Driving in Europe: 11 little-know motoring laws from France, Spain, Italy and beyond

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From carrying spare specs to keeping your temper, these are some of the more unusual rules of the road on the Continent

The summer holidays are fast approaching and millions of Britons are getting ready to head overseas in search of sun, culture or perhaps just a change of scenery.

Many will choose to take their own car on the ferry or Channel Tunnel to Europe while others will hire cars once they reach their destination. Whichever approach you take, it's important to be clued up on the rules of the road wherever you're travelling to.

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There are a lot of common guidelines and requirements that you'll need to know about wherever in Europe you go. You can read about them in our handy guide here.

However, every country also has its own local laws and while some are fairly obvious common sense issues, there are a few more obscure ones that could catch the unwary out.

So to help you stay on the ride side of the authorities, here are a few of the more unsual laws from around Europe.

Carry spare glasses (Portugal, Spain and Switzerland)

If you require glasses while driving it’s obvious you should carry your specs with you at all times. However, anyone driving on the Iberian Peninsula or in the Swiss Alps is required by law to ensure they always have a spare pair of glasses in the car as well.

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Don’t use headphones at the wheel (France and Spain)

It’s not a sensible thing to do anyway but in France and Spain it’s a specific offence to use a vehicle with any sort of headphones in, regardless of whether they’re connected to music or for phone calls.

Spanish police can fine you if you’re using headphones or a Bluetooth headset while driving (Photo: Shutterstock)Spanish police can fine you if you’re using headphones or a Bluetooth headset while driving (Photo: Shutterstock)