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Thread: Important Info: Travelling Abroad

  
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    Important Info: Travelling Abroad

    Since this will be many people's first time driving in Europe, we have this thread to help you;


    Although the autobahns in Germany are not subject to an overall speed limit (the blue speed limit signs, usually showing 130, are suggested maximum speeds), many stretches of autobahn are covered by signed speed limits, which are mostly closely observed by the Germans.

    Speed limits are implemented rigourusly and Radar traps are frequent. In Germany, heavy on-the-spot fines can be issued. In France, anyone caught travelling more that 25kph over the speed limit can have their licence confiscated on the spot.

    Also, Police in Europe will confiscate any radar detectors if you do get pulled over (which we hope no-one does)

    A full UK driving licence is required. As in the UK, seat belts should be worn front and rear.


    More and more towns are adopting the priority to traffic coming from the right in the towns. If there is no yellow diamond at a road junction, you MUST give way to traffic from the right, even if you are on the major road. As it used to do in France years ago this is causing accidents, especially in the rain. It is used as a way to slow traffic down in built up areas.


    Bulb replacement set: advised, but not compulsory.


    Children in cars: children under 12 or 1.5 metres tall are not allowed to travel unless using an appropriate child seat.


    Documentation: always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration document (V5), and certificate of motor insurance. If your licence does not incorporate a photograph ensure you carry your passport to validate the licence. If the vehicle is not registered in your name, carry a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to drive.


    Drinking and driving: Don't do it. Over 0.05 per cent and you could face fines, endorsement or even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence. The drink driving laws are stricter on the continent.


    Fines: On the spot fines are issued. Just about every possible driving offence can be subject to a fine, even running out of fuel on the Autobahn! Ensure an official receipt is issued by the officer collecting the fine.


    First-aid kit: is compulsory.


    Fuel: All grades of unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are available as well as lead substitute additive. Leaded no longer exists. It is allowed to carry petrol in a can. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, although they probably won't work at automatic pumps, which are often the only pumps open out-of-hours. It's a good idea to let your card issuer know you will be travelling abroad. This ensures they don't suspend your card if they spot it being used in unfamiliar places, which they sometimes do as an anti-fraud measure.


    GB Sticker: It is compulsory to display a GB sticker when driving in Europe. If your number plates have the GB logo on them then there is no requirement to have a separate GB sticker.


    Headlights: If you're driving to the Continent then you must adjust the headlamp beam pattern to suit driving on the right so that the dipped beam doesn't dazzle oncoming drivers. Remember to remove the converters as soon as you return to the UK.


    High-Intensity Discharge (HID) or xenon headlights: These can't be adapted by applying an external mask. Fortunately, many feature an internal 'shutter' that can be moved into place by a screw or lever adjustment at the back of the headlamp unit. But some designs are less convenient and the dealer will need to make the adjustment.

    Modern halogen-type headlamps: Some of these now require external masks of such complex design that motorists struggle to follow the instructions and work out exactly how and where the mask should be applied. If you do struggle, visit your dealership who will gladly help you.

    Warning Triangle: Will be required as our journey will take us through Belgium, where it is a legal requirement.

    Tyres: The law on tread depths are the same as the UK, However, make sure your tyres have plenty of tread before you leave as this will be a long journey both there and back aswell as a few laps of the Ring.

    Hi-Visibility: lt is a legal requirement to carry a Hi-Vis Vest in Spain, Italy, Austria, Portugal and Croatia, but it is also a compulsory requirement at the Nurburgring

    A Travel Pack is available from Vauxhall containing a Hi-Vis Vest, Warning Triangle and First Aid Kit. They also do a spare bulb kit.


    When travelling through Europe we will be moving in packets of around 3-5 cars, leaving at set intervals from Calais. This is only to try and avoid any attention from the Gendarmerie or Polizei, particularly after the events in the last Gumball Rally.

    If you have any concerns, PM either Will (willbaroo - Event Main Organiser), Gaz (gazTD) or Steve (ssa17ws - Scottish Leg Organiser), or most of the above information is freely available with a quick 'Google'.

    Drive Safe and see you there.


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    Important Announcement:

    If you intend to join this trip you MUST have some of the following items. Items maybe added to this list so keep your eyes peeled.

    - PMR Radio (walkie talkie)
    - European SatNav

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    Teejay's Avatar
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    Or for those people who were in the boy scouts, a map and mobile phone!
    0-60 in 6.5 secs and 48mpg- winner!

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