18 days until your road trip! Are you picturing waking up to a different scenic view each day? Or settling down somewhere pretty and watching the world go by? Let’s look at the driving in Europe requirements for each country. Want to read this later? Pin it
(This post was originally part of the 21 day Road Trip Countdown, which gives you a list of tasks to do each day before your road trip. If you want to see the full list of tasks, here’s the main page: Road Trip Travel Checklist- Countdown to Departure. It has been updated to include the latest rules and equipment needed.)
Planning a Road Trip?? These posts might help:
– I want to learn how to plan a Road Trip
– I want to stop rattles in my Motorhome (or RV or Camper!!)
– I want to explore Europe by Road
– I want to find easy meal ideas to eat on the way
Driving in Europe Requirements- what do I need to carry/ have for each country?
So, yesterday you planned out a rough route for your road trip. If you didn’t (tut tut), HERE’s the link. Depending on where you’re going (and how many countries you’re visiting!) today’s task could take as little as 2 minutes or as long as half an hour.
Now, if you’re from the USA, Canada or Australia, this section might seem a little weird as your countries are HUUUUUUUGE. It’s like 20 countries rolled into one- you don’t need to worry very often about different languages/ cultures or legal rules. Europe is pretty easy to road trip around, but each country is entirely different and has totally different rules and laws, which can seem a bit overwhelming.
First things first- the common sense disclaimer. Please CHECK anything I write with your own research. I have done my research and am sharing it with you to the best of my knowledge, but laws change regularly and this post may not always be 100% up-to-date, so please do your own checks as well. I’m going to give you some great websites to help with that.
Ok, after our rough route plan yesterday, here are the countries we’re planning on visiting over our summer Road trip:
- France (briefly)
- Finland (possibly)
So, that’s our list. I expect yours will look a LOT different- if you’ve got any sense it will only have 1/2 countries on it, especially for a 2 week holiday!!
Now that we know where we’re going, we need to look at the legal driving requirements required in each country.
How to find driving in Europe requirements for motorhomes
I start my search at 2 places, but you can type into Google “Driving requirements for_____ (name of country)” and see what comes up. You’ll probably find these from the RAC and AA (if you’re not British, those are two massive insurance companies in the UK.)
- This list from the AA is excellent and they keep it well updated. It contains country by country lists of requirements, legal driving ages and conditions, and any special gear you need to carry onboard. When you click on a country, it will download a PDF file onto your phone or computer. I don’t bother to keep these- I just read the information and make a note of anything special, then delete it, but you could choose to save the file for reference as you travel.
- This RAC information is also highly recommended- personally I like the fact that it doesn’t download things to my computer. Scroll to near the bottom of the page and you’ll find a drop-down list for every country in Europe. I like to compare the RAC and AA info, just to be sure I haven’t missed anything.
Start a note or page and scribble down the driving requirements & anything useful for each country- that way as you travel you can refer to it when you enter somewhere new.
Driving requirements to look for:
- Whether or not it is compulsory to use dipped headlights during the day (for example, it IS compulsory in Norway, but only recommended in the Netherlands)
- What equipment you need to carry (more on that tomorrow, but look out for any specific requirements)
- Legal driving age if you’re a youngster- some countries it’s 17, some it’s 18
- Random rules- such as it being COMPULSORY to let buses out from bus stops in built-up areas in the Netherlands- good to know!
- Snow tyre requirements and dates needed (not so important in Summer, but essential at any other time)
- Things like Vignettes for using motorways/ Crit’Air stickers needed for some French cities- more on those in tomorrow’s post.
Other requirements for your European road trip
There are possibly other laws you need to research too- like drone laws if you have one, or motorbike laws. If you’re taking bicycles, is it law to wear helmets and have lights fitted? If you have a kayak, can you launch it anywhere or are there restrictions?
Wild camping laws
If you are planning on wild camping (not using aires, but parking for free), check the legalities of this. Some countries in Europe say it’s illegal, although they also turn a blind eye in certain places if you’re discreet. But you need to research the legal requirements for each country first. If you’re in any doubt, I would recommend using an approved motorhome parking place- you’ll find you sleep much better when you’re not worrying about being moved on or being fined.
- Research the Driver Requirements for each country on your road trip in Europe.
- Make a list of anything you need to carry- we’ll deal with that tomorrow.
- Research laws for other hobbies/ activities you might want to do
How else can I help you today??
– I want to find more awesome Road Trip Accessories
– I want to stop Condensation in my camper
– I want to Road Trip Europe
– I want to stop rattles in my Motorhome (or RV or Camper!!)
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Kat never planned to buy a motorhome. She also never planned to quit her job as an air traffic controller, go touring around Europe in said motorhome, start one of the UK’s largest motorhome travel websites… or get a cocker spaniel.
Find out how she went from stuck in the rat race to being a digital nomad and inspiring thousands of people to have their own epic adventures here.
If you’d like to connect with Kat, send her an email or follow her adventures on social media.