Driving a van abroad - what you need to know

Taking your van abroad

Whether for commercial purposes or for pleasure, such as the annual family holiday, it’s worth remembering that there are a range of considerations you should be aware of before embarking on your trip. At Vanwise Group in Harlow, we aim to help all motorists approach each and every overseas journey with complete confidence, which is why we’re pleased to offer a selection of valuable tips.

Prepare in advance

It goes without saying that preparation is key to any trip, and when it comes to heading overseas, such a requirement is only enhanced. As such, the first piece of advice for driving in Europe is to conduct a thorough inspection of your vehicle to ensure that it’s up to scratch. You may even wish to conduct a full service to ensure that you will not experience any mechanical issues during your travels. After all, having complete peace of mind that you will get there - and back - safely and without incident is vital.

Overseas breakdown cover

One of the most valuable driving abroad tips available is to ensure that you have overseas breakdown cover for your van. As much as a pre-trip inspection and service will provide peace of mind, simply having breakdown cover as a backup could prove invaluable. The cost of towing a vehicle doesn’t come cheap at the best of times, so imagine the associated costs of returning a van from overseas.

Check your driving licence

Depending on where you’re planning to travel, you should be able to drive a van overseas using your regular driving licence. In fact, only if you’re planning on visiting nations outside the European Union or EEA will you be required to travel with additional paperwork, namely an International Driving Permit (IDP). Such permits can be purchased for just £5.50 and are available from the Post Office.

Additional documentation

You’d be forgiven for thinking that having your breakdown cover, insurance, driving licence, and International Driving Permit would be enough documentation for your trip overseas. Sadly, however, you would be incorrect. One simple addition to your vehicle that is key is a sticker stating GB on your bumper. Oh, and your passport. Definitely don’t forget your passport!

Driving on the correct side of the road

Probably one of the most common concerns for motorists planning on driving overseas is knowing - and remembering - which side of the road to drive on. Here in the UK, as well as selected other nations, we’re accustomed to driving on the left-hand side of the road. However, many others take to the right-hand side of the road for motoring, so this can be something of a culture shock. Ensure you feel comfortable taking to the road before embarking on your journey and begin your driving on quieter roads to become accustomed to the change

For more information on driving overseas, or to discuss any other van-related queries, contact the team at Vanwise Group today. We’re proud to provide a vast selection of used vans available on contract hire basis, meaning you can gain access to the best models at an affordable price.