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FCO Survey Reveals Ignorance Among Britons Driving Outside The UK

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.

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