What you need to know going abroad by your car
Almost come to naught in our country in the 90’s, in the noughties again became very popular among the Russians. True, for a long time still limited to domestic routes. But even today many autotravelers are ready to take a ride “around Europe” not by “rented” car, but by their own wheels. We found out how much such a voyage would cost and what documents are needed on the road.
Let’s begin with the “documentary base. For safe exit from the country there are not many papers needed: passport, license, car documents, European “car insurance” policy and visa.
Nuances of “document circulation”.
The technology of passport obtaining is well known to the majority of travelling Russians and is generally practiced by FMS (the procedure will not take more than two months, and most likely – a month according to the law). The main thing is that this identity card at the time of the end of the trip had at least three months of validity. And it is worthwhile knowing the addresses and telephone numbers of Russian embassies in the countries you intend to visit.
As for the international license, in principle, you can do without them: thousands of Russians drive around Europe with a “home” in the “home” and even in the variant of “tyag”. But God forbid an accident, and the problems are guaranteed. The European insurance requires exactly international driver’s “crusts”, and their absence will surely lead to refusal of the insurer in payments. So, you should definitely get one. The more so as the process is not complicated and their issue in a traffic office takes not more than half an hour. The following things are required from you:
– An application form; – Personal identity documents and documents confirming the fact of registration at a place of residence or at the place of stay; – A medical certificate; – National driving license; – Photo 35×45 mm on matte paper (color or black-and-white); – A receipt for payment of state duty (1000 rubles).
But don’t forget that the driving license is valid abroad only on presentation of the national driving license.
The car documents don’t require any additional registration or re-registration. But if you use your car by proxy, then in addition to the certificate of vehicle registration and the checkup ticket we will need not a simple power of attorney, but the one with the right to travel outside the Russian Federation.
In order to save yourself from unnecessary trouble at the European customs, it is better to notarize the power of attorney and fill in the document with the data of your passport.
Now, let’s speak about the technical inspection ticket. More precisely, the diagnostic card. It is the only one that confirms the car good working order while travelling abroad. That’s why if you didn’t get it when buying or registering a new car (you don’t need it during the first three years of the car’s life) or lost it, have it checked before the trip and take the document with the blank that already has all the needed inscriptions in foreign language.
A European liability insurance policy, better known as the Green Card, is easy to buy. The insurance is issued not to the driver, but to the car, and it doesn’t matter who is behind the wheel. “It costs a little over 1,600 rubles for 15 days, and you can get it at almost any insurance company. It will be sold 30 days before the insurance period, i.e. before the date of intended travel abroad.
And before you go abroad, don’t forget to pay your debts to the state. Unpaid fines, overdue bank loans and tax payments, and delayed alimony can easily make you not traveling if your total debt exceeds 10,000 rubles.
Bailiffs work very actively with border guards and easily close the way to European values to persistent defaulters. And in the most pessimistic scenario instead of the Louvre and the Coliseum you will be a few days admiring the walls of the detention center. Therefore, before your trip abroad, we recommend checking on the official website of the Federal Bailiff Service of Russia in the “Bank of enforcement proceedings” (http://fssprus.ru/iss/ip). If the bailiffs have a “monetary claim” to you, pay your bills in advance, so as to disappear from the “debtors’ database”, because the receipts of payment taken with you do not mean anything to the border guards.
So you are ready to leave your country. All that is missing is a visa. Today, even in spite of unstable political situation to become the owner of a coveted “Schengen” (it includes 26 countries) is quite simple. It requires:
– passport (period of validity not less than 3 months + a copy of the main page of the passport); – Application form; – photographs (number and size depends on the type of embassy); – health insurance (better to buy an annual, then there is a chance to get a “longer” visa); – proof of ability to pay (bank account statement of a certain amount on it); – Certificate of employment (must be certified and signed by a responsible person in the company); – Itinerary (any route of your trip with approximate dates and places of stay); – Copies of vehicle registration certificate and driving license; – “green card”.
What a driver pays for in Europe
Despite the widespread stereotype of high prices in the Old World, many hotels in Warsaw and Munich, for example, are cheaper than in Voronezh and Kazan. In addition, if the car allows, you can sleep directly in the car, but on specially designated areas. For example, at a truck stop or specially equipped gas stations that even have showers and toilets.
True, these goods of a civilization are completely paid. For example, a tourist will be asked for $1 euro for a toilet and 2-3 euro “ruble” for a shower. Cheap and sour, but whether it is necessary to spoil rest with absence of comfort? In fact the camping for two in the countries of the former USSR will cost 14 euros; in the central and southern Europe it will cost 25 euros to stay for a night comfortably, and in France and Spain it’s easy to get even 20 euros. And here “an oats” in the European Union is expensive. If you do not drive an electric car, be prepared for the fact that the average price across Europe, -1.5 euros per liter.
Sufficiently ruinous can become and toll roads, the cost of travel which varies from a few cents to a few euros per kilometer. But, firstly, any toll road necessarily duplicated by a free road (which, incidentally, much more picturesque and informative in terms of knowledge of the life of the natives, though much longer).
And secondly, you can seriously save money by buying a “pass”. Vignette, which pays the toll, and gives permission to travel to “tolls” in Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Switzerland. It can be bought at some petrol stations, special kiosks, located close to the border (both in the country itself, and in neighboring countries). Vignette for 7 days will not cost more than 10 euros.
You will have to spend money for parking. This is probably the main expense if you do not leave the car in the suburbs. Payment for parking in Europe, as a rule, by the hour, but the penalty for non-payment can greatly exceed its cost (in most countries the yellow curb line means a complete ban on parking).
For example, in Croatia for a day of “idle time” you have to pay 11 euros, and the penalty for non-payment – 20.
Parking in the German capital is organized as in Russia: the whole center of Berlin is paid. However, the cost of parking strongly depends on remoteness from the center and varies from 1 to 5 euros per hour. At the same time, almost all hotels have free parking, and large supermarkets will not take money for the first few hours.
The capital of Finland is divided into three parts. As in Berlin, the priority is given to the city center. In this case, the price of an hour will not exceed 4 euros. Another interesting thing: in the center of Helsinki you can park only for one hour. In the second parking zone, the driver is allowed to leave the car for two hours. The outskirts of Helsinki have no restrictions.
In the capital of fashion and beauty there is no free parking at all. The price – from 1 euro in the residential areas to 3 euro in the center. By the way, the payment is made only by special cards, which are sold in tobacco stalls and are called Paris Carte.
Traffic violations will cost a pretty penny
The Russians, crossing the border, usually become more holier than the Pope in terms of road tricks. And it is understandable – the fines in Europe are biting. Although not everywhere and not for everything. If we speak, say, about punishments for speeding violation, then, for example, in Germany, the law is rather loyal to petty “pranks”. In case of speeding by 20 km/h you will pay the penalty “only” 35 euros but if you exceed it by 50 km/h the sum will grow up to 240 euros.
In Austria, having exceeded the speed limit by 17 kilometers per hour your correspondent has parted with amount of 400 Euros. In Holland, exceeding 15 km/h will bring you a €100 fine. In Poland, exceeding the speed limit of 51 km/h and more costs 400-500 PLN (100-120 Euros), no matter if it happened in the city or outside it. And since you’re traveling in a car with Russian plates, be prepared for the fact that you have to pay the fine on the spot and in cash in any European country.
But even if you meticulously follow the local traffic laws, there’s no guarantee that you won’t get paid. Every country’s traffic regulations have their own nuances. For example, in France any driver is obliged to carry with him a breathalyzer. The disposable device costs about 2 euros, and the French police recognize only the tests with the marking NF.
In Germany, it is forbidden to “drive back and forth aimlessly. The pleasure of finding out how it works will cost 20 euros. A separate fine is prescribed for an accident in the Hamburg Elbtunne l tunnel – the accident culprit will pay 240 euros (any accident in this tunnel leads to gigantic traffic jams). In Greece it is forbidden to smoke in a car if there is a child inside (the fine, by the way, is not for children – 1 500 euros).
In Lithuania, both police and municipal services may be punished for improper parking. In Hungary, extra brake lights and blinds on back windows are outlawed. In France and Romania private towing is prohibited (travel with several cars and one of them broke down – call a tow truck). In Croatia the car owner must have a stock of light bulbs, and in Czech Republic – also candles and fuses. In Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia the drivers who got their license less than two years ago are not allowed to drive faster than 70 km/h, and in France – 80 km/h in the city and 110 km/h on the highway.
In the United States, there is a different approach to penalties. Kolesa.ru portal has studied the violations in the U.S., for which one can earn a real prison term.