By Alex Kapadia
One in three motorists are gearing up to drive in Europe this year, but many don’t have a clue what to do if it all goes wrong, according to an RAC survey.
Therefore it’s vital that drivers complete basic car maintenance checks, especially to their tyres, to reduce the risk of accidents.
Tyres are a key factor when it comes to safe and legal motoring and also reducing fuel consumption, because fuel is more expensive in four of the five most popular European driving destinations than in the UK.
According to the RAC survey, 35% of motorists have no idea what to do if they are involved in an accident and only a third know the correct number for the emergency services in Europe.
The research also revealed that nearly on in ten drivers have been involved in an accident whilst driving in Europe and 12% have broken down.
A common misconception is that fuel is cheaper in Europe. Almost half of motorists – 48% – mistakenly believe that petrol is cheaper on the continent but in four of the five most popular European driving destinations – France, Germany, Italy and Belgium.
In fact, unleaded petrol is up to 23 cents more expensive per litre. This could potentially affect motorists’ fuel budgets by up to €58 (approx £50) based an average family car doing a 2,000 mile round trip.
Diesel is however cheaper per litre in all five destinations, particularly Spain where it costs approximately 25% less than in the UK, saving motorists up to €60 (approx £51) on the average trip.
David Hawes, RAC patrol manager, says: “There are benefits to driving abroad, ranging from lower diesel prices to more freedom to visit places outside of tourist centres, but as our research shows, foreign roads can be a dangerous place, so it’s always best to be prepared. It’s also crucial to swot up on European driving laws before you go to avoid any pitfalls.”