Driving Abroad - Winter Driving Tips

As winter is in full swing, many Brits are heading overseas for skiing holidays, and instead of flying they choose to drive.

Here are some helpful tips when driving abroad in the winter:

  1. Journey length
    If you are heading off to the slopes then remember that even the closest are a good 7-8 hours journey time, once you’ve arrived in France.  Make sure you allow for breaks.  Plan your journey; working out where you'll stop for refreshments and comfort breaks in advance.
  2. Severe weather
    All drivers motoring abroad in wintery conditions must remember that the winter weather is far more severe in Europe than it is in the UK.  And we don’t just mean snow and ice, beware of low, bright sunshine that can dazzle many drivers, putting them at risk of accidents.
  3. Rules and Regulations
    Planning is key when driving abroad, so make sure you adhere to all rules and regulations regarding driving in the country (or countries) you are driving through.

    Not only should you ensure you are aware of the requirement for EU stickers, dipped headlights, alcohol limits, warning breakdown triangles etc., but also rules surrounding severe weather.  For example, you must clear all snow mounds from the roof and bonnet, ensure that all windows are clear of frost and ice and that the vehicle must carry an ice scrapper and a brush.
  4. Winter tyres
    In many countries there are laws enforcing the use of winter tyres. This is because they provide a much better grip and cope better in the severe cold, snow and ice conditions.  Make sure you are fully up to speed with winter tyre rules in the country you are visiting; do you need winter tyres or, as a visitor will snow chains fitted over regular tyres suffice?
  5. Snow chains
    Again, in some European countries snow chains are a legal requirement.  Check before you travel whether you will need snow chains.