Driving abroad – how to avoid a fine

Driving abroad - preferably in this Ferrari on this road

If you decide to go driving abroad, one of the most important things to do is to stay legal. By taking care and being prepared out on the roads of Europe, you can ensure you don’t get stuck with a costly fine or worse.  If you think that there are more than enough motoring rules and regulations here in the UK to deal with, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Our infographic below shows just some of the many varied and obscure legal requirements you’ll need to know about before driving abroad. From having your own breathalyser in France, to needing two pairs of glasses in Spain if you wear them, to even having replacement light bulbs in Italy, it’s difficult to keep up. The rules vary by country but they don’t get any less bizarre.

Other stand outs include: France took down speed camera warning signs, installed 400 more speed cameras and made using a satellite navigation system that warns you of upcoming speed cameras illegal; Spain making it illegal to use your phone at all inside a car and issuing €200 fines for driving in the rain without your lights on; and Italy banning the use of horns in built up areas and decreasing all speed limits by 20kph in wet weather.

Of course there’s also generally lower drink-drive limits in most European countries making it pretty essential that if you’re driving abroad, you shouldn’t be drinking at all. You should probably go easy the night before if you’ve got an early drive the following morning too.

Compared to the rest of Europe, the rules of the road in the UK are a drive around the park.

Driving Abroad - how to avoid a fine

Infographic courtesy of: http://www.autoweb.co.uk/infographics/driving-abroad-heres-how-to-avoid-a-fine

Jamie is a car enthusiast from the Wirral near Liverpool. And no, that does not mean he has a suspiciously large collection of car wheels.


  1. What happen if I have big wheels on my car & I can get a fine with police please answer my Question thanks

    • stuart

      Assuming that your ‘big wheels’ are still legal for your car, then you shouldn’t get a fine. If you have modified the car illegally by using wheel sizes that are not approved for your vehicle, or alter the overall tyre/wheel diameter outside legal limits, then you may be in trouble. Check with a tyre/wheel shop and they should be able to advise you.

  2. I understand that you need a translation of your driving licence if you are driving in Italy. Is this true? I can understand why people get caught out when driving abroad on holiday. So many rules and regulations compared to the UK.

    • stuart

      I haven’t heard about that one, Russ. Wouldn’t surprise me, though.

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