Driving in Europe


To drive in Europe ensure you have the following paperwork in order, and in your vehicle when you leave. Leave a photocopy at home.

  • V5 owners log book
  • Insurance – for all drivers, ensure all the countries you will visit are covered.
  • Road tax
  • Vehicle inspection certificate (MOT in the UK)
  • Driving licenses

Note: Bail bonds are no longer required for Spain.

Things you must keep in the vehicle

To drive a vehicle in Europe you must carry the following in the vehicle

  • Reflective jacket for the driver, which you must where when getting out of the vehicle on a motorway.
  • Warning triangle (2 are required in Spain) – available for about €3 in French supermarkets
  • Spain bulb kit (Spain). Could also avoid a police fine if you are stopped for a defective light, and you fix it there and then.

Driving on the right hand side (for the British, Australians, South Africans, etc.)

Traffic of every country in continental Europe drives on the right hand side. If you come from a country that drives on the left hand side, such as Briton or Australia, you will need to adjust to driving on the right hand side. Don’t worry, most people adjust very quickly. Most people find driving a vehicle they are used to (one from the UK) is easier, as this prevents having to get used to a different vehicle type as well as road layout.

Driving without a passenger in Europe with a UK vehicle

If you have a passenger the only problems you will face when driving a UK vehicle on the continent is seeing around the traffic in front when overtaking. If you don’t have a passenger then you will find it difficult seeing traffic from the left when pulling out of junctions. Fitting an additional rear view mirror to the left hand side of the windscreen can help. You will also have to slide across the vehicle at toll-roads and campsite barriers, etc.

  1. Recommendations for camper van hire in Portugal
    Hi. Any recommendations for reliable companies hiring out camper vans in Portugal.

    Cheers in advance



  2. Hiring campervan and driving to festival.
    Hi their.
    Me and my friends are thinking of hiring a cmapervan and driving to the Benicassim festival in spain. We all over 20 and theirs a few of us been driving for 4 years or so. Would this be possoble and what sort of info could you give me on doing this. Any help or links would be much appreciated.


    1. Hi Joe
      Sounds like a great

      Hi Joe

      Sounds like a great trip. That’s a festival I’ve always wanted to visit.
      There are a lot of factors to consider.

      1. Will you all sleep in the campervan? If so you will need quite a big one, i.e. bigger than a VW. If some of you, or all of you are going to sleep in tents then you can get away with a smaller, VW like vehicle.

      2. Where will you stay on your trip to the festival? If you intend to stay in campsites then the camper and tents will be fine. If you intend to wild camp then you’ll all need to fit into the camper, and therefore you’ll need a bigger vehicle.

      3. Where will you hire the camper from? It is possible to rent campervans from continental Europe. So you can fly to France, Spain or Portugal, pick up the camper from there and head towards Benicassim. If you fly first then you’ll be restricted in what you can carry, i.e. only what you can take on a plane. If you drive from the UK you’ll be able to take many more things, but you’ll have to get to the ferry terminal, pay for the crossing, and drive all the way to the festival.

      Lots of things to consider.

      If you are renting a vehicle from the UK I would suggest trying to get one locally to you. This always makes things easier.

      Let me know more about what suits you and I can make some more recommendations.

      All the best


      P.S. here are some companies that rent camper vans in continental Europe.





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