LONDON, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Findings revealed that while 40% of Britons driving abroad do not familiarise themselves with the relevant Highway Code, 60% believe they know the local drink drive limit
Over 40% of British holidaymakers who drive while abroad fail to research the highway code of the country they will be travelling in, it has been revealed. However despite this, 63% of those questioned in the survey of over 1400 people, were confident they knew both the legal limits and penalties of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The survey, carried out by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in association with Carrentals.co.uk, was conducted to find out how much people know about foreign driving regulations. It revealed Brits were prone to speeding in foreign countries. Of those who admitted they had been penalised for a motoring offence abroad, 65% had been caught speeding. Other common offences included parking violations and incorrect documents.
Surprisingly, when asked what their primary concern was when renting a car abroad, only 34% said safety, while half were more concerned with cost. Although half of those surveyed had driven their own car abroad, 51% of people admitted they did not know if they required an International Driving Permit.
The results also found that only a minority of British tourists had experienced difficulties when driving abroad (12%) or been the victim of a car related crime (5%).
Finally, when asked if it is a legal requirement to carry two breathalysers in France 45% said no, despite it being widely publicised as law. A further 55% also responded incorrectly when asked if you are required to carry an extra pair of glasses when driving in Spain -which is also true and a legal requirement in the country. However, 33% did admit that they did not know what equipment needs to be carried by law in a vehicle in the country you are driving in.
To help British holidaymakers be better prepared for driving abroad, the FCO have developed a Road Safety Tool to advise on the key things to prepare for when driving your own or a hired vehicle overseas.
Lynda St Cooke, from the FCO's Know before You Go campaign, said:
"Each year consular staff around the world assists thousands of British nationals who have got into trouble on foreign roads. Some have fallen foul of road laws; others have been involved in road traffic incidents. We will do everything we can to help but we can't pay medical bills, we can't fly you home if you need repatriation back to the UK and we can't interfere in another country's legal system. There is no way to prepare for a road accident. But you can prepare for a driving holiday abroad by reading up on your destination, familiarising yourself with road laws and customs, assessing the risks associated with different forms of transport and taking out a comprehensive travel insurance policy. This way you will be as prepared as you can be for your trip abroad."
The Road Safety Tool being launched by the FCO will give people access to specific road safety advice for the country they will be driving in and is available at http://www.fcowidget.com
For up-to-date travel advice on-the-go, the FCO is encouraging people to sign up to Facebook and Twitter feeds to ensure they are informed of the latest travel advice: http://www.facebook.com/fcotravel or http://www.twitter.com/fcotravel
Gareth Robinson, Managing Director of Carrentals.co.uk said: "We were shocked with some of the findings, notably that people don't familiarise themselves with the relevant highway code of a different country. Driving rules and regulations vary in every country and it is important people are aware of these changes and how they differ to the UK laws they are used to. We urge our customers to carry the correct equipment and research relevant information to avoid costly and dangerous mistakes."
Carrentals.co.uk is the UK's leading car rental comparison site, comparing deals from up to 50 rental companies including Alamo, Auto Europe, Budget, Holiday Autos and Sixt, in over 15,000 locations worldwide.
To compare the best car hire deals visit http://www.carrentals.co.uk
Carrentals.co.uk is one of the UK's leading car hire comparison website, and celebrated its 5th birthday as a comparator in February 2012. Last year, the company achieved record sales, despite the challenging economic climate.
Searching up to 50 different car hire suppliers, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Holiday Autos and Sixt, Carrentals.co.uk provides an impartial comparison of the best prices available in over 15,000 locations worldwide.
Customers can also book with Carrentals.co.uk through the Android and iPhone mobile apps launched in 2011 and also through the comparator's Facebook page.
To book or for further information visit http://www.carrentals.co.uk