British expats lacking European road awareness
British expats moving to Europe tend to have little or no knowledge about the varying rules of the road on the continent, new research has suggested.
In a survey that involved over 1,000 British motorists, MoneySupermarket found that many people were unsure about speed limits, the kind of equipment that must be carried in vehicles and the laws surrounding drink-driving in European countries.
Naturally, speed limits vary from country to country, but in some instances, there are special restrictions enforced depending on the weather. 34 per cent of British drivers were not aware that in Italy and France, the speed limit is reduced in wet conditions.
With regards to the latter country, nearly half of respondents (47 per cent) did not know that a licence can be automatically taken away from a motorist if they are 24.8mph over the speed limit.
“It is clear that there is a substantial knowledge gap among British motorists when it comes to driving in continental Europe, and for those unlucky enough to be caught out for not adhering to the driving regulations of their chosen country, the fines could be significant,” warned Peter Harrison, car insurance expert at the comparison site.
Drink-driving is another area British expats have to be extremely sensitive about, if the results of the study are anything to go by. 58 per cent of the people polled were unsure which European nations operated a zero tolerance approach to drink-driving (Estonia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia).
This is in stark contrast to the legal limit in the UK, which, at 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, is comparatively relaxed. In popular British expat countries, like Germany and France, the limit is lower at 50mg.
The message coming from the study is that it is not only worthwhile but essential for expats to inform themselves of the rules of the road in the country they are heading to. Losing a licence or having an insurance policy downgraded will be detrimental to settling into a new life.
Cadogan Tate helps British expats looking to move their belongings overseas with the logistics of international shipping.