Britons face hefty fines when driving in Europe if they don’t have key items

Driving abroad: RAC's tips for driving in Europe

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Thousands of Britons are expected to travel to the continent this summer and with rail strikes and airport chaos, driving may be the best option. But driving in Europe does not come without its requirements for UK drivers.

If someone is driving from the UK to Europe, they will need to ensure that the car has a UK sticker on it to avoid a fine.

If the car’s number plate has the Union Jack and a UK identifier, they won’t need a separate sticker.

When driving in Spain, however, drivers will need both the identifier and the sticker.

Drivers could face on-the-spot fines of up to €135 (£115) if they don’t comply with the European Union rules.


The Spanish coast is perfect for a summer getaway with the Costa Brava being a popular hit among British tourists.

When driving to their destination, Britons must have reflective safety vests. They are not mandatory to carry in the car, but drivers may be fined for walking on a road or hard shoulder and not wearing one.

Every vehicle with four or more wheels must carry two warning triangles and beam deflectors in the event of a breakdown or accident.

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As with Spain, any vehicle with four wheels or more must carry a warning triangle and reflective safety vests in France.

Depending on the car, motorists will either need to purchase beam deflector stickers or adjust the beam using the controls in their car.

Many Britons will be heading to France to soak up the sun in the coming months, with the Alsace Wine Route proving to be a popular route.

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It is a compulsory requirement for all vehicles to have a first aid kit and a warning triangle in Germany.

Motorists will also need reflective safety vests for the driver and any passengers to wear in the event of a breakdown whenever they’re outside the vehicle.

While this may only apply to the southern regions of Germany during the summer months, in winter all cars and motorbikes have to be fitted with all-season tyres that can withstand winter weather conditions.


Whether they’re exploring the Amalfi Coast’s colourful villages with far stretching views of the turquoise blue Tyrrhenian Sea or visiting the wineries of the Casentino Valley, drivers will need some key equipment.

While it is not obligatory to have a reflective safety vest in the car, walking on the hard shoulder in Italy without one could potentially lead to a fine.

As with most other European countries, drivers will need a warning triangle and beam deflectors.


Every vehicle must have a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency.

Motorists must also carry warning triangles and beam deflectors when travelling around the country.

Greece is the ultimate location for a road trip off the beaten track where drivers will pass secluded sandy beaches, stunning sea views and breathtaking Greek architecture. 

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