What you need to know before driving overseas
**A guest post written for The Safe Driver.
Driving is complicated at the best of times. The last thing anyone needs are a bunch of crazy regulations making it harder for them to stick to the laws of the land. When it comes to holidays, this can be a particular problem.
Foreign driving procedures need to be adhered to. To make things easier, here are four things you’ll need to know before driving overseas.
- You need an IDP
In some countries, you’ll be absolutely fine driving around with your regular license. In these circumstances, you need only remember your regular piece of documentation. However, not every nation under the sun operates on this kind of system.
As CCI point out, you’ll need to successfully apply for an IDP (International Driver’s Permit) if you want to legally be allowed to drive in certain locations. If you’re pulled over and found to be without one of these, you can find yourself in hot water.
- There are some wacky laws
From the sensible to the downright daft. While an IDP makes sense as a driving law, you’ll find there are a myriad of regulations on foreign shores which quite literally make no (or, at best, very little) sense.
Cheat Sheet highlight some of the best, which include:
- Splashing water onto a pedestrian being a criminal offence in Japan
- Being illegal for people to drive while blindfolded in Alabama
- Getting fined for having a dirty car (inside or out) in Russia
- Stopping at any time on the German Autobahn
Make sure do your research and avoid breaching any crazy rules of the nation you’re headed to on your vacation.
- GPS’ are a must
Even if you’re someone who’s massively opposed to the use of the Global Positioning System, you’re going to have to swallow your pride and use a sat-nav when you’re off on your travels. It makes things considerably easier.
While you might have a scrupulous knowledge of everywhere in your local area without the need of assistance, the last thing you’ll want is to get lost when you’re in a foreign land. Having one could make all the difference between getting to your chosen holiday destination on time, before it closes.
- Keep loose change on you
Unfortunately, some foreign countries require you to make payments along certain sections of their highways. This is a particularly common occurrence in Europe, where toll roads have become the norm.
If you’re concerned which countries this applies to, you can make the most of tolls.eu to find the kinds of routes you’ll have to try and avoid if you’re strapped for cash. Whatever the case, just be sure keep pocket change on you at all time.
Bear this in mind when you’re next on your travels. It will make driving overseas considerably easier for everyone.