What to do when driving abroad

Driving a vehicle in a foreign country is an exciting experience. Most keen drivers would be willing to try driving abroad, at least once or several times during their lifetime. Doing so is not to be taken lightly, as there are plenty of things to keep in mind. These include the different traffic rules and regulations, and also the correct side of the road which to drive on. Driving in a foreign country does not need to be overwhelming and with these tips shared you can feel confident managing a vehicle abroad.

Allocate time to get used to the car

Driving abroad and in a new car will need adjusting to. You may have to get used to driving on the opposite side, and immediately jumping into busy highways can be uncomfortable. In this regard, it would be ideal to find a quiet space where you can familiarise yourself with the vehicle, especially if you need to get used to changing gears with the other hand. You should also find time to accustom yourself to the less frequent controls, such as the wipers and headlights.

You may prefer automatic

A number of drivers tend to prefer going for manual vehicles. Automatic cars may be the least preferred option, however they might be ideal when driving abroad. They are great for drivers who are feeling a bit nervous, allowing one to relax with less hassle throughout the road ahead. Apart from not needing to manage the gears, the left leg will enjoy the rest. If you have never driven an automatic, you may rent one for a couple of days in the home country, to get used to the experience.

Understand speeding limits and the applicable laws

The laws and speeding limits differ from one country to the other. This underscores the importance of performing your research beforehand. This will also provide you with an understanding of whether there is any equipment or additional documentation that you need to keep in the car.

Benefit and make use of the slow lane

It is only natural to feel a certain degree of anxiety as you embark on highways within countries you may not be familiar with. Moving at your own pace is important and on the slower lanes, you can do just that. This will allow you to maintain your composure behind the wheel.

Don’t get discouraged by other drivers

Drivers who are more familiar with the roads can intimidate others that are new to the country. Do not let yourself be discouraged, even in the midst of inappropriate and aggressive road behaviour. Avoid responding to any provocation, irrespective of how tempting that may be. It is important to keep your cool and remain focussed.

Use a GPS

Driving abroad translates to getting lost a couple of times. This highlights the importance of having a GPS handy to guide you through the different routes

Allocate time for contingency

If you are driving abroad in a new country, steer away from a packed and strict schedule. It is safe to assume that a tight time schedule will not be adhered to in full, which is why you need to allow for contingency.

Go for a smaller vehicle

The smaller the car, the easier it is to maneuver and park. If you have the flexibility of choosing, a smaller car is definitely the more practical alternative.

If things go haywire and your car breaks down abroad, you would definitely need immediate assistance. RMF is here to help and membership provides you with the peace of mind that your back is covered in case the unexpected or unthinkable happens. Get in touch to set up your membership and benefit from roadside assistance throughout Europe.

With an RMF Personal Membership, it is the individual and not the vehicle that is the member. This means that even as a passenger in another vehicle, you are covered!

24/7 Roadside Assistance Membership, no matter when you call, we’ll be there for you! | 2122 5536 |

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