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Driving Abroad
Your drivers license may not be enough to drive in another country.  That is where the International Driving Permit (IDP) comes in handy.  It is a translation of your country's drivers license into other languages which is recognized by most countries of the world when accompanied by your own country's drivers license. This is not an "International Driving License" although some people may mistakenly refer to the IDP as such.  See the Warning box below to avoid the International Driving License scam.  In some countries they drive on the left and in others (like the United States) they drive on the right. 

Our Tips

  • Find out what the countries you are visiting require for a visitor to drive there. They will often require an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to having your own country's drivers license.
  • Check with your auto insurance company about your coverage being valid in the countries you are visiting.  This is especially critical if you will be driving your own car.
  • If renting a car, be especially cautious of what you sign and that you are fully covered by your insurance or that of the rental company or some combination of both.
  • Make sure you know the Rules of the Road for that country or countries you will be visiting.
  • Acquaint yourself with international road signs.
  • Always lock your car when not in it and do not have anything of value able to be seen through the windows no matter where you park especially if there are kids or other people around. Put them in the trunk or take them with you.  It only takes seconds for them to steal something.  This planet has more crooks per capita than any other planet in our galaxy!
  • Check the website of your auto club or your government's state department on security measures you should be aware of when driving a car in a specific region or country.  If renting, ask the agent about any places to avoid or any accident scams of which you could become a victim.  Also do a web search for <country or city name> car scams security.

Warning - Beware The International Drivers License Scam
- Beware scams to sell you an "International Drivers License". There is no such thing!  That is not the same as what is called an International Driving Permit (IDP) or sometimes called an International Driving Document (IDD).  A valid IDP can only be obtained from an organization authorized by your government to issue such a document. Go to your government's state department website to find out the authorized organizations in your country that can issue a valid IDP.  This will often be a major auto club such as AAA and NAC in the United States. For Americans, here is the U.S. State Department page on driving overseas. It includes authorized organizations that can issue an IDP.

IdeaMerge Road Signs in Europe - Scroll down past the text on the site's web page to see the signs.

Driving Aboard.  The best website we have found with information on driving worldwide.

Wikipedia - Driving On the left or Right - Everything you want to know about driving on the left or right worldwide.
U.S. Auto-Clubs - International Driving Permit  They tell you how to get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Here is their FAQ page.  They also have an excellent list of driving rules by country that includes whether you drive on the right or left (United States drives on the right), road sign conventions, whether a country excepts your U.S. state-issued Drivers License and whether they accept the IDP.  Note: If you will be driving in Brazil or Uruguay you will need an Inter-American Driving Permit (IADP) for those two countries as they don't accept the IDP.  AAA also issues IADP permits.  In the United Kingdom and other countries, contact your motoring or auto club to obtain an IDP.
U.S. State Department - Road Safety Overseas useful information when driving in other countries.. 
Europe Road Rules  Reidsguides.com does an excellent job of explaining European road rules.
United Kingdom Road Traffic Information. Excellent topics related to driving in the U.K.
Germany.  Good information on driving in Germany.  Yes, you can drive over 100 miles per hour (161 kilometers per hour) on many sections of the autobahn (Germany's equivalent Interstate system!)  Here are Eight Rules for driving on the German Autobahn.
Moto Europa.  Everything you need to know about driving in Europe.

World Driving Sites

Driving Rules Aboard Suggested Web search

 country name + driving rules  or  Driving in <country name>  or  <country> road rules

Examples:  Morocco driving rules       Driving in Sweden     Germany road rules

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