January is finally over, and while we’re starting to enjoy some brighter mornings and longer days here in the UK, we’re already dreaming of escaping on a European holiday this Spring/Summer. If you’re planning on setting off on a European vacation by car this year, it’s important to know the different rules of the road in each country before you go. Luckily, the people over at dh Licence Check have put together a handy guide detailing everything we need to know to stay safe on the roads in every country in Europe. Here we have a look at five of the biggest countries in Europe based on population size, and break down the basics you need to know for staying safe when driving in Europe.

Germany

With 80.62 million people, Germany is the most populated country in Europe – so of course the roads can get pretty busy. With so many great cities to choose from – Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, to name a few – Germany is also a popular holiday destination for tourists. So if you’re going to be driving in Germany this holiday season here’s what you need to know.

What to Bring:

o Drivers’ licence

o Proof of insurance

o Passport

o Proof of ownership

Rules of the Road:

o Drive on the right, overtake on the left

o Overtaking is prohibited when approaching an unguarded level crossing or if the vehicle has stopped for safety reasons

France

Anyone who has been in Paris before knows how busy the roads can get in the city of love, but don’t let road rage overtake romance on your visit to Paris or elsewhere in beautiful France. If you know the key rules for driving on French roads before you go you will find it much easier to navigate the country.

What to Bring:

o Drivers’ licence

o Proof of insurance

o Passport

o Proof of ownership

Rules of the Road:

o It is prohibited to wear headsets or headphones when driving (or riding a bike) so turn off the iTunes when you get in the driving seat

o In built-up areas using your horn is prohibited except in cases of immediate danger

o French motorways are operated by various private companies and have tolls where you have to pay; you can make payments with cash or a Mastercard/Visa

Italy

Italy is one of the most popular spots for British holidaymakers, from historic Rome to romantic Venice and the tranquil Lakes, there is so many reasons to visit Italy – and a roadtrip around the entire country is a beautiful way to spend your holiday. However. Italy’s city roads are very busy while the country roads can be narrow and winding so it’s important that you know all of the Italy road safety rules and feel confident before you set off.

What to Bring:

o Drivers’ licence

o Proof of insurance

o Passport

o Proof of ownership

o International driving permit

Rules of the Road:

o Drive on the right

o You must use dipped headlights during the day outside of built-up areas and during snow, rain and any other instances of poor visibility

Ukraine

With 45.49 inhabitants, Ukraine is one of the busiest countries in Europe. The capital city Kiev is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, and it’s striking architecture makes for a unique stop on a European road trip. So if you’re planning to visit the Eastern European country this year make sure you know how to stay safe on the roads.

What to Bring:

o Drivers’ licence

o Proof of insurance/green card

o Passport

o Proof of ownership

o International driving permit

Rules of the Road:

o Drive on the right

o If travelling between 1 st October to 30 th April make sure to use dipped headlights during the day, dipped headlights must also be used outside of these dates in poor daytime visibility

Poland

Poland is becoming an increasingly popular tourist spots for Brits, with the interesting cities of Krakow, Wroclaw and Warsaw drawing in travellers. If you’re embarking on a European road trip Poland is a definite addition for the itinerary, plus it makes a great weekend break by itself. However you choose to visit, if you’re going to be driving in Poland here’s what you need to know.

What to Bring:

o Drivers’ licence

o Proof of insurance

o Passport

o Proof of ownership

Rules of the Road:

o Drive on the right

o You must use dipped headlights or daytime running lights at all times

Find out more about driving in Europe, including more details about the five countries above and information on every other country in Europe with dh Licence Check’s comprehensive guide to driving in Europe.