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Taking your car on Holiday

The recent unsettled weather has lots of us looking forward to going on holiday somewhere nice and sunny.

For many people, that means taking the car to the continent. Driving holidays can be great. It's easier to pack and the car gives us freedom to explore when abroad.

There are drawbacks to driving when abroad though. Recent research suggests that you might be twice as likely to have an accident when you're on holiday as when you're driving at home.

If you are taking your car to the continent this summer, there are some things to bear in mind.

  • I really hope that this one does not come as a surprise: Drive on the right and overtake on the left (except when travelling in Cyprus or Malta)!
  • wear your seatbelt!
  • Contact your insurer before travelling. It is important to make sure that you are covered.
  • Familiarise yourself with local laws and obey them! Fines can be high in other European conunries and enforcement is widespread. For example, crossing a solid white line when overtaking in France could result in an on-the-spot fine of up to €500!
  • Don't forget your driving licence.
  • Irish registration plates incorporating the IRL/European Union symbol make display of an IRL sticker unnecessary within the EU. However, the IRL sticker is still required outside the EU even when displayed alongside the European Union symbol.
  • Do a car check before you travel (or have your mechanic do one for you). Top up fluid levels, check your tyres - including the spare.
  • Remember that children under 12 and/or 1.5 metres in height are not permitted to travel as front seat passengers in most countries (including Ireland).