European driving regulations

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BANNIÈRE-INFO

You must respect European driving regulations, from parking to other particularities when you drive abroad. If not, the fines can be very costly!

Number of passengers in the car

Your car’s registration certificate indicates the maximum authorized number of passengers. Respect this number to be in compliance with your insurance and civil responsibility. No matter the age of a child, they occupy 1 place in the vehicle.

International Driving Permit

The majority of European countries require an International Driving Permit (IDP). Be sure to get one before your departure. This acts as a legal identification document where your information is translated into 11 foreign languages.

Children under 10 years of age

You are required to use an adapted safety system for children under 10 years of age according to their height and weight: approved car seats for children up to 7 years of age and a booster for children 7-10 years of age.

Highway code

Before leaving, be informed on the highway code regulations, from road signs, to driving habits and other particularities for the countries you will be visiting. This could help you avoid unpleasant surprises and even fines.

Examples:

  • France: Speed limits up to 130 km/h are reduced to 110 km/h when it’s raining (on some highways);
  • United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus & Malta: Drive on left side;
  • Bosnia: Intoxicated individuals are prohibited from sitting in the front passenger seat;
  • Portugal: Prohibited to put a bicycle on the back of a vehicle;
  • Portugal & Belgium: Prohibited to park less than 20 metres from a traffic light;
  • Belgium: Mandatory to carry a fire extinguisher in the car;
  • Switzerland: Prohibited to park less than 10 metres from a crosswalk (5 metres in most other countries);
  • Germany: Running out of fuel on the highway is subject to fines;
  • Croatia and the Czech Republic: Intoxication is not tolerated at any time.

These specifics are given for information purpose only and do not engage the responsibility of Europ Auto, whether contractual or tortious. They are not intended to replace legal documents which you should refer to in any case.

The use of seatbelts is required for all countries within the European Union.
 

 

Speed limit-km/h
(tourist car)
city/road/highway

Blood-alcohol levels tolerated
(g/l)

Mandatory items in vehicle

Required use of headlights in the daytime

France

50 / 90 / 130

< 0.5

  • Triangle
  • Vest

No

Germany

50 / 100 / no limit

< 0.5

  • Triangle
  • 1st aid kit

No

Austria

50 / 100 / 130

< 0.5
(0.2 for novice drivers)

  • Triangle
  • Vest
  • 1st aid kit

No

Belgium

50 / 90 / 120

< 0.5

  • Triangle
  • Extinguisher

No

Croatia

50 / 90 / 130

0 tolerance

  • Triangle

Yes

Spain

50 / 90 / 120

< 0.5
(0.3 for novice drivers)

  • 2 triangles
  • Vest
  • Spare bulbs

No

Greece

50 / 70 / 120

< 0.5

  • Triangle
  • Extinguisher
  • 1st aid kit

No
 

Ireland

50 / 80 / 120

< 0.8

  • None

No

Italy

50 / 90 / 130

< 0.5

  • Triangle
  • Vest

Yes, in fast lanes and on highways

Netherlands

50 / 80 / 120

< 0.5

  • None

Yes

Poland

50 / 90 / 130

< 0.2

  • Triangle
  • Extinguisher
  • 1st aid kit

Yes, October-February

Portugal

50 / 90 / 120

< 0.5

  • Triangle
  • Vest

No, except on the IPS

Czech Republic

50 / 90 /130

0 tolerance

  • Triangle
  • 1st aid kit
  • Fuses

Yes

United Kingdom

48 / 83 / 112
 

< 0.8

  • Triangle

No

Switzerland

50 / 80 / 120

< 0.5

  • Triangle

Yes

Source: European road prevention

Before leaving, be sure to learn about travel insurance, car insurance and roadside assistance. Though we hope it doesn’t happen, you might need it.

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