Survey reveals issue of 'ignorant Brits' driving abroad

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Travelling outside of Britain is incredibly easy, when you think about it. Drive down to Dover and your car can be driving off a ferry and onto foreign land in just over an hour with relatively little stress.

It's so easy, in fact, that it can feel as though you haven't travelled outside of the country at all – and according to recent data, that could be a bigger problem than we realise.

Commissioned by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in association with Carrentals.co.uk, a survey of UK motorists suggests that – worryingly – Brits abroad may be driving around with no, or incorrect knowledge of foreign driving laws.

40 per cent of those questioned failed to research the highway code of the countries they were travelling in, for example, and while over half of drivers had driven abroad, 51 per cent said that they weren't sure if they required an international driving permit.

Similarly, 63 per cent of those questioned said they were 'confident' about the legal limits and penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Some did give in, though – with 33 per cent admitting that they didn't know what equipment had to be carried in the foreign countries that they've driven in.

Lynda St Cooke of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office suggested that, while they do their best to help motorists stuck abroad, it's still up to drivers to be aware of laws and regulations before they set off.

'Each year consular staff around the world assist thousands of British nationals who have got into trouble on foreign roads,' she said. 'Some have fallen foul of road laws; others have been involved in road traffic incidents.

'We will do everything we can to help but we can't pay medical bills, we can't fly you home if you need repatriation back to the UK and we can't interfere in another country's legal system. There is no way to prepare for a road accident.

'But you can prepare for a driving holiday abroad by reading up on your destination, familiarising yourself with road laws and customs, assessing the risks associated with different forms of transport and taking out a comprehensive travel insurance policy. This way you will be as prepared as you can be for your trip abroad.'