It’s peak holiday booking season which means that Brits are busy planning their trips abroad. For many, organising car hire or taking their own vehicle, is an important part of the holiday.
However, according to RAC research only 43% of holidaymakers spend a couple of hours researching driving laws before they go.
But learning about driving in your holiday destination could be time well spent. There’s an incredible number of weird and wonderful driving laws around the world. Depending on where you’re going these say how you should drive, as well as things you should carry in your car.
While we’ve rounded up some of our favourite driving laws below it’s always important to do your research, wherever you’re going. Check the advice issued by the UK Government as well as the AA and RAC which both provide comprehensive guides to driving abroad.
Weird and wonderful driving laws around the world
Don’t splash a pedestrian
Nobody likes to splashed by filthy road water, but in Japan pedestrians are protected by law. You can’t splash them, otherwise you may find a police officer tracking you down. This is true for the UK as well, although rarely seems to be enforced.
2. Beijing, China
Don’t stop for pedestrians
Be careful if you are crossing the road in Beijing. The law actually says that motorists must not stop for pedestrians!
Don’t stop – ever!
Driving on the famous autobahn where there are no speed limits in some sections is a dream for many drivers. But fill up before hitting the road! It is illegal to stop for any reason, including breaking down or running out of fuel.
4. Rome, Italy
In Rome, certain historical areas are open to permitted drivers only to protect precious buildings. Don’t get caught out and look for the signs – satnav might not save you.
5. Alabama, USA
No blindfolds in Alabama
Amazingly, in Alabama they had to make it law that motorists can’t drive blindfolded.
Think of the children
In Denmark it’s not just cats hiding under cars drivers need to worry about. By law, they should check if any kids are playing hide & seek under there.
7. London, UK
No parking on the pavement in London
This might not be news to anyone who lives in the south east, but isn’t common knowledge elsewhere. In London, you can’t park on the pavement whatsoever and could be fined £70 if you do.
8. Alaska, USA
Be kind to fido
In Alaska it’s illegal to tie your dog to the roof. If your dog likes the wind in his face you just have to roll the window down for him instead.
9 & 10. France
Prove you’re fit to drive
Definitely one for Brits crossing the channel, it’s important to remember a breathalyser to keep in the car. It’s illegal not to have one, which is unsurprising for a country so famous for its wine production! Thankfully you can pick up European driving kits that include a disposable one.
Don’t seek speedcameras
Also in France, it’s illegal to have a speed camera tracker or have the notification set up on your satnav. You could even have your licence confiscated and car towed.
11. Denver, Colorado, USA
No black cars on Sundays
Apparently in Denver it is illegal to drive a black car on a Sunday. Sorry, batman. It’s unclear if this one is ever actually unforced, given that black is the second most popular colour in the USA!
Remember your specs
Another one for holidaymakers, this time those who need glasses for driving. If you fit in this category you must have two pairs – the one you’re wearing and a spare kept in the car.
13. South Africa
Respect the wildlife
In South Africa animals have right of way. So, if there’s an ostrich taking a break in the road you’ll just have to wait until it goes to get on your way.
Pedestrians here are treated much better than those in some other countries. Drivers must stay at least 50m away from them at all times.
15. California, USA
Dress up smart in California
Women must not drive in a housecoat (dressing gown). It’s not clear why but could be awkward for those late on the school run and is surprising for laid back California!