The sun’s finally out and, for many, it’s the ideal time to get in the car and take a road trip across Europe to make the most of sunny spots, local culture, food and stunning scenery.
But have you got everything you need to make sure you’re abiding by the law? Different countries across Europe require motorists to have certain safety and emergency supplies in the vehicle at all times – and you can be hit with an on the spot fine if you don’t have the correct items.
But don’t be put off; it’s easy to get prepared. Below is a table showing what you need in popular destinations across Europe. And if you want a one-stop solution? Take a look at the RCT1 European Driving Kit – it has everything you need to be safe and meet legal requirements. Plus it comes with a tidy case that velcros to the inside of the boot. So even if you forget your toothbrush, get lost or a fight breaks out in the back seat, at least one thing is definitely sorted.
If you are driving in France, it is now required to display a Crit’Air sticker on your car when travelling into Low Emission Zones (Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, Strasbourg, Lille and Toulouse, with Bordeaux and Rouen looking to join the initiative in late 2018. To apply for one, you need to visit the official Crit’air website and enter your car details.
Note: R = Recommended but not mandatory
Frequently asked questions for European driving essentials
What are beam converters?
These handy stick-on patches are essential for driving a right-hand drive vehicle in Europe. They change the beam of the headlamps so that they are pointing at the road ahead – illuminating it for the driver and not dazzling on-coming drivers. They are easy to apply and remove.
What are NF-approved breathalysers?
In France, you must have two breathalysers in the vehicle at all times. And they must be NF-approved: this is a quality standard, similar to the British Standard. This means that the breathalysers will definitely give accurate results. Ring’s breathalysers are all NF-approved.
You need to have enough high vis vests for everyone in the vehicle, so that if you need to leave the car you can all be seen on the road.
The RCT1 European Driving Kit includes a first aid kit. However, where it is recommended (Belgium, Germany and Austria), this first aid kit must be of DIN standard. This is an internationally recognised standard that indicates the first aid kit is of certain level quality and has a defined contents. See Ring’s RCT9 First Aid Kit meets these standards.
When driving in Belgium, it is recommended you have a fire extinguisher in the car. This is not included in the RCT1 European Driving Kit, but we do have a range of fire extinguishers that the ideal size to keep in the car.