May 20, 2015 at 10:51 AM

For those who have planned to drive to the sunny coasts of southern France, Italy or Spain for a well-deserved holiday here is a list of must-knows and dos when driving abroad.

 

Book your trip well in advance

Whether you plan to use the shuttle or take a ferry, you should book in advance to be certain to get a spot. Remember that during holiday periods it is quite difficult to get tickets.

 

Equip yourself with the required equipment in each country you may travel through.

Equipment required when driving abroad is not necessarily the same as it is here in the UK, you should always check the AA Website to see the countries requirements.

France:

  • Anti-glare stickers for your lights
  • Warning triangle
  • Reflective jacket (must be kept in the vehicle and worn before exiting it)
  • Breathalyser with NF Logo


Italy:

  • Anti-glare stickers for your lights
  • Warning triangle
  • Reflective jacket (must be kept in the vehicle and worn before exiting it)


Spain:

  • Anti-glare stickers for your lights
  • Warning triangle (2)
  • Reflective jacket (must be kept in the vehicle and worn before exiting it)
  • Spare fan belt
  • Spare tyre and equipment
Euro-travel-kit-2a_1.jpg

 

Learn about the local legislation and local Highway Code

As required by the Council Regulation (EC) No 2411/98 when travelling in another EU country other than the one of registration, your licence plate MUST have the country stated on it. Only the GB Logo is accepted abroad.

Make also sure that you own the proper driver’s license category permit for your vehicle.

France

 

France.jpg

Speed Limits (Motorhomes):

  • Under 3.5 metric tonnes:
    • Motorway : 130kph (80mph)
    • Dual Carriageways: 110kph (68mph)
    • Other Roads: 90kph (55mph)
    • Urban areas: 50kph (31mph)
  • Over 3.5 metric tonnes:
    • Motorway : 110kph (68mph)
    • Dual Carriageways: 100kph (62mph)
    • Other Roads: 80kph (49mph)
    • Urban areas: 50kph (31mph)

Special Rules:

If no signs are painted on the road nor are there any road signs present in the surroundings of an intersection you should by default give way to people coming from the right hand side.

Alcohol limit is set to 0.5g per litre of blood (0.25mg/litre of air).

Speed cameras detectors are strictly forbidden and can lead to a vehicle seizure by the police.

You must have a first aid kit in your car.

If you are travelling with a child less than 10 years old or less than 1.5 metres tall, you must use a seat adapted to their physiognomy.

seat.jpg

You can be fined if driving less than 80kph (49mph) on motorways.

By law, if you breakdown on a Motorway/Toll Road you MUST ask for help using the orange telephones located every 2 kilometres.

Driving tips:

In France Unleaded fuel is often referred as “Sans Plomb 95” (Unleaded) or “Sans Plomb 98” (Super Unleaded) and Diesel can be referred as “Gasoil”. You may encounter unleaded fuels which mention E10 - which means including 10% of ethanol (check with your manufacturer if you can use it).

Tune your radio to Autoroute Info (107.7MHz) when driving on French motorways to get traffic updates in English on average every 15 minutes.

Italy

Italy.jpg

Speed Limits (Motorhomes):

  • Under 3.5 metric tonnes:
    • Motorway : 130kph (80mph)
    • Dual Carriageway: 110kph (68mph)
    • Other Roads: 90kph (55mph)
    • Urban areas: 50kph (31mph)
  • Over 3.5 metric tonnes:
    • Motorway : 100kph (62mph)
    • Other Roads: 80kph (49mph)
    • Urban areas: 50kph (31mph)

Special Rules:

Alcohol limit is set to 0.5g per litre of blood (0.25mg/litre of air).

Some 6 lanes motorways may allow a speed of 150kph.

Driving Tips:

In Italy Unleaded fuel is often referred as “Senza Piombo” (Unleaded) or “Super senza piombo” (Super Unleaded) and Diesel can be referred as “Gasolio”.

Motorway signs are green. National network roads signs are blue.

Tune to RAI Isoradio (103.3MHz) when driving on Italian Motorways to get traffic updates.

 

Spain

 

Spain.png

Speed Limits (Motorhomes):

  • Motorhomes no matter the weight
    • Motorway : 100kph (62mph)
    • Other Roads: 90kph (55mph)
    • Urban areas:
      • Streets: 40kph (24mph)
      • Avenues: 60kph (37mph)

Special Rules:

Alcohol limit is set to 0.5g per litre of blood (0.25mg/litre of air).

Children less than 1 metre 35 centimetres are forbidden to sit in the front seats.

You can be fined without being stopped by a police officer.

All highway maintenance vehicles have priority on the road under the same rules as Ambulances or Police vehicles.

All luggage or equipment falling from a vehicle and damages it may generate are directly imputable to the responsibility of the driver of the vehicle.

You can be fined if driving less than half the maximum speed allowed (All vehicle categories) on the type of road you are driving on.

Driving Tips:

In Spain Unleaded fuel is often referred as “Gasolina sin plombo 95” (Unleaded) or “Gasolina sin plombo 98” (Super Unleaded) and Diesel can be referred as “Gasóleo A”.

Tune to RNE Radio 1 or Radio 5 Todo Noticias (frequencies change between regions) when driving on Spanish Motorways to get traffic updates.

 

Check that your insurance policy covers you abroad

If your policy does not cover you whilst driving abroad you may face vehicle seizure and deportation, as well as a huge fine.

In the case your policy only covers third-party, you may even have to face the cost of transportation back to your home.

We also recommend that you to sign up for European Roadside Assistance Packages such as RAC or other.

Check_that_your_insurance_policy_covers_you_abroad.jpg

 

Think about your health.

We all know that accidents happen, so if you go on holiday in the EU you can apply freely for European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) over here. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes and you won’t have to advance any fees if you do need to go to the hospital.

Think_about_your_health..jpg

 

I guess with all these tips you are ready for your next holidays on the continent. Bon voyage and enjoy the trip on your RS Motorhome.



Tags: driving abroad tips spain france italy driving rules equipment
Category: Tips & Tricks

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