The unusual European road rules that could void your travel insurance

While some Aussies are rugging up to prepare for the winter chill, others are choosing to escape with a mid-year holiday to Europe.

But as Aussie travellers sort out their flights, accomodation and travel insurance, they may be forgetting to add something else to their to-do list: double-checking the road rules of their destination.

Mozo research has found that Aussie travellers could land themselves in trouble with the law and even void their travel insurance by breaking some pretty unconventional European road rules.

“Holiday research often includes where to dine, tourist hotspots and the best place to book accommodation, but if you intend to drive while in Europe it’s crucial that you’re up to speed with local road rules. While the basics like ensuring you know what side of the road to drive on are imperative, many European countries carry quirky road rules that are easy to miss,” says Kirsty Lamont, Mozo Director.

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For instance, in Denmark, you must check under your car for children before driving, while headlights are required to remain on during the day and night in Norway, Sweden and Iceland.

If you’re planning on travelling to Russia, Bulgaria and Belarus, be sure to give your rental car a clean before heading out, as it’s illegal to drive with a dirty car!

Aussies thinking of heading to France, Germany and Spain will need to pack a reflective jacket and a hazard warning triangle in case of emergency.

In Cyprus, you are not allowed to eat or drink (even water) while driving and in Serbia, you must carry a minimum of three metres of rope in your car.

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“Pleading ignorance to local road rules will do little help you, so be sure to study up if you plan on driving while on holiday in Europe. Some rules, like not being able to wash your car on Sundays in Switzerland, may seem light hearted but failing to have a length of rope or hi-vis jacket when instructed could leave you in the lurch,” says Lamont.

And while many Aussies may be scrambling to brush up on their European dos and don'ts, Lamont has reminded travellers of the importance of checking up on their travel insurance cover before getting behind the wheel of a foreign car.
“Call your travel insurer and find out what your level of cover is for driving a car overseas. Understand exactly what your policy covers and be confident about what the local road rules are. Then you’re free to sit back and enjoy the roadside scenery,” she said.

Need to get your travel insurance sorted before your winter holiday? Then you’ll need our travel insurance comparison tool.