To travel by car

Updated: 10/24/2018

Before travelling by car in Europe there are some things to consider. Please find below some tips on, among other things, traffic rules and road fees in the different European countries. 

Do not forget to bring

  • drivers license 
  • registration (part 1) 
  • insurance certificate 
  • International insurance claim, (can be ordered from your insurance company) 
  • environmental sticker (if you are planning to drive in Germany) 

Find out what traffic rules apply

Find out what traffic rules apply in the countries you are planning to drive through. It is your responsibility to obtain the information necessary for where you are going. Should you get fined you cannot claim you were not aware of the rules. Please note that ECC Sweden can not help in cases with traffic fines.

Check your car insurance

Make sure your car insurance is valid in all countries you are planning to drive through. You might need a supplementary insurance. If you're only driving in the EU- and ESS-countries, including Switzerland, you won't need the green card, but otherwise you do. You should bring an international damage report on your trip. Ask your insurance company for advice.

You might need additional equipment

In some countries, you might need additional equipment in your car. For instance, winter tires are mandatory in certain countries during winter conditions.

Read more about winter tires in Europe

File an application for an environmental badge

In Germany there are, in some cities, environmental zones. To be able to drive through these zones you need an environmental badge. If you do not have one, you risk getting a penalty of 80 euro.

Via the links on the right side of this page you can see what badge you need in the different cities in Germany.

How to file an application for an environmental badge

Send an e-mail in English or in German to the e-mail address below. The sticker should be delivered to you within 3 weeks.

Kfz-zulassung@labo.berlin.de.

Attach a copy of the registration (part 1). The sticker costs 6 euro (administration fee included). You will receive an invoice and instructions to make the payment to a German bank account. When you have made the payment you will receive the sticker in the mail.

You can also order the environmental sticker via Berlin.de.

File an application for an environmental sticker

The sticker can also be bought in car shops in Germany as well as in the car inspection stations TÜV or Dekra.

Prohibited zones in Italy

Bild på trafikskylt om förbjudna zonerIn several Italian cities there are prohibited zones. There are also traffic cameras in these areas. If you receive an invoice after having driven in a prohibited zone you should know that Italian authorities can collect fines for up to two years after the violation. If you are planning to drive in Italy – find out what traffic rules apply.

If you violate the traffic rules, you might get expensive fines.The municipalites hire companies called European Minicipality Outsourcing and Parktrade Europe to collect the fines. They are both legit companies. 

If you are staying at a hotel within an prohibited zone, you are only entitled to enter the zone with car while checking in and out of the hotel. At the time of check in and check out, the hotel must to give your licence plate number to the local police authority. If they haven't and you've gotten a fine, you should contact the hotel for an attestation that confirm that you have stayed at the hotel. It should also contain a motivation why they haven't registered your licence plate number with the police authority.

Read more about prohibited zones and fines in the leaflet from ECC Italy

Fees – highways, bridges and tunnels

Highway fees, as well as fees for driving through tunnels, across bridges and on road ferries, are common in many countries. For more information read the article “Driving in Europe” (enjoy-europe.com) via the link on the right side of this page.