Driving Rules & Advice
Stay on the right
Here's a great tip on how to stay on the 'right' side of the road.
It is a joint effort between the front seat passenger and driver, for the first few days in particular, especially when you first pull out of a park, or turn a corner when there is no one in front of you. Say the words 'tight right - loose left'.
So what you are doing is making a tight turn when you turn right, and making a loose turn when you turn left.
(This is not the case if you are driving in the UK/Ireland.)
Don't lose these items
Please try not to lose your key/s, registration certificate or emergency triangle/vest or you will be charged for them on your credit card within 2-3 months of your vehicle return.
A lost key will cost up to €200, registration certificate €200 and triangle/vest €25.
European road rules
The Contract Holder / driver is responsible for being aware of the driving rules and regulations through each European country.
Click here for a link to the UK's AA website - the only website, in English, with the information you need. Please bear in mind that some information is specific to UK registered cars.
Most European countries require you to carry an emergency triangle and reflectorised jacket. You will be provided with one emergency triangle and one reflectorised jacket with your vehicle. Please carry the jacket inside the vehicle, so you can put it on before exiting the vehicle.
Toll roads in Europe
The best place to find information on toll roads in Europe is via Google.
Google “Toll roads in Europe” for information on which countries have pay-as-you-go toll roads. Toll roads generally accept cash, plus all major credit cards.
Google “Vignettes in Europe” for information on which countries require the purchase of a ‘vignette’ (sticker) prior to driving on their motorways.
We have found that Wikipedia information is usually the most trustworthy.
International Driver's Permit (IDP)
An IDP should be purchased by all customers driving in Europe. It will cost about $30 from the AA. Click here for more information.
While an IDP is a legal requirement for driving in Europe, and we highly recommend it for all customers, it seems that police in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and all countries outside the European Union in particular insist on it.
France - Crit'Air stickers
The cities in France that require a Crit’Air (pollution) certificate (sticker) are currently: Paris, Grenoble, Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon and Toulouse. The cost is approximately €4.
You can only apply for this sticker after you have collected your vehicle, and because it can only be posted to your home address, you should print the receipt that you receive via email and cut/stick the section with QR code, Crit’Air logo and licence plate number onto the inside right-hand side of your windscreen, facing out.
There is a €68 fine if you fail to have this sticker, but we are not aware of anyone having been fined to date.
Click here to check for any updates and to order a sticker.
France - Breathalyser kits
In 2012 the French Government introduced a law requiring all drivers to carry a Breathalyser kit. This law was modified a year later stating that drivers won't be fined if they fail to have a kit in their vehicle after all.
Breathalyser kits cost €3-4 and are available at supermarkets and fuel stations throughout France – highly recommended if you do intend to have a drink, to ensure your passengers and fellow road users are kept safe, and your vehicle insurance is not jeopardised.
An Environmental Badge is required in a growing number of cities and towns (known as 'environmental zones') throughout Germany. They can be obtained from most new car dealerships throughout Germany at a cost of approx €8. Click here for more information.
We suggest you arrange this when you first enter a town/city that requires a badge, as ordering online is impossible without the vehicle registration document – which you are not given until vehicle collection.
Portugal - Guia de Circulacao
Portuguese Customs require all customers driving a tax-free car into Portugal (if collected outside Portugal) to be able to prove that they are not spending more than 90 days in Portugal. This means that you must obtain a GUIA DE CIRCULACAO document on border entry or at a customs office at a major airport or city within Portugal at a cost of approximately €5.
We are not aware of any customers being fined for not having this document since the rule was introduced in 2014. Plus, if you collect your vehicle in Portugal this document is not required.
Portugal - Electronic toll roads
Portugal has also introduced a number of electronic toll roads, where you must prepay to be on them or risk being fined many hundreds of Euros.
Click here for more information.
Parking fines are quite prevalent in Italy so please take real care to ensure you are parked legally. Fines will be posted to your home address, sometimes 6 months after the offence.