Plan the route in advance
It is important to plan the route in advance, as it also affects your insurance needs. Besides, planning the route in advance is fun: have you always dreamed of seeing the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein or visiting that particular vineyard in the Rhône valley? Are the children particularly interested in Legoland or the Euro Disneyland?
Make sure that your vehicle insurance policies are up to date and order a Green Card
Depending on your travel route and destination, make sure that your Green Card is valid. The card is an international certificate that your motor liability insurance is valid. You can order it free of charge from your motor liability insurance company. The card is mandatory in non-ETA area countries, such as Russia, but it is advisable to always carry it with you when travelling outside the Nordic countries. The Green Card must be presented if you are involved in a road accident during the trip, and the customs authorities may also request to see it.
Before you start off on your journey, you should also make sure that your vehicle is covered by a valid Vehicle Cover motor vehicle insurance in addition to the mandatory motor liability insurance. Check the coverage, territorial validity and amount of deductibles in your vehicle insurances from your own insurance company, or refer to your insurance policy and its terms and conditions.
Service the car and the driver
The absolute starting point is that your conveyance must be in good condition and recently serviced. A small picturesque Polish village might not necessarily have a repair shop for your make of car. Check the condition of your car before setting out: oils, tyres and tyre pressures. Also remember to pack a dry powder extinguisher and a first-aid kit.
The driver must also be in a good condition and alert. Do not get too greedy with the kilometres you drive in one stint; after all, the purpose is to see things other than the road centre lines in different countries. Take a detour from the autobahn to a small village café if you feel tired, or switch drivers every now and then.
What if something happens on the road?
What if, regardless of all your precautions, something happens on the road in a foreign country? Who are you going to call? Store at least the following numbers in your phone:
- Pohjola Insurance's vehicle damage hotline +358 10 253 2553, weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm.
- At other times, call Pohjola Insurance's travel emergency number +358 10 253 0012. The on-call personnel will help, among other things, arrange a local towing company to the location, and agree on what needs to be done with a repair shop
- The Common European Emergency Number 112.