Everyone knows when you’re planning a holiday to Europe it is a big decision to make with many factors coming into play. Due to the high flight prices, a trip to Europe for most people doesn’t happen very often so it’s important to consider everything when planning your dream trip. You’ll have to consider where you want to go for the best food, whether that’s Italy for their famous pizza and pasta, France for their unbeatable fresh bread, or Belgium for the most delicious waffles and French fries. Weather is another big consideration; do you want to go to the North of Europe such as Norway where the weather is really cold, or to the South of Europe such as Greece where it’ll be the perfect weather to relax at the beach.
There is so much history in Europe and so many attractions you’ll have to prioritize which you want to see the most from the United Nations headquarters in Switzerland to the Anne Frank museum in the Netherlands to Big Ben and the UK Parliament you’re spoiled for choice. With all these decisions to be made, one important thing to remember when planning a trip to Europe is usually overlooked and this is one of the many differences between America and Europe, in Europe their driving is different – they drive on the opposite side of the road. This is something that can be extremely hard to get used to so we’ve found all the major differences you need to be aware of to make driving easier for you.
European licenses are much harder to obtain driving licenses in America. This is something to be aware of as when leasing a car there will be many different requirements as each European country is different. It would be a good idea to look at the leasing available in each country, some European countries have much better leasing deals than others, for example, there are some great leasing deals in Germany, but in France, it will be quite expensive if you have an American license.
In America, we have very strict speed limits on roads, if these speed limits are broken the driver will be given a very hefty fine as these rules are taken extremely seriously so the fine would be a punishment and a deterrent. If you’re a thrill-seeker and wanting to test the limits of your car then you’ll be delighted to know that in Germany there are no speed limits on their 1000’s of kilometers of Autobahn. While German authorities recommend traveling at a max speed of 130km/h it’s not a law. Other European countries have speed limits but in comparison to America, they’re much higher usually between 90km/h to 130km/h.
Whilst round-a-bouts do exist in America there are many fewer in comparison to Europe. Round-a-bouts are extremely useful in helping the flow of traffic and preventing traffic jams but if you’ve never come across one before they can be quite overwhelming. Make sure you’re prepared for round-a-bouts as you’ll come across them almost daily in Europe, after a few times driving around a round-a-bout you’ll get used to it but it can be frightening at first.
This is one of the biggest differences to be aware of between Europe and America. In Europe, the road signs they use are following the guidelines of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals which is often very different to America’s use of federally regulated signs like the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. In America, you’ll be used to seeing warning signs on the road as a yellow diamond-shaped sign, in Europe the warning signs look completely different as they are white triangular signs with a red border around them.
In America, you’ll be used to being allowed to turn on a red light provided there is no oncoming traffic as this is the rule when learning to drive in America. In Europe this is not the case, even if there are no cars around you must stop when you come to a red light, if you run a red light in Europe you could get points on your license or a heavy fine.