Top tips for driving abroad this summer


Planning a trip abroad this summer? Why not take your car with you! Road trips are a great way to explore a country and get off the beaten track. Especially after 2 years of stay-cations in Ireland, it’s time to discover Europe once more!

Driving through Europe is relatively easy if you are mindful of the different rules and laws of each country and with Allianz car insurance, our cover allows you to drive in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, The Isle of Man and The Channel Islands. Furthermore, you will have the same policy cover to drive around Europe for up to 60 days (in European nations and any other country that have made arrangements to meet the minimum insurance requirements set by the European Union). You are also covered to take your car on the ferry, on a train, and through the Channel Tunnel – plus taking these options reduce your air miles, therefore making your trip a more sustainable one! If you do decide to bring your own car, it’s worth making sure you have European roadside breakdown assistance cover too.

Driving your car abroad

There is a lot to be said for the sense of security and confidence that driving your own car can give you especially when driving on unfamiliar roads, plus there’s less hassle involved compared to negotiating a rental contract. Having said that, if you are travelling to a country that drives on the right side of the road, it presents some challenges.

Your headlamps will need adjusting to ensure they don’t dazzle other road users. With many cars, you can just adjust the headlights from a switch but for some cars you will have to buy headlight adjuster discs to put over the lights, or make your own.

Out on the open road your blind spots are increased making overtaking more dangerous. However, to increase visibility, you can buy clip-on mirrors for your car.

Some roads in Europe don’t accept cash or debit cards and only accept toll passes. If you’re driving your own car, you’ll have to purchase these yourself. It really does pay to plan your route well ahead of time to consider toll roads and how and when you must pay. 

Know before you go

There are some different rules and regulations abroad and knowing these before you hit the road can potentially save you a lot of time, money and trouble. It’s important to note that many European city centres and towns have put a ban on some vehicles or are car-free zones. Cities with restrictions include Amsterdam, Athens, Budapest, Malaga, Munich, Rome, Stockholm and Vienna. We have listed some interesting rules below that will be useful to know before you head off on your trip!

Belgium: The side of the street which drivers may park on changes every half-month, and is chosen based on even or odd house numbers.1

Cyprus: You can be fined €25 for unnecessary reversing and it’s illegal to eat or drink whilst driving.2

France: It is illegal to use GPS or navigation systems that highlight speed camera locations.3

Germany: It is against the law to run out of fuel on the Autobahn – the German highway.4

Italy: It is illegal to park your car facing the opposite direction of traffic.5

Scandinavian Countries: Drivers must keep their headlights turned on at all times, even during the day, regardless of the season.6

Slovenia: When reversing, drivers are required put on their hazard lights.7

Spain: You can get an on-the-spot fine up to €200 for driving in flip flops.8

Switzerland: If you wear glasses, you are required to carry a second back up pair at all times.9


Europe has some of the most spectacular driving routes in the world,  with more than 5 million kilometres of paved roads to travel. Why not pack up the car this summer and explore what Europe has to offer by car!


Allianz p.l.c is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Standard acceptance criteria apply.


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