Driving through Europe this summer?

Driving across Europe can lead many British motorists unwittingly into trouble with the police.

From the start of this month, for instance, all drivers and motorcyclists in France must carry TWO disposable breathalysers in addition to a spare set of bulbs and a warning triangle.

Although not currently enforceable for British motorists but recommended to keep the gendarmerie happy, you should also have a yellow hi-vis jacket or tabard easily accessible in the car.

In Germany, while some autobahns have sections with no upper speed limit most do have restrictions and they are rigidly enforced.

The country also has a lower permissable alcohol drink drive limit - 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood rath than the 80mg allowed in the UK.

And to park in Germany you have to buy a blue parking disc (parkscheibe), available at service stations; parking vouchers (parkschein) and parking meters are also common.

Radar speed camera detectors are illegal in Germany, whether or not you are using them. Penalties include fines of up to €1,500.

During daylight, you must use dipped headlights or daytime running lights if your vision is impaired by fog, snow or rain.

You should carry a warning triangle, set of bulbs and first aid kit, although these are only compulsory for residents. And don’t forget your GB sticker.

Institute of Advanced Motorists chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “When driving abroad, you need to think about the regulations not only of your final destination but of the countries you’ll pass through to get there.

“For instance if you’re off to Germany via France, don’t forget that from 1 July all drivers and motorcyclists need to carry a pack of two disposable breathalysers which must meet NF standards and carry the NF certification.”

To help drivers stay safe and enjoy their driving this summer, the IAM has a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and driving tips, including: driving abroad, cycling, coping with Olympic congestion, and loading the car for a long journey.