Halfords Autocentre Guide to Driving Abroad

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					Cruising the Continent
with Confidence
Halfords guide to stress-free driving on the continent
                                                                                          Did you know?

                                                                                                GB sticker    You can be fined for not displaying a GB sticker on the rear of
                                                                                                               your car if you do not already have a number plate with a GB

                                                      We’re                                     Documents
                                                                                                               Euro symbol on it.

                                                                                                               In most European countries it’s a legal requirement to carry

                                                      all                                                      your driving licence with you at all times, unlike in the UK.
                                                                                                               You should also carry with you your D740 (driving licence
                                                                                                               paper counterpart), motor insurance certificate, passport

Each year around two
                                                      going                                                    and V5C (vehicle registration document). It is not
                                                                                                               recommended to leave your V5C in the car unattended,
                                                                                                               as it makes it easier for thieves to sell the vehicle on.
million of us take our cars
                                                      on a                                      Green Card    You can get this from your insurer to show that you meet

                                                      summer                                    Driving Age
                                                                                                               the minimum insurance requirements across Europe.

                                                                                                              It’s 18 in most European countries, so you need to be

                                                      holiday                                                  age aware.

                                                                                                Alcohol        One in ten (9%) of us wrongly presume the alcohol limit for
                                                                                                               drivers in Europe will be higher than at home, when it’s
                                                                                                               actually considerably lower in France, Germany, Italy and
                                                                                                               Spain. Don’t be caught out by thinking the limits will be the
                                                                                                               same as in the UK or higher, check out our useful guide on
      MOT                                                                                                      page 4.
                          Cruising the continent in confidence with Halfords
      Car Service                                                                               Tyres          Most European countries have the same minimum tyre depth
                          As the friend of the motorist, Halfords wants your life on                           as the UK, which is 1.6mm. Fines for defective tyres are high.
                          the road to be as enjoyable, safe and stress free as possible                        Tyres wear our quickly after they get down to 3mm so if they
      Tyres               – whether at home or abroad.                                                         are this worn, you should think about getting them replaced
                                                                                                               before you go.
      Brakes              That’s why Halfords’ expert team has put together handy
                          hints and tips – so that whether you’re taking to continental
                          roads for the first time or are more experienced you feel
      Clutch              confident and free to enjoy your holiday.

      Car Repairs                                                                                              Halfords carried out research amongst 500 drivers at
                                                                                                               the port of Dover during June 2012

Cruise the Continent
in Confidence with
Halford’s top ten tips                                                                               At a glance guides

1. Is your car as ready for a holiday              6. Don’t assume anything                          Rule             UK                 France             Germany            Italy              Spain
as you are?                                        Drivers on the Continent won’t always react
Make sure your car is ‘holiday fit’ by             as you expect. Allow yourself extra space         Minimum          17                 18                 18                 18                 18
checking the lights, oil and coolant levels,       and time for unexpected manoeuvres.               driving age
tyre tread and pressure. If you’re unsure,                                                           for UK licence
visit your local Halfords Autocentre for a         7. Be speed aware when you’re towing              holder
comprehensive check before you travel.             If you’re towing a caravan check the speed
                                                   limits for towing in the countries you’re         Speed limit      Towns/cities       Towns/cities       Towns/cities       Towns/cities       Towns/cities
2. Just in case                                    visiting. In many European countries it’s                          48 kph             50kph              50kph              50kph              50kph
As well as checking your car before you set off,   slower than in the UK, although in France it’s                     Open road          Open road          Open road          Open road          Open road
check your insurance policy details too. Some      higher (check our speed limit sections under                       96-112 kph         90kph              100kph             90-110kph          90-100kph
policies require you to advise your insurer that   each of the countries you’re visiting).                            Motorway           Motorway           Motorway           Motorway           Motorway
you’re planning on driving abroad and if you                                                                          112 kph            110-130kph         130kph             130kph             120kph
are visiting a country outside the EU then you     8. Continental code busting
may need a Green Card. And don’t forget            Understanding road signs shouldn’t be as          Alcohol limit    Level of alcohol   Level of alcohol   Level of alcohol   Level of alcohol   Level of alcohol
Travel Insurance too – it’ll give you the          difficult as you think. The same rules apply:                      in bloodstream     in bloodstream     in bloodstream     in bloodstream     in bloodstream
complete peace of mind you need.                   Triangular signs are warning signs, rectangular                    should be less     should be less     should be less     should be less     should be less
                                                   signs give information and circular signs                          than 0.08%         than 0.05%         than 0.05%         than 0.051%        than 0.05%
3. Don’t tempt thieves                             prohibit you from doing something.                                                                       Drivers aged       Drivers with       Drivers with
Store sunglasses, maps and cases away                                                                                                                       under 21 or        less than          less than
from view when you park otherwise your car         9. It pays to be law abiding                                                                             with less than     three years        two years
looks like an easy target.                         Most European police have the power to                                                                   two years          experience,        experience,
                                                   give on the spot fines and they can be hefty                                                             experience,        0%                 0.03%
4. Don’t let tolls take their toll                 – in France they can range up to £1,500 and                                                              0%
Tolls on major routes are more common in           they have to be paid in cash. If you’re unlucky
Europe than in the UK. Main roads, tunnels         enough to be given a fine, remember to always     Insurance        Third party        Third party        Third party        Third party        Third party
and bridges can all demand tolls and if            ask for a receipt for proof of payment.                            compulsory         compulsory         compulsory         compulsory         compulsory
you’re mostly using the major routes, it can
be cheaper to buy a pre-paid card or pass.         10. In an emergency                               Minimum          Children of 11     10 years           12 years           12 years           12 years
Some tolls only accept correct change, so          The European emergency call number is             age for child    years and          (except babies     (unless using      (unless using
it’s a good idea to take a mixture of low value    112. You can dial this anywhere in the            to travel in     under must         up to 9 months     a child restraint) a child restraint)
coins (euro cents) with you.                       European Union in case of accident, assault       front seat       wear a child       sitting in child
                                                   or in any other distress situation.                                restraint if one   seat)
5. Your mirror is your best friend                                                                                    is available
Make full use of your left hand mirror when
you’re overtaking. Your view will be restricted                                                      Seat belts       Compulsory in      Compulsory in      Compulsory in      Compulsory in      Compulsory in
because of driving in a right hand drive car.                                                                         all seats          all seats          all seats          all seats          all seats

At a glance guides                                                                                             France
Visit your local Halfords store or go online to to purchase any of the
following items...

Checklist            Compulsory items that drivers                    Recommended items for drivers
                     must have in their car                           to have in their car
                                                                                                               Useful phrases:
UK                                                                    Warning triangle
                                                                      First-aid kit                            How far is it to….?              Combien y a-t-il jusqu’a?
                                                                      Fire extinguisher
                                                                                                               Where is the city                Où est le centre ville/
France               GB Plate or GB Euroflag number plate             First aid kit                            centre/nearest                   le garage le plus pres/ le poste?
                     Headlamp converters                              Fire extinguisher                        garage/police station?
                     Warning triangle
                                                 ^                                                             North:
                     High visibility waistcoat                                                                                                  Nord
                     Spare bulbs                                                                               South:                           Sud
                                                           ^^                                                  Straight ahead:
                     Michelin easy grip or snow chains                                                                                          Tout droit
                                    ^^^                                                                        Left:                            Gauche
                                                                                                               Right:                           Droite
Germany              GB Plate or GB Euroflag number plate             Warning triangle
                     Headlamp converters                              High visibility waistcoat
                                                                                                               Did you know?
                     Michelin easy grip or snow chains                Spare bulbs
                                                                      First aid kit*
                                                                                                               • From 1st July 2012, it is compulsory for drivers to carry two NF approved
                                                                      Fire extinguisher
                                                                                                                  breathalysers in their vehicle while travelling in France
                                                                                                               • In built-up areas give way to traffic coming from the right “priorité a droite”
Italy                GB Plate or GB Euroflag number plate             Spare bulbs                              • In built up areas the use of the horn is prohibited except in cases of immediate danger
                     Headlamp converters                              First aid kit                            • In France a headlamp flash means ‘Watch out – I’m coming through’ – the opposite of
                     Warning triangle                                 Fire extinguisher                           what it does for most drivers in the UK
                     High visibility waistcoat                        Breathalyser                              • BIS routes tend to be much more scenic than autoroutes so factor in some extra time
                                                           ^^                                                     and discover rural France
                     Michelin easy grip or snow chains
Spain                GB Plate or GB Euroflag number plate             First aid kit
                                                                                                                • In France an unbroken single line is a much stronger overtaking warning than in
                     Headlamp converters                              Fire extinguisher
                                                                                                                  Britain. It prohibits overtaking in both directions
                                                                                                          ^^    • In France traffic on roundabouts used to have to stop and give way to traffic entering it.
                     Warning triangle**                               Michelin easy grip or snow chains
                                                                                                                 Now in most cases the UK rule applies and traffic entering the roundabout has to give way to
                     High visibility waistcoat***                     Breathalyser
                                                                                                                 traffic already on the roundabout. But be wary – in some rural areas the old rule still applies
                     Spare bulbs
                                                                                                               • In France there is a minimum speed limit on the motorway (80kph) as well as a
                                                                                                                 maximum (110-130kph) so relax but don’t take it too easy!
*Should conform to DIN13 164 standard                                                                          • It is illegal to carry a radar detection kit, or sat nav equipment that shows the location
**Two warning traingles are required. One for infront of the car and one behind                                  of speed cameras. This should be disabled before driving in France, or if that’s not
***One for each person in the car                                                                                possible, left at home. The maximum fine €1,500
 French Road Safety Department strongly advise carrying two vests (one must be in body of car, not
boot) When using snow-covered road in compliance with relevant road sign
   Breathalyser must be NF approved, two strongly recommended

Germany                                                          Italy

Useful phrases:                                                                                   Useful phrases:

How far is it to….?              Wie weit ist es?                                                 How far is it to….?                Come lontano lo è a?

Where is the city                Wo ist die innestadt/                                            Where is the city                  dove si trova il centro della città/ il garage più vicino/
centre/nearest                   die nächste Garage/ Polizeirevier?                               centre/nearest                     vigilare la stazione
garage/police station?                                                                            garage/police station?

North:                           Nord                                                             North:                             Nord
South:                           Sud                                                              South:                             Sud
Straight ahead:                  Gehen sie gerade aus                                             Straight ahead:                    Avanti dritto
Left:                            Links                                                            Left:                              Sinistra
Right:                           Rechts                                                           Right:                             Destra

Did you know?                                                                                     Did you know?

• In Germany don’t run out of petrol on the Autobahn – it’s against the law                       • In Italy when you turn across another vehicle you should turn in front of it and not
• Germany is one of the only countries in Europe not to have a legal maximum speed limit            behind it as you would in the UK
  on some parts of its motorways. In some sections, 130kph is only the recommended top            • In Italy, carrying spare fuel in a can is not permitted
  limit and you’ll find that many cars drive considerably faster. But don’t feel pressured into   • Italians are some of Europe’s most ‘honk happy’ drivers. But don’t let it fluster
  entering a speed competition with locals. There are still restricted sections and it takes        you. Instead learn to see it as a bit of continental backdrop!
  considerable experience to drive safely at top speeds                                           • Private and hire cars are not permitted to enter the historic centre of many Italian cities
• Wheel clamps are not used in Germany but vehicles causing obstruction can be towed away           without an official pass. If your hotel is in the centre of one of the cities concerned, you
• It is recommended to use dipped headlights or day time running lights at all times. It is         can purchase a pass from most car hire companies. However, this pass will not be valid
  compulsory during daylight hours if fog, snow or rain restrict visibility. Driving with           for entering the centre of any other city and you are advised to make use of out-of-
  sidelights (parking lights) alone is not allowed                                                  centre car parks and public transport. The boundaries of historic centres are usually
• In winter, it’s compulsory to have winter tyres. It is prohibited to use summer tyres in          marked with the letters ZTL in black on a yellow background
  Germany during winter weather conditions                                                        • In an attempt to reduce levels of pollution in Rome, the authorities occasionally introduce
                                                                                                    traffic restrictions. This involves only allowing the circulation of traffic on alternative days,
                                                                                                    linked to the vehicles’ odd or even number plates. On these occasions only vehicles with
                                                                                                    the appropriate number plate are permitted to drive within the “fascia verde”. You can
                                                                                                    check the Comune di Roma website for exact dates

Spain                                                                                                   Halfords’ top tips for
                                                                                                        holiday driving

Useful phrases:

How far is it to….?               Cuanto hay de aqui a…?                                                Safety                                              Keep cool

Where is the city                 Donde esta al centro de lacuidad/                                     • Get your car checked before you set               • Hot cars make for hassled passengers.
centre/nearest                    más cercano garaje/ la comisaría?                                       off. A quick tyres, lights, windscreen              Before you head off on your travels visit
garage/police station?                                                                                    washer, brakes and steering check,                  your local Halfords Autocentre for an Air
                                                                                                          will give you peace of mind                         Con check to ensure you beat the heat on
North:                            Norte                                                                 •   When you’re hitting the continent your car is     long journeys. If your car doesn’t have air
South:                            Sur                                                                       bound to be loaded up with clothes,               conditioning, give your passengers hand
Straight ahead:                   Todo recto                                                                accessories, cameras, toys and equipment.         held fans. They’re cheap, effective and fun
Left:                             Izquierdo                                                                 Allow a few extra minutes whenever you’re       • Wet wipes should be every
Right:                            Derecho                                                                   packing your car to ensure you’ve given           traveller’s constant companion!
                                                                                                            yourself plenty of visibility – no matter how
Did you know?                                                                                               loaded up you are. If you do have lots to
                                                                                                            take, it may be worth investing in a roof box
• Spain has one of the highest motor accident rates in Europe so be extra careful on                                                                        Entertainment
  Spanish roads
• In Spain when turning left off a main road into a side road, instead of stopping in the                                                                   • Plan ‘surprise stops’ for the kids en-
  middle of the road and waiting for oncoming traffic to clear as you would in the UK, you are                                                                route. Visit a nearby castle, amusement
  expected to pull off to the right of the road into a turning circle where you wait until traffic is   Early riser                                           park or even an ice cream shop
  clear in both directions before crossing the main road into the side road                                                                                 • Keep some surprises up your sleeve. Only
• In Spain you’re permitted to exceed the open road speed limit by 20kph while you’re in                • Set your alarm and start off early. Your            hand out toys, books and games when
  the process of an overtaking manoeuvre                                                                  kids are more likely to sleep through and           kids are bored – not at the beginning of
• In Spain, if you wear glasses, by law you must carry a spare pair with you                              there’ll be less traffic on the roads               your journey while they’re still happy
• It is forbidden to use a mobile phone whilst driving                                                                                                        looking out of the window
• Cars have right of way. That’s the rule. If someone wants to cross a zebra crossing then                                                                  • When kids are old enough set them the
  they just have to wait                                                                                                                                      task of map reading. The responsibility
• Be careful when parking your car in Spain. In some cities a blue line on the street                   Eat well                                              will keep them interested in the journey
  indicates resident-only parking                                                                                                                           • Consider installing a DVD player or
                                                                                                        • Avoid salty snacks, like crisps and                 iPad mount to keep kids entertained.
                                                                                                          nuts, in the car. They make everyone
                                                                                                          thirsty so you drink more, so that
                                                                                                          means more bathroom stops!

                               Halfords is the UK’s leading retailer
                               of automative and leisure products.
                               Halfords now lets you reserve
                               products online which will be ready
                               for you to collect in just one hour. If
                               the product is out of stock, place
                               your order before 6pm Monday to
                               Friday and it will be ready to collect
                               from midday the following day.

                               With over 260 centres nationwide,
                               Halfords Autocentres is the UK’s
                               leading independent car servicing,
                               repair, tyre and MOT network. Now
                               part of the Halfords group, our name
                               may be new, but our centres have
                               been a feature of the towns and cities
                               of Britain for a decade or more.

                               Halfords Autocentres provides
                               dealership quality work at affordable
Have a great holiday           prices to around 650,000 customers
from Halfords.                 every year, with over 8 out of 10
                               saying that they would recommend us
                               to a friend. Our expert service is
We’d love to hear more about
                               backed with both a quality and price
your summer trip. Share your   guarantee: work is guaranteed for 12
best (and worst!) stories on   months or 12,000 miles, and we
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