North East Connected

Driving Abroad: Top tips for summer travellers

The UK recently announced ‘air bridges’ with over 70 countries, meaning the mandatory 14-day quarantine is no longer in place when travelling to these locations.

The announcement had an instant impact for keen holidays makers, with Eurotunnel bookings reportedly soaring. This is likely exacerbated by fear of air-travel and airports due to their confined spaces and number of flyers.

As people remain wary of jumping on a plane, we’re likely to see a boom in driving holidays, too. That’s why Moneybarn is here to provide you with a few tips if you’re thinking of setting off this summer.

Fool proof

We all know the classic holiday checklist. Passport, boarding pass, chargers… but with a driving holiday, there’s extra documentation you need in case of an emergency.

In the event of an accident, the local police will need to see your UK driving licence and an insurance cover note, both of which you can keep in your wallet.

People can often get caught out, however, by being unable to provide proof of vehicle ownership or rental, as this is another document police may ask for.

Always keep all vehicle documentation together in one folder and leave it in the car. This will save time and hassle if the worst happens.

Know your limits

Although the list of countries we can now visit is pretty extensive, driving holidays can make travelling trickier than flying.

You don’t just have to consider the final destination of your holiday, but also the countries and provinces you’ll pass through to get there.

If you travel through a country that does not have an agreed ‘air bridge’ with the UK, you’ll have to quarantine on your return – even if you don’t leave your car.

So, make sure your route is planned out to the very last detail, for a stress-free summer break.

Taking a toll

No one wants to get stuck at an unexpected toll without any cash. Luckily, most tolls now accept card payments and are far easier to navigate, however, they can still be pricey.

With some careful planning, you may be able to avoid them altogether, but this could result in a longer journey time. So, it’s important to weigh up what’s more valuable – time or money.

It can pay to do your research. Some countries have ‘tag’ schemes in place, so you can buy a toll pass before your trip. This may not always be a cheaper option, but it’ll save you from unpredictable queues and nasty surprises.

Ensure you’re insured

It may sound obvious, but don’t forget to check your vehicle’s insurance before setting off. Now more than ever, it’s important to know what you’re covered for, as companies may have changed their policies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UK insurers generally provide third party cover abroad, however, this could change and is at the discretion of the company.

Some also offer comprehensive cover, so if you are unsure or need advice, always contact your insurer before you set off.

The government are still advising against non-essential travel and this could potentially void your insurance and mean you’re travelling at your own risk.

Unique laws

With our list of quarantine-free holiday destinations restricted to those on the air-bridge list, you may be venturing somewhere new this year.

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the rules of the road, wherever you go. And especially so, if the territory is unfamiliar.

Some areas have surprising laws that could trip you up, too – like Cyprus’ ‘drink driving’ rule. It’s not what you think – you could be penalised for drinking any liquid, alcoholic or not, while behind the wheel.

Other unique laws to be aware of include France’s ‘BYOB’ (bring your own breathalyser) rule and Greece’s ban on smoking while driving.

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