When it comes to setting off for a holiday on the continent, drivers and families have a packing list as long as beach towel. But it’s easy to forget one or more vital elements. European insurance, breakdown cover, extra kit to comply with foreign laws and your driving licence are all indispensable. And unlike a missing tube of sun cream, these aren’t easy to organise abroad and missing them can take the joy out of a much-needed break.
That’s why it’s important that drivers write out a list of everything they and their car need for the trip. That way, there should be no danger of conking out on the hard shoulder only to find that your car insurance doesn’t include breakdown cover abroad. Or that the tool to release wheel nuts is at home in the garage.
Millions of Brits prefer to drive rather than fly, given the affordability, practicality and flexibility it gives them. Here are the things you’ll need for a road trip abroad.
Air pollution means cars with high emissions could be prevented from entering Paris or Lyon
As millions of Britons make plans for their Easter or summer holidays, travellers driving to France must ensure that their car has an emissions sticker when visiting Paris or Lyon – the two largest cities in France.
The sticker system has been introduced to help tackle air pollution in city environments, and is active in Grenoble, as well. Other French cities are likely to join the scheme.
Called Crit’Air, it effectively bans old cars from city centres during weekdays and will allow authorities to restrict which cars are permitted to enter cities.
British holiday makers and France go together like a slice of camembert on a freshly baked baguette with a glass of Bordeaux wine. A staggering 17 million Britons visit France every year, and whether they’re living it up in the City of Light or unwinding in Provence, one thing is certain: millions use their car to explore la belle France.
With Euro 2016 about to kick off, we’re launching the Euros for Cars. The idea is simple. You vote for your favourite cars when the two countries play each other in the football tournament. As in the real contest, the cars then get three points for winning the most votes, one point if it’s a draw and nothing for losing. The cars with the most points progress through into the knock-out stages.
Over the next few days we’ll be publishing the cars that are taking part. For each of the 24 countries in Euro 2016, we’ve selected a car that we think best represents that nation. Of course not every country has a car industry. For those that don’t we’ve chosen cars popular in that country, cars made in that country, or in some cases, cars that were once, or will be, built there.
In the run up to the first games of the tournament – France vs. Romania, Albania vs. Switzerland ‑ here are the four cars in Group A.
Drivers are being urged to fill up on fuel before taking a trip to France
Strikes in France have led to massive fuel shortages. Breakdown service Green Flag is advising drivers to fill up in the UK before crossing the Channel.
It’s expected that 15 million of us will be hitting the roads at some point over the next three days; possibly making it the busiest our roads have been in the last three years.
And if your plan is to escape the British motorways by crossing the Channel, be sure you’re up to date with yet another problem that could bring your journey to a standstill; French fuel shortages.
Due to the ongoing industrial action in France, more than 40% of French fuel stations are currently being affected by fuel shortages, with motorists limited to around 20-litres.
As a result, Green Flag is expecting fuel-related breakdowns to be even higher than the average Bank Holiday weekend and is urging drivers to fill up in the UK before setting off.
The number of cars being stolen by criminals hacking vehicles’ electronic systems is escalating. Earlier this year it was revealed that nearly half the cars stolen in London last year were taken without the key. Now new figures from across the Channel show that an estimated three quarters of cars stolen in France are targeted by ‘cyber criminals’ using electronic hacking.