Traffic rules abroad - All info at a glance

Florian Fratzscher - May 5, 2021

#Ferien #Verkehrsregeln #AutoAbo

Currently, it is difficult to plan where to go on vacation. Therefore, it will probably be a spontaneous decision. Trips and vacations by car are the best option for those who like to travel on short notice. To keep you safe on your road trips, we have summarized the most important traffic rules abroad for you.

Road trips in Europe

If you are traveling abroad by car, then you are of course also subject to the local traffic laws. Although the roads are similar throughout Europe, the regulations in the various countries can differ considerably. That's why you should read up on what is actually allowed and what is prohibited in your travel destination before your summer trips abroad. 

If you don't inform yourself, you can be surprised by very severe penalties in the worst case, and this will certainly dampen your vacation enjoyment enormously. Just keep reading if you want to stay on the safe side.

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The most important traffic rules abroad

As we all well know, ignorance does not protect us from punishment, and this is just as true for Swiss traffic rules as it is for driving abroad. The following rules are valid throughout Europe:

  • In EU countries, a seat belt must be worn in all vehicles

  • All vehicles must be equipped with suitable child restraint systems

  • Talking on the phone without a hands-free device while driving is prohibited almost everywhere

  • Drinking and driving is prohibited, but the per mille limits differ

  • Speed limits differ according to the type of road and vehicle

  • In some countries, lights must be on during the day

  • In Great Britain, Malta and Cyprus left-hand traffic is valid.

Traffic rules abroad

What do I do in case of a traffic accident abroad?

In case of a traffic accident abroad, some countries require an accident report by the police. If this is missing when you return home, you may even be refused permission to leave the country. 

Therefore, you should always remain cooperative in such situations, and during other police checks. If a traffic accident occurs, the free emergency number 112 applies in EU countries + Norway, Israel and Russia. 

Emergency call in Europe

Be sure to write down the name and address of the driver or owner, license plate number, insurance, and policy number in case of an accident. In such cases, the green insurance card, which is issued free of charge by your own car insurance company and serves as proof of car insurance abroad, can also be helpful.

In such situations, pay particular attention to the obligation to wear high-visibility vests, which applies in Italy, Croatia, Luxembourg, Austria and Spain.

Fines abroad - Do I have to pay them?

Usually yes: If the amount together with possible procedural costs exceeds 70CHF, then fines are enforced across borders within the EU. Austria is an exception. Here, foreign traffic offenders are required to pay fines as low as 25CHF.

Traffic fines abroad

These are the most common cases where fines are due: 

  • Speeding

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • Running a red light

  • Driving without a seat belt or helmet

  • Cell phone at the wheel

Parking abroad can be expensive

Incorrect parking abroad

If you park your car wrongly, you will be asked to pay in some countries. The most expensive parking fines are 95CHF in the Netherlands, 80CHF in Greece and up to 300CHF in Spain and Hungary. 

 Paying fast is worthwhile in Italy and Spain. Here you get up to 50% discount if you pay the fine within a certain period.

What speed limits apply abroad?

Speed limits can vary greatly across Europe. Therefore, you can find out here which speed limits apply on different roads.

It's best to find out about the speed limits in your vacation destination before you leave, otherwise you could be in for a rude awakening. The times are over when a speeding ticket is not served abroad.

Speed Limits Abroad - Stay Safe with the Car Subscription from CARIFY (Source:

Of course, trips to distant countries are always appealing, but also at home there are many beautiful places to discover, for example, on a road trip in Switzerland. With a bright blue sky and pleasant temperatures best in a convertible, or what do you think?

At CARIFY, you can easily adapt your car to the season. Traveling in a minivan in winter and a convertible for the summer months? No problem! 

With CARIFY you have absolute flexibility. 

Just try it out!

Go on an adventure with CARIFY

Where exactly you can travel with our car subscription this summer, you can find out on our FAQ page. Basically, we want you to travel as easy as possible with our Swiss car subscription, so all costs are already included. 

We look forward to seeing you and wish you lots of fun in the sun!

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