DRIVING IN EUROPE
100% do your research on road rules and driving in all the European countries you will be visiting
Definitely get to know these road signs at the least
We hadnt driven in Europe before so not only did we have to learn how to drive on the OTHER side of the road we also had to learn all the road rules and different signs for each country we went into.
I suggest downloading an app to help you along the way, like this one
Once we got started in Germany it was easy and we picked up a lot along the way but I was mightly glad I read up the rules as while dad was driving I was basically guiding him and reading all the signs and making the decisions.
The roads are AMAZING in europe in general so you wont have any issues at all as long as you do a bit of the basic research you will be fine – I do recommend reading up though on the parking situation in each country you visit as they are all different and have different rules – all the countries we went to had very similar signage
Needed in Germany to park in certain sections of the city zone.
Generally these are not included in campervans from what im told but you can easily buy them from newsagents or other stores, in some places they are free.
I love this “trust” system, you bascially put on the dial what time you arrived and when the parking attendant comes along they fine you accordingly if you stay overtime – there is NO WAY they would ever implement this is AUS! pfft
We bought one but didnt really use it, we parked but mainly in areas not with signs for these parking discs. We generally didnt drive too far into city centre and park there, we would make our way from our caravan spot a bit further out of the city
VIGNETTES – European Driving Stickers
Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland require a vignette sticker for driving on principal motorways.
WHEN & WHERE TO BUY THEM
Rental companies DO NOT sell vignettes.
These can be bought at the petrol stations along the way (not all though) – I suggest making sure to pick them up when getting closer to the border (dont take the risk to buy it when in the country itself as if you get pulled over you WILL get fined, they have cameras that detect if you have a vignette or not and fines start from 60 euro)
Austria: 10 days, €8; two months, €23.4; one year €77.8
Bulgaria: 7 days, €5; one month, €13; one year €34
Czech Republic: 10 days, CZK 310; one month CZK 440; one year CZK 1500
Hungary: 7 days, HUF 2975; one month, HUF 4,780; one year HUF 42,890
Romania: 7 days, €3; one month, €7; one year €77.8
Slovakia: 10 days, €10; one month, €14; three months, €13, one year, €28
Slovenia: One week, €15; one month, €30; one year, €95
Switzerland: One year, CHF 40 (this annoyed me as we didnt need it for a year!)
There are A LOT everywhere except Germany (they were my favourite roads to drive along as well)
French road tolls are the most expensive I found and we paid around AU$100 for a 13km 1-way tunnel through the french / Italian alps! (it was an amazing experience though got to admit!
Poland road tolls are surprisingly high as well
INTERNATIONAL DRIVERS LICENSE
We didnt take the risk and we got ourselves an international drivers license before we left. $50 and easy to get and its written in all european languages so incase you get pulled over and the cop cant speak english you can flash this at them – we never got pulled over which was good, but we did cop a speeding fine (they have cameras all around)
SERVICE NSW APPLICATION
Hell yeah! invest in a good one, download ALL required maps (even if you dont know if you will be going there or not) this saved us a lot along the way.
I mainly used my maps.me app in the end but the GPS was my backup
Also, majority of the vans we were looking at didnt have a GPS and ours we initially booked didnt include one (they dont supply any either) but we were lucky and got upgraded and ours was a brand new van with a spanking new GPS installed BUT BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY when it comes to a GPS and driving around Europe especially in the mountainous off the beaten path regions (you can always buy it when you get there as well but we werent willing to take the risk)