Driving in a foreign country?

Learning to drive, driving, and using public transport

Moderator: Moderator Team

Post Reply
New member - welcome them!
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:26 pm

Driving in a foreign country?

Post by JayCat »

As of June, I'll have been a qualified driver for 3 years. I also drive a manual. When I first got my car (when I passed), I bumped it a lot but have never crashed. Should also clarify, my dyspraxia is mild rather than severe, but enough to mean it took me a while longer to learn spacing and road distances and things.

I am going to Italy in June, and I really want to drive there. However, I am UK based and have never driven on the left hand side of the road, and for three years have never driven another car.

Has anyone else had a similar situation? How did you cope? My parents are really against it considering my co-ordination problems, but I am super keen.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Tom fod
Posts: 2306
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 9:05 pm
Location: SW UK

Re: Driving in a foreign country?

Post by Tom fod »

I've heard that Italian drivers don't have a particularly great reputation. If you get a knock or scrape on your hire car it could impact and seriously bump up the cost of your trip. On the flip side you don't know if you don't try and you're the best person to judge your own capabilities to stay on correct side of road, familiarise yourself and abide with local regulations/customs! I'd strongly suggest in-depth research from as many sources as possible.

Here's a start: https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/travel/country/italy/

With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

Super poster
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Driving in a foreign country?

Post by Jim »

I would suggest perhaps a road trip to France first. And stay away from bigger towns and cities. This would at least give you a feel for the other side of the road so to speak and of the autoroutes.

It’s a bit, shall we say ‘compact’ in Italy and it can be quite manic.

Good luck.
“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore” :whistle:

New member - welcome them!
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:05 pm

Re: Driving in a foreign country?

Post by happy13 »

Hi, apologies as this is my first post, I normally just read and ponder. I am dyspraxic (moderate) and have other neurodiversity issues . I currently live near Italy , I would agree with the others, although I found driving in France very stressful and the motorways are long so if you miss a turning you have a very long way to go before you can turn off again. Italian driver are manic but not aggressive, they all drive like they are in a formula 1 race, so if you are slow they will overtake you but no road rage, all very calm. I drive a british car in Europe and I found because of my neurodiversity issues it works well for me, I always remember to stay on the right side too, but I only drive in small towns and I take my time, it normally freaks others out when they see european plates but with right hand drive. My advise I would give would be if you do drive in Europe choose a car with little or no blind spots as my car has a few and that can be problematic for me, I take the passenger head rest off so I can see better. In Italy you always drive with your lights on too, they use kmph not miles and traffic lights flash amber when limited traffic or night so you do not wait for the green light. Also traffic signals differ I just can't remember the sequence of UK lights. If you drive in the countryside in Italy best not to try overtake anyone/thing just take your time as each week there are news articles of car crashes and cars driving into tractors trying to overtake. I prefer driving in Italy and Germany than the UK and I had a few bumps in the UK mostly not judging distance well and parking. Oh lastly Italian countrysides do have steep ditches on both sides of the road, but if you drive slowly shouldn't be a problem. I have driven the same car now for 6 years and don't do very well in hire cars as it takes me a long time to figure out where everything is. Hope this has helped a bit and not too confusing, I can loose track. Gina

Post Reply