The 12 weirdest driving laws around the world

Over the past 12 months, the search term ‘rules for driving abroad’ has increased by 133% ; showing that while more of us are comfortable travelling overseas again, and embarking on road trips, there are definitely some uncertainties that need clarifying!

To save travellers the risk of receiving a fine, or enduring an unpleasant encounter with the local police, we’ve compiled a list of driving rules around the world to remember. Some are definitely weird and wonderful, whereas others… when you think about them, actually make a lot of sense!

1. Germany

In Germany, they have a so-called rule called ‘Rechts vor links’, which literally translates to ‘right before left’. Mostly found in residential areas, what this means, is that if there are no signs indicating otherwise, people driving towards a crossroad have to give way to anyone coming from the right.

Looking for a little adrenalin rush? One rule dictates that on the German Autobahn, there’s no speed limit, so you can literally go as fast as you like (although the recommended speed is 130 km/h).

And if that weren’t enough, it’s not illegal for you to drive your car whilst completely naked in Germany… but just try and make sure you don’t bother anyone whilst doing so, as they could file an official complaint against you with the police.

2. Canada

If you’ve been caught drink driving in Canada, then there’s a chance you’ll have to install an alcohol interlock into your car. That means you’ll have to take a breathalyser each and every time before being able to turn your vehicle on. That sounds like a pretty good deterrent to us!

3. Australia

How often have you quickly jumped out of your car to grab your morning coffee without locking it? Or have you ever pulled up at the school gates and walked your child to the door, whilst leaving your car unlocked?

In Australia, if you leave your vehicle unlocked, or you leave your keys inside, then you’re breaking the law, and you could be given a fine.

4. China

We’d forgive you for trying to be nice, but in China, you’re not actually allowed to stop to let pedestrians cross! If you do, you could receive a fine or a warning.

5. USA

There are a few strange driving laws in the USA to be aware of, before you get behind the wheel of a car! Firstly, if you drive up to a crossroad that has a stop sign, then not only do you have to stop; but if there are others coming at different angles who have also stopped, then you have to wait for the first person to arrive to move first, before you can set off.

Secondly, it’s important to remember that in the majority of states, you’re not legally allowed to carry any opened containers of alcohol in your car. This is called the ‘Open Container Law’. You might be able to keep the opened alcohol in your boot, but laws can vary by state, so make sure you check before doing so.

At traffic lights, whilst you’re always allowed to turn right, you’ll still need to make sure to check if anyone’s coming from the left first; and with the weirdest law left ‘til last… want to go car shopping in Colorado on Sunday? No can do! There’s a state law that prohibits dealerships from opening on Sundays, so you’ll have to push it forward a day instead.

6. Russia

OK, so we might not be travelling to Russia for a while, but if it’s somewhere you do consider visiting in the future, then you need to be very careful about the condition of the car you drive. Whilst you might not be bothered about making sure your car is sparkling clean, the Russian police do… as an unwashed car could land you a fine!

7. Cyprus

You’re not even allowed a sip of water if you’re behind the wheel in Cyprus, because it’s illegal to take either one of your hands off the steering wheel while driving. If you risk doing so, you could be fined.

8. France

If you’re getting the ferry over to France and driving down south, then this one’s really important: whilst many European countries require you to carry a first aid kit in your vehicle, in France, you have to carry a breathalyser in your car too.

So, if you don’t have one, make sure you purchase one before you set off.

9. Denmark

So, this seems like something you should logically be doing anyway, but the laws in Denmark state that before you start your car, you must manually get up and check to make sure that there are no children under, or around, your vehicle!

10. Thailand

No matter what the circumstances are, in Thailand, if you’re driving, you must always wear a shirt… no lax rules like Germany!

11. Philippines

Due to heavy traffic in Philippines’ capital, Manila, in certain areas of the city, the law states you can only drive on certain days of the week; and this is something that can really catch tourists out.

If you’re renting a hire car, to find out which days you’re allowed to drive, you need to check your number plate. If the car your driving in’s number plate ends in a 1 or 2, for example, then it’s illegal to drive around the capital on a Monday.

12. Sweden

Finally, in Sweden, it’s a legal requirement to always have your vehicle’s lights switched on, even if it’s the middle of the day – that’s why if you buy a Volvo, their day running lights are always on as standard!

Whilst most countries will have some general rules that you should be aware of (such as always having your driver’s licence if you’re driving a vehicle), it’s always important to do some research into the rules of the road of the country you’re planning on driving in, so you don’t end up being given a fine.

Whether or not you decide to drive when you’re overseas, one thing you’ll need to consider in the UK is booking your airport parking (or port parking, if you’re travelling by boat). We compare prices across all major airports and ports to give you the cheapest prices.

And, once you’ve landed abroad, for ease and convenience, don’t forget to check out our deals on airport transfers too. Booking in advance means you’ll arrive at your hotel in style and comfort, and leave you with extra time to go exploring!

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