Driving - rules & information
It is the Contract Holders' responsibility to ensure they are aware of the driving requirements through each European country. Click here for the best website we can find, in English, that details what you need to be aware of, country by country.
Note: we cannot take any responsibility if any information on this website is out of date or inaccurate. Plus, it is written for UK drivers taking their cars to the Continent, so some information will not be relevant to our French registered vehicles.
Here are some other topics you should research, and where to start:
Toll roads & Vignettes
Google “toll roads in Europe” (pay as you go) and “vignettes in Europe” (sticker on windscreen) and choose the Wikipedia results for the most reliable information.
Breathalyser kits in France
French law requires that a breathalyser kit be carried in your vehicle and replaced if/when used. These kits can be purchased for €2-3 from most fuel stations. Note: you will not receive a fine if you do not have a breathalyser kit in your vehicle.
Air Pollution stickers in France
You can apply for a Crit’Air certificate (sticker) at a cost of about EUR4 only after you have collected your vehicle.
Visit this website: https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/demande/cgu
As the sticker can only be posted to your home address, you should print the receipt you receive via email and refer towards the bottom of the page. There is a section with a QR code and CRIT’Air logo + licence plate number. You should cut and tape this section onto the inside right-hand side of your windscreen, facing out.
While we are informed there is a EUR68 fine if you fail to have this sticker, it seems there has been a lot of flexibility to date.
The cities that require this sticker are listed on the above website (currently Paris, Grenoble, Lille, Strasbourg, Lyon, Toulouse).
Green Badge in Germany
Customers wishing to drive in Germany must purchase a Green Badge prior to entering selected cities and towns (known as 'environmental zones'). Click here for more information.
We are unable to obtain a copy of your registration certificate in enough time for you to order a Green Badge on-line, therefore we recommend you arrange this when you first enter a town/city that requires the badge - usually from a new car dealership at a cost of approx EUR8.
Driving in Portugal?
Portuguese Customs require all customers driving a tax-free car into Portugal (if collected outside Portugal) to be able to prove that they are not spending more than 90 days in Portugal. This means that you must obtain a GUIA DE CIRCULACAO document on border entry or at a customs office at a major airport or city within Portugal. Our understanding is that this document will cost approx €5. The fine for not obtaining this document, if you happen to be stopped, is unknown at this stage.
Electronic toll roads in Portugal
Portugal now has a number of "electronic" toll roads, where you must prepay to be on them or risk being fined many hundreds of Euros. Click here for more information.
Winter Driving (November - March/April)
All of our vehicles are fitted with standard tyres only. If you plan to drive during the winter months (Nov-Mar/Apr) please click here for the rules in each country. If winter tyres and/or snow chains are required, it is your responsibility to obtain these (at your cost) and return the vehicle with its original tyres.
International Drivers Permit (IDP)
Not compulsary for pick up but an International Drivers Permit (IDP), in conjunction with your Australian driver’s licence, is compulsory in many European countries, and highly recommended in others.
For the relative small cost, compared to the overall cost of your holiday, we recommend you obtain and use an IDP in conjunction with your Australian driver’s licence.
Please click on one of the below links for more information on obtaining and using an International Drivers Permit (IDP).
Refer to the 'AAA International Handbook for Motorists' on the below websites for detail on which countries require an IDP.
Remember, you must still carry your Australian driver’s licence with you.