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A Guide to Driving a Van Abroad in Europe

Posted on by Idrive

Taking a European road trip can be a great deal of fun for an individual, friend or for the family. However, there are still some rules and regulations to keep in mind. These should then be combined with a few helpful suggestions that can make any trip enjoyable – whether for work or pleasure. Should you be planning such a journey in the near future, it is a good idea to list a handful of the most essential points to remember.


The Right-Hand Side of the Road

This may seem like an obvious observation, but many drivers will forget (out of habit alone) that European motorways are designed for right-hand drivers. If you feel uncomfortable with this at first, it is wise to practice on surface roads before hitting the major thoroughfares in a foreign country. Not only could you avoid a potentially serious accident, but the chances of accruing a hefty fine are also dramatically reduced.


Breakdown Coverage

Vehicles can and will suffer breakdowns from time to time. Unfortunately, this will frequently take place when it is the least convenient. Hiring a towing service in a foreign country such as Spain can be costly and confusing. If you plan on taking a van on such a trip, it is a great idea to secure breakdown coverage before you ever leave the United Kingdom. For a small premium, you can travel with the peace of mind in knowing that you are protected in the event of such an emergency.



Besides possessing the necessary insurance and registration documents, recall that a “GB” sticker is required when navigating abroad. However, this is NOT necessary should a licence plate display the blue-and-yellow GB logo. A final consideration is what is known as an individual driving permit (IDP). This can be obtained from the Post Office. Croatia and Turkey are two countries which require this extra documentation.



This is another important section to cover, for safety is always a top priority. Emergency kits are especially critical if you plan on driving across long stretches of open motorway with few rest stops. Essentials will include items such as:

  • Road flares
  • A fold-out warning triangle
  • A reflective vest
  • A basic medical aid kit
  • A phrase book that correlates to the country you are travelling through

Keep in mind that in certain countries such as Poland, a portable fire extinguisher is also considered to be a mandatory item.

The Bottom Line

Above all, preparation is key to enable any van journey abroad to be fun and exciting. At I-Drive Van Hire, we are more than happy to provide you with numerous vans based upon your unique needs. We should also mention that you will need permission before taking any of our vehicles abroad. The world is indeed an interesting place and one of the best ways to experience all that it has to offer is through a reliable van hire service. Your perfect trip is closer than you think! i-Drive Van Hire are based in Nottingham but operate in West Bridgford and the surrounding areas.

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