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Over a third of drivers at risk of on-the-spot fines in Europe

In a recent AA Populus survey of 23,317 respondents, over a third of respondents (37%) were not aware that they needed a reflective jacket if driving in France and over half (55%) did not know that a disposable breathalyser was also needed. Meanwhile 56% didn’t know a reflective jacket is compulsory for Belgium and 62% don’t know that it is compulsory in Spain (for a breakdown).

The AA/Populus survey also found that almost a third (31%) of respondents did not think that headlight beam converters are necessary in France. When it came to Belgium almost half (47%) did not think beam converters were necessary, and over half (51%) believed the same for Spain or the Netherlands.

Not having the correct equipment when driving in Europe can leave you subject to an on-the-spot fine of between €15 and €135. 

When it came to the correct documentation, over half (52%) did not think you needed to take the vehicle’s original registration document to France and this rose to 62 per cent in Belgium and Spain and 64 per cent for the Netherlands. 

Edmund King, AA president, said: ‘The rules and regulations on the Continent can be confusing and it is imperative that drivers heading over to Europe should check before they travel.  It is not just safety equipment but also knowing the correct speed limits in whichever countries you are visiting can help avoid speeding fines. And you can’t rely on your sat nav’s speed camera locator as these are forbidden in some countries so drivers must ensure that they are switched off or disabled before heading to Europe.’

The AA Euro Travel Kit includes a set of headlight beam converters, a hazard warning triangle and a reflective emergency jacket.  The kit also includes a first aid kit, universal bulb kit and magnetic GB plate along with the AA European Driver’s Handbook. The AA Euro Travel Kit is available at www.theaa.com/shop.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.