Prepare yourself for driving abroad

11 Apr 2016

Just under six million of us are expected to take our own cars to Europe this year* so it may be surprising to learn that more than half of motorists surveyed by RAC European Breakdown** have reservations about driving abroad.

Getting ‘lost in translation’ is the number one concern for almost half of Brits who are worried about driving abroad. Aside from being unable to communicate, a further 42% of those surveyed cited breaking down or being stranded as their top concern.

RAC European Breakdown Operations Manager David Huggon said: “Driving abroad can be a daunting experience for some, with plenty to think about.

Ultimately, planning is key and we suggest making sure you have everything you need before you set off so that nothing comes between you and the open roads. There are a number of ways to prepare for your journey so that you are able to navigate your way around language barriers and enjoy driving on the continent.”

Top tips to prepare yourself for driving abroad:

Translation book:

A translation book could not only come in handy in shops and cafes, but may be useful if you happen to break down or be involved in an accident.

Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance is always high on the list of priorities for Brits taking their car abroad, and can cover you for those unexpected moments. Motorists should be aware that they may need to increase their existing breakdown cover, or take out standalone European breakdown cover to avoid any significant additional expenses (see below).

Comprehensive European breakdown cover:

Having comprehensive European breakdown cover means you won’t need to worry about speaking a foreign language in the event of a break down.

Awareness of regulations:

What you are required by law to have in your car is different abroad. The RAC have produced a helpful table with all you need to know.

RAC Table

*Source: ONS, Travel Trends Latest available figures for 2014 indicate 5.987 million private vehicles visits to Europe

**Source: 1,091 people surveyed via the RAC Motorists’ Opinion Panel, July 2015

The information contained in our articles are intended to help you at uni and beyond, however you should not rely on this as advice for your own personal situation to make, or refrain from making, any decisions. Endsleigh cannot accept liability for any decisions you make based on our articles if things go wrong: everyone has their own individual circumstances. 


The RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists and are committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.

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