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Passport, logbook, first aid kit. Find out all you need to pack for your upcoming road trip.
Bristol Street Motors

An Ultimate Guide for Preparing Your Car for A Trip in Europe

An Ultimate Guide for Preparing Your Car for A Trip in Europe

Passport, logbook, first aid kit. Find out all you need to pack for your upcoming road trip.

Planning to visit Europe this summer? How exciting! There are a few things you must consider before starting your journey.

Since the UK left the EU, UK drivers face some new requirements for entering and driving in an EU country.

Read on to find out how to prepare your vehicle for a road trip in Europe.


Driving in Europe

To make sure your journey goes smoothly, you must have a photocard driving licence, issued in the UK. If you have a paper driving licence or your licence has been issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, you must get an International Driving Permit (IDP).

You should also have a breakdown cover; in case the worst happens. Several providers offer a European breakdown cover.

It’s a good idea to get to know the driving rules in each country you are planning to visit. In Europe, all vehicles drive on the right side of the road. This can be especially difficult for British drivers who have never attempted to drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road before.


Time to upgrade your car?

When you plan your trip abroad, one of the first things to consider is whether your car is fit for the journey. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you break down due to your vehicle’s age or key components being left in poor condition.

At Bristol Street Motors, we offer a fantastic range of immediately available new cars and used cars, ready to come home with you. You can find top vehicles from world-leading manufacturers with us.

Start your search today.

Browse all new cars

View used car deals


What should I have with me?

  • Passport
  • Valid UK driving licence
  • National Insurance Number
  • Copy of your DVLA driver record
  • Copy of your vehicle’s insurance
  • Your vehicle’s logbook
  • European Breakdown Cover papers
  • International driving permit, if required
  • Reflective jacket for each passenger
  • Warning triangle
  • Headlamp beam deflector
  • First aid kit (required in Austria, France, and Germany)


Prepare your car for Europe

Before you set off, make sure that your vehicle’s tax and MOT are valid.

If you are travelling to Paris, you must have a Crit’air sticker on your car. Also, all vehicles must have either a GB Euro number plate or a UK car sticker . However, if you are planning to drive in Cyprus, Malta, or Spain, you must have the UK car sticker regardless.

We also recommend that you check that your headlights are appropriately adjusted, to avoid dazzling other drivers.

You should also make sure that your vehicle and the number plate are clean, and ready for the upcoming trip. You may get penalised in some countries if your registration number is not visible from your number plate due to dust.

Make sure that your car is ready to take on the journey by getting a seasonal check. Your local Bristol Street Motors technicians can help make sure that your vehicle is fit for the summer.

You can also do your own visual examination by checking your tyres, headlamps, screen wash level, coolant level, and wiper blades.


Find out whether your car is ready to take on the long miles.

Book a vehicle health check now


Other useful things to pack with you

  • Replacement headlamp bulbs
  • Torch
  • Fuel can
  • Extra engine oil, coolant, and screen wash
  • Paper road map and GPS system


We hope that you have found this article useful for your planning and that you enjoy your trip. You can find more tips and advice on our newsroom.