The bizarre foreign driving laws you never knew about


BRITISH holidaymakers are eager to head abroad this summer but make sure you know the rules of the road before you set off on your trip.

Around 34 million holidays trips are made each year with many hiring a car to get around – while over 11 million take their own car to Europe by ferry or the Channel Tunnel.


Millions of motorists don’t know the laws when they drive abroad

Yet a quarter will feel uneasy on the roads in holiday hotspots like Spain and France.

A study by Euro Car Parts found people don’t know the speed limits on main roads or the rules regarding child seats.

And there are plenty of unusual rules that could land you in hot water – so it’s a good idea to get yourself familiar with them.

For example, in Spain driving in high heels, flip-flops and bare feet could land you with a fine.

While blue and white curbstones can catch out people who don’t swot up on parking regulations – it means short stops are permitted but no parking.

If you need glasses to drive, you must have a spare pair in your car at all times, too.

In France, the prefix ‘Bis’ on road signs can secure you some great holiday snaps as it means scenic or rural route.

And if you’re unlucky enough to be hit by a rain shower, the speed limit on French motorways drops from 130km/h to 110km/h.

Also, having speed camera detectors is illegal.

Other holiday hotspots like Greece and Portugal also have their own unique laws that you need to watch out for.

In Portugal, a yellow ’90’ disc must be displayed in the car if you’ve held your licence for less than a year – you can apply for this from the ACP (Automovel de Club Portugal), the Portuguese motoring club.

While in Greece who can’t use the horn in towns and urban areas – unless it’s the only means of avoiding an accident.

But although the Greek police is authorised to impose fines in cases of violation of traffic regulations, they can’t be collected on the spot by the police. Motorists must pay the fines within 10 days otherwise legal proceedings will be started.

That’s different to Italy where police can impose a fine on the driver of a foreign-registered vehicle or a vehicle with EE plates and collect one quarter of the maximum fine on-the-spot – but make sure you get a receipt.

Martin Gray, from Euro Car Parts, said: “Driving abroad needn’t be a scary thing.

“With the right preparation and by taking plenty of care, a foreign road trip can be an exciting and be a great part of your holiday.”

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