Driving rules around the world

5 minutes

All of our content is approved by our in-house advisory board of experts

It's easy to not be aware of different rules when you set out driving for the first time in a new country so we've put together a handy set of the most popular ones around.

  • Driving blindfolded in Alabama will get you in hot water!
  • Even the EU has some very different rules to those in the UK
  • Make sure you clean your car when in Russia, if it's dirty enough to write in the grime, you're in trouble

French drivers are required to carry a breathalyser kit in the car at all times

When we learn to drive, it is constantly instilled in us to learn and follow the rules of the road – whether that means having the right car insurance or knowing your UK road signs. It can often be hard enough to fully understand the laws for the UK roads, never mind those of foreign countries if you ever go driving abroad.

There are some rather bizarre road rules out there and we've compiled a list of the ten weirdest driving laws around the world.


Driving rules around the world - Russia

The UK is no stranger to seeing filthy vans scrawled with hand-written phrases like 'Wash me!' or 'Clean me!' In Russia, if you are caught driving around in a car that is dirty enough to write on using your finger, you will be left with a hefty fine. The law is in place to prevent the licence plates from being obscured by dirt so whether or not you get a fine is up to the discretion of the police officers.


Driving rules around the world - Sweden

Even though there are occasions in the summer months when the sun never sets in Sweden, drivers are still required to keep their headlights on 24 hours a day. This is why Volvo car models always have their headlights on!


Driving rules around the world - France

Not everyone can rattle off what the drink-drive limit is in the UK and short of carrying around your own personal breathalyser machine, you may not know whether or not you are over the limit. However, that is exactly what you're required to do in France. Drivers are required to carry a kit in their vehicles at all times, so they can always know whether or not they are over the drink-drive limit.


Driving rules around the world - Cyprus

We all either know someone with road rage or have experienced it first-hand ourselves. It's not uncommon to see an angry fist shake or a rude gesture on the UK roads, but it is exactly this type of behaviour that will land you with a hefty fine in Cyprus. Better think twice before you express your feelings in Cyprus!


Driving rules around the world - Germany

Running out of petrol whilst on the motorway is not a situation anyone would happily find themselves in. Most people are very careful to avoid this happening by making sure to have a full tank of petrol before going on a motorway. If you do happen to find yourself in this unfortunate situation in Germany and have to pull over, you will be breaking the law. Stopping unnecessarily on Germany's Autobahn is illegal, and technically speaking, running out of petrol is deemed unnecessary as it is a situation that could have been avoided by filling up properly!


Driving rules around the world - Spain

If you require prescription glasses for driving, you'll understand this Spanish rule. Drivers in Spain who wear glasses must always have an additional pair in the car, even if you may already be wearing a pair. Better to be safe than sorry!


Driving rules around the world - Philippines

Because the metro area of Manila suffers from heavy traffic during peak hours, the "colour coding" system was brought in to prevent major congestion. The law doesn't affect the colour of your car, but rather the final digit of your number plate. For example, if the number plate ends in 1 or 2, you can't drive in the area on Mondays between 7am and 7pm. If you're there on holiday and renting a car, make sure you check the other days of the week as well!


Driving rules around the world - Japan

Japanese culture is known for being very respectful and polite. This courteous attitude has even been incorporated into their driving laws, as it is illegal in Japan to splash water or mud on a pedestrian. Doing so can get you fined, so as tempting as it may be, steer clear!


Driving rules around the world - China

The law in China is considerably less courteous to pedestrians compared to their Japanese counterparts. In Beijing, it is against the law to stop for pedestrians. This must make crossing the road quite the challenge!


Driving rules around the world - Alabama, USA

How does that old saying go? "I know my way around so well, I could drive there blindfolded". Well unfortunately, if you live in the state of Alabama, it is illegal to drive whilst blindfolded! We wonder what was going on in Alabama for them to create a law about this...

This article contains links to other sites, and we're not responsible for the contents of any of these websites.

All content is approved by our in-house advisory board of experts. 


  4. Which Road Laws from Across the Globe Could the UK Benefit From? | Feast Magazine (