Europe is home to a range of legendary landscapes, scintillating scenery and stunning vistas. From the allure of the snowy Swiss Alps to the draw of the Pyrenees, it's tempting to explore all that Europe has to offer. Best of all, most of Europe's best sights can be explored by road - just one glance at our list of Top European Driving Roads is enough to whet the appetite.
The temptation certainly isn't lost on us. In fact, every year thousands of us head abroad on our holidays to some of the most exciting areas of the globe. The best way to get around is with the unlimited freedom that a car brings - whether it's a hire car or your own.
This however, can bring its own set of challenges. These include busy metropolitan cities, and bustling road networks which can seem alien to us. Driving laws vary by country to country, and it's easy to get caught out without even knowing.
Planning is the key, and that's where we're here to help. By carrying out some simple research on your destination, you can save yourself a lot of time down the line. And if you're taking your own car, it's important to check it's ready for the road ahead, no matter how scenic it may be.
There is some equipment which is essential to every car journey on holiday - especially if you're exploring some of Europe's lesser-known roads. Some practical suggestions include a spare set of replacement bulbs and fuses for your car, which can guarantee an easy fix without the hassle of taking it to a garage.
Taking a pair of spare spectacles for the driver is also a good idea, just in case the initial pair are lost or damaged. Make sure you also have your full driving license with you, as well as your EHIC card which will cover any medical expenses whilst travelling abroad. You will also need proof of your insurance cover for the duration of your trip.
Equipment should likely include a first-aid kit, and a fire extinguisher for emergencies. It's also worth making sure what the laws are in your destination. Some countries, such as France, require by law that one high visibility jacket per passenger and a set of two warning triangles are carried in the car at all times.
Check the laws for your country
Remember, most countries in Europe drive on the right hand side of the road (apart from in Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Malta and Cyprus). To keep our headlights on the same setting as used in the UK runs the risk of blinding oncoming drivers.
For most modern cars, especially the luxury vehicles in the Stratstone range, this can mean a simple adjustment of the headlight angle. Cars without this feature will require a set of headlight beam converters - a simple stick-on option which helps to deflect light away.
Laws in France also require that you carry a breathalyser kit in your car at all times, whilst in Luxembourg you can be fined on the spot for having your sat-nav fixed to the windscreen incorrectly. In Germany, it's illegal to run out of fuel on the motorway.
It's also important to remember that drink-driving laws can vary significantly from country to country. France requires that a breathalyser kit be kept in the car at all times, though it's good practice to keep one in your car when travelling anywhere abroad.
Top Travel Tips
-Make sure you plan where you're going before you get there. Having full directions for your entire journey, as well as any excursions during your holiday, saves you having to navigate on the go. Remember to plan in some breaks to allow the driver to rest along the way.
-It can be easy to forget when planning for a holiday to take all the usual driving precautions. Make sure your tyre pressures are correct before you set off, and that your oil and any other necessary fluids are topped up.
-In all circumstances, it's best to take extra time when travelling in Europe. Driving styles can differ dramatically, and customs which may stand true in the UK may not apply abroad. Paying more attention to road signs and other drivers may keep you from incursions with the law or other drivers.
-If travelling with children, then they may not always be able to travel in the passenger seat. In France, children under 10 must travel in the back of the car. Make sure you check the rules for your destination and plan accordingly.
By taking the necessary precautions before setting off, you can ensure that you have a hassle-free and enjoyable experience throughout your stay in Europe.