Driving your car in a foreign country can be quite intimidating if you’re not properly prepared. If you’re planning to live in a different country it’s important to make sure you know what to expect on the roads before you arrive. We’re going to have a look at some of the main points you need to have covered. But before you get out on the roads you need to make sure you’re completely comfortable and happy to drive. If you don’t feel confident get some help from a local driver or read up on advice online until you feel you’re competent enough to drive on the new roads.
Car regulations and laws
Car regulations differ significantly around the world so it’s important to know what to expect in your new country. In most developed Western countries the standard you keep your car to will often be higher than in less developed countries. For example, in the UK your car has to pass a MOT test once a year. Whereas in many South American countries this level of vehicle inspection isn’t required. It’s important to bear this in mind as other road users might not keep their vehicles in such good condition.
If you’re considering renting a car overseas, remember to go over your contract stringently. You may also have greater peace of mind by investing in car hire excess insurance to protect you from the high excess costs often charged by vehicle hire companies.
In order to drive in the UK, drivers have to pass the driving theory test as well as the practical examination. As a result, driving standards in the UK are generally, quite high and fairly consistent. However, in other parts of the world driving standards aren’t as good.
For example, in parts of Italy, motor cyclists can drive very recklessly. Before you drive in another country it’s best to ride as a passenger with an experienced driver so you can get a better idea of how other drivers will act. This way you’ll be prepared for scooters flying out in front of you and lorries jumping traffic lights!
In the UK, as well as most other European countries, drink driving is illegal and usually carries severe punishments. But in some rural areas in less developed countries, sadly, the practice can be quite common – despite being illegal. It’s important to be aware of where and when drunk drivers might be out on the roads. That way you can avoid danger and be better prepared for what to expect.
Study, observe and practice!
As we pointed out in the introduction; before you begin driving in a foreign country you need to be completely comfortable and happy with the roads. The best way to do this is to spend as much time as possible studying the laws and regulations. Observing other drivers as a passenger and finally practicing with the help and instruction of an experienced driver will help put you at ease with driving in your new country.