10 Tips for driving abroad
Before planning for a holiday we chalk out the entire itinerary of the tour, but in most of the cases we often forget the basics such as the driving requirements of the country we are visiting. As we note down the key locations of the country we are planning to visit, we should give equal care and check in detail about the driving laws of the country. Starting from car insurance to the obtaining of the correct driving license to basic driving laws, we should note down each and everything before planning the journey.
1. Be a legible driver
The most important thing which is also a requirement if you want to drive a car during your stay in a foreign country is the correct driving license. In countries like US and UK you can drive a car with a valid international license. But the period of the validity sometimes falls short of the period of stay of that person. To avoid such awkward scenario, it is suggested that a traveler must get a valid local driving license beforehand. Embassies can provide information and guides for the traveler as well as the formalities to which they can obtain a valid driverâ€™s license.
2. Stay insured
Insurance is the next key factor which you need to remember while planning a stay abroad. If you already have car insurance and you are traveling abroad, you will need to inform your insurance company about your trip along, the duration and the countries you will be visiting. Sometimes when a tourist is renting a car abroad the car insurance comes as part of the package and some cases the tourist has to pay an extra fee in addition to the car rental. Some insurance companies do not give extra coverage to the customer if they are away from the country. In such circumstances, if you are traveling to a foreign country, then you must get a proper insurance cover for the car that you want to drive. Some insurance companies also offer breakdown cover for an additional fee.
3. Where is your IDP?
When you are packing your bag, then you must remember to complete all possible formalities which are required to get an International driving License. In most of the countries the IDP (International Driving Permit) can be obtained from the post office for a small fee. The process to procure an IDP is very easy. As you need to have a valid UK driverâ€™s license,you need to above the age of 18 and should submit two passport photographs.
You must carry the International Driving Permit with you while you are driving abroad. You must also keep handy the local drivers license because different countries have different rules of the road.
4. Be a smart driver
Be smart, and research on the law of the roads before driving in a new country. Know all the rules and regulations in detail and carefully note down the important points as it will help you enjoy a smooth drive on the road.Â The car rental companies, embassies and tourism outlets will supply you with all the required information.
5. Highway hiker
Apart from a driving license you should get a road permit which is another key document which you will need while you will be driving though the roads in an unknown country. If you are driving on shared main road or duel carriageway you might get fined if you are speeding across it without a proper valid road permit. Because some of the countries do insist on having separate road permits if you are using their roads. It is important to have the permit to hand while diving on a major road.
6. Safety on your mind
Keep your safety on your mind and remember to buckle up before you press the accelerator. Because cops are on the watch and you might get heavily fined, if you are driving without wearing your seat belt. In some countries, it is a legal requirement to carry a high visibility jacket in the vehicle in case of a breakdown.
7. Driving with liability
Being a new driver in a foreign country you must have proper liability insurance. If you are taking a rented car, then you must check at this point before signing the contract with the car rental company.
8. Turn Left
New country - New driving rules.Â In the western countries, driving is preferred on the left side of the road. So practice driving on a less crowded road before jumping into the busy lanes. That would help you to avoid accidents and will keep you safe.Â
9. Road Mapping
Always keep a proper GPS guided map in your car when you are driving abroad. The proper road mapping will help you to reach your destination without any hassle. Carrying a local road map is also a good idea in case you loose signal on your sat nav.
10. Safer the better
Maintain basic road safety sense. Do not provide lifts to any unknown people. Park your car in a proper, well-lit parking space. Be careful while entering or leaving your car.