Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye

Holidaymakers, who have decided to reduce their airmiles, may well be planning a driving holiday abroad this year instead.

UK full driving licences are recognised in all European community countries, although there may be individual country age restrictions for newly qualified young motorists. It is also possible for over 18s to get an International driving permit, which costs less than £10, for other countries outside the EU, from the AA, RAC or other motoring organisations.

It may also be worth checking each country that you plan to visit doesn’t have congestion or low emissions zones. One useful website is lowemissionzones.eu.

One of the things which catch motorists unaware, however, is that fully comprehensive UK vehicle insurance often only provides third party cover abroad – and so it is worth discussing insurance options with your current motor insurer before leaving.

"Before you take your car across the channel, make sure all your paperwork is in order," says RIAS managing director Janet Connor.

"Getting the correct insurance in place should be as essential a part of a pre-holiday to-do list as remembering to pack your toothbrush."

RIAS also say that you will need to pack both the photocard and paper parts of your driving licence, your V5 registration document to prove that you own your vehicle and you will need your breakdown cover details to hand. Programme as many details and useful numbers into your phone as you can – you can always delete them again later.

Some motor insurers have packs, translated into other languages, which drivers can hand to residents, or the police, in the case of an accident.

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