AO Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Re: Driving to Italy. Anyone on here done it?
you dont even need the new EU type driving license, my old UK paper one is fine, and my old german paper one (falling to bits, but valid for life... in case I turn out an old codger and do 20 mph on the outside of the autobahn with my warning lights on...etc)) is fine too, for any EU country.
The italians should be pleased you have tyres at all...some of the cars I have seen there, wouldn't be allowed on a farm in the UK!
As for the lights pointing the wrong way, the deflectors are fine by law (they cant expect every UK driver to buy an extra set of headlights!)...just as we don't expect them to do so in the UK!
If travelling through Germany and stopping off in the cities might be involved, you will need a "Grüne Plakette" for your car, which proves it is clean enough (exhaust, I mean, not the bodywork!)...if it is a classic car it still needs this. The AA ought to tell you better, or try the ADAC, the German equivalent, online for info.
There is a lot of scaremongering going on about possible tickets being sent back to UK for you to pay. Most dont bother chasing this up. There is only one country that really does this, Holland! They will chase you for a tenner, if it costs them 2 grand to do so, and Switzerland might not catch you, but if you dont pay their fines, you might get a nasty shock next time you enter the country, as they keep everything on file (even entering by air)...but it is a little better now as they are also in the "Schengen"-agreement with Europe.
You will also need a warning triangle and a first aid kit (as well as the spare bulb kit) for travel throughout europe, and if you break down the warning triangle has to be 50 m behind the car. If you run out of petrol on a german autobahn, automatic fine if the police catch you. So a good 5 litre canister is good to have, if you don't smoke!
Petrol is now cheaper in UK, so tank up there before leaving!
One last thing, if you want to get cheap wine etc for the journey, dont go to those bis Calais rip-off joints...go to a little supermarket in a nice little town!
Important: if you are on fully comp classic car insurance, be aware that you are only covered 3rd party in Europe, IF you do not tell them you are going!!