Avoid Pitfalls on Continent

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DESPITE the cost of petrol, thousands of people will be travelling to Europe in their own cars this summer - but infringing foreign rules could cost a lot more.

With each European country having its own regulations, car seller Perrys has drawn up tips on avoiding motoring pitfalls on the Continent.

When driving abroad it is essential to carry appropriate paperwork: a full UK driving licence and paper counterpart. An international driving permit and the original V5 document may also be required.

Contact your insurer one month before you plan to travel to ensure you and your vehicle are adequately insured.

In most European countries a fine will be issued to motorists who fail to use hazard lights when stopped on the roadside or who fail to carry a reflective jacket and warning triangle in their vehicle. Make sure your vehicle displays a GB sticker - if it doesn’t you could face an undisclosed on- the-spot fine.

If you get into a spot of bother dial 11215, an emergency call number that can be used in 27 member states of the European Union in case of accident or any distress situation.

Make sure you do not overload your vehicle as this can invalidate your insurance and lead to on-the-spot fines.

Speed trap detection devices which are used to notify of police radars are illegal in most European countries. If caught using one expect to receive a fine, driving ban, or in some cases imprisonment.