Summer’s here and Brits are all revved up for their holidays, but what do you need to know before you take your Lex Autolease vehicle overseas?
Having a car can bring a whole new dimension to your trip, enabling you to explore life off the beaten track.
It pays to plan your break well in advance, so here’s a rundown on everything you’ll need to know before you hit the road.
What documents do I need to take my vehicle abroad?
If you're planning to take your vehicle to Europe, you’ll need to contact us at least two weeks in advance so we can send you a European travel pack, which includes:
• A VE103R certificate that allows you to drive your Lex Autolease vehicle outside of the UK
• A letter from us authorising you to take the vehicle outside of the UK
• Details of our breakdown service (if you have a maintenance package with us)
Just call our European travel line on 01452 768526 during normal business hours or visit https://driver.lexautolease.co.uk/secure/europe.aspx and make sure you have the following information to hand:
• Your vehicle registration number
• Dates the car will be out of the country
• Countries to be visited
• Drivers’ licence details
Am I insured?
Most UK car insurance policies cover you to drive in Europe too, but it’s worth checking with your insurer before you set off.
Seperate travel insurance may cover you against things like theft and medical costs. You can take out a policy for a single trip or for a whole year from most insurers.
Finally, we recommend you get a GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card), which replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) after Brexit and enables you to access state healthcare in the EU.
To apply for a card, visit www.gov.uk/global-health-insurance-card
GHIC cards are free, so beware of unofficial websites trying to charge you a fee.
Note that, if you already have an EHIC card, it’s still valid until the expiry date on the card.
What if something goes wrong with my vehicle while I’m away?
If your vehicle needs any repairs while you’re out of the country and you have a maintenance package with us, we may refund the cost up to the same price of the repairs if they had been done in the UK.
You’ll need to submit any receipts or invoices for work done to the vehicle to us within 28 days of paying them.
If you don’t already have European breakdown cover, we can arrange that for you if we already provide your UK breakdown cover. Just call 01452 768526 to speak to an advisor.
Most European countries have laws requiring every vehicle to carry certain safety equipment.
That varies from country to country, but can include items like a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and warning triangle – all useful things that we’d recommend packing anyway.
Because you will be driving on the opposite side of the road to the UK, you’ll likely have to fit headlight beam converters too, so you don’t dazzle drivers coming the other way.
And UK vehicles driving in Europe must clearly display a UK sticker on the rear if it doesn’t have a UK flag and identifier on the number plate.
And drivers in Spain, Malta or Cyprus must still display a UK sticker, even if they already have identifiers on their plates.
Our European travel line can advise you on exactly what’s needed on 01452 768526.
Making the most of motoring
Now you are all organised, here are our six top tips to make your driving experience as enjoyable as possible in the summer sun.
Start with a cool car. It’s hard to have a relaxing drive in a baking hot car, so give yourself time to cool your car before you set off. Some cars have a preconditioning setting, which allows you to pre-cool the car's cabin before you set off, either by setting a timer or activating the system remotely using a smartphone app.
Before setting off on a long journey, it is important to make sure your vehicle’s fluids are topped up, so check the engine oil, coolant, and windscreen washer fluid. In hot weather, it’s especially important to keep coolant topped up to avoid overheating.
Keep yourself hydrated. In hot weather, you need to increase your fluid intake to stay hydrated, so take a bottle of water with you. Dehydration can cause headaches and make it harder to concentrate on the road.
Consider any summer allergies. Have you taken your medication before setting off and have you got it with you? Driving with symptoms like watery eyes and sneezing can affect your ability to drive safely.
Avoid sun glare. Replace worn wipers to help keep your windscreen clean, take a pair of good quality sunglasses with you and use your car’s visors to block out the sun and keep your vision clear.
Maintain your tyres. In warm weather the air heats up and so do road surfaces, which can increase the chance of having a puncture. It’s a good idea to get your tyres checked out before you set off. You can access your local Kwik-Fit or Kwik-Fit Mobile online 24/7 at driver.lexautolease.co.uk