Driving abroad: laws, licences, and road safety

in France all drivers must carry a breathalyser
in Spain if you need glasses, you have to carry a spare pair when driving
in Serbia mandatory equipment includes a tow bar and 3m rope

after natural causes, road traffic accidents are the most common cause of death for British nationals in Thailand

The standard of driving, the quality of roads, and motoring laws and regulations you have to follow, vary widely depending on the country you are visiting.

Driving Info & Rules for:

Opens driving info pages on other sites. For most European countries they are PDF documents on the UK's AA website. We do not guarantee the accuracy of information provided.


  1. Use the country selection tool above, for information and advice on driving in the country you are visiting.
  2. Check out the latest travel advice for relevant countries (select from the top right of this page) or use our Travel Dashboard for a complete set of information on your destination including exchange rate, weather, and WIFI locations.
  3. Download this FCO leaflet for tips on driving in Europe (includes examples of French road signs)
  4. You may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your driving licence. The AA provide information on IDP requirements for UK licence holders and they can also be obtained from the Post Office.

    US citizens can obtain an IDP through the National Automobile Club (NAC)
  5. Taking your car to Europe: you may need additional equiment to comply with the laws of the country you are visiting. Our country selection tool (above) should help you identify these. These items are readilly available in UK stores, try Halfords travel equipment , travel essentials from the AA or "European Travel Kits" from the AA.
  6. Check you are adequately insured for driving abroad. Does your breakdown cover include Europe?
  7. Using a hire car abroad: Ensure it includes includes all mandatory items. An AA survey found that only 40% of multinationals and 21% of local companies equipped their cars to fully meet legal requirements. See avoiding car hire pitfalls.
Note: we don't claim that this checklist is complete and comprehensive.

Author: Andy W+   Last updated: 10 April 2013