You could find your long-awaited vacation interrupted by an unexpected event if you’re one of the 69% of French people who travel on vacation each year. You can avoid a lot hassle by doing some last-minute checks before you set out on the road. Don’t wait for your vacation to turn sour to take control of your situation and follow our advice to leave feeling confident!
6 out of 10 French people check their insurance contracts before they travel. Half of them are their car insurance. It is important to make sure you are protected while driving.
This means that your car insurance automatically covers all occupants, but not always your luggage. It is therefore important to carefully review your contract before departing and, if necessary, to obtain a warranty extension.
Although insurance is an important step in a secure stay, it is not the only verification you should keep in mind before you hit the road. LeLynx.fr can help you make the right choice in car insurance. But we don’t stop there. To ensure that you do not forget anything before you leave, check out our complete guide.
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Discover our holiday checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything before you hit the road!
To do or not do behind the wheel
Before you ever get on the road, determine who will drive during your vacation. It’s easy to leave your family alone. But if you are traveling with your family, make sure you check your insurance contract to ensure that you have the following:
- A secondary driver, such as your spouse or one your children with a driving permit;
- A “flying wheel loan” guarantee that allows you to punctually lend your car to someone around you.
Avoid eating a sandwich, smoking cigarettes, or applying makeup while driving. You risk being fined if you do not keep your car under control.
Choose the right sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. Choose polarizing sunglasses, which are designed to reduce glare and reflect light, and choose a category 3. If category 2 glasses don’t suffice, category 4 glasses will be too opaque for good visibility.
Driving in flip flops is prohibited or permitted
Technically, you can drive while wearing flip flops and tap dancing. The rule is that you must be capable of driving your car without embarrassment. Verbalization would be possible if the flip-flop gets stuck under a pedal, causing an accident. To keep your calm mind at ease, keep a pair or two of shoes in the trunk. Or, if you are really desperate, go barefoot.
Travel well together
The driver is the most affected by the rules on the road. Enough to allow passengers to take in the beauty of the landscape and sun while they wait. For safe travel, there are some rules that must be followed.
- Keep your feet planted on the ground! Avoid putting your feet on the dashboard and in the open air through the windows, even if it feels good. You could injure yourself more if you are involved in an accident, and you may also hinder the visibility of your rear view mirror.
- Smoking while driving in the presence of children under the age of 18 is to be avoided for their health and may be fined up to € 450.
Attention, children at board!
Vacation is often taken with your family. Parents should be aware of two things before bringing their children along on a journey.
You should ensure that your child has the right equipment for his age.
For older children, make sure the belt is securely fastened. This is essential for the safety of your child in the event of an accident and punishable by a fine of € 135.
While traveling with children can be difficult, it can also be a great opportunity to have fun with your family. Joke competition, musical shield, riddles and, in extreme cases, the “game of silence” are just a few of the many activities that can be done with children. There are many activities that can be done on holiday.
A film about a DVD player or tablet is another effective way to capture children’s attention. You will need to be quiet for a while. Attention, however: Screens for children yes, but not for the driver
If there is a problem, please let us know.
There is nothing worse than a breakdown on holiday. Your insurance can provide you with the support you need, whether you’re far from home or have children or luggage. Make sure you have your insurance company’s support number with you before you leave.
She can send a driver to your vehicle or take it to a convenience store. If the trip was truly compromised, the insurance will cover the repatriation and/or vehicle repair, as well as reimbursement for accommodation costs.
Things to know about highway breakdowns
You don’t have to call your insurance if you get into an accident on the highway. It won’t be in a position to help you. After parking your vehicle in an emergency stop lane and aligning hazard lights, you will need to go to an emergency terminal (located approximately two kilometers away) to get the necessary instructions. Be careful on the highway and keep to the right of the security barrier.
These are the essentials you should have
You should also bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a book. You can avoid unnecessary hassle on your way to the beach by bringing along the following items:
- All those who will be driving during the stay must have a valid driving license.
- The registration certificate (graycard) of the car that you drive.
- The vehicle’s insurance certificate (also known as the green card) and windscreen insurance certificate.
- Safety equipment that is mandatory (safety vest and signaling triangle, as well as a breathalyzer)
And to be prepared for every eventuality
- An European amicable settlement, vital in the case of an accident or hanging
- European parking disc to park free in the designated blue areas. You can get it in specialized stores, hypermarket auto shelves, or free from your local municipality.
Your last minute reviews
Valid all year, but more so before the holidays: It is high time to perform the last checks on your vehicle.
Anticipation is under huge pressure
Refer to the manual for your car to determine the condition of your tires. You will need to maintain the proper pressure for your vacation. This is the pressure indicated for cold inflation. These checks are also necessary if you’re towing a caravan.
If you don’t have the manual, you may add 0.4 bar to your car’s rear tires and 3 bars to your caravan’s tires.
This could be your first time opening the hood. Check the levels of engine oil, coolant and windshield washer fluid. You should also check the index of your sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
Remember to change the filters in your vehicle, including the oil filter, fuel filter, and passenger compartment filter, if necessary.
Light shot on your lights
Before you leave, make sure that your lights and turn signals are working properly. To replace a damaged bulb during the holidays, a bulbsbox may be required. A ticket for lighting insufficient can be issued to a bulb that has been damaged.
Shock absorbers ensure that your vehicle is properly braking. It is strongly recommended that you have your shock absorbers checked by a professional at least once per year. Going on vacation is a great time to do it.
Make sure to check the pressure on your spare wheel and that you have a jack in case of puncture in your trunk.
Your luggage and equipment
Vacation is all about luggage. And the moment when you have to load the car, which can be a real Tetris-style nightmare. You don’t have to force your luggage into your trunk if it is not big enough. Instead, use outdoor facilities to transport luggage and other leisure equipment.
- Roof bars (or galleries), may be used to store your surfboard or windsurfing boards. They can only support 75kg.
- A roof chest, to ensure that your car is balanced.
- A bike holder that can be attached to the roof or rear of the car by strapping or coupling. The license plate must always be visible.
- A caravan or trailer that ensures proper load distribution.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly to install all of these devices. Also, make sure that you check that all elements are properly fixed before leaving and during your journey.
Check to see if your auto policy covers accessories or equipment that hang on your car. If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to contact your insurance company for confirmation. This could save some hassle in case of theft, or accident.
It’s not a simple question.
A large car can be dangerous.
- The load’s width must not exceed 2.55 metres
- The load at the rear must not exceed 3 meters from the vehicle’s end.
- The front load must not exceed previous vehicle balance.
- The maximum permissible laden weight (PTAC), is the weight your car should not exceed when loaded for holidays. It is indicated on the F1 card.
Avoid last-minute stress by packing your bags at least 24 hours before departure!
Your car insurance policy’s flight guarantee covers only the vehicle’s loss, but not its contents. To ensure your luggage is covered, you will need to subscribe to a “flight warranty for personal effects”, which may be subject to a simple extension.
Your car rental
Renting a car could be the best option if you want independence and vacation. You will experience more freedom, mobility, and comfort. Here are some questions to ask before you go. You must have held a driver’s licence for at least one year in order to rent a car. Rent-a-car companies don’t usually accept drivers under 21 years of age, or 25 for the most challenging cases.
Please send us your papers!
You will need to complete paperwork even if you are on vacation. The documents to be given to the lessor
- Your driver’s licence
- Your identity papers
- A method of payment in your name
- A proof of domicile for less than two months
- For certain rental companies, proof of income is required.
In the event of shared conduct
There’s no excuse to take the wheel. You can have a main driver and secondary driver for the same car rental by choosing an option. There is one restriction: The second driver must present his license and a photo ID to the lessor.
Car insurance? The majority of rental contracts include basic guarantees. This is third-party insurance that covers bodily and material injury to others. You can then choose to add additional guarantees through your existing auto or second-hand service if you require more security.
Your vacation abroad
Holidays aren’t always about the sun highway. These are the essentials to know if your plan is to take a car holiday abroad. Insurance companies will insure you in foreign countries, but only within the countries on your insurance certificate (green cards). You can add self-insurance to your insurer or directly on the site if you are not covered. Make sure you check your car insurance for the assistance guarantee in the event that there is an accident or breakdown.
Some European specificities
Be aware that you are subject to the specific rules and regulations of each country’s highway code. You can be penalized in your home country if you are convicted of an offense abroad. Keep your eyes on the road and consult the country specifics such as:
- Denmark, Belgium and Austria have made it mandatory to distribute ecological pastilles in certain areas.
- Belgium: It is mandatory to be equipped with a fire extinguisher as well as a first aid kit.
- Switzerland: It is mandatory for glasses-bearers to have a spare pair of glasses and a sticker for driving on the motorway (also Austria).
- Italy: Your dog must be seated when you take a vacation to Italy.
Your car left at home
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to take everyone. Sometimes your faithful titin will have to stay at the garage while you have fun in sun. It does not necessarily mean it should be ignored.. The first tip is to never park your car anywhere. It will only get better if you can leave your car in a garage or garden or a secure parking space. This will protect it from theft or a collision while you are enjoying the sun.
Even at home, you are well covered
Even if you’re not driving it, your car is still covered by your car insurance. Third party insurance will cover any damage the car may cause in your absence. If the car has all-risk insurance, it will be covered in all eventualities. It is useless to notify your assurance of your absence.
And the keys to it all?
Be aware of where your keys are located before you let your car rest for a few more weeks. If your keys are stolen or you are robbed on vacation, your penalty will double. Without evidence of break-in, it may be difficult to get auto insurance to cover the theft. To protect your car, ensure that you have adequate protection for your accommodation. If that fails, you can take your keys with you and be careful not to lose them while diving into the sea. You can also give them to someone you trust.
Before you get behind the wheel, be sure to read these safety reminders
Large departures and return vacations in the summer saw an increase in accidents due to the increased number of cars. These are some of the most important rules to ensure safe travel.
- Make sure you fasten your seatbelt, especially for children, and do so with all passengers.
- To drive safely, you must respect speed limits. Particularly because rapid driving requires more attention and tires you faster.
- Take a 2 hour break to recharge your attention and get back behind the wheel. Your passengers will feel calmer because they have taken to the air.
- Stop at the first sign of fatigue or drowsiness. Take a short break in a quiet area for at least 25 minutes.
- Do not set an arrival time as it could lead to dangerous acceleration in the last kilometers.
- While driving, don’t make calls, consult, or send messages. To avoid temptation, give your mobile phone to a passenger or leave it in your trunk if you are the only person traveling.