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Spain lowers speed limit - check before you hire a car abroad

Spain lowers speed limit - check before you hire a car abroad

Speed limit - Every country, even within the EU, has its own specific speed limits that you have to adhere to. Some countries, such as Germany are less rigid and allow speeding on certain sections of the highway (autobahn), but this is an exception. If you are caught speeding, prepare yourself for a fine which can range from 150€ in Italy to over thousands of Euros in France.

Phoning and smoking - In most countries, phoning while you drive is illegal and is only allowed if you use an earpiece or a hands free kit.  In Spain even the use of an earpiece is forbidden and in Ireland your phone must be switched off completely while driving. Be aware that in countries such as Belgium and Norway it is illegal to smoke behind the wheel and in the USA; you cannot smoke in the car whilst accompanied by children or teenagers.

Alcohol and driving - You may be on holiday, but the advise is simple, don’t drink and drive. The alcohol limit and law enforcement in each country differs. Many countries conduct random alcohol breathalyser tests and the limit is strictly regulated. If you get caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you will not only receive a fine as high as 6500€ but may also have your vehicle removed or face criminal charges with a possible prison sentence.

First aid kit and breakdowns - Carrying a first aid kit and a warning triangle with you in the car is compulsory in most countries. In popular holiday destinations such as Spain and Italy, if your car breaks down and you get out of the vehicle, you could be fined if you neglect to wear an approved yellow or orange safety vest.

Safe driving – Check out the specific traffic rules, regulations and if possible familiarise yourself with local road signs of your destination country before you leave home. Ensure you have a good road map and chart your course before setting off.  Don’t overload your vehicle and ensure you can see out of the back window. If you’re involved in an accident, contact your insurer immediately and take photographs of damage to your vehicle. It is also generally advised not to pick up hitchhikers or strangers.