Things to Remember While Driving a Car in another State/Country

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Top Things to Remember While Driving

It’s true that car driving in the country is an advantageous way of getting around once you’ve reached your particular destination, be it another state or country. It’s also a fact that depending on where you are headed, driving can certainly be the easiest or even the most affordable way to get there.  Put simply, a car provides it’s occupants with freedom.  Most countries permit tourists and other visitors to drive a car on their roads without any trouble, and they certainly aren’t concerned about whether or not you’ve had driving lessons.

car driving in the country

However, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration before you climb behind the wheel of a car in a country you are brand new too, because all roads are not the same.  The differences between a new country and your own when it comes to driving are visible at once.  Traffic laws, patterns of traffic, road conditions, driving habits of the other vehicle owners on the road, can all differ tremendously from country to country, and in some cases may be like nothing at all you’ve experienced in your home country.  They might not even have driving  schools.

Read For Preparation

If you are planning on traveling for a vacation to another country, and want it to be a happy and pleasant experience, and know that you will be driving when you get there, it is an excellent idea to read about driving laws and conditions in that country before you set out on your journey.  You need to carefully study what all road signs mean, because even if they look similar, they can be very different compared to those where you live.  While the road signs are important, the main significance is on the road laws.  The laws themselves can be very different from what you are used to, and also the enforcement of these laws.  Know what you are getting into before you sit down behind the wheel.

Driver’s License

As you might have been told if you have had driving lessons before obtaining your license, not all driving licenses are valid in other countries.  That’s why you should find if your license is valid in the country you are in before you attempt to drive.  This validity could also depend upon your visa status.  It could be that your country’s license is accepted without complaint, however, your visa status can change this.  Also, there is the fact that in many countries, once you have stayed a certain length of time you could be required to get a local driver’s license.  This is usually the case only if you are on a residence visa.  Then you will have to attend one of the local driving schools.

Traffic Laws

It can be very confusing, but traffic laws do vary by country, and sometimes they vary radically.  You must learn about and become familiar with the particular traffic laws of the country you are visiting before you even consider driving there.  For example, something that is perfectly legal in one area could be banned in another, and you cannot rely upon the kindness of police officers if you claim ignorance.

Here’s a for instance:  In certain countries, it is allowed for a driver to turn on red at the intersection; but in other countries this is forbidden.  In certain countries, traffic that is already in a roundabout is considered to have the right of way; while in other countries, the right of way belongs to the traffic entering the roundabout.  Certain countries will allow you plenty of room to go over the speed limit; as much as 20 miles, but others are much more strict about the speed limit.  Again, some countries allow a vehicle to run a red light, depending upon the circumstances, others do not.


No matter where you travel you will not be able to escape a speed limit.  They exist virtually everywhere.  Also, speed limits are among the most frequently and stringently enforced traffics laws, because there are now both police officers and traffic cameras to observe what drivers are doing.  You would not be alone in considering cameras a form of spying, but there is nothing anyone can do about that.

Keep in mind that speed laws and their enforcement are not entirely about safety; they are also about money.  Although it’s aggravating, some jurisdictions will give out speeding tickets as often as they can in order to squeeze the most money in fines from motorists both foreign and local.  The solution for this is to drive a bit under the speed limit rather than to risk exceeding it.

Now you don’t just have to be concerned with the speed limit.  There are all sorts of different laws such as in regards to what’s the minimum age to drive.  You may be licensed to drive in your own country, but be considered too young to be on the road in another.  Some countries even require that visiting drivers purchase and then carry proof of insurance in that particular country, and they will not accept the driver’s home insurance.


Mark Long is the owner of several driving schools in Brisbane, and gives daily Brisbane driving lessons.  He is considered an expert in the field of driving and driving in foreign states.

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