What You Need To Know About Driving HGVs In Europe
If you are an HGV driver in the UK, you might be interested in driving your vehicle in Europe. Well, this can be an exciting opportunity to explore different parts of the continent and learn about new cultures along the way. However, before hitting the European roads with your HGV, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.
First, you will need to ensure that you have the requisite documents when driving your HGV in Europe. These include a valid UK driving license, insurance documents, and a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You should also make sure your vehicle is registered and has a valid MOT certificate.
If you plan to drive in Europe for an unspecified duration of time, you will need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP). This is a translation of your driving license that is recognized in many countries. It is advisable to get an IDP in advance of your trip, as they are not always easy to obtain once you are abroad. Make sure that you have also completed your CPC training.
Passports and Visas
All drivers are typically required to have a valid passport when traveling in other countries. However, citizens of countries belonging to the European Union (EU) usually don’t need a visa to enter other EU countries. However, any citizen of a non-EU country will be required to have a visa before traveling to Europe.
You can find out what the requirements are for your specific country by visiting the website of the European Union. It is important to check the visa requirements in advance of your trip to ensure smooth travel.
Before driving in any country in Europe, it is important to be aware of the various speed limits as well other traffic laws and regulations. For example, the speed limit on highways in France is generally 80 km/h (50 mph), while in Germany it is 100 km/h (62 mph). Keep in mind that these speed limits can vary, so it is a good idea to check the current limits before starting your journey.
Display the Correct Stickers
When driving in Europe, it is always important to check the requirements for each country you will be driving in in regard to sticker use. Keep in mind that in some countries, including Poland and Belgium, HGV drivers are required to display a specific sticker. The stickers can be bought online or at most petrol stations.
Restricted Driving Zones
Also important to keep in mind is that there are certain driving zones in Europe that HGV drivers are restricted from. For example, HGVs have to meet a certain standard in order to enter the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in Europe.
Have a Breakdown Kit
As a smart HGV driver, it is always prudent to have a breakdown kit with you when driving in Europe. The kit should contain items like a first-aid kit, spare tire, and jumper cables. Might we also suggest that you seek out the number for a roadside assistance service?
Don’t Forget About Public Holidays
When driving in Europe, it is important to be aware of any public holidays that may affect your journey.
Check The Weather Forecast
It is a wise idea to check the weather forecast before setting out on your journey. This is especially true if you are travelling during the winter months, as inclement weather such as snow and ice can pose a significant risk to road safety.
Plan Your Route In Advance
Proper planning is always essential for any successful journey. By mapping out your route ahead of time, you can save time and reduce the stress of navigating unfamiliar roads. It’s also a good idea to consider making any necessary stops beforehand, such as for gas, food, or accommodation.
Be Prepared for Language Barriers
Yes, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for language barriers when traveling abroad. While many people in Europe speak English, it’s not uncommon to encounter individuals who only speak their native language. To help overcome this potential communication barrier, it can be helpful to learn some basic phrases in the language of the country you will be visiting.
Keeping in mind the above considerations will help to better prepare you for the journey ahead and ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. Remember, as a responsible HGV driver, it is your duty to drive safely and keep yourself aware of all driving regulations before setting out on your journey.