Top 6 Tips for Driving Abroad

Driving in a foreign city can be confusing. If you’re planning to drive abroad soon, follow these six tips to ensure you stay safe and have a good experience.

1. Get an International Driving Permit.

Many countries require foreign drivers to have an International Driving Permit (IDP). Check with the tourist board of the country you’re visiting to find out if you need one. You can apply for an IDP through the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

2. Learn the country’s driving rules and customs.

Traffic laws and conventions differ considerably from country to country. For instance, if you’re driving in Italy, you’ll want to know that the posted speed limit is reduced by 20 km/h in wet weather. You can generally find this information online. It can also be helpful talk to an employee at the rental company to make sure you know everything you need to know before hitting the road.

3. Know the impaired driving laws.

Impaired driving laws merit particular attention, as they very often differ from one country to the next. For example, in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, you must have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.0 when behind the wheel, while countries like China, Poland and Sweden tolerate a maximum of 0.02. 

4. Rent the right car.

When driving in a foreign country, you’re out of your comfort zone. Don’t increase your discomfort by renting a car you’re unfamiliar with. Stick to what you know. To ensure that you get a vehicle you’re comfortable with, book your rental well in advance.

5. Use a GPS system.

Different driving laws and practices mean you should focus on the other cars, traffic signals and road signs while driving. Spending time and energy worrying about the route at the same time could put you and your passengers at risk. Bring along a GPS, or have the rental company provide one. If you plan on using your smartphone to navigate, make sure your plan allows you to use data abroad without costing you a fortune.

6. Get the right insurance.

Last but not least, make sure you get appropriate insurance coverage. Your Canadian auto insurance policy is likely only valid for rentals in Canada or in the United States. When renting abroad, you can get a policy either with the rental company or in many cases through your credit card. Compare rates and coverage to find the policy that’s right for you or get help from an insurance broker.

Comprehensive automobile insurance in Nova Scotia

If you need auto insurance, the team at Eisenhauer Insurance has you covered. Contact us today if you have any questions or to get a quote.