Legalities of Driving Abroad | Private Number Plate

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If you’re planning on taking your car abroad then you’ll want to know the essentials needed in order to stay on the right side of the law. Learn about the compulsory equipment that’s required in the European countries that are most popular with British drivers.

It’s not simply about being safe and sensible, whilst these two factors count for something, it’s also about not breaking the law. You see, in some European countries, it’s the law to carry certain items when driving, and failure to comply to this law can result in an on the spot fine, particularly when driving in France, Germany or Spain. So, what can you do to avoid this? Make sure you have all the obligatory equipment.

Austria

  • GB Sticker
  • Headlamp Beam Convertors
  • Warning Triangle – not required for two-wheeled vehicles
  • High Vis Jacket – not required for two-wheeled vehicles. Only applies to the driver; driver must wear it if he/she exits the vehicle immobilised on the carriageway
  • First Aid Kit

Belgium

  • GB Sticker
  • Headlamp Beam Convertors
  • Warning Triangle – not required for two-wheeled vehicles
  • High Vis Jacket – not required for two-wheeled vehicles. Only applies to the driver; it must be worn if you find yourself stranded on a Belgian motorway or on a major road or if you stop at a place where parking is not permitted
  • First Aid Kit – recommended

France

  • GB Sticker
  • Headlamp Beam Convertors
  • Warning Triangle – not required for two-wheeled vehicles
  • High Vis Jacket - not required for two-wheeled vehicles. Only applies to the driver; driver must wear it if he/she exits the vehicle immobilised on the carriageway
  • NF Approved Breathalyser – NF is certified by the French authorities

Germany

  • GB Sticker
  • Headlamp Beam Convertors
  • Warning Triangle – recommended. Whilst it’s not compulsory to carry one,  it is compulsory to use one in an accident or breakdown situation
  • First Aid Kit - recommended

Italy

  • GB Sticker
  • Headlamp Beam Convertors
  • Warning Triangle – not required for two-wheeled vehicles
  • High Vis Jacket – not required for two-wheeled vehicles. Driver and passenger must wear it if he/she exits the vehicle immobilised on the carriageway, at night or in poor visibility

Netherlands

  • GB Sticker
  • Headlamp Beam Convertors
  • Warning Triangle – recommended. The use of hazard warning lights or a warning triangle is compulsory in an accident/breakdown situation. However, a warning triangle should always be carried as hazard-warning lights have no effect at bends or rises in the road, or may become damaged or inoperative

Portugal

  • GB Sticker
  • Headlamp Beam Convertors
  • Warning Triangle – recommended. The use of hazard warning lights or a warning triangle is compulsory in an accident/breakdown situation. However, a warning triangle should always be carried as hazard-warning lights have no effect at bends or rises in the road, or may become damaged or inoperative
  • High Vis Jacket – recommended. The actual law applies to residents but regardless of the regulations, local officials may impose an on-the-spot fine

Switzerland

  • GB Sticker
  • Headlamp Beam Convertors
  • Warning Triangle – not required for two-wheeled vehicles. The warning triangle must be kept within easy reach.

Spain

  • GB Sticker
  • Headlamp Beam Convertors
  • Warning Triangle – not required for two-wheeled vehicles. One warning triangle compulsory for non-Spanish registered vehicles; two for Spanish registered vehicles. Note: Drivers of non-Spanish registered vehicles should consider carrying two triangles as, regardless of regulations, local officials may impose an on-the-spot fine if only one is available
  • High Vis Jacket – When travelling in Spain the high visibility jackets need to be carried within the passenger compartment of the vehicle. 

So, now you know what is compulsory to have in your car in these countries, and what is recommended. An NF approved breathalyser is one of the things you need to drive in France, and it is only in this country that drivers need to carry one. Officially you must produce an unused breathalyser so it is worth carrying at least two so that if one is used or damaged, you are still able to produce a replacement.

If you fancy jazzing up your vehicle before you go away, be sure to take a look at our selection of car registration plates today. You’ll find a huge selection at fantastic prices.