British road-trippers fear continental rift of Brexit could change the face of their summer getaway

  • Over a quarter (28%) of motorists say Brexit would put them off driving in Europe
  • But Brits abroad are already ‘driving blind’ with millions unaware of road rules
  • And don’t forget to look for sleeping children under your car in Denmark!

Millions of Brits will be heading to the Continent this summer, driving to favourite hotspots in France, Italy, Spain and beyond in their trusty motors.

However, a new study, from car finance specialist Zuto, suggests that the prospect of Brexit could give this hardy tribe of road-trippers the jitters.

Over a quarter (28%) say the prospect of Britain leaving would make them less likely to take their car overseas, with 38% believing it could become more expensive.

Meanwhile, one in three holiday-makers fear it could become more difficult and 16% even fear they’d be more likely to be prosecuted for little-known rules of the road if the UK leaves the EU.

This alone is worrying when less than four in 10 motorists say they brush up on the rules of the road before they go abroad and the Zuto study reveals blind spots in our highway knowledge with 23% even forgetting which side of the road they are meant to be driving on!

Mistakes can often lead to mishaps or worse – 8% have been stopped for speeding, one in twenty have been stopped for a law they’d never heard of and an unlucky 4% have had an accident while driving abroad.

The data from Zuto also shows that continental motoring blunders leave us out of pocket to the tune of £126 on average per driver, with on the spot fines or repairs costing us dear.

The weird and wonderful rules of EU road-tripping

  • Six out of 10 British drivers were not aware that French law now stipulates all cars must carry a self-breathalyser

  • Only one in three were aware of the compulsory red warning triangle in many countries including France, Spain, Italy and Belgium.

  • Just a third of UK motorists are aware it is illegal to wear flip-flops in Italy when driving

  • Two-thirds were unaware that if they wear glasses in Spain they must carry a spare pair or risk an on the spot fine .

  • 85% of British drivers did not know that it is illegal to carry a bike on the rear of a car in Portugal.

  • Unsurprisingly, nine out of 10 drivers did not know motorists should always check underneath their car for sleeping children before driving off in Denmark.

But, for some, a European road trip remains a pipe dream – one in eight UK drivers say they are concerned that their car simply wouldn’t be up to the task of making the trip across the channel and 16% who plan to drive abroad this year will be trading in their old-timer for something more road-worthy for the long haul according to Zuto data.

Ryan Dignan, Director at Zuto commented on the research, “Like so many other Brits, I love driving on the Continent yet I have been surprised at some of the road laws in other countries. Being relaxed and in holiday mode, we often forget to do the necessary planning and checks to our vehicle to ensure it’s EU-roadworthy. Meanwhile, brushing up on your driving laws in the countries you’re travelling is essential.”

To find out what you need to do before going overseas, from making sure your car is up to the job to the little known rules when we’re driving on the right, go to the Zuto blog.

About the research:

The research for Zuto was carried out by Opinion Matters between: 26th May, 2016 and 02nd June, 2016. Sample: 1,455 UK Adults with a Full Driving Licence.

*Million Figures based on RAC’s Driving Abroad Report 2014,

More interesting stats on EU Road Trippers and the Continent:

  • 24% of road trippers feel happiest when driving in France

  • 14% of road trippers are heading to France this summer, 5% to Germany, 5% to Italy and 4% to Spain

  • 14% have admitted to driving the wrong way around a roundabout

  • 15% of road trippers have bought a new car in anticipation of their EU journey

  • 56% of road trippers have got their car serviced in preparation for their EU trip with 27% investing in Sat Nav

About Zuto:

In 2006, James Wilkinson and Ryan Dignan were working in classified ad sales and had a realisation. Getting finance after you've chosen a car doesn't give you much choice or control. Customers weren't getting the best rates, and a lot had bad experiences waiting on forecourts to find out if they could buy the car.

They decided that customers deserved better, so they set up Car Loan 4U to change the way people finance their cars and give the power back to the car buyer. Several years later, Car Loan 4U has now rebranded as Zuto, and as a team of over 300 partners, all of whom share that original vision.

In 2015, Zuto was awarded Intermediary of the Year at the Motor Finance Europe Awards 2015. In addition Zuto came 28th in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 and 25th in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA.

Zuto CEO, James Wilkinson, is the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 and Director, Ryan Dignan is currently the EN Young Entrepreneur of the Year. In February 2016, the Sunday Times ranked Zuto the 18th Best Company to Work For in the UK, (mid-sized companies) and has just been named the Car Finance Broker or the Year by Credit Strategy

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