Hitting the road in a European banger rally is a great experience but it throws up all sorts of challenges, none less than getting used to driving on the wrong side of the road.

Most European countries (excluding the UK, the Irish Republic, Cyprus and Malta) drive on the right-hand side of the road which can take quite a bit of getting used to.

Apart from the knee-jerk inclination to swap lanes from right to left, the first problem you will encounter, less than a quarter of a mile from exiting the ferry port, is negotiating a roundabout.

Roundabouts are tackled in an anti-clockwise direction, rather than clockwise, so you will give way to traffic travelling from your left, as opposed to the right.

You will soon find that overtaking is a problem too, especially if you are driving a right-hand drive vehicle. Exercise extra caution – perhaps even wait till you reach a stretch of dual carriageway.

In the UK turning left is easy, turning right can be more problematic. The exact opposite is true in most European countries.

6 more tips to remember:

  • Don’t dazzle oncoming drivers. Make sure you adjust your headlamps ready for driving on the right-hand side of the road. You can also use headlamp conversion stickers which are widely available at motoring shops, and, rather more expensively, at the port and on your ferry.
  • Sat-navs are great, convenient, reliable, up-to-date and usually accurate. But it’s worth double-checking your route with a detailed map of the area. Remember to bear in mind that sat-nav requirements may differ from country to country – for example, in France, it is illegal to use sat-nav equipment with radar detection indicating where fixed speed cameras are located.
  • Most European countries have toll roads that you may need to travel on, so make sure you have plenty of loose change in the correct currency to cover the cost of tolls in the countries you are visiting.
  • Drive with care and exercise caution. The Foreign Office recommends driving “defensively” when abroad and to expect the unexpected at all times.
  • Obey the rules and regulations of the road, sticking to speed limits and observing even the most obscure rules. In Spain and Switzerland, for example, if you wear prescription glasses, always carry a spare set; and in Spain, never drive in flip-flops and in Italy always park in the direction of the flow of traffic.
  • Driving is tiring at the best of times but if you are driving overseas in unfamiliar areas, concentrating on driving on the right-hand side of the road and reading different road signs it can be even more exhausting. Ensure you take frequent breaks.

 

OUR BANGER RALLY POLICY

HIC can cover any car of any value, from seven days to three months. What’s more we can offer cover more or less anywhere the banger rally takes you in Europe and beyond. HIC banger rally insurance is streets ahead in terms of cover and affordability and couldn’t be simpler to organise.