What To Know and Have When Self-Driving Abroad

Flying to a new country is often not the only option. If the countries are not separated by oceans, you can choose to take a self-driving road trip through the borders to your desired destination. For example, it is easy to travel from Kenya to South Africa through Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana then finally to South Africa. In such a case, you will need to know a few things about driving in a new country. These include the following:

Levy payments

Although this is not always necessary, there are countries, which require you to pay a fee for entering with your car into their soil. For example, within the East African Countries region, you are given a 7-day grace period to drive your car after which you are required to pay $20 every month for the next 6 months. The latter is the maximum limit in which you are allowed to drive a car with foreign plates in the EAC region. Read more here.

Valid Passport and Visa

You should always have your identification on you including your national I.D. When stopped at the borders or at other police checkpoints, make sure to present your passport and visa where necessary. Make sure to let the officers know the reason for your visit if asked, and keep a polite atmosphere about you.

Driving license and car particulars

The officers at the immigration checkpoints and those at inland check pints might want to verify your driving abilities. This means that they may ask you for a driving license and proof of car ownership. Apart from the licence, you will do well to have the car particulars such as the logbook or car renting documents. The car must also have valid car insurance; otherwise, you might not be allowed to cross the borders.

First Aid Kit, Fire Extinguishers and Emergency Triangles

In Kenya, these three things can determine whether you are going to spend the day in a police cell or not. Even if you have insurance, a driving licence and other necessary documents, lack of a first aid kit, extinguisher and emergency triangles can easily attract a fine. To be safe, have these items in your car when crossing borders as well.

Speed limits and other traffic rules

Now that you are in a new country, you have to adhere to their traffic rules. The internet is a good place to find information on what to expect when driving in your hoped destination. You should also be on the lookout for speed limits to avoid getting in trouble with the country’s traffic police. Most importantly, make sure you keep to the correct side of the road as these change from one country to the other. Most travellers who self-drive through foreign countries prefer driving at night to avoid the constant police checks and other traffic constraints. This is especially effective if you are just passing through.

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