This information is split into 5 sections, firstly about driving in snow, followed by a general section about Europe, one about France, one about Spain, and finally one about Andorra. This information should be used as a guide, and can change. If you are driving, it is your responsibility to know the laws of the country you are driving in.
Driving in Snow
When driving to Andorra it is very important to consider that you will be driving high up into the mountains, and hopefully there will be loads of snow! It is highly recommended that your car has snow tyres, but also that you carry snow chains. If you are renting a car from the airport, try to book these both in advance.
You can be stopped by the police and not allowed to continue if the weather is bad and you do not have winter tyres or snow chains so it is best to be prepared. The weather can change very quickly, and access to Andorra from France is up a very steep windy road so if the weather is bad you will most probably need chains! If there is lots of snow around, you will also find it very useful to have a shovel in your car so that you dig yourself out.
Winter tyres greatly increase your grip, and therefore your control, when driving in winter conditions. Often referred to as snow tyres, they are more effective than regular tyres even just when it is cold without any snow, so definately recommended for your car if you are driving in Andorra. Some people just add winter tyres to their drive wheels, although your car will be more balanced and less likely to skid if you fit them to each wheel. If you are renting a car you can usually add winter tyres as an optional extra, or if you are taking your own car you there are lots of options of where to buy them, whether you prefer to visit your local garage or you can order them online and even get fitting included with an online order.
You can identify winter tyes by looking for the snowflake symbol on the tyre wall, and when it snows heavily the police will check to make sure drivers have winter tyres fitted and if not you will then be required to either fit snow chains or to turn back. Even if you have winter tyres fitted you should still carry snow chains in your car for when there is heavy snow.
Driving in Europe
In the table below you'll find a few things you should know about driving in Europe. Before driving in Europe you should familiarise yourself with the local laws.
Driving on the Right
Throughout mainland Europe, you drive on the right.
When driving in Europe with a British car, you must either have a special GB number plate, or else attach a GB sticker or magnet to the rear of your car. Be careful when choosing your GB sticker as some are just for decoration purposes and do not make your vehicle legal! Also note that English, Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish stickers are not valid, it must be GB!
You must adjust the beam of your UK headlights so that they do not dazzle oncoming traffic. You can do this easily with special stickers available from lots of garages or most channel ferries sell them on board.
What To Carry
In your vehicle you should carry a fluorescent vest for each passenger, spare headlight bulbs, a warning triangle. In France, as of 1st July 2012 you will also need to carry a portable breathalyser in your car.
You should be aware that throughout Europe there are many different signals in use both on road signs and by other drivers for example someone flashing their lights often means that they are coming, not letting you go!
Alcohol limits for driving are so low in most European countries that you should never drink alcohol and drive.
Using mobile telephones whilst driving in European countries is illegal.
If you are stopped by the Police in most European countries having been found breaking the law, most fines are "on-the-spot" and can be very hefty.
Driving in France
In France the speed limit varies depending on whether it is dry or if it is raining. The following table shows you the current speed limits in France.
|Type of Road||Dry||Wet|
|Toll Motorways (Autoroutes)||130km/h||110km/h|
|Free Motorways & Dual Carriageways||110km/h||100km/h|
For more information please click here.
Driving in Spain
The speed limits for driving in Spain are listed below.
|Type of Road||Limit|
For more information please click here.
Driving in Andorra
There are customs checkpoints at both the French and the Spanish borders. At the French side you should slow down, and stop if indicated, both on the way in and out of Andorra. The same applies to entering from Spain, however on the way back in to Spain it is compulsory to stop and open your boot. If stopped you will usually be asked if you have any alcohol or tobacco, so make sure you know the limits.
In Andorra there are no motorways, and the speed limits vary up to 90km/h, and are usually well signposted. You should also keep your eye out for signs indicating parking restrictions as if you are caught parking illegally you can be given an on-the-spot fine!