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Britons taking unnecessary risks when travelling abroad

A survey by Britain’s leading road safety organisation has shown that more than a quarter of those taking a car or motorbike into Europe on holiday will travel without having their transportation checked or serviced in any way. 1

The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) points out that as we reach the height of the holiday season, tens of thousands of people will be heading into mainland Europe to enjoy the delights of sun, scenery and a week or two away – without realising that if their car or bike breaks down, they could be in line for an expensive repair bill, several days (or more) off the road and disruption of that hard-earned break.

The findings come from an online survey conducted by the IAM of people who have either taken a European driving or riding break in the last two years, or are considering doing so.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “A breakdown is inconvenient at the best of times, but to have that occur while on holiday is even more upsetting. Even with comprehensive travel insurance, there will be huge disruption to your holiday if you have a breakdown – and factoring in the extra expense of getting your car or bike back to the UK.”

“It is vital that your car or bike is in good condition to cope with the distances and demands of European driving. The roads will be unfamiliar so it is essential your brake pads, lights and tyre pressure levels are all in proper working order. Simply don’t leave yourself open to the risk of an unnecessary breakdown or even an accident.”

The IAM survey also found seventy-eight per cent of respondents feel that regulations about the equipment that you have to carry in Europe have become more complicated in recent years.

Respondents felt that unforeseen circumstances (33 per cent) and cost (17 per cent) are the biggest disadvantages when thinking about going on a driving or riding holiday.

Of those who have been on a riding or driving holiday, forty four per cent of those drove and twenty per cent rode or drove from the UK. Forty-one per cent prefer to drive their own car abroad.  Thirty five per cent of respondents would like to go on holiday for two weeks.

Forty-three per cent of respondents favour France as a riding/driving holiday destination closely followed by Spain and Germany.

Top reasons for a driving holiday are increased experience and exposure to local people and customs at destination (44 per cent) and adventure (28 per cent).

Eight-five per cent of respondents always travel with full breakdown cover as well as full medical cover emphasising that respondents are taking necessary precautions for their health and safety abroad.

Other findings include:

  • Thirty seven per cent of respondents have been on a driving holiday
  • Nineteen per cent have been on a riding holiday
  • Forty-eight per cent of respondents stay at hotels when on driving and riding holidays
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