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Driving Abroad

Jason Dawe talks this week about speed limits abroad

Anyone who has undertaken a motoring tour of Europe will be familiar with the fact that as you pass from country to country the rules and regulations governing your driving will change. With the confusing range of speed limits across continental Europe’s motorways, from 75mph (120kph) in Spain and Switzerland to Germany’s almost limitless Autobahn, nearly half of British drivers say they would like to see a universal speed limit applied across Europe.

And the problem isn’t all one way - over a quarter of returning British motorists who have driven abroad on holiday say they have accidentally broken speed restrictions on their return after getting used to higher continental limits. I know the fact that speed limits abroad are kilometres per hour not miles per hour has caught several friends out, and led to hefty fines.

Then there is the new craze for ‘speed tourism’. Inspired by events like the Gumball Rally, up to half a million Brits visit Europe each year, specifically to drive at higher speeds, but invariably finding themselves pinged by the local police as they realise that not every motorway on the continent allows unlimited speed and allows you to ignore the Highway Code.

With the World Cup almost upon us, drivers travelling to the games may find themselves getting used to the higher speed limits in Germany, so should take extra care on their return to the UK. It can be very tempting to drive fast where speed limits are less rigid than in the UK, but after a euphoric month in Germany, spent watching England win the World Cup (you heard it here first), returning to the UK and the speed limit of 70mph (that’s 112kph!) could catch the unwary out.

Finally—don’t miss the new series of ‘Used Car Roadshow’ on Men and Motors—and thanks for all those who wrote in after last weeks show—much appreciated and glad you enjoyed it!


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