Many people will be jetting off abroad on holiday this year, and will be hiring cars and driving whilst they are away. It is a great way of seeing more of your destination and exploring what the country has to offer. But it is important that if you are going to hire a car and drive whilst abroad, you plan your journey beforehand and are well prepared for all situations.

If you are planning on driving whilst you are away this year, here are some tips to help you prepare for your trip:

Do your research – learn the laws of the roads in the country you are visiting before setting off. Learn different road signs and what different driving rules apply.

Ensure you have all the correct documentation – this includes your full driving license, along with another form of identification and your credit card. Due to the paper counterpart to your driving license being abolished in June 2015, you should print off your own driving license record which is available on the DVLA website. To obtain this information you will need to know your driving license number, national insurance number and address. You should also have details of your insurance cover. You may also want to take an International Driving Permit (IDP) with you, which allows you to drive in over 150 countries, as long as you have a driving license.

Obtain a DVLA ‘share driving license’ code – this is a code issued by the DVLA which allows companies to access your online driving license in order to verify your printed copy. This access is a one-off and the code is only valid for 21 days.

Always use a reputable company – when hiring a car always do your research and ensure you are hiring from a trusted company. This will ensure you are not paying over the odds for car hire and means you can read and fully understand all the terms and conditions in the agreement. Check that breakdown cover is also included in your rental agreement and ensure you undertake full vehicle checks before setting off.

Never drink and drive – drinking and driving impairs your ability to drive safely and isn’t recommended in any country. The drink driving limit varies from country to country, so it’s best not to take the risk. In some countries it is also a legal requirement to carry a breathalyser in your vehicle!

Learn different driving styles – many countries have their own styles of driving, so it’s a good idea to check these out before you go. For example, flashing your lights in the UK can mean you are allowing someone out, but in another country this may indicate someone planning to overtake you.

Know what to do in an emergency – learn the emergency number of the country you are visiting, and carry a phrase book for useful words such as; police, ambulance and accident.

Following these tips will mean you will be fully prepared for driving abroad and reduce the risk of being involved in a road traffic accident.

Driving abroad and road accidents

If you are unfortunate enough to be injured in a road accident whilst abroad, you may be able to claim accident compensation. Freeclaim Solicitors are specialist holiday accident compensation solicitors and could help you to claim the compensation you deserve following an accident.

Our expert solicitors can advise you on claiming compensation, and will fully explore your accident and the circumstances surrounding it to ensure you have the best chance of success in your claim. Our experience in accident abroad claims means we can advise on whether a claim can be brought in the UK and what laws may apply, depending on what country the accident occurred in.

To speak to someone about your claim, simply call us FREE on 0800 612 7340. Or you can fill in your details online and one of our dedicated team will call you back. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have over 30 years’ experience helping clients to claim the compensation they deserve.