthand lane driving approach used in the States, so you probably won’t need to get comfortable driving on the opposite side of the road. However, get accustomed to being surrounded by fastpaced traffic, at least in certain parts of Europe. Drivers in many regions are notorious for being fearless to both speed and quick maneuvers around traffic. Famous example is the Autobahn in Germany; well-known for its lack of speed limits. In just about any part of Europe, driving defensively and staying out of the way of faster drivers is generally your best bet.
Signs and road markings are a critical element of safe driving in Europe. Road markings are similar to ones that U.S. drivers may recognize, but others-while similar in appearance-mean something different. Take time to review the traffic signals and road markings in the place where you are headed in advance to save yourself some headaches and close calls.
Be prepared for roundabouts. In some parts of Europe they are impossible to avoid, so you must learn to love (or at least tolerate) them if you want to get around without some anxiety.
Check out the toll system for the area where you plan to travel. In some places, it works like regions of the U.S., where you can pay tolls at designated stop points along the way. Other areas require you to have a sticker on your car, which you can purchase at the borders and other travel locations.
Pay attention to parking conditions. Violating parking rules can result in getting your car towed or incurring hefty fines. Lastly, be sure to take time to enjoy the view! One of the best things about touring Europe by car is the chance to experience some unique and breathtaking scenery.