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Driving in Europe: Checklist & Requirements 2024 | Eurorepar

Driving in Europe: Checklist & Requirements 2024 | Eurorepar

Read our guide to discover the essentials you’ll need for driving in Europe, including a document checklist & equipment recommended for your travels. 

H1: Driving in Europe 101: Checklist, requirements & top-tips 

If you’re searching for a unique way to experience a new place, driving in Europe could be your next adventure in waiting. From ensuring you have the correct documentation to the additional vehicle requirements for driving in the EU, a thorough checklist is essential for a painless journey.  

Whether you’re planning a road trip across the scenic countryside of France, the busy city streets of Germany or the iconic landscapes in Italy - keep reading to discover our comprehensive checklist for 2024. We cover what you need to drive in Europe to help you stay organised and enjoy a smooth (yet exciting) journey. 

H2: What do I need to drive in Europe? 

Driving in a different continent comes with new laws and legalities, so it’s essential that you equip yourself with any documents relating to your vehicle. From documentation which proves you have the right to drive to the documents which show you’re protected whilst driving a UK car in Europe, here are the things you need: 

  • Passport 

  • Travel insurance documents 

  • Full, valid driving license 

  • Vehicle registration certificate (also known as the VS5 or logbook) 

  • Vehicle insurance documents 

  • European Breakdown Cover documents 

You may also need: 

  • International driving permit (IDP) 

  • UK sticker (if you don’t have a Union flag on your car’s number plate) 

  • An emissions sticker 

  • Vaccination certificates, covid test result proof and/or passenger locator forms 

  • DVLA code (if you’re hiring a car abroad) 

  • Insurance ‘green card’ if driving in some European countries outside the EU/EEA 

  • Visa(s) 

H3: Required equipment for driving in Europe 

While there’s no legal obligation to carry specific safety equipment in the UK, in many European countries it’s compulsory (depending on the time of year and the country). So, if you’re travelling in Europe by car, you may need to carry the following equipment: 

  • Reflective jackets (one for each passenger) 

  • Warning triangle 

  • Winter tyres or snow chains (depending on season, conditions and terrain) 

  • Headlight converters/beam deflectors 

  • First aid kit 

  • Child car seat 

H3: Extra essentials 

As with any road trips or long car journeys, we’d recommend you keep your car stocked up with the below:  

  • Fire extinguisher 

  • Replacement bulbs 

  • Torch 

  • Spare fuel can 

  • Additional engine oil and water (in case you need to top up) 

  • Road map or navigation system 

  • Blanket 

  • Sun cream 

  • Water (or refreshments) 

  • Games (especially if you have children) 

  • Medication that isn’t available abroad 

  • Photocopies of important documents 

  • European Health Insurance card 

  • Change for tolls 

H2: Tips for travelling in Europe by car 

Driving somewhere unfamiliar can bring with it a new list of requirements, as well as a handful of considerations to make sure you’re as prepared as possible. Below, we have noted the most popular tips for driving in Europe: 

H3: Check over your vehicle   

Before you even set off on your journey into the EU, you need to ensure that your car is in full working order. This includes things like checking the condition of your tyres and checking your brakes for any erosion. If you’d like to have your vehicle inspected by a professional, book in for a service or MOT at your closest centre

H3: Ensure your documents are valid 

When it comes to documentation (in particular the terms and conditions), we recommend that you check your driving license is valid. If you have breakdown cover, ensure you double check to make sure it isn’t expired, and that is covers breakdowns in Europe. Before you travel, it’s also essential that your vehicle’s tax and MOT are valid and up to date. Always make sure you have photocopies of any documents that could prove important!  

H3: Learn the different laws 

The laws for driving in Europe may differ depending on where you’re coming from, so always make sure you find out which side of the road to drive on before you arrive. A couple of European countries also implement a sticker rule, which you may be eligible to follow in some cases - for example, you may need a sticker to reflect if your car produces a certain level of emissions. If you are driving in Europe having come from the UK, you are required to have a UK sticker on your vehicle, as opposed to a GB sticker (as of 2021). 

H3: Adjust your headlights  

Vehicles that drive in any country across Europe are required to adjust their headlights so that they cannot dazzle any oncoming drivers. So, depending on your vehicle and the type of headlights it has, it’s highly likely you will require headlight converters. We would recommend always taking a set of these with you so you’re able to easily adjust the positioning of your headlights if required. 

H3: Share your trip details 

Whilst you’re driving abroad, especially if you’re travelling solo, it’s a good idea to share your location with someone back home. You can either do this by using the built-in location app on your phone or by downloading a dedicated app in which you can share all aspects of your trip. 

H3: Keep spare change 

As with roads in the UK, there are tolls all over Europe which provide a quicker and more seamless journey for road users. If you find you need to access an easier route, then it’s essential that you keep some spare coins in your car in case any of the stops don’t take card. Make sure you have the correct currency, too! 

We hope our European driving checklist and top tips have helped you feel more confident ahead of your journey on European roads. If you would like to read more helpful information, head over to our blog. Or, book yourself in for a service or MOT to ensure your vehicle is always ready for those longer trips.