Driving requirements in Europe

Know the rules of the road when driving in Europe

Driving in Europe

Don’t let the twists and turns of continental driving regulations send your trip off track. Take a journey through our quick guide to what you need to know for your European destination.

Click on a country below to learn more:

Driving Licence

You'll need to be atleast 18 years old and hold a full UK driving licence to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike in Andorra.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the minimum level of cover you'll need to keep things legal.

Fuel

The usual leaded, unleaded and diesel fuelds are widely available but Andorra doesn't do LPG.

It's also illegal to carry petrol in a vehicle.

Most petrol stations accept credit cards.

Speed Limits

Andorra has it's own standard legal limits, in kilometres per hour, which are clearly indicated by signs.

In built-up areas these are usually 50km/h (31mph) and outside built-up areas between 60 and 90km/h (37 and 55mph).

Seat Belts

If there are front seat belts fitted, it's compulsory to wear them.

Passengers/Children

Kids under 10 who are less than 4ft11ins tall must sit in an EU-approved child seat, and if they're sitting in the front of the car, the airbag must be deactivated.

Lights

Use common sense - dipped headlights should be used during the day if there's poor visibility.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets and dipped headlights during the day are compulsory.

Drinking and Driving

The allowable level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 0.05% - less than permitted in the UK.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot, so you'll know quick-sharp if you've made an error.

Compulsory Equipment

Make sure you've got spare bulbs, a warning triangle and a reflective waistcoat or jacket kicking around in the car.

Other Rules/Regulations

Authorities recommend using winter tyres if you're planning n visiting in the colder months and you should use snow chains if road signs tell you to.

Anymore wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

In Austria you can drive a temporarily imported car from the age of 17.

As for motorcycles, it’s age 16 for bikes up to 50cc with a maximum speed of 45km/h (27mph) and age 20 for bikes over 50cc.

If your driving licence doesn’t have a photograph make sure you’re carrying some other form of photographic proof of identity at all times (your passport, for example).

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the minimum.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available, with limited LPG availability.

Do some research if you’ll need leaded, as only a lead substitute additive is available in Austria.

You’re allowed to carry up to 10 litres of petrol in a can and most large filling stations accept credit cards.

Speed Limits

Austria has its own standard legal limits which are clearly indicated on signs on roads.

In built-up areas these are usually 50km/h (31mph), outside built-up areas it’s 100km/h (63mph) and on motorways it’s up to 130km/h (80mph).

Mopeds are forbidden from doing more than 45km/h and if your vehicle can’t manage a minimum speed of 60km/h (37mph) then you’ll have to keep off motorways.

Seat Belts

If seat belts are fitted anywhere in the vehicle the law says they have to be worn, otherwise you might find yourself hit with a €35 fine.

Passengers/Children

Children under 14 and less than 4ft11ins tall must sit in a child seat, although kids aged 14 and over and taller than 4ft11ins and shorter than 4ft5ins can use a ‘Dreipunktgurt’ – a three-point seat belt – without a special child seat.

Lights

Use your common sense – dipped headlights should be used during the day if visibility is bad.

Motorcycles

Daytime dipped headlights and crash helmets for all riders (including passengers) are compulsory.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol limit for drivers in Austria is 0.049% – less than the UK.

If you’re caught with a blood alcohol limit of between 0.05% and 0.079% you’ll receive a fine and anything higher than 0.08% carries more severe penalties.

If you’ve held your licence for less than two years the limit is just 0.01%.

Fines

Fines are generally issued on the spot, with the officer issuing an official receipt, although higher fines usually allow two weeks’ leeway for payment.

Pay attention to parking restrictions – if your vehicle is found to be obstructing traffic it might be towed away.

Compulsory Equipment

Be sure to carry a warning triangle, a first aid kit, a reflective jacket and suitable winter equipment, such as winter tyres or snow chains – check these are included in any hire cars.

Other Rules/Regulations

Between 1 November and 15 April all vehicles must have winter or all-season tyres.

If you’re planning on driving on the motorway you’ll need a motorway toll sticker, which is valid for one year, two months or 10 days. These can be bought from petrol stations, post offices and tobacconists. If you’re caught without one, expect to pay at least €120.

It’s frowned upon to use a horn in Vienna and in the general vicinity of hospitals.

Drivers travelling in the same direction as a school bus are not allowed to overtake a bus if it’s stopped to let children on or off, which will be indicated by a yellow flashing light.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic on motorways or dual carriageways it’s compulsory to form an ‘emergency corridor’ whether there are police, fire or ambulance vehicles in the area or not, so keep an eye on what other motorists are doing.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

The use of radar detectors and dashboard cameras are prohibited in Austria.

Driving Licence

You’ll have to be at least 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorcycle in Belarus.

Photographic licences will be accepted for up to three months, but after that you’ll need to obtain an International Driving Permit – you’ll also need one of these if your licence doesn’t have a photograph.

Motor Insurance

Authorities recommend fully comprehensive insurance but third party is the minimum level allowed.

A green card is absolutely compulsory, however. If you don’t have one you can take out short-term insurance at the border.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are all generally obtainable, but leaded petrol isn’t available in Belarus.

You can bring up to 20 litres of fuel into the country, provided it’s declared on entry and stored in a metal container.

Credit cards are usually accepted at petrol stations.

Speed Limits

Officials are strict on speed limits in Belarus so be sure to stick to the rules, which are clearly indicated on road signs.

In residential areas these can be as low as 20km/h (12mph). In built-up areas the limit is usually 60km/h (37mph), outside built up areas it’s 90km/h (55mph) and on the motorway the limit can go up to 120km/h (74mph).

But if you’ve held your driving licence for less than two years you have to keep it below 70km/h (43mph), wherever you are.

Seat Belts

If they’re fitted in the front seats, seat belts have to be worn.

Passengers/Children

Children can only sit in the front seat once they’re over the age of 12. Kids under this age must sit in a child’s seat in the rear.

Lights

Use your common sense – dipped lights should be used in poor visibility and also while towing or being towed.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets and dipped headlights at all times is the law.

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving is strictly forbidden in Belarus, with 0.00% blood alcohol content allowed.

The penalties for breaking this law can be quite severe, so stick to soft drinks.

Fines

Local authorities can fine drivers and demand payment on the spot for minor offences, so be vigilant.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and warning triangle as standard.

Between mid-November and mid-March winter tyres are compulsory.

You’ll also need an electronic onboard unit for toll payments – see ‘other rules/regulations’ for more on this.

Other Rules/Regulations

Toll charges are the norm on Belarus’ motorways, payable via an on-board unit (OBU) which can be picked up at petrol stations and border checkpoints for a deposit of €20.

After mounting it to the windscreen, you’ll need to keep it topped up with funds to pay tolls as you travel – a minimum €25 needs to be added in the first instance.

If you’re found to be without an OBU, you face a fine of up to €100.

In addition to toll charges, you’ll have to pay a road tax at the frontier, the cost of which will vary from US$5 to US$300.

You can expect to be stopped by traffic officials looking to check your documents – particularly if you have a foreign number plate. However, be wary of ‘private facilitators’ who offer to help tourists and foreigners pass through checkpoints – they can be shady characters.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Radar detectors are prohibited.

Foreign visitors are required to purchase health insurance on arrival.

Finally, it’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving – and to drive a dirty car.

Driving Licence

You’ll have to be at least 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike in Belgium.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the minimum level of cover you can have while driving in the country.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPGis widely available but you won’t be able to get hold of leaded petrol, although anti-wear additive is available.

You can carry petrol in a can, but not aboard ferries. Most petrol stations will accept credit cards.

Speed Limits

Belgium has its own standard legal limits, in kilometres per hour, indicated by signs on roads.

In built-up areas these can be up to 50km/h (31mph), outside built-up areas these are 90km/h (55mph) and on motorways and dual carriageways it’s 120km/h (74mph). You’ll need to keep to a minimum speed of 70km/h (43mph) on motorways.

Vehicles with spiked tyres are not allowed to do more than 60km/h on normal roads and 90km/h on motorways.

Seat Belts

If there are seat belts fitted anywhere in the vehicle, passengers must wear them.

Passengers/Children

Any child under the age of 18 and under 4ft5ins must sit in a child seat, although there is an exception if more than two child seats are needed and there’s not adequate room for a third: here the child can sit on the back seat using an adult seat belt.

It’s also illegal to use a rear-facing child seat on a front seat that has an airbag unless the airbag has been deactivated.

Lights

Use your common sense – dipped headlights should be used when there’s poor daytime visibility.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets and protective clothing are compulsory for drivers and passengers, and dipped headlights should be used at all times during the day.

Children under three aren’t allowed on motorbikes, while those between the ages of three and eight are, providing they’re sat in a special seat and the bike doesn’t exceed 125cc.

Drinking and Driving

The maximum blood alcohol limit is 0.049% – less than the UK. Anything between 0.05% and 0.08% carries an on-the-spot fine of €170 and a three-hour driving ban.

A level of 0.08% or more incurs a fine of up to €550, while anything higher than 0.15% means a fine of up to €12,000 and a licence suspension of up to five years.

Newer drivers beware: if you’ve held your licence for less than two years and you’re over the limit you’ll be automatically prosecuted.

Belgian police also use saliva tests to check for drugs.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot, but motorists can refuse to pay.

Foreign motorists refusing to pay may be given the option of making a deposit toward the fine (known as a consignation), but if you refuse this as well then officials will impound your vehicle, permanently confiscating it if the deposit isn’t paid within 96 hours.

Motorists should give careful consideration to whether they refuse to pay, as the amount of the deposit is – curiously – the same as the on-the-spot fine.

Compulsory Equipment

Make sure you have a warning triangle and a reflective jacket in the car, or risk being hit with a fine of at least €55.

Other Rules/Regulations

In some cities, on one-way streets vehicles must park on one side from the 1st to the 15th of every month, and on the other from the 16th to the end of the month. Follow other motorists’ leads if you’re not sure.

Traffic on roundabouts usually has priority, as indicated by signs. But if there are no signs present, assume that traffic joining from the right has priority.

Cruise control is banned on congested motorways and during road works – check for signs.

If your vehicle is stationary, turn the engine off unless absolutely necessary.

Make sure you leave a space of at least 1m between your vehicle and any cyclist or moped you’re overtaking – it’s not only polite, it’s the law.

‘Zip merging’ is de rigueur in Belgium. Here, drivers in a lane that’s coming to an end or is blocked by an obstruction must keep going in that lane until the last moment, before merging into the adjacent lane. Drivers in the adjacent lane must give way and allow cars to merge in turn.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorcycle over 125cc.

You’ll get by on your UK licence, but it can be helpful to have an International Driving Permit as well.

Motor Insurance

You’ll need a green card to prove that your at-home insurance covers you while you’re away.

Speak to your insurer – they should be able to issue you with one.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available, but check your route if you’re relying on LPG, as only around 60 stations offer this type of fuel.

You’re allowed to transport petrol providing it’s kept in a can, and most petrol stations will take credit cards.

Speed Limits

Bosnia-Herzegovina has standard legal limits, which are varied by road signs.

In built-up areas this is 50km/h (31mph), outside built-up areas it’s 80km/h (49mph) rising to 100km/h (62mph) on dual carriageways and 130km/h (80mph) on motorways.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are compulsory if they’re fitted.

Passengers/Children

Children up to the age of 12 must use a car seat and are not allowed to sit in the front seat, with the exception of children under two, who can sit in a rear-facing child’s seat placed in the front, providing that any airbag is deactivated.

People visibly under the influence of alcohol aren’t allowed to sit in the front seat either.

Lights

Dipped headlights must be used at all times during the day.

Motorcycles

The law stipulates that crash helmets must be worn by riders and passengers at all times and that dipped headlights must be used during the day.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol limit in Bosnia-Herzegovina is 0.031% – much less than the UK’s limit. You can expect severe penalties if you go over this.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot but can be paid at your earliest convenience – and obviously before you leave the country.

More serious violations may involve a sentence decided by the local courts.

Compulsory Equipment

The law says you must carry spare bulbs, a spare tyre, a first aid kit, a reflective jacket, a tow rope or bar, a fire extinguisher and a warning triangle (or two if you’re towing a trailer).

Winter or all-season tyres should be used between 15 November and 15 April.

Other Rules/Regulations

Officials at the border will give your car the once-over as you enter, checking for any visible damage. This will be recorded on a certificate which you’ll have to produce when you leave.

Spiked tyres are strictly forbidden.

During the winter you’ll need to remove all the snow and ice from your car, or you’ll risk a fine.

GPS sat-navs are allowed, but only if speed camera alerts are disabled.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorcycle in Bulgaria and an International Driving Permit is compulsory for licences that don’t include a photograph.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the minimum level of insurance you need, but green cards are recognised – ask your at-home insurer if they can issue you with one.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG is all widely available, but leaded petrol has now been taken off the market.

You can carry a maximum of 10 litres of fuel with you in a spare can and, while many petrol stations will accept credit cards, smaller stations may not take international cards, so check with your issuer.

Speed Limits

Bulgaria has its own standard legal limits, in kilometres per hour, indicated by road signs.

In built-up areas these are 50km/h (31mph) and outside built-up areas it’s 90km/h (55mph). On motorways the maximum speed limit is 130km/h (80mph).

Seat Belts

The law says that all passengers – front and back – must wear seat belts.

Passengers/Children

Kids under three must sit in a child seat.

Children over three and over 4ft11ins can travel in a car without restraints but they have to sit in the back.

Lights

Keep your headlights on dipped during the day, regardless of weather conditions.

Motorcycles

Motorcyclists and their passengers should wear a crash helmet and have their lights on at all times.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol limit in Bulgaria is 0.05%. If you’re over this limit you could face severe penalties, including a prosecution, fine and driving suspension

. Be aware that the police carry out random breath tests and they also test drivers for drugs at the roadside.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot, but be sure to ask for an official receipt.

Expect to be clamped if you’re illegally parked and to have your car towed away if you cause an obstruction.

Compulsory Equipment

To drive in Bulgaria you’ll need to carry a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, a warning triangle, a reflective jacket and, from 1 November to 1 March, snow chains, which should be used if road signs tell you to.

Other Rules/Regulations

In built-up areas it’s illegal to use horns between 10pm and 6am (or 9am on public holidays), and again between 12pm and 4pm.

Foreign drivers need to buy road tax in the form of a ‘vignette’, which can be purchased at the border, at petrol stations and traffic offices covering a week, a month or a year. Make sure you get one – heavy fines are imposed for non-compliance.

On one-way streets you’re only allowed to park on the right.

GPS sat-navs are fine, providing you have the speed camera alert function switched off.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to drive a temporarily imported car or motorcycle exceeding 125cc.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the minimum level of cover you need, although authorities recommend you have a green card as well, to help things along in case of an accident.

If you’re planning on travelling along a 20km section of coastline at Neum – along the Dalmatian coast highway – you’ll need to make sure the green card covers Bosnia-Herzegovina as well.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG is widely available at service stations along motorways, most of which accept credit cards.

It’s illegal to carry petrol in a can.

Speed Limits

Croatia has its own standard legal limits, set in kilometres per hour. In built-up areas these are 50km/h (31mph), outside built-up areas it’s 90km/h (55mph), but 110km/h (68mph) on expressways and 130km/h (80mph) on motorways.

On motorways the minimum speed is 60km/h (37mph). If you’re towing a trailer or caravan, you’re limited to 90km/h (55mph).

Drivers under 24 have their own limits: 80km/h (49mph) on normal roads outside built-up areas, 100km/h (62mph) on expressways and 120km/h (74mph) on motorways.

Seat Belts

If the seat belts are there, the law says they have to be worn.

Passengers/Children

Kids under 12 aren’t allowed to sit in the front seat, unless they’re under two and in a rear-facing child seat, in which case any passenger airbags must have been turned off.

Children aged two-to-five must have a suitable child restraint.

Lights

Travelling between the last Sunday in October and the last Sunday in March? Make sure you have your headlights dipped in the daytime, or you risk a fine.

Outside of these dates, use dipped headlights during reduced visibility.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day and make sure both drivers and passengers are wearing a helmet.

Children under 12 are not allowed to ride as a passenger.

Drinking and Driving

If you’re under 24, lay off the booze completely – Croatia imposes a strict 0.00% blood alcohol level for younger drivers. The limit for those over 24 is 0.05% – less than the UK.

Officials can also test for drugs and if you’re found to be under the influence the consequences can be severe, including fines, driving bans and vehicle confiscation.

Also, it’s illegal to drive after taking any medication that may impair your reactions, so check your prescriptions.

Fines

On-the-spot fines can be issued and must be paid within eight days, and the police may hang on to your passport until you can prove the fine has been paid.

Police can also temporarily suspend the driving licences of foreign motorists for up to eight days for offences such as driving under the influence, driving while ill or driving without medical aids such as glasses.

Also, watch out for parking restrictions – illegally parked cars can be wheel clamped.

Compulsory Equipment

Make sure you have spare bulbs, a first aid kit, a warning triangle, and a reflective jacket in your car.

During the winter months you’ll also need snow chains and a shovel.

Other Rules/Regulations

Spiked tyres are illegal, as are radar detectors. Authorities at the border will check your vehicle for any damage when you enter Croatia and give you a certificate, which must be shown when you leave.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

Cyprus accepts all national driving licences, but you must be over 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of cover you’ll need.

Fuel

Unleaded and diesel fuels are widely available, but you’ll need to use a lead substitute additive if you want leaded petrol.

LPG isn’t available at all.

You’ll be able to use your credit card at most petrol stations.

Carrying fuel in a can is strictly forbidden.

Speed Limits

Cyprus has its own standard legal limits, indicated by road signs. These are usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 80km/h (49mph) outside built-up areas and 100km/h (62mph) on motorways.

Cypriot motorways have a minimum speed of 65km/h (40mph).

Seat Belts

If there are seat belts available anywhere in the car, they have to be worn.

Passengers/Children

Don’t put children under five in the front seat. Kids between five and 10 must use a suitable child restraint system.

Lights

Spotlights are illegal, and lights must be used from half an hour before sunset to half an hour after sunrise.

Motorcycles

Drivers and passengers must wear crash helmets.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol limit in Cyprus is 0.05% – less than the UK. If officials think you’re over the limit, they might give you a blood test.

A lower limit of 0.02% is applied to those that have held their licence for less than three years, or are driving a motorbike, tricycle and quadbike.

Fines

Traffic police can issue on-the-spot fines for offences, but they’re not allowed to accept payment for them.

Compulsory Equipment

Make sure you have two warning triangles in your car.

Other Rules/Regulations

Don’t use a horn between 10pm and 6am, or in the vicinity of hospitals.

GPS sat-navs can be used as long as you’ve disabled the speed camera alert feature.

Eating and drinking while driving is against the law and you could be fined for doing so. Also, it’s illegal to smoke in a car with anyone under the age of 16 present – expect a fine for this, too.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 and a full UK licence holder to drive a temporarily imported car or motorcycle over 125cc. For bikes up to 125cc, it’s 17. If your licence doesn’t have a photo, you’ll need an International Driving Permit.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of cover you can have.

Fuel

Unleaded, diesel and LPG are widely available, and credit cards are generally accepted at service stations.

You’re allowed to transport up to 10 litres of fuel, too.

Speed Limits

In the Czech Republic standard legal limits are indicated by road signs. These are usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas and 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas.

On expressways passing through built-up areas it’s 80km/h (50mph) and on motorways it’s 130km/h (80mph). Watch out for railway crossings, where you’re not allowed to exceed 30km/h (18mph) for 50m before the crossing.

Seat Belts

If there are seat belts fitted anywhere in the vehicle, they must be worn.

Passengers/Children

Children weighing less than 36kg and under 4ft11ins are only allowed to travel in a car if they’re using a child restraint system.

Any child seats in the front of the car must face forward, and the passenger airbag should also be turned off.

Lights

The law says you must use dipped headlights during the daytime all year round, or else risk a fine.

Motorcycles

Helmets and dipped headlights during the day are compulsory and it’s illegal to smoke while riding.

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving is strictly forbidden in the Czech Republic.

Any amount of alcohol found in your bloodstream can carry severe penalties, including large fines and the suspension of your driving licence.

Police also test drivers and cyclists for drugs.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and police are allowed to retain your driving licence if a serious offence has taken place.

Watch where you park, as illegally parked vehicles can be clamped or towed away.

Compulsory Equipment

The law says you must carry a first aid kit, a set of replacement bulbs, a set of replacement fuses, a warning triangle, a reflective jacket and winter equipment.

Winter tyres are compulsory from 1 November to 31 March, whenever the temperature is lower than 4C and when it looks like there might be snow or ice on the road.

Other Rules/Regulations

You’ll need to pay a tax if you’re planning on driving on the motorway. This can be done by purchasing a windscreen sticker and putting it on the right-hand side of the window. You can buy these from the Czech frontier, petrol stations and post offices, covering a period of one year, one month or 10 consecutive days. Without one you’ll risk a heavy fine.

Horns are prohibited between 8pm and 6am and in Prague at all times. They should only be used to avoid imminent danger. Officials at the Czech border will make a note of any damage to your car and issue a certificate. If an accident happens while you’re inside the Czech Republic, make sure you get a police report because damaged vehicles can only be taken out of the country with a certificate.

You’re free to use GPS sat-navs, providing the speed camera alert function is switched off.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

In Denmark you can drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike from the age of 17.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of cover allowed.

Fuel

Unleaded and diesel fuels are widely available, but LPG is harder to get hold of.

Denmark doesn’t sell leaded petrol but does offer a lead petrol substitute called Millennium.

Credit cards are generally accepted at service stations.

You’re allowed to carry petrol in a can, but not on board ferries.

Speed Limits

Denmark has its own standard legal limits, indicated by road signs, in kilometres per hour.

These are 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas and up to 80km/h (49mph) outside built-up areas. On motorways it’s 130km/h (80mph).

If you’re driving in the centre of Copenhagen, the top limit is 40km/h (24mph).

Seat Belts

Seat belts must be worn by everyone in the car.

Passengers/Children

Children under three must be put in a restraint system suitable for their size, as should children over three and shorter than 4ft5ins.

Make sure you’ve disabled the front passenger airbag if you put a child seat in the front of the car.

Lights

Use dipped headlights during the day.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day. Both riders and passengers must wear helmets.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol limit is 0.05% – less than the UK.

Penalties for going over the limit are severe and can include fines, licence suspension and even imprisonment.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and the Danish police will make no exceptions for visitors.

If the fine is disputed you may find yourself in court, settling the matter in front of a judge. Be careful where you park – illegally parked cars may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Compulsory Equipment

Be sure to carry a red warning triangle with you in case of an accident or breakdown.

Other Rules/Regulations

Usually, drivers should give way to traffic approaching from the right. A bold line, a line of white triangles or a white triangle with a red border means you should give way to the traffic on the road you’re entering.

Spiked tyres can be used between 1 November and 15 April, but they must be on all four wheels.

Motorists should always give way to cyclists.

Only use your horn in a town if there’s an emergency.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll have to be at least 18 and a full UK licence holder to drive a car or motorbike in Estonia.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of cover you’ll need.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are available, but not leaded petrol. A special winter diesel with a high congealing point is available during winter.

Most service stations accept credit cards. You can also transport petrol in a can providing you pay excise duty at the border.

Speed Limits

Estonia has standard legal limits, which are generally 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas and 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas, although this can go up to 110km/h (68mph) on some roads during summer months.

If you’ve been driving for less than two years, you’re not allowed to go over 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas.

Seat Belts

Front-seat occupants must always wear seat belts, as should rear-seat occupants if belts are available.

Passengers/Children

Children under 12 who aren’t tall enough to use an adult seat should use a child restraint or child seat. Child seats aren’t allowed on seats in front of airbags.

Lights

Keep your headlights on dipped during the day.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day and make sure that both drivers and passengers are wearing helmets. Children under 12 aren’t allowed on motorbikes or mopeds.

Drinking and Driving

The legal limit is 0.05% – less than the UK – and police carry out breath and blood tests at random.

Penalties for breaking the limit include fines, withdrawal of your licence and even imprisonment.

Fines

Police can issue on-the-spot fines which have to be paid at a bank within two weeks.

For more serious offences, however, Finland has a system of daily fines – the exact amount is based on your income.

Foreign drivers don’t have to tell police details of their income, in which case the fine will be a standardised amount.

Illegally parked cars can be clamped or even towed.

Compulsory Equipment

Estonian law says you must carry a fire extinguisher, a reflective jacket, warning triangles and two wheel chocks, plus a first aid kit in company cars.

Winter tyres should be used between 1 December and 1 March, although these dates can vary depending on the weather.

Other Rules/Regulations

If you’ll be visiting any Russian-speaking areas outside of Estonia, authorities recommend you carry an International Certificate for Motor Vehicles in addition to the original vehicle registration paperwork.

Border police might ask you for proof of insurance, so make sure you have the documents ready.

It’s illegal to overtake trams.

Visiting the city of Tallinn? You’ll need to pay a toll.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to drive a temporarily imported car in France or a motorbike over 80cc, but you can be 16 to ride a motorbike up to 80cc.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum amount of cover you can have.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG is all widely available. B8 biodiesel and SP95-E10 is also common, but these fuels can’t be used in all cars so check compatibility beforehand to avoid mishaps.

You won’t be able to purchase leaded petrol but you can get hold of ‘super carburant’, which is a leaded alternative. Petrol in a can is permitted, but not on ferries.

Credit cards are generally accepted, but note that France and Monaco have many automatic petrol pumps that won’t always accept UK cards.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are indicated by road signs, in kilometres per hour.

These are usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas, 110km/h (68mph) on urban motorways and dual carriages, and 130km/h (80mph) on regular motorways.

However, speed limits here are also governed by weather.

If it’s raining, and also if you’ve held your driving licence for less than three years, there are lower.

Seat Belts

If there are seat belts available, the law says they must be worn.

Passengers/Children

Children under 10 must travel in a car seat and are not allowed to travel in the front passenger seat unless there are no rear seat belts, or the back seats are already occupied by other children under 10.

It’s the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all passengers under 18 are properly restrained.

Lights

Use common sense – dipped headlights should be used in poor daytime visibility.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day. It’s compulsory for drivers and passengers to wear crash helmets that display reflective stickers on the front, back and sides.

This law was introduced a while ago and only now is it being fully enforced, so make sure your helmets are fully legal.

Driver and passengers must wear a pair of CE-certified gloves all year round.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol limit in France and Monaco is 0.05% and going over the limit carries severe penalties, including fines, licence confiscation and even prison.

Police are authorised to carry out random breath and saliva tests and will check for drugs, too.

Fines

On-the-spot fines can be severe, sometimes up to €750. Park carefully or risk having your car impounded.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need to carry a warning triangle, snow chains and reflective jackets in the car, and it’s compulsory for all drivers – including motorcyclists – to carry a breathalyser with them.

The law says you must be able to produce an unused and certified breathalyser (showing an ‘NF’ number), so it’s recommended that you carry two, in case one is used, lost or damaged.

Other Rules/Regulations

In built-up areas, signs that say ‘Priorite a droite’ mean you should give way to traffic coming from the right.

At roundabouts, signs that say ‘Vous n'avez pas la priorité’ or ‘Cédez le passage’ mean that traffic on the roundabout has priority – without these signs, traffic coming onto the roundabout has priority.

It’s illegal to overtake stationary trams if passengers are getting on or off.

Drivers should leave a distance of at least one metre between their vehicle and any cyclist they overtake.

In built-up areas, only use your horn in cases of immediate danger.

Screen-based devices such as phones and DVD players, should be positioned outside of the driver’s view. It’s illegal to touch any such device unless you’re parked in a safe place.

GPS sat-navs are allowed but should have speed camera alerts turned off.

The Liber-t automated French tolling payment service – previously reserved for French residents only – has been extended to UK motorists, who can now use telepeage/tag lanes.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

In Finland you must be 18 to drive a car or a motorcycle over 125cc – for motorbikes under 125cc it’s 16

. If you’ve been banned from driving in an EU or EEA country then you’re not allowed to drive in Finland at all.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available, LPG and leaded petrol is not.

Finland now sells lead-free petrol called SP95-E10, but this isn’t suitable in all cars so check beforehand to avoid any mishaps.

Credit cards are accepted at most petrol stations and you’re allowed to transport up to 10 litres of fuel in a can, providing it’s the same type of fuel as that used in the vehicle.

Speed Limits

Finland has standard legal limits, indicated by road signs, in kilometres per hour. Inside built-up areas this is usually 50km/h (31mph) and outside built-up areas this can be up to 100km/h (62mph).

On motorways the limit is 120km/h (74mph), with no minimum speed. In residential areas the speed limit is 20km/h (12mph).

Seat Belts

Seat belts must be worn if they’re fitted.

Passengers/Children

It’s the responsibility of the driver to make sure all children under 15 are seated safely, and children under 4ft5ins must be put in a child restraint or car seat.

All child restraints and seats need to conform to ECE standard 44/03 or 44/04, or EU directive 77/541EEC.

Lights

Headlights should be used at all times throughout the year.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day. Drivers and passengers must wear helmets. Children under 15 aren’t allowed on motorbikes.

Drinking and Driving

The legal limit is 0.05% – less than the UK – and police carry out breath and blood tests at random.

Penalties for breaking the limit include fines, withdrawal of your licence and even imprisonment.

Fines

Police can issue on-the-spot fines which have to be paid at a bank within two weeks.

For more serious offences, however, Finland has a system of daily fines – the exact amount is based on your income.

Foreign drivers don’t have to tell police details of their income, in which case the fine will be a standardised amount. Illegally parked cars can be clamped or even towed.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a warning triangle and winter tyres during the colder months. Reflective jackets are also compulsory for all pedestrians at night time.

According to Finnish law, as soon as a driver/passenger steps out of a car they become a pedestrian, so they’ll need a reflective garment, too.

Other Rules/Regulations

Be wary of game animals such as elk and reindeer – they’re a real hazard on Finnish roads. Any incidents involving such animals should be reported to the emergency services.

Spiked tyres can only be used between 1 November and the first Monday after Easter, and if they’re used they must be fitted to all four wheels.

Don’t use your horn in towns and villages except in cases of immediate danger.

Streets are cleaned on a regular basis in many towns, so look out for road signs indicating which day this is happening as the street should then be kept free of parked cars. If you park in the way of a cleaning vehicle, your vehicle will be removed and you’ll have to pay for its recovery.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be 18 to drive a car or motorbike in Germany.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the minimum level of insurance cover you can have.

Fuel

Unleaded and diesel fuel is widely available, with LPG available from more than 5,000 stations.

Leaded petrol is unavailable, but there are lead substitute additives available. High ethanol petrol, called E10, is becoming more popular, but this isn’t compatible with all cars so check with your manufacturer first.

Credit cards are accepted at most stations and petrol in a can is allowed up to 10 litres – but not on ferries.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are indicated by road signs in kilometres per hour, and are generally 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 100km/h (62mph) outside built-up areas and a ‘recommended’ maximum of 130km/h (80mph) on dual carriageways and motorways.

If visibility is low, the maximum speed limit anywhere is 50km/h (32mph).

You can only use a German motorway if your vehicle has a design speed of more than 60km/h (37mph).

Seat Belts

It’s compulsory for front and rear passengers to wear seat belts, if they’re fitted.

Passengers/Children

Children under 12 and shorter than 4ft11ins must use a child seat or restraint.

It’s illegal to put a child seat in the front if the airbag has not been deactivated.

Lights

Use dipped headlights during periods of bad visibility and have your lights on in tunnels.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights at all times and make sure drivers and passengers wear a crash helmet.

Drinking and Driving

The limit in Germany is 0.05%, although it’s 0.00% for drivers under 21 or those who have had their licence for less than two years.

Going over the limit carries serious penalties.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and foreign motorists refusing to pay could have their vehicle confiscated. Using abusive language or making derogatory signs can land you a fine, as can driving errors.

Compulsory Equipment

The law says you should have winter tyres and equipment to hand and, while it’s not compulsory for foreign drivers to carry a warning triangle, it’s strongly recommended.

Other Rules/Regulations

Slow-moving vehicles must stop to let others pass. Overtaking a school bus is not allowed if it has its flashing hazard lights on. GPS sat-nav systems are allowed, but you must deactivate any speed camera alert functions.

Germany is strict on the type of tyres used. It’s illegal to use summer tyres (the standard tyre fitted in the UK) during winter conditions.

Several German cities have emission restriction zones. To drive in these areas you’ll need to obtain a vignette to stick on your windscreen. These can be purchased from approved garages but should be ordered ahead of time is possible.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a car or motorbike in Gibraltar.

Motor Insurance

A green card is compulsory, but UK motorists can show their certificate of car insurance.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available, but leaded petrol and LPG is not. You can carry fuel providing you've paid duty on it and it’s kept in a purpose-made steel container.

Credit cards are generally accepted.

Speed Limits

The speed limit for cars and motorcycles is 50km/h (31mph) unless otherwise indicated.

Seat Belts

It’s compulsory for passengers to wear seat belts, if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Children under three must sit in a child seat – and only in the front if the airbag has been deactivated.

Children under 12 and under 4ft5ins must also use an appropriate child restraint.

Kids over this age or height can use an adult seat belt.

Lights

It’s illegal to use your main beams – only dipped headlights can be used at night.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets are compulsory for drivers and passengers.

Drinking and Driving

Gibraltar has varying alcohol limits. These are 0.08% blood alcohol (the same at the UK), or 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, or 107 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.

Fines

There are no on-the-spot fines in Gibraltar, unless your vehicle is clamped or has been towed away.

Compulsory Equipment

None.

Other Rules/Regulations

Don’t use your horn within city limits. Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 17 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available, but you can’t buy leaded petrol and LPG may only be used in taxis.

It’s illegal to carry fuel in a can in a car. Credit cards are accepted at some service stations – you may want to check with your card issuer before you travel.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are indicated on road signs, in kilometres per hour. In built-up areas these are 50km/h (31mph) for cars and 40km/h (24mph) for motorcycles.

Outside built-up areas they’re up to 110km/h (69mph) for cars and up to 70km/h (43mph) for bikes.

On motorways, it’s 130km/h (80mph) for cars and 90km/h (55mph) for bikes.

Seat Belts

It’s the law to wear seat belts in the front and rear seats, if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Kids under three years old must sit in a suitable child seat, as should children under 12 measuring less than 4ft5ins.

Over this height and they can wear an adult seat belt.

Children’s car seats are only allowed in the front seat if the passenger airbag has been turned off.

Lights

Full-beam lights are forbidden in towns. Dipped headlights should be used in poor visibility during the day.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets and dipped headlights during the day are both compulsory.

Drinking and Driving

The limit in Greece is 0.05% blood alcohol, or 0.02% for motorcyclists and drivers who have held their licence for less than two years.

Fines

Police can issue fines but can’t collect payment for them – they should be paid at a public treasury office within 10 days.

Note that you can be fined for unnecessarily using a car horn.

Be careful where you park, as vehicles can be towed away if parked illegally.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit and a warning triangle.

Other Rules/Regulations

Be careful where you park as police have the power to confiscate the number plates of illegally parked cars.

Only use your horn in a town if it’s to avoid an accident.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

Driving ages and regulations in Hungary are the same as the UK, so you’ll need to be 17 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike.

All valid UK licences should be accepted, although updated photographic driving licences may prove easier to understand for Hungarian officials.

Older driving licences may also need to be accompanied by an International Driving Permit.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory. If you cause an accident while driving in the country, you should report it to the Association of Hungarian Insurance Companies.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG is widely available, leaded is not.

You’re allowed to carry up to 10 litres of fuel in a can.

Credit cards are accepted at some filling stations, but cash is the usual form of payment.

Speed Limits

Hungary has standard legal limits, indicated in kilometres per hour on road signs.

These are usually 50km/h (31mph) within built-up areas, up to 110km/h (68mph) outside of built-up areas and 130km/h (80mph) on motorways.

City centre speed limits of 30km/h (18mph) are becoming more common.

Seat Belts

If they’re available, seat belts should be worn in the front and rear seats.

Passengers/Children

Children under three can only travel in a car if they’re in an appropriate child restraint system, and can only travel in the front seat if the airbag has been deactivated.

Children of any age under 4ft5ins must also use a child seat.

Lights

Dipped headlights are compulsory at all times outside built-up areas, while full-beam lights at night time are prohibited in built-up areas.

Motorcycles

Dipped headlights during the day and crash helmets are compulsory.

Drinking and Driving

Hungary imposes strict limits of 0.00% blood alcohol. If you have less than 0.08% you’ll incur a fine – any higher and you’ll face legal proceedings.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and can be paid then and there, or within 30 days.

Fines are generally only payable in Hungarian forint (the local currency), although credit cards are accepted in some circumstances.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a first aid kit, a warning triangle, a reflective jacket and snow chains should the weather require them.

You’ll also need a motorway sticker/vignette.

Other Rules/Regulations

If your car is visibly damaged, it’s a good idea to obtain a police report confirming the damage at the time of entry. Otherwise you might face delays when you try to leave.

You’ll need to purchase an electronic vignette to travel on some motorways. Leaflets explaining the programme are widely distributed at the border, but you can purchase the ‘e-sticker’ in person, online or via a smartphone app. If you want to buy one on the border, you’ll need to pay in Hungarian forints. The e-stickers last for one week, one month or one year.

Be wary of ‘contrived incidents’ designed to stop motorists and scam them – these are particularly common on the Vienna–Budapest motorway.

A new directive means that traffic is restricted from entering Budapest when the dust in the air exceeds a set level on two consecutive days. When this happens, vehicles with licence plates ending in an even number can only enter the city on even dates of the month, and vehicles with odd numbers can only be used on odd dates.

Don’t use your horn in built-up areas, except in cases of imminent danger.

If you’re on a congested motorway or dual carriageway, you’ll need to take steps to form an emergency corridor so that emergency services can get through faster. Road users in the left-hand lane must move as far over to the left as possible and users on the right-hand side must move as far over to the right as possible. On motorways with more than two lanes, vehicles using the lane on the far left must move over to the left and the rest of the vehicles must move over to the right.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You have to be at least 17 to drive a car or motorbike over 50cc in Iceland.

All valid UK driving licences will be accepted here, although those with older non-photographic licences might want to have an accompanying International Driving Permit to avoid any confusion.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the most basic level of cover you must have. Third party insurance is the minimum level of cover you'll need to keep things legal..

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel are widely available, but there’s no LPG or leaded petrol (although lead substitute is available).

It’s illegal to carry spare fuel in a can. Most stations accept some credit cards – check with your bank beforehand.

Speed Limits

Iceland observes standard speed limits, in kilometres per hour.

These are generally 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 80km/h (49mph) outside built-up areas on gravel roads and 90km/h (55mph) on asphalt roads.

Seat Belts

Seat belts must be worn in the front and rear passenger seats if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Children under three must travel in a car seat, while children over three and under 4ft11ins should use a child seat suitable for their size.

Children should not travel in a seat in front of an airbag.

Lights

Used dipped headlights during the day at all times, or risk being fined.

Motorcycles

Dipped headlights during the day and crash helmets are compulsory.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol driving limit in Iceland is 0.05%.

Expect severe penalties if you’re found to be over the limit.

Fines

Fines can be issued on the spot and collected by traffic police, although in some cases you may be able to pay at a police station.

Watch where you park, as illegally parked cars can be towed away.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a warning triangle. Between 1 November and 15 April you’ll also need winter tyres.

Other Rules/Regulations

Be aware that weather conditions can change rapidly. Call 1777 from a local phone to get up-to-date information about road conditions.

Spiked tyres are allowed between 15 November and 15 April.

Icelandic officials are very strict about protecting flora and fauna, so stick to marked roads.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

In the Republic of Ireland you’ll need to be at least 17 years old to drive a car or motorbike.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the most basic level of cover you can have.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel fuels are in ample supply, but LPG and lead substitutes are extremely limited.

You’re allowed to transport fuel in a can, but not on board ferries. Credit cards are widely accepted at filling stations.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are indicated on signs along the road and vary depending on the environment.

In built-up areas it’s usually 50km/h (31mph), and outside built-up areas it can be up to 100km/h (62mph).

On motorways it’s 120km/h (75mph).

Seat Belts

If they’re available, seat belts must be worn in the front and rear seats.

Passengers/Children

Children under three aren’t allowed to travel in a vehicle unless they’re in a child seat (with the exception of taxis).

Children over three who are shorter than 4ft11ins and weigh less than 36kg must also travel in an appropriate child seat, which should conform to the ECE R44.03 standard.

Lights

Use common sense – dipped headlights should be used in periods of poor visibility.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets are compulsory for both drivers and passengers, and dipped headlights should be used at all times during the day.

Drinking and Driving

The standard blood alcohol limit in Ireland is 0.05% - expect severe penalties if you’re found to be over this.

A lower limit of 0.02% applies to new drivers. Police are able to carry out random breath tests.

Fines

Fines can be issued on the spot or attached to a windscreen. You’ll have 28 days to pay before the fine increases by 50%, although you can opt to go to court to contest it.

Illegally parked cars can be clamped and sometimes towed.

Compulsory Equipment

None.

Other Rules/Regulations

Drive on the left, overtake on the right.

Don’t use your horn between 11.30pm and 7am.

Some level crossings have manual gates that motorists can open and close themselves.

There are no fixed speed cameras in the Republic of Ireland, but watch out for mobile camera vans.

The M50 in Dublin now operates barrier-free tolling. Your number plate will be recorded as you pass through the toll and you need to pay the fee by 8pm the following day. This can be done at any ‘payzone’ outlet. Motorbikes are exempt.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a car or motorbike in Italy and/or San Marino.

All valid UK driving licences should be accepted, although those with older, non-photographic licences may find carrying an International Driving Permit helps avoid any confusion.

Motor Insurance

You’ll need third party insurance as a minimum.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG is widely available, leaded petrol is not, but there are lead substitute additives available.

You’re allowed to carry fuel in a can. Credit cards are accepted at most filling stations.

Speed Limits

In built-up areas, the speed limit is generally 50km/h (31mph). Outside built-up areas it’s 90km/h (55mph), 110km/h (68mph) on dual carriageways and 130km/h (80mph) on motorways.

In wet weather, lower speed limits are enforced: 90km/h (55mph) on dual carriageways and 110km/h (68mph) on motorways.

If you’ve passed your test within the last three years, you’ll be limited to 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas and 100km/h (62mph) on motorways.

Seat Belts

Seat belts must be worn if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Kids in a foreign-registered car – such as a UK-registered vehicle – should be secured according to UK legislation.

Lights

Dipped headlights are compulsory during the day outside built-up areas, and in all places during periods of bad visibility.

Use lights in tunnels and rear fog lights only when visibility is less than 50m.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlines during the day on all roads. Crash helmets are compulsory for drivers and passengers.

It’s illegal to carry a child less than five years old on a motorbike or moped. Rear-view mirrors are required on motorcycles, and two are required if the bike is capable of more than 100km/h.

Motorcycles under 150cc are not allowed on motorways.

Drinking and Driving

The limit is 0.051% blood-alcohol as standard, but 0.00% for drivers with less than three years’ experience.

Penalties for going over the limit can be severe.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and are particularly severe for speeding offences.

Police can impose and collect 25% of the fine, with the rest paid elsewhere.

Fines for more serious offences that take place between 10pm and 7am are increased by a third.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a warning triangle, a reflective jacket and snow chains in the area of Val d'Aosta between 15 October and 15 April, and in other areas between 1 November and 1 April.

If you’re using snow chains, the maximum speed limit is 50km/h (31mph).

Other Rules/Regulations

Only residents are allowed to drive in many historical town centres – known as ‘Zone a Traffico Limitato’ (ZTLs). Expect a fine if you enter one unlawfully.

Only use your horn in cases of immediate danger.

Expect tolls on most motorways.

If you’re carrying an overhanging load (such as a bike), you must display a reflective square panel, 50cm x 50cm, which is red and diagonally striped. This can be purchased at most caravan/motorhome accessory shops.

A pollution charge is applicable in the centre of Milan, Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 7.30pm. You’ll need to purchase an eco-pass before entering the area. The cost will depend on your vehicle’s emissions. Mopeds and motorbikes are exempt.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You need to be at least 18 years old to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike over 125cc.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of cover you can have.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are all available, as is lead petrol substitute.

Petrol in a can is allowed providing you’ve paid duty on it.

Credit cards are accepted by most filling stations.

Speed Limits

Speed limits in Latvia are generally 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas and 100km/h (62mph) on dual carriageways.

There are no motorways in Latvia.

Seat Belts

Seat belts should be worn in the front and rear seats if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Children under 4ft11ins should travel in a child seat or restraint appropriate to their height.

Lights

Use dipped headlights during the day.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day. Passengers and drivers must wear crash helmets.

Drinking and Driving

The standard blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, but 0.02% for drivers with less than two years’ experience. Penalties for breaking these limits are severe.

Fines

Police can issue on-the-spot fines but they’re not allowed to collect payment, which has to be made within 30 days.

Police in Latvia are serious about speeding and will give fines for the smallest offences.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a first aid kit, reflective clothing, a fire extinguisher and a warning triangle.

Between 1 December and 1 March you’ll also need winter tyres.

Other Rules/Regulations

Spiked tyres are not to be used between 1 May and 1 October. Latvia has very few signposts or road markings. Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a car or motorbike in Lithuania.

If your licence doesn’t have a photograph make sure you carry some form of photographic identification, such as your passport.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the most basic level of cover permitted, but fully comprehensive is recommended.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG is widely available, with leaded petrol available only at Statoil filling stations.

Fuel in a can is permitted as long as you’ve paid duty. Credit cards are accepted at most service stations.

Speed Limits

Lithuania has its own standard legal speed limits, in kilometres per hour. These are usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, up to 70km/h (43mph) on other roads and 90km/h (55mph) on asphalt roads outside built-up areas, reduced to 70km/h (43mph) for drivers with less than two years’ experience.

On dual carriageways between 1 November and 1 April the limit it 100km/h (62mph), and between 1 April and 1 November it’s 110km/h (68mph).

On motorways between 1 November and 1 April the limit is 110km/h (68mph) and 130km/h (80mph) between 1 April and 1 November. Lithuanian police govern speeds very carefully.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are compulsory if fitted anywhere in a vehicle.

Passengers/Children

Kids under 12 or shorter than 4ft5ins aren’t allowed to sit in the front unless they’re in a child seat or restraint.

Children under three must be put in a child seat in the rear seats.

Lights

Use dipped headlights during the day.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day and make sure both drivers and passengers wear a helmet.

Children under 12 aren’t allowed on a motorbike as a passenger.

Drinking and Driving

The standard blood alcohol limit is 0.04%, however, drinking and driving is strictly forbidden for drivers who’ve had their licence for less than two years. Penalties for breaking these limits are severe.

It’s also illegal to carry an opened container of alcohol in a vehicle.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot, with some payable at local banks, depending on the circumstances.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a warning triangle, a reflective jacket and - between 10 November and 1 April - winter tyres.

Spiked tyres are also acceptable, but are prohibited between 10 April and 1 November.

Other Rules/Regulations

Authorities recommend using winter tyres if you're planning n visiting in the colder months and you should use snow chains if road signs tell you to.

Anymore wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the most basic legal level of cover.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available, LPG can be purchased from only a small number of filling stations (about 12).

You’re not allowed to carry fuel in a can. Credit cards are generally accepted.

Speed Limits

Luxembourg’s standard speed limits are usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas, and 130km/h (80mph) on motorways, although this is reduced to 110km/h (68mph) in case of rain or snow.

Look out for ‘zone de recontre’ signs, which indicate areas where speed limits are 20km/h and pedestrians have priority.

Seat Belts

If they’re available, seat belts must be worn in the front and rear seats.

Passengers/Children

Children under three must be seated in a child seat appropriate to their height and weight, as must children aged 3-18 and under 4ft1ins.

Only put a rearward-facing child seat in the front seat if any airbag there is disabled.

Lights

Use sidelights when parking if there isn’t any public lighting, and use dipped headlights when visibility is low.

It’s the law to flash your headlights at night when you’re overtaking outside built-up areas.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day and make sure all drivers and passengers are wearing a helmet. Children under 12 are not allowed to ride pillion.

Drinking and Driving

The standard limit is 0.05% blood alcohol or 0.019% for young and new drivers.

Penalties for breaking these limits can be severe.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and can be paid in cash or by bank card.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a reflective jacket and a warning triangle. In winter conditions you’ll also need winter tyres.

Other Rules/Regulations

You can use spiked tyres from 1 December to 31 March.

Use snow chains in snowy or icy conditions.

Don’t use your horn in built-up areas unless there’s immediate danger.

If for any reason you’re immobilised on the motorway, use your warning triangle and switch on your hazard lights.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike in Macedonia.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the minimum level of cover you can have – green cards are recognised.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are widely available, but no leaded petrol. Fuel in a can is allowed. Credit cards are accepted at some filling stations.

Speed Limits

Macedonia has its own standard legal limits, indicated by road signs. These are usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 80km/h (49mph) outside built-up areas, 100km/h (62mph) on dual carriageways and 120km/h (75mph) on motorways.

New drivers must abide by restricted limits, which are 60km/h (37mph) outside built-up areas, 80km/h (49mph) on dual carriageways and 100km/h (62mph) on motorways.

New drivers are also forbidden to drive between 11pm and 5am, unless there’s a person over the age of 25 with a valid driving licence in the car.

Seat Belts

Seat belts must be worn if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Children under 12 are not allowed to sit in the front passenger seat.

There are no other official regulations but authorities recommend the use of child seats where necessary.

Lights

Use dipped headlights at all times during the day or risk an on-the-spot fine.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day. Crash helmets are compulsory for both drivers and passengers.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol limit in Macedonia is 0.05%, and anyone found to be over the limit could face harsh penalties. For new drivers the limit is 0.00%.

Visibly drunk passengers are not allowed to sit in the front seat.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and can be paid at a Post Office or bank. If you pay within eight days you’ll get a 50% discount.

Make sure your tyres are in good condition as police can detain a vehicle with worn tyres.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a warning triangle, a tow rope, a first aid kit, a reflective jacket and - between 15 November and 15 March – winter tyres.

If your vehicle uses LPG, you’ll need a fire extinguisher as well.

Other Rules/Regulations

If there’s any visible damage to your vehicle you’ll need to get a certificate from authorities at the border, which should be produced when you leave.

Spiked tyres are not allowed.

GPS sat-navs are allowed, but only if the speed camera alert function is switched off.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to drive a car or motorbike in Malta.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory, but green cards are accepted.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available but you won’t be able to get hold of LPG.

You can carry a small amount of fuel in a can but not on board ferries.

Credit cards are generally accepted at filling stations.

Speed Limits

Malta’s speed limits are indicated on road signs in kilometres per hour. These are usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas and 60km/h (37mph) outside built-up areas.

Seat Belts

It’s compulsory to wear seat belts in both the front and rear seats.

Passengers/Children

Children under three must be put in a suitable child restraint, as should children between three and 10, or under 4ft11ins, who are travelling in the front seat.

Lights

Use your lights in tunnels. Spotlights are illegal.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets are compulsory for both driver and passenger.

Drinking and Driving

The alcohol limit in Malta is 0.08% – the same as the UK.

Exceed this limit and you can expect severe penalties, and authorities may confiscate your licence.

Fines

There aren’t any on-the-spot fines in Malta, but if you commit an offence for which a fine is payable you’ll have to pay it before you leave.

Also be mindful of traffic lights: you can be fined for failing to stop at an amber signal.

Compulsory Equipment

None.

Other Rules/Regulations

Drive on the left, overtake on the right.

Don’t use your horn in inhabited areas between 11pm and 6am.

Parking in Valetta is extremely limited and there’s a charge to enter the city. Consider using the park-and-ride system on the city outskirts instead.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike in Montenegro and it’s recommended that you have an International Driving Permit to accompany your UK driving licence.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory, but green cards are recognised.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are all available.

You’re allowed to carry a small amount of fuel in a can. Credit cards are generally accepted.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are indicated by road signs, in kilometres per hour.

These are usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 80km/h (49mph) outside built-up areas and 100km/h (62mph) on faster roads.

Seat Belts

It’s the law to wear a seat belt if there’s one available.

Passengers/Children

Anyone visibly under the influence of alcohol and children under 12 are not allowed to sit in the front.

Put children under five in an appropriate car seat.

Lights

Use dipped headlights at all times.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights at all times and make sure both driver and passenger are wearing crash helmets.

Drinking and Driving

The limit in Montenegro is 0.03%. If you’re over this limit, or a medical exam shows that your responses are impaired,

you could face severe penalties including fines and/or imprisonment.

Fines

Police can issue on-the-spot fines but they’re not able to take payment.

Fines will vary according to the seriousness of the offence, but they’re usually much higher if you endanger others or cause an accident.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a spare bulb set, a first aid kit, a warning triangle, a reflective jacket and - between 15 November and 31 March – winter tyres.

Other Rules/Regulations

Make sure you get a certificate from authorities at the border indicating any visible damage to your car when you enter – you’ll need it when you leave, or you’ll face difficulties.

Any accidents resulting in injury or damage must be reported to the police.

Vehicles entering a roundabout have the right of way.

Don’t use your horn in built-up areas or at night unless there’s any imminent danger.

Don’t overtake school buses if they’ve stopped to pick up or let off children.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorcycle in the Netherlands.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of cover you’ll need.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are widely available. You won’t be able to get hold of leaded petrol but there are lead substitutes available.

Fuel in a can is allowed, but not on board ferries. Credit cards are accepted at most filling stations.

Speed Limits

The speed limit in the Netherlands is indicated by road signs in kilometres per hour. It’s usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, up to 100km/h (62mph) outside built-up areas and 130km/h (80mph) on motorways.

Only vehicles that are able to do more than 60km/h (37mph) are allowed on motorways.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are compulsory if fitted. If the front seats don’t have seat belts only passengers taller than 4ft5ins can sit in the front.

If there aren’t any seat belts in the back, only passengers aged three and above can sit in the rear.

Passengers/Children

Children up to the age of 18 and less than 4ft5ins must use a suitable child restraint system.

Children under three aren’t allowed in any vehicle without an appropriate child seat.

Passenger airbags should be deactivated if a child under three travels in the front seat in a car seat.

Lights

Dipped headlights during the day are recommended.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day. Crash helmets are compulsory for all motorcycles capable of doing more than 25km/h.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol limit in the Netherlands is 0.05%, or 0.02% for new drivers who have held their licence for less than five years and for moped riders up to the age of 24.

Expect severe penalties for breaking these limits.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot. Vehicles can be confiscated in some cases, or towed away if you’ve parked illegally.

Compulsory Equipment

None.

Other Rules/Regulations

Buses have the right of way when leaving bus stops in built-up areas.

Trams have right of way when crossing a priority road.

Keep an eye out for cyclists and skaters.

Spiked tyres are illegal.

Don’t use your horn at night and only moderately during the day, otherwise you risk a penalty.

Some towns and cities require the use of parking discs, which you can buy from local shops.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

In Norway you’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a temporarily imported car and a motorcycle between 11 and 25kw. For motorbikes up to 11kw it’s 16, and for bikes over 25kw it’s 20.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of cover you need.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available. LPG is more limited.

Fuel in a can is allowed but not on board ferries. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are indicated by road signs, in kilometres per hour.

These are usually 50km/h in built-up areas, 80km/h (49mph) outside built-up areas, and up to 100km/h (62mph) on motorways.

Some residential areas have limits of 30km/h (18mph).

Seat Belts

It’s compulsory to wear seat belts, if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Children under 4ft5ins should travel in a child seat or restraint suitable for their size and weight.

Children between 4ft5ins and 4ft11ins should use a booster seat.

Lights

Dipped headlights during the day are compulsory.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets are compulsory for both drivers and passengers. Use dipped headlights during the day.

Drinking and Driving

The acceptable blood alcohol level in Norway is 0.02%, with severe penalties for breaking this limit.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot for traffic infringements.

Be careful where you park as illegally parked cars could be towed away.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a warning triangle, a reflective jacket and winter equipment.

You can be fined for driving with summer tyres (which are the standard type in the UK) if the conditions are snowy or icy.

Other Rules/Regulations

Norway is home to several road, bridge and tunnel tolls, as well as city tolls for Bergen, Oslo, Stavanger and Trondheim. The tolls need to be paid at local service stations before entering city limits.

Spiked tyres can be used between 1 November and the first Sunday after Easter. You’ll be charged a fee for using them in Oslo and Bergen – stickers to validate this are available to purchase daily, monthly or yearly.

A vehicle towing a caravan must be equipped with special rear-view mirrors.

Trams always have right of way.

In Oslo, electric vehicles are allowed to use bus lanes.

If you hire a car in Norway it’s your responsibility to ensure the vehicle comes with the compulsory equipment.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to drive a car or motorbike in Poland. All valid UK licences are accepted.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of cover you’ll need.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG is widely available, as is lead replacement additive.

You can carry up to 10 litres of fuel in a can, but not on board ferries. Credit cards are accepted at most filling stations.

Speed Limits

Speed limits in Poland are indicated by road signs, in kilometres per hour, and can vary according to the time of day.

In built-up areas it’s usually 60km/h (37mph) between 11pm and 5am, and 50km/h (31mph) between 5am and 11pm.

Outside of built-up areas it’s 90km/h (55mph), on express roads it’s up to 120km/h (74mph) and it’s 140km/h (86mph) on motorways.

There’s a minimum speed of 40km/h (24mph) on motorways.

Seat Belts

Seat belts must be worn if they’re fitted.

Passengers/Children

Children under 12 years old and 4ft11ins are not allowed to travel in a vehicle unless they’re in an appropriate child restraint.

Lights

Use dipped headlights at all times or risk a fine.

Motorcycles

Riders and passengers must both wear crash helmets. Use dipped headlights at all times.

Drinking and Driving

The maximum blood alcohol level in Poland is 0.02%. If you’re found to have between 0.021% and 0.05% in your system you’ll receive a heavy fine and have your licence suspended.

If you’re over 0.05%, a tribunal will decide on a fine and prison term.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and can be paid there and then.

Police are allowed to ask foreign motorists to pay in cash. If you don’t pay on the spot the matter will be taken to court and your passport could be confiscated until you’ve paid.

If you don’t pay within three days, you could be hit with a 30-day prison sentence. Beware wheel clamps.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a warning triangle and a fire extinguisher.

Other Rules/Regulations

An electronic toll system is in place for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, which includes cars towing caravans.

These vehicles will need to be equipped with an electronic device called a viaBOX and tolls will vary depending on the type of road, the distance travelled and your vehicle’s emissions. Spiked tyres are not allowed.

Only use your horn in a built-up area to avoid an accident.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

The minimum legal age you must be to drive a car or bike in Portugal is 17, although visitors under 18 may have problems even if they hold a valid UK driving licence.

All valid UK driving licences are accepted, even old, non-photographic ones, but accompanying these with an International Driving Permit can be helpful.

Motor Insurance

You’ll need third party insurance at the very least.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG is available, but there’s no leaded petrol in Portugal.

You’re allowed to carry fuel in a can, and credit cards are accepted at most filling stations. You should be aware that a €0.50 tax is added to credit card transactions.

Speed Limits

Portugal has standard limits in kilometres per hour, indicated by road signs.

These are generally 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas and 120km/h (74mph) on motorways.

The minimum speed on motorways is 50km/h (31mph), but if you’ve held your licence for less than a year you’re not allowed to drive faster than 90km/h (55mph).

Seat Belts

Seat belts are compulsory to wear if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Children under 12 and under 4ft5ins are not allowed to sit in the front - they should sit in the back in a suitable child seat.

Kids under three can sit in the front seat providing they’re in a child seat, but make sure any passenger airbags are switched off.

Lights

Use common sense: dipped headlights in tunnels and in poor visibility.

Motorcycles

Riders and passengers must wear crash helmets. Use dipped headlights during the day at all times.

Drinking and Driving

The standard blood alcohol limit in Portugal is 0.05%. If you’re found to be between 0.05% and 0.08% expect a fine and withdrawal of your licence for up to one year.

If you’re over 0.08% your licence can be revoked for up to two years.

For new drivers with less than three years under their belt, the limit is reduced to 0.02%.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and must be paid in euros. Most traffic police carry portable ATMs for this purpose.

If you refuse to pay the fine, you’ll be asked to pay a deposit.

If you don’t, the police can confiscate your licence, or even your vehicle.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need to carry photographic proof of identity at all times, a reflective jacket and a temporary electronic toll device (DEM) to cover the cost of motorway tolls in some areas of the country.

These can be purchased at filling stations and other stores.

Other Rules/Regulations

Spiked and/or winter tyres are not allowed.

It’s illegal to carry bikes on the back seat of a car.

Only use your horn in built-up areas in cases of immediate danger.

Dashboard cameras are illegal in Portugal.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike in Romania. Cover can last for up to 90 days.

All valid UK licences are accepted, including older, non-photographic ones, but visitors might find things easier if their licence is accompanied by an International Driving Permit.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory and it’s recommended that you carry a green card.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG is widely available. You’re allowed to carry up to 10 litres of fuel in a can, but it must be emptied before you leave the country.

You’ll also have to pay a tax on any petrol or diesel still in your tank when you leave. Credit cards are generally accepted at filling stations.

Speed Limits

In built-up areas, the speed limits are usually 50km/h (31mph) and outside these areas 90km/h (55mph). On dual carriageways it’s 100km/h (62mph) and 130km/h (80mph) on motorways.

Be vigilant, though, as lower speed limits apply in some areas. If you’ve driven for less than a year, you’ll be restricted to 20km/h below the indicated speed.

Seat Belts

If there are seat belts available anywhere in the vehicle, they must be worn.

Passengers/Children

Children under 12 aren’t allowed in the front passenger seat. Children under three should use an appropriate child seat, as should any child under 12 and shorter than 4ft11ins.

Lights

Dipped headlights should be used outside built-up areas during the day. Don’t drive at night if your lights are faulty in any way.

Motorcycles

If your bike is 50cc or over, make sure you wear a crash helmet. Dipped headlights during the day are compulsory.

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving is strictly forbidden. If you’re found to have any alcohol in your bloodstream at all your licence can be suspended for up to 90 days and you could face a prison term.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and should be paid at local post offices. If the fine is paid within 48 hours, the amount will be halved.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a red warning triangle, a reflective jacket and - between 1 November and 31 March – winter tyres if there's snow or ice.

Other Rules/Regulations

It’s illegal to drive a dirty car. If your car has any visible damage, make sure you get a certificate from authorities when you enter the country so you can leave again without hassle. Also be sure to get a certificate if your car is damaged while you’re in Romania.

Using your horn is illegal between 10pm and 6am in built-up areas.

Spiked tyres are not allowed.

You’ll need to pay ‘electronic tax’. To do this you’ll have to provide details of your vehicle, your identity and place of residence. You can pay the tax in durations of one day, one week, one month, three months or one year. You can pay this at border crossing points, post offices and some filling stations. Fines can be heavy for non-compliance.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 17 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike in Russia, but note that you’ll definitely need an International Driving Permit to accompany your UK driving licence.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory, but fully comprehensive is recommended – you can buy additional insurance at the border. Green cards are recognised, but make sure they include the code ‘RUS’.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol is widely available, along with limited supplies of diesel, LPG and leaded petrol.

You’re not allowed to bring spare fuel into the country but you can carry it once you’re there.

Credit cards are accepted at some filling stations, but not all, so check with your card issuer before travelling.

Speed Limits

Russia is very strict about speed limits, so make sure you obey the signs.

The limits are generally 60km/h (37mph) in built-up areas, 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas and 110km/h (68mph) on expressways.

If you’ve been driving for less than two years you’re not allowed to go faster than 70km/h (43mph).

Seat Belts

Wearing seat belts is compulsory if they’re fitted.

Passengers/Children

Children under 12 are not allowed to sit in the front unless they’re using an appropriate child restraint system.

Lights

Use passing lights, also known as dipped headlights, at all times during the day outside of built-up areas.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights at all times. Crash helmets are compulsory. Children under 12 are not allowed to ride as a passenger.

Drinking and Driving

The legal limit is 0.03% and driving under the influence of drugs is illegal.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and should be paid through a bank, as per the instructions on the ticket. Be careful where you park as police can clamp or tow illegally parked vehicles.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a warning triangle and a spare bulb set.

Other Rules/Regulations

You’ll have to pay road tax at the border.

It’s against the law to drive a dirty car where the number plates are illegible.

Don’t use your horn in towns.

Picking up hitchhikers is illegal.

The police should always be called to the scene of an accident or a breakdown.

In larger towns, you’re not allowed to turn left other than at crossing points with lights.

Spiked tyres and snow chains are allowed, with most Russian residents using winter tyres from the beginning of the cold season.

Make sure you have all your paperwork in order, including an International Certificate for Motor Vehicles (ICMV), as traffic officials will carry out random checks – especially on cars with foreign plates.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike in Serbia and it’s advisable to carry an International Driving Permit.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory. Green cards are recognised but not compulsory.

You can drive in Serbia with your own motor insurance policy without having to pay border insurance, providing your policy covers Serbia – check with your insurer.

Fuel

Diesel, LPG and unleaded petrol are all available, and you can carry fuel in a can providing you pay duty on it.

Credit cards are generally accepted at filling stations.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are indicated on road signs in kilometres per hour. In built-up areas these are usually 50km/h (31mph) and 80km/h (49mph) outside built-up areas. On dual carriageways it’s 100km/h (62mph) and 120km/h (74mph) on motorways.

If you’ve been driving for less than one year you’re restricted to driving at 90% of these speeds. You’re not allowed to drive between 11pm and 5am.

Seat Belts

Seat belts must be worn in the front and back if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Children between three and 12 are not allowed in the front seat and must wear a seat belt in the rear. Kids under three can sit in the front providing they’re in a suitable child seat.

All child restraints must bear the mark ECE R44/04. Anyone visibly drunk is not allowed to sit in the front seat as a passenger.

Lights

Use running or dipped lights at all times during the day or risk a fine.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets are compulsory for driver and passenger, and the helmet must be less than five years old.

Use headlights during the day. Children under 12 are not allowed as passengers.

Drinking and Driving

The limit is 0.03% with severe penalties imposed for going over this.

The limit is 0.00% for motorcyclists and drivers with less than one year of experience.

Police carry out random breath tests and you’ll be automatically imprisoned if you refuse one.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot but are not payable immediately – you’ll have eight days to settle the bill at a post office or bank.

Wheel clamps aren’t used in Serbia but vehicles can be towed, so be careful where you park.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a first aid kit, a warning triangle, a spare wheel (the same dimensions as those fitted), a towing rope or bar and - from 1 November until 1 April – winter tyres.

Other Rules/Regulations

Make sure you get a European Accident Statement Form if you have an accident with a Serbian-registered vehicle.

Expect tolls on most sections of the motorway.

Spiked tyres are not allowed.

Authorities at the border will inspect your vehicle for any damage. If there’s any visible damage, you’ll need a certificate to show when you leave the country, otherwise you might face serious delays.

Don’t use your horn in built-up areas at night unless there’s imminent danger.

Never overtake a bus that’s stopped to allow passengers on or off.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be 18 or over to drive a temporarily imported car, or 17 to ride a motorcycle.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the minimum level of cover you can have.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are available, but LPG can only be used on the condition that a safety certificate covers the vehicle’s engine.

You won’t find leaded petrol anywhere.

You’re allowed to carry fuel in a can, with up to 10 litres imported duty free.

Most stations accept credit cards.

Speed Limits

Slovakia’s standard limits are indicated in kilometres per hour on road signs. In built-up areas this is 50km/h (31mph) and on roads outside built-up areas it’s 90km/h (55mph).

On motorways and expressways outside built-up areas the limit is usually 130km/h (80mph), while the minimum speed on motorways is 80km/h (49mph).

Seat Belts

If they’re available, seat belts must be worn.

Passengers/Children

Children under 12 or shorter than 4ft11ins are not allowed in the front seat and must travel in a child seat in the rear.

Lights

Dipped headlights are compulsory during the day. Any flashing lights – except the vehicle’s standard lights – are illegal.

Motorcycles

Used dipped headlights during the day. Crash helmets are compulsory on bikes over 50cc. It’s illegal for drivers to smoke while riding their motorbike.

Drinking and Driving

Any level of alcohol in the blood is strictly forbidden, with penalties including heavy fines and even imprisonment for breaking this law.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot – make sure you get an official receipt. Watch out for wheel clampers.

Compulsory Equipment

Make sure you have a first aid kit, a warning triangle, a reflective jacket and - when there’s compacted snow or ice on the road – winter tyres.

Other Rules/Regulations

Make sure you clear snow and ice off your car before driving.

Cars under 3.5 tonnes will have to pay a motorway tax on some stretches of road. You can do this by purchasing and displaying a windscreen sticker, which can be bought from border crossings, post offices and petrol stations for periods of 10 days, one month or one year. All foreign drivers must show evidence of medical insurance when they enter the country.

Authorities at the border will inspect your car for damage and give you a certificate that you’ll then have to produce when you leave. If any damage takes place inside Slovakia which will cost more than €4,000, or if there’s an injury, you must call the police and get a police report. Horns should only be used to avoid danger, or to show vehicles ahead that you plan to overtake them.

Sat-navs are not allowed in the middle of the windscreen.

Trams have priority over all other road users.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to drive a temporarily imported car or motorcycle over 125cc.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of insurance you can have.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG is generally available, but you won’t be able to get any leaded petrol (although lead additives are available).

You can carry fuel in a can, and most filling stations will accept credit cards.

Speed Limits

The standard limits, which may be varied by signs, are: 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas; 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas; 110km/h (68mph) on dual carriageways; and 130km/h (80mph) on motorways.

If visibility is reduced in bad weather the maximum speed is 50km/h (31mph).

Seat Belts

Passengers/Children

Children under 4ft11ins must use a special child seat in the front and back seats, which should conform to ECE standard 44/03 or 44/04.

If they’re in a rear-facing seat in the front, make sure any passenger airbags are deactivated.

Children under three are not allowed in any car if there’s no child restraint.

Lights

Use dipped headlights during the day.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day. Crash helmets are compulsory for both rider and passenger.

Drinking and Driving

The standard limit is 0.05% with severe penalties for breaking this law.

If you’re under 21 years old or have had your licence for less than two years, the limit is 0.00%.

You can still be fined if you’re under these limits if you’re unable to drive safely – this applies to drugs as well.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and must be paid in euros. Officials may take your passport if you refuse to pay up.

Compulsory Equipment

Make sure you have a reflective jacket, a warning triangle (two if you’re towing a trailer) and - between 15 November and 15 March – snow chains.

Other Rules/Regulations

Use a warning triangle and hazard lights in the event of a breakdown or accident.

If you’re in an accident, it’s advisable to call the police and get a written report.

Never overtake a school bus that’s letting children on or off.

Don’t indicate when you enter a roundabout, but do indicate when you come off it.

Only use your horn in cases of immediate danger.

If you’ll be using the motorways in Slovenia you’ll need a vignette, which can be purchased from service stations in Slovenia and in neighbouring countries, for periods ranging from one week to one year. Expect a fine if you don’t have one. Spiked tyres are not allowed.

Use hazard lights when you’re reversing.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a car in Spain, or to ride motorbikes over 125cc. For bikes up to 125cc it’s 16.

All valid UK licences are accepted here, although those with older, non-photographic licences might find things easier if they also have an International Driving Permit.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of cover you’ll need.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available. There’s no leaded petrol and only limited LPG, which is sold under the name ‘Autogas’.

You’re allowed to carry fuel in a can, and most stations accept credit cards.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are indicated along roads, in kilometres per hour. They’re usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas and up to 100km/h (62mph) outside built-up areas.

On motorways the limit is 120km/h (74mph), with a minimum speed of 60km/h (37mph).

Seat Belts

It’s compulsory to wear seat belts if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Children under 12 and under 4ft5ins should travel in a child seat adapted to their size and weight.

They’re not allowed to sit in the front unless the back seats are already occupied by children.

Children over 4ft5ins can use an adult seat belt.

Lights

Full headlights in built-up areas are not allowed. Use dipped headlights in tunnels.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day. Crash helmets are compulsory.

Children between seven and 11 can be transported by their parents or an authorised person, but children under seven are not allowed on motorbikes at all.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol limit is 0.05%, which also applies to cyclists. For drivers with less than two years’ experience it’s 0.03%.

Expect severe penalties if you go over the limit.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot but are reduced by 50% if paid within 20 days. Be careful where you park – cars can be clamped or towed away if they’re illegally parked.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a spare tyre or spare tyre repair kit, a warning triangle and a reflective jacket.

If you hire a car in Spain make sure it contains these items – companies are not under any obligation to provide them.

Other Rules/Regulations

Screen-based devices should be placed out of the driver’s view, with the exception of sat-navs. It’s illegal to touch or program any device unless you’re safely parked.

In urban areas it’s prohibited to sound the horn at any time, except in an emergency. Flash your lights instead.

Spiked tyres are not allowed.

Snow chains are recommended in winter conditions – police may stop you if you don’t have them fitted.

On one-way streets in some cities, vehicles must be parked on the side of the road where houses have uneven numbers on uneven days of the month, and on the side of even numbers on even dates.

Only fully hands-free phones are allowed, and earpieces and headphones are banned. Expect to be fined if you break this rule.

Beware of scams, theft and conmen in service areas and hard shoulders, as well as bogus policemen. This type of crime has risen in Madrid and Catalonia.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to drive a car in Sweden.

UK driving licences without a photograph will not be recognised unless they’re accompanied by photographic proof of identity, such as a passport.

Motor Insurance

Third party is the minimum level of cover you’ll need.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available, with very few places selling LPG.

You can carry up to 30 litres of fuel with you, and credit cards are accepted at most stations.

Speed Limits

In Sweden the speed limits are not based on the type of road but rather the quality and safety of the road itself, so look out for road signs.

The lowest limits are usually 30km/h (18mph) in built-up areas, rising to 90km/h (55mph) on motorways. If in doubt, drivers are advised to keep to 70km/h (43mph) until you spot a sign.

Seat Belts

Seat belts must be worn if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Children under 15 or under 4ft5ins must use a child restraint, otherwise they can use an adult seat belt.

Children under this height can only travel in the front seat if the airbag has been deactivated.

Lights

Use dipped headlights during the day.

Motorcycles

Use dipped headlights during the day. Crash helmets are compulsory.

Drinking and Driving

The limit in Sweden is 0.02%. Expect severe penalties if you exceed this.

Fines

Police are able to issue fines and collect them for minor traffic offences.

Fines should be paid at a bank within two-to-three weeks, although as a foreign visitor you might be asked to pay in cash on the spot, if so, a receipt will be issued.

Compulsory Equipment

Make sure you’re carrying a shovel and anti-freeze. From 1 December to 31 March, be prepared to use winter tyres.

Summer tyres are allowed during this period providing the weather conditions allow.

Other Rules/Regulations

Beware of game on the roads such as deer and moose – this is a real danger in Sweden.

Spiked tyres may be used between 1 October and 1 April, but local authorities have the power to ban these tyres in their area.

Congestion charges will apply to foreign-registered vehicles in Stockholm and Gothenburg.

In some towns and suburban areas, parking restrictions are regulated by the date ‘Datumparkering’. This means that on odd days parking is not permitted on the side of the road with odd numbers and, on even days, parking is not permitted on the side of the road with even numbers.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a temporarily imported car or a motorbike over 50cc. For bikes under 50cc, the minimum age is 16.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available, but only around 55 stations sell LPG.

Lead substitute additive is available for older cars that take leaded petrol.

You’re allowed to carry fuel in a can. Credit card acceptance varies, especially at night as automatic pumps don’t recognise UK PIN numbers, so check with your card issuer before you travel.

Speed Limits

There are standard legal limits in place, indicated by road signs in kilometres per hour. These are usually 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 80km/h (49mph) outside built-up areas, 100km/h (62mph) on semi-motorways and 120km/h (74mph) on motorways, where there is a minimum speed of 80km/h (49mph).

You may only tow a car on a motorway up to the next exit, at a maximum speed of 24mph.

Seat Belts

It’s compulsory to wear seat belts if they’re fitted.

Passengers/Children

Children up to the age of 12 or under 4ft11ins must use a child restraint approved to UN ECE regulation 44.03 or 44.04.

Lights

Use dipped headlights at all times or risk a fine.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets are compulsory. Use dipped headlights at all times.

Drinking and Driving

The limit is 0.05% or 0.01% for drivers who passed their test within three years.

Breaking these rules could result in large fines and prison.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot in some cases and speeding fines are particularly high.

Wheel clamps aren’t used in Sweden, but if you cause an obstruction your car may be towed.

Compulsory Equipment

Snow chains are compulsory in some areas and you’ll need to carry a warning triangle with you.

Other Rules/Regulations

Hitchhiking is prohibited on motorways and semi-motorways. You’ll need to purchase a vignette in order to use motorways and semi-motorways. You can buy these in the UK from the Swiss Centre, or in Switzerland from customs offices or service stations.

GPS sat-navs are allowed, but only if you’ve turned off the speed camera alert function.

Spiked tyres are forbidden on motorways and semi-motorways, except for some stretches of the A13 and A2.

If you have an accident but don’t call the police, you’ll need to complete a European Accident Statement Form.

During daylight, use your horn before sharp bends. At night, flash your lights.

Watch out for pedestrians, who have the right of way and will sometimes simply walk into the road, expecting you to stop.

Blue zone parking discs are required for parking in many towns and cities and can be purchased from service stations, kiosks and police stations.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 to drive a temporarily imported car in Turkey.

Your UK licence will be valid for 90 days, but if it doesn’t have a photograph you’ll need an International Driving Permit, too.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is compulsory. UK insurance is generally recognised in the European part of Turkey, although a green card is recommended (it needs to cover the whole of Turkey, both the European part and Anatolia, the Asian part).

If you don’t have a green card or UK insurance, you can take out short-term insurance at the border.

Fuel

Unleaded, leaded, diesel and LPG is available, although LPG is only available in larger centres. Y

ou can carry up to 25 litres of fuel with you as long as it’s in a fire-proof container.

Credit cards are generally accepted.

Speed Limits

Limits are indicated on road signs in kilometres per hour. In built-up areas these are usually 50km/h (31mph) and 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas. On motorways it’s 120km/h (74mph), with a minimum speed of 40km/h (24mph).

Limits are lower for motorcycles and 10km/h less for cars with trailers.

Seat Belts

Seat belts should be worn if they’re fitted.

Passengers/Children

Children under 4ft11ins should use a child restraint, as should children under three years old, otherwise they’re not allowed to travel.

Children under 10 aren’t allowed in the front seat.

Lights

Use common sense – turn on dipped headlights in poor visibility.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets are compulsory.

Drinking and Driving

The limit is 0.05% with harsh penalties for going over. It’s 0.00% if you’re towing a caravan or trailer.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot and cars can be towed away if they cause an obstruction.

Compulsory Equipment

You’ll need a first aid kit and fire extinguisher (in cars only), two warning triangles and a spare tyre.

Other Rules/Regulations

Don’t use your horn after 10pm.

Spiked tyres are not allowed, but you can use snow chains if necessary.

If you have an accident, you’ll need to call the police and obtain a report.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to drive a temporarily imported car or motorbike. An International Driving Permit is compulsory.

Motor Insurance

Third party insurance is the minimum level of cover you can have. Green cards are accepted.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are widely available. Fuel in a can is allowed and actually recommended for long journeys, although you’re not allowed to import fuel in spare cans.

Credit cards are usually accepted at filling stations.

Speed Limits

Speed limits in Ukraine are generally 60km/h (37mph) in built-up areas, 90km/h (55mph) outside built-up areas and up to 130km/h (80mph) on major roads and motorways.

Speed limits are not always signposted, so be mindful of the type of area you’re driving in. If you’ve had your licence for less than two years you’re limited to 70km/h (43mph).

Seat Belts

Seat belts are compulsory if they’re available.

Passengers/Children

Children under 12 years old and shorter than 4ft9ins are not allowed to sit in the front.

Lights

Dipped headlights are compulsory between 1 October and 30 April, and should be used in periods of poor visibility outside these times.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets are compulsory. Children under 12 and shorter than 4ft9ins are not allowedas passengers.

Drinking and Driving

The limit is generally 0.00%, although a 0.02% level has been implemented to allow for those taking certain medications and mouthwashes.

Penalties for drink driving are severe.

Fines

Fines are issued on the spot but police are not allowed to collect money. You’ll need to pay up within 15 days or risk having your vehicle confiscated.

Compulsory Equipment

Make sure you have a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and a warning triangle, plus winter tyres between November and April.

Other Rules/Regulations

It’s recommended that you carry an International Certificate for Motor Vehicles, especially in Russian speaking areas. Traffic officials will stop foreign vehicles to check their documents.

If you’re in an accident you’re legally required to call the police.

Anyone wanting to hire a car abroad may, as of 8th June 2015, need a code to show convictions for offences like speeding.

Driving Licence

Visitors to the UK may only use their national driving licence if they’ve reached the minimum age to drive in the UK.

This is 17 for a car and for a motorbike not exceeding 125cc, or 19 for any bike that has a power exceeding 35kw.

Foreign-issued provisional licences are not permitted.

Motor Insurance

The minimum level of insurance allowed is third party. This should be arranged before travelling.

Fuel

Unleaded petrol and diesel is widely available and LPG is available at around 1,300 filling stations.

Leaded petrol is no longer available but lead replacement additives can be purchased from most garages.

UK service stations use a bayonet-style pump for LPG, so you may need an adapter to fill up European LPG vehicles. These adapters aren’t usually available at UK filling stations.

Speed Limits

Standard legal limits apply, in miles per hour. In built-up areas these are usually 30mph (48km/h).

Outside built-up areas it’s 60mph (96km/h) and on motorways and dual carriageways it’s 70mph (112km/h), although you should look out for signs indicating local differences.

Seat Belts

Seat belts must be worn in front and rear seats.

Passengers/Children

Children under three must travel in a car seat appropriate to their height and weight, and baby seats can’t be used in front seats unless the airbag has been deactivated.

Children aged 3-12 and under 135cm (4ft5ins) must also use a child restraint. D

rivers are responsible for ensuring kids under 14 are properly buckled up.

Lights

Use common sense; headlights at night time, and dipped headlights or fog lights in periods of reduced visibility.

Motorcycles

Crash helmets are compulsory for both riders and passengers.

Drinking and Driving

The blood alcohol limit in England and Wales is 0.08%, in Scotland it’s 0.05%. Penalties for going over the limit can be severe. Police are allowed to perform a breath test if they believe you’re driving under the influence, and will also test for drugs.

Fines

Drivers without a UK address and who commit traffic offences will have to pay a financial penalty deposit equal to the amount of the fixed penalty, or £300 as a deposit ahead of a potential court fine.

The deposit has to be paid on the spot.

If you’re able to provide a satisfactory UK address, you’ll be issued with a fixed penalty which has to be paid within 28 working days.

Compulsory Equipment

None.

Other Rules/Regulations

Drive on the left, overtake on the right.

It’s illegal to use a handheld phone while driving.

Don’t use your horn in built-up areas between 11.30pm and 7am, or while the vehicle is stationary, unless it’s to avoid immediate danger.

A toll – the London Congestion Charge – is payable in central London on weekdays between 7am and 6pm. The standard charge is £10 if purchased on or before the day of travel. Entrances to the congestion charge zone are indicated by the letter C in white on a red background.

Drivers of left-hand drive vehicles must make sure their headlights have been adjusted for driving on the left, or they could face fines of up to £1,000.

Don’t enter ‘box junctions’ – areas of criss-cross yellow lines at intersections – until the exit road or lane is clear.

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