With the Channel Tunnel able to shuttle cars through to mainland Europe, and modern-day Sat-Navs able to direct you around foreign roads with relative simplicity, it’s now easier than ever to take your car abroad and explore new surroundings and cultures completely at your own pace.
Additionally, it’s very simple to hire a car in a different country at an affordable price. Whether you pick up the vehicle from the airport at which you land, or even just for a day when you get to your chosen resort, it’s generally quick and easy to get your hands on a set of keys to a vehicle abroad – all you need is your UK driving licence and to sort some cheap car insurance with the hire company.
Along with having to adapt to driving on the right-hand side of the road, in a car where you have the steering wheel on the left hand-side, most foreign countries come with their own unique set of driving rules that need to be adhered to. Many of these are fairly straightforward, such as different speed limits or restrictions on parking. Some laws are very strange however and you may not realise you are doing something wrong until you get pulled over by the local police and end up in all kinds of trouble.
Let’s take a look at some of the most unusual driving laws from around the world:
1) Drinking and driving in Cyprus
Of course we all know that only a fool would take to the wheel whilst they have been drinking. However in the warm, Mediterranean country of Cyprus, you aren’t even allowed to take a sip from a bottle of water when you are driving. This unbelievably harsh law can land you with an 85 euro fine – so best pull over if you find yourself needing to quench your thirst.
2) Staying light in Italy
Yes, it’s sensible to turn on your cars lights when it goes dark. However in Italy you are required to drive with your dipped beam lights on outside of built up areas, even in the daylight. In a country that experiences far more sunny days than we could ever dream of here in the UK, this is certainly a baffling rule for those not used to it.
3) All odds and evens in Spain
In Spain you may pay if you tend to forget things. For in some towns and cities in the country you will need to remember what the date is as it determines where you can park. You may find as a rule that you will be required to park on the side of the road that has even-numbered houses on the 2nd, 4th, 6th etc. of the month while you may only stop on the odd-numbered side on the 1st, 3rd, 5th and so on.
4) The Philippines Driving Lottery
In order to reduce congestion in the Philippines capital Manila, which is also the most densely-populated city in the world; the government have a scheme with number plates which end in a 1 or 2 that cannot be used on a Monday, 3 or 4 on a Tuesday and so on between the hours of 7am and 7pm. The city also has a severe air pollution problem, so it may require even further steps than this before these issues are fully addressed.
5) Dressing down in the USA
This article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a few ridiculous laws from our cousins across the Atlantic. Topping the bill are those in the ever-wacky California, including the law which bans female drivers from wearing a dressing gown while at the wheel, as well as the one that bans you from jumping out of a car travelling 65mph. OK, if you insist!
Find a great deal on your car insurance. UK Money Market liked the scheme with The Co-operative. Young driver? In particularly, look out for their black box offering that helps you lower your premium with responsible driving.