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Driving in Europe

Don't drive yourself mad!

Driving in Europe is becoming more and more popular – not surprising given the strikes and ash clouds affecting the air travel industry. Driving into mainland Europe gives you fantastic flexibility to explore wherever you wish – taking in countries such as France and Belgium, making the most of the beautiful scenic routes and discovering parts of Europe you would never see when flying.

However, make sure you are equipped and properly insured. If your car is not up to the journey, the distances involved can take their toll and result in breakdowns and delays. If you are intending to drive in the European Union outside the UK for your holiday, make sure that your insurance policy covers EU travel. Some insurance policies will come with this included, but you should not assume this – check with your insurance company.

Make sure you prepare in advance – research indicates that only 12% of car drivers will acquaint themselves with the car manual before driving off in the car for the first time – at which point it may be too late to discover what that little red button on the dash board actually does! If you are making a longer than usual journey for the first time, make sure you have adequate car insurance and breakdown cover in place, so that if the worst should happen, you know you are taken care of.

To enjoy your summer holiday trip by car through Europe, it is advisable to plan your journey beforehand using a route planner. Yes, satnav is a wonderful thing but if it loses it's signal you could be in real trouble – have a back up plan which includes a good map. If you don't speak the lingo, then take a travel book with you that contains relevant phrases so you can ask the locals for directions and good places to stop.

Check your car before you set off – ensure oil, screen wash, coolant and tyre pressures are all at the right levels. Make sure you adhere to local legislation – a red triangle in case of breakdown, yellow tinted headlights, etc: any good motoring organisation can advise.

You should never drive abroad without first checking that your car insurance covers you for European driving. If it does not, do NOT take a chance, approach a professional company and take their advice.

Remember to drive on the right side of the road – that is 'right' as in 'correct' and keep your wits about you. You can work out routes to avoid major town centres and meander your way across Europe at your own speed, which is another point to bear in mind..... !

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 20th August, 2010