The most comfortable way to travel abroad is in your car or in the car you’ve rented. If you plan on taking such a trip it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local traffic laws and regulations and to be prepared for the fines that might come up if you don’t follow them.
It’s best to do what you can to avoid getting fines while abroad and therefore allowing such issues to ruin your trip. In some cases, the traffic authorities will go easy on foreigners but learning local laws is still your responsibility.
Speeding is the most common traffic offense for both foreigner and domestic drivers in almost any country in the world. The amount you’ll pay depends on where the offense took place and how fast you were going. The fines are higher when you’re speeding in a city than they would be in the countryside.
The fines for speeding in the EU range from $80 to $200 depending on the country. Some countries also offer a fine to be reduced if you pay it on the spot, as soon as you’re stopped.
Not Having a Permit
To drive abroad, you’ll need an international permit issued by the International Drivers Association. It’s only valid if you also have a national permit and a photo ID with you. If you’re caught driving without an international permit or with an expired one, you can get a fine.
The amount you’ll need to pay depends on the country you’re in, but in Europe, it’s about 75 Euros with an option of paying less if you pay on the spot. Some countries are much stricter than this and Japan was even known to deport those without a permit.
Using a Phone While Driving
It’s illegal to use your phone while driving in most European countries and if you’re spotted doing so you get to pay a fine. The authorities are then allowed to ask for a permit or to check your car in detail and additional fines can be issued as well.
You’re allowed however to use your phone if it’s mounted on the stand in your car. Some claim that even though this is allowed, it’s still equally distracting as holding a phone in your hand and you should refrain from doing so to stay focused on the road.
Not Wearing a Seatbelt
Not wearing a seatbelt is another common violation that happens to both domestic and foreign drivers. The range of fines varies a lot on this one and it can be anywhere from 30 to 200 Euros depending on the circumstances and the country you’re in.
This is also the most dangerous violation on our list or at least as dangerous as speeding. Regardless of the fines and the policy in the country you’re visiting, it’s best to keep your seatbelt as long as you’re in the car. It can save much more than the amount you would pay as a fine.