Europe's Strangest Road Laws

By , 15 November 2018

11 Laws to Leave you Puzzled

I think it’s safe to say we’re all pretty ok with most rules of the road. But it turns out there’s a few weird and wonderfully quirky laws out there, and we’ve taken the time/had nothing better to do, to find as many of the strangest in Europe as we could. Hold onto your hats, or better yet, place them neatly in your glove box so they don’t get crumpled. This is going to be wild.

France

We start with quite a sensible one really, except not really, but we’ll get to that. In France all drivers are required to carry a breathalyser with them in the car. The strange thing is that they don’t. Currently, the authorities can’t decide which breathalyser people should carry. With discrepancies between readings and prices, currently it is not enforceable. (If you are driving to France soon though, best pop one in the car anyway, just to be safe.)

Spain

Hopping south to the land of tapas now, and to some even stranger rules. If you require glasses whilst driving, you must carry a spare pair with you in the car at all times. Best to prepare for the worst-case scenario, I guess. On top of that, in some cities, cars must be parked on different sides of the road according to the day of the week.

Germany

What a sensible lot they are, and unsurprisingly this rule is all about safety: It is illegal to drive without Winter tyres at certain times of the year (I would imagine, Winter time.)

Russia

If you’re thinking about slumming it across the vast country of Russia, I’d think again. It is illegal for drivers to pick up hitchhikers. In fact, if you’re seen hitchhiking, it’s likely the police will put an end to it, ironically by picking you up.

Hitch Hiker
Belarus

What a clean people the Belarusians are, so clean in fact that they’ve made it illegal to drive around in a dirty car. How ‘dirty’ is defined is unclear, but best clean it 4 or 5 times a day, just to be safe.

Serbia

Another country that legally requires you to carry around equipment in your car, but this time you need a tow bar and 3m rope, I guess for those classic impromptu games of tug-o-war.

Cyprus

The Cypriotes have really got their act together, they have a zero-tolerance policy on all drinking at the wheel, that’s ALL drinks. Not even water is allowed. This extends to eating too, with a fine of €85. Now put those halloumi chips down and focus on the road.

Macedonia

Sticking to the drinking and driving theme, front seat passengers in Macedonia are not allowed to be visibly under the influence of alcohol, so make sure your overly ‘giddy’ aunt stays in the back.

Malta

Over to Malta now and not so much a law as a custom, and quite a dangerous one at that. The Maltese (let’s call them Maltesers because it’s adorable) tend not to indicate when changing lanes. So, leave a nice big space, unless you want angry Maltesers shouting at you from their cars (that was a nightmare I had once, it was both disturbing and delicious.)

Slovenia

Thinking of practicing parallel parking whilst you’re in Slovenia? Be warned, whenever you reverse you have to put your hazards on, to draw even more attention to yourself whilst you’re messing up that 16-point-turn outside a rowdy bar on Friday night. Yippee.

Switzerland

The Swiss are a fascinating bunch, any culture that melts cheese and dips meat into it and calls it dinner is quite frankly ingenious. But it turns out, they’re quite precious about their quiet relaxing Sundays (sleeping off all that cheese I expect.) In Switzerland you’re not allowed to wash your car on the Sabbath (any Belarusians heading there anytime soon must be thrilled).

Still reading? You curious soul, you. You should probably head to our car hire excess insurance page to get yourself some car hire cover today.