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For the journey - tips from IAM RoadSmart

Going away during the summer is something that many look forward to. Prevention is better than cure and if you are taking your own vehicle abroad it is a great idea to be prepared for the unexpected events that can occur when on the road. This week’s tips give advice on driving abroad from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.

  • Make sure you have the right insurance and breakdown cover.In an event of a breakdown you want to make sure you have international coverage and also know what numbers and companies you have to get in touch with.


  • Plan your journey. If you know you are going to be doing a few trips in it is better to know the road and not rely on sat nav’s.Some sat nav’s do not function internationally and unless you have a lot of data it can be costly using your phone as a navigation system. In some countries sat navs with speed camera information in them are illegal.How about going old school and investing in a new map to plan your journey out, if the technology lets you down at least you have a back up.


  • If possible do not go at it alone.It is better to have two drivers who can take turns to avoid fatigue. On a family trip children can appreciate a bit of attention how about taking a turn in the back.Give yourself plenty of time and don’t set unrealistic deadlines to catch ferries or to arrive at your accommodation


  • Make sure you have the right documentation. We recommend taking your full driving licence, your insurance documents, both the car and travel documents, you vehicle registration certificate and lastly European Health Insurance Cards and passports, dependent on your destination


  • Legal and equipment requirements vary from country to country.Check websites such as and


  • Don’t drink and drive or break local speed limits as fines can be issued on the spot in some countries and the exchange of information between police forces is now common place so your misdemeanours may follow you home


  • Check your motor before you leave. If you are not up to date with your car servicing we recommend going in for a fullservice to avoid any hiccups whilst travelling


Richard said: “Driving abroad can be exciting, but it brings a new set of challenges that you must be prepared for.  By ensuring that you get the basics right you can be much more relaxed and able to enjoy new sights and experiences safely.  .”

Notes to editors:

  1. Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.
  2. IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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