New research from Sainsbury's car insurance has revealed that by failing to understand basic traffic laws and road signs, more than 2.2 million Britons drive on the wrong side of the road when motoring abroad. A further 1.3 million admit to driving the wrong way up a one way street - causing driving havoc.
The supermarket bank's research found that, in the past five years, 13 percent of Britons driving abroad have done so on the wrong side of the road. Men are more than three times as likely as women to drive on the wrong side of the road, with 1.76 million men admitting to this, compared to 483,000 women.
A further 1.3 million Britons admit to driving the wrong way up a one-way street while abroad, with 880,000 British drivers saying they have breached driving laws in foreign countries after misreading road signs. 520,000 claim to have been stopped by police for speeding, and 419,000 drivers have been involved in a motoring accident while overseas.
Ben Tyte, Head of Car Insurance at Sainsbury's Finance said: "Drivers taking their cars abroad need to prepare, not just because they'll be driving on the other side of the road, but because laws differ from country to country.
"While the Channel Tunnel and numerous ferry crossings make it easier than ever to take your car abroad, motorists need to ensure they have a suitable insurance policy to cover them while overseas and that they understand the legal requirements for driving in the country they are going to.
"Failing to do so could ruin your holiday and leave you severely out of pocket. We strongly encourage people to ensure they have adequate car insurance and breakdown assistance for their trip."
Havoc on Europe's roads isn't the only concern; many of those taking cars overseas also find themselves victims of vehicle crime and other unfortunate incidents.
In the past five years, more than half a million Britons have had their car vandalised while abroad, with 310,000 having their vehicle broken into. In addition 400,000 drivers have lost their car keys.
When it comes to covering the cost of these incidents, 6 percent said while they had car insurance in place their policy didn't cover the incident they faced, a further 2 percent had their claims turned down as they were not covered. Only 5 percent of British motorists successfully claimed on their car insurance while driving abroad in the past five years.