In many parts of the world, renting and driving a car is costlier than regular public transports while traveling. However, you may not always be able to skip driving anyway, especially if you’re on a business trip.
You must follow certain traffic rules to drive on highways, alleys, off-roads, etc., of foreign countries. So, today, we’ve brought every dos and don’ts one must abide by while driving a car abroad. Let’s jump right on them.
Dos and Don’ts of Driving in a Foreign Country
Driving liberates you, especially in a foreign land. You are free to explore it in your pace, stopover, and enjoy the view. However, to make the best of your trip, you must ensure that you are well-versed in the traffic laws of that particular city or country.
On the other hand, ditching those rules will only get you in trouble that may not be easy to get over quickly. For instance, after a car accident in a foreign country, you’ll have to go through a series of necessary steps, including reporting to the police, visiting a licensed physician, calling your insurance company at home, etc. No one wants to take those hassles, especially when on a trip.
So, let’s prepare ourselves with some dos and don’ts before heading to a particular country. Below, we’ll start with the Dos of driving abroad:
1.Do Ensure You’re Permitted to Drive
Are you officially licensed to drive in the country you’re aiming to travel to? License rules may vary slightly from country to country. Commonly, most countries in the world will accept a US driving license. However, you must check beforehand with the embassies of the countries you want to visit.
2.Do Learn About Local Traffic Rules
If you think driving in a foreign country is easy, think twice. It’s not easy, and neither is it cheap to get away with exceeding the speed limit. You must know the rules of every road or alley you’re planning to drive in a country. Or else you won’t escape a fine.
Normally, European countries impose heavy speeding tickets on rogue drivers who exceed specific speed limits or dash through a restricted road.
So, learn about the local traffic rules and regulations before opting to fire up the road. Make sure you’re following the ‘right-hand side’ or ‘left-hand side’ driving regulation so your trip doesn’t get unsettled due to parking, speeding, or unauthorized entry tickets.
3. Do Get Overseas Car Insurance
Your local car insurance may not suffice when you’re driving abroad. So, technically, you must get car insurance from the country you’re planning to visit with your wheels.
You may get overseas car insurance, so it gets the job done for most foreign countries. On the other hand, every foreign country has rules and options to provide car insurance for foreign visitors. You must start processing the insurance with the target country before you fly with your car or drive to your destination.
Remember, overseas car insurance typically doesn’t cover your health or travel insurance. It’s all about the safety or compensation for common car accidents you might encounter while driving within the border of that particular country.
4. Do Keep Required Papers with You While Driving
There’s no way you’re allowed to forget your travel and business documents while there’s a need for driving to a country on a business or vacation trip. People tend to forget all their required documents in a hurry. However, this might get you in legal trouble if caught by a policeman or immigration officer of the country you’re visiting.
Do keep your documents and papers in multiple sets in different places; a backpack, suitcase, car’s dashboard, etc. Your necessary documents include your passport, driving license, visa, immigration papers, official documents (purpose of travel), etc.
Also, make sure each of your papers is updated and authorized. Forged papers may get you in legal hassles for the long term, so make sure they are authentic and updated.
Now, it’s equally important to know what you mustn’t do while driving in a foreign country. Let’s find those ‘don’ts’ below:
5. Don’t Overlook ‘Drink and Drive’ Rule
No matter whether you’re driving in your own country or abroad, drinking and driving is an offense. Plus, driving under the influence on unfamiliar roads is probably not a wise decision. If you get into an accident or get pulled over by patrol officers, you will receive a hefty fine for breaking the law.
Depending on the countries you’re visiting, you may get several types of punishment for drinking and driving. Suppose you can’t pass the minimum ‘blood alcohol rate’ in breathalyzer tests. In that case, you may be subject to license cancellation, long imprisonment, a heavy fine, etc.
6. Don’t Drive in Fatal Roads
You mustn’t drive on rash roads that are poorly maintained. There are many countries where the local or central governments aren’t providing the resources to develop their streets and highway systems, which has immensely increased the road fatality rate.
Navigating the streets with your precious vehicle will only put you through difficult, bumpy roads, potholes, or other dangerous situations. As a result, you might get severely injured, your car may get badly impaired, or you might lose precious time when you need to reach your destination in time.
Besides, you must research the roads and highways of a country and whether drunk drivers are on the loose. Those rogue drivers often crash cars, contribute to high fatality rates. Some of the world’s most dangerous roads for driving belong to China, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Bolivia, and a few more.
7. Don’t Attempt to Skip Citations
Citation tickets may not be legal punishments, but they should be paid off on the spot or within the instructed time and manner. If you don’t take citations seriously, they may get back to you in time through the rental services you’ve hired in that country, hampering your reputation and record.
Don’t ignore citations, thinking you’re going to get away with that once you return back to your country. Traffic cameras may capture breaking traffic laws, which will be used as a record to forward the citation fine to your address.
The scenario may worsen if you don’t pay the citation fine upon being asked on the spot while restricted from leaving the country before fulfilling the legal obligations.
You must follow the required do’s and don’ts while driving a car abroad to avoid any undesired incidents. Disobeying the local traffic rules may get you in trouble, like heavy penalties, long-term imprisonment, bad injuries, etc.
Moreover, if you don’t research the roads and transportation systems in a particular country, your trip may lose its purpose while losing valuable time and money.