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Sarah Rice

Sarah is our insurance specialist, reporting the latest important developments in the industry.

Differences in driving send Brits round the bend

The difference in driving customs between the UK and the rest of Europe can drive Brits crazy while they are abroad. 2.2 million Britons drive on the wrong side

The difference in driving customs between the UK and the rest of Europe can drive Brits crazy while they are abroad. ****2.2 million Britons drive on the wrong side of the road while abroad, with a further 1.3 million admitting to driving the wrong way up a one-way street.

car abroad

A failure to adhere to basic traffic laws and road signs made 13% of Britons (2.2 million) drive on the wrong side of the road when motoring abroad, a new study from Sainsbury's Insurance found.

Interestingly, men are more than three times as likely as women to drive on the wrong side of the road, with the figures standing at 1.76 million compared to 483,000 women.

With 1.3 million Britons admitting to driving the wrong way up a one-way street and 880,000 having breached driving laws in foreign countries after misreading road signs; it is not surprising that 520,000 Brits claim to have been stopped by police for speeding and a further 419,000 drivers have been involved in a motoring accident while overseas.

Driving risks and no car insurance

The most concerning part, however, is that 8% of those driving abroad didn't even have adequate car insurance.

Specifically, 6% said while they had car insurance in place their policy didn't cover the incident they faced, and a further 2% had their claims turned down as they were not covered at all.

Only 5% of British motorists successfully claimed on their car insurance while driving abroad in the past five years. This is a very small amount considering all those British motorists who are involved in a driving incident.

"Motorists need to ensure they have a suitable insurance policy to cover them while overseas and that they understand the legal requirements for driving in the country they are going to. Failing to do so could ruin your holiday and leave your severely out of pocket. We strongly encourage people to ensure they have adequate car insurance and breakdown assistance for their trip,” commented Ben Tyte, Head of Car Insurance at Sainsbury's Finance.

Finding cheap car insurance or hiring a car abroad can save you from many basic issues while driving abroad.