5 top tips for driving your EV abroad
Planning a road trip abroad can be an exciting adventure. But driving on unfamiliar roads, adapting to different driving customs, and navigating through diverse landscapes can be a little daunting.
So, to help you get the best out of your next road trip to Europe, we’ve put together some top tips for driving your EV abroad:
1. Adjust your mirrors for the other side of the road
One of the first changes you'll need to make when driving abroad is getting used to the other side of the road. Take a moment to re-angle your mirrors - you should be able to see as far back up the road as possible. The best way to do this is by keeping your head still and aligning the edge mirror to the side of the car.
This’ll only take a few minutes but should massively improve your awareness of other drivers and overall driving experience.
2. Make sure you’ve enabled data roaming (and have a good data roaming package)
When driving abroad, you’re probably going to need to use your maps or the Electroverse app. So you’ll need to enable data roaming. However, it’s best to make sure you’ve checked with your phone provider first to make sure you’ve got a decent data roaming package - otherwise, it can get pretty costly.
If data roaming isn't an option, consider Google Maps when you’ve got access to WiFi and download your journey, you can then use this offline for seamless navigation.
3. Prepare your car for crossings by deactivating the “lift and tilt” alarm
Most newer cars (especially EVs) have a lift and tilt alarm. This alarm goes off when your car is lifted at a certain angle and protects it from any thieves towing it away. For ferry and Eurotunnel crossings, it’s best to turn this alarm off as otherwise, you might be asked to leave your car unlocked.
4. Familiarise yourself with driving customs and speed limits
Driving customs vary from country to country, so it's important to have some kind of knowledge of local regulations. Just look at Germany, during traffic jams, vehicles move over to the sides of the carriageway just in case an emergency vehicle needs to pass. And on the Autobahn, it’s customary to keep indicators on while overtaking, to signal that the lane change is temporary. Very different to UK motorway driving.
Also, it’s important to know that speed limits in Europe are often in kilometres per hour (km/h). Some cars automatically switch their dashboard display to km/h, but if yours doesn’t, you can adjust the settings manually.
5. Reduce time and hassle with things like the Electroverse and TéléPéage
For electric vehicle enthusiasts, planning charging stops is essential. The Electroverse route planner can strategically schedule charging stops along your journey. It’s also best to bring your Electroverse card for easy access to charging points.
In France, many motorways have tolls (péages). You can simplify your journey by using a TéléPéage tag, which is placed on your windshield and automatically bills tolls to your linked bank account, saving you time and hassle.
Bonus tip: arrange European breakdown cover
Remember that your salary sacrifice (or any other) breakdown cover may not extend to Europe. Ensure a worry-free journey by arranging private European breakdown cover before your trip. Explore options such as the European breakdown cover offered by the AA to guarantee assistance in case of unforeseen circumstances during your road trip.
The Drive away
Embarking on a road trip abroad requires thoughtful planning and consideration of local customs and regulations. By incorporating these tips into your travel preparations, you'll be better equipped to navigate foreign roads and make the most of your international driving experience.