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Planning Your 2019 European Road Trip

Europe is full to the brim with amazing sights and incredible roads. In fact, one of the best ways to explore what the continent has to offer is by car or motorbike. 

Once you’ve planned your route, what you’re seeing and where you’re staying (which could take some time), make sure you prepare for what you will need as a driver in Europe. 

From legal documentation to items you’ll need in your vehicle, here’s everything you need before your European adventure.

What legal documentation do I need to drive in Europe?

First, it may be worth grabbing a folder, because there’s a fair bit you’ll need to take with you. 

Before you set off, double-check that you have the following documentation.

  • A full, valid driving licence 
  • Your national insurance number (if you’re driving)
  • Proof of vehicle insurance
  • A passport / proof of ID
  • V5C certificate (this is your vehicle log book, and you may need to apply for one)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Valid tax and MOT (make sure it doesn’t expire while you’re away)
  • Any European breakdown policy documents

It’s worth making photocopies of all of your legal docs, and make sure you always keep insurance policy numbers close to hand.

If you are driving in France, it’s a legal requirement to display a Crit’air sticker on your vehicle to confirm it’s certified. There are restrictions for vehicles registered before January 1997, and motorcycles or scooters registered before June 2000. To find out more, or to apply for the certificate and sticker, click here

If you don’t display the sticker, you could get a fine, so make sure it’s there (because a fine is a real holiday mood killer). 

What equipment do I need in my car?

Every country in Europe has its own laws about what equipment must be in your car at all times. Our Green Flag European travel kits will make sure you have everything you need on you, which will help you avoid prosecution and those pesky on-the-spot fines.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • High vis vest or jacket (you’ll need one for everyone in the vehicle)
  • Warning triangle (this is compulsory in most countries, with two required in Spain)
  • GB car sticker (you’ll still need a sticker if your vehicle is displaying a GB Euro number plate) 
  • Headlamp beam deflectors (for some cars, you’ll need to manually adjust your beams)
  • Breathalyser twin-pack (compulsory in France)
  • First aid kit (compulsory in Austria, France and Germany)
  • If you’re travelling in Poland, you’ll need a fire extinguisher (it’s worth having one with you wherever you’re travelling) 

Oh, and if you’re using a sat nav that has a built-in speed camera detector, switch that feature off. You’ll receive a penalty across a fair few European countries if you’re caught using one.

And, while it’s not compulsory, we’d recommend always having a torch, replacement bulbs and some loose change in the local currency. The torch and bulbs are particularly bright ideas.

Driving in Europe after Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you may need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the EU and EEA. 

Different countries will require different IPDs, so if you’re planning a multi-country road trip, you may need multiple IPDs. For more information on IPDs, and which ones you may need to get, click here

Now, that’s enough of this sort of stuff, get back to planning the fun parts of your trip.