There’s something so romantic about the idea of taking a car across Europe, the wind in your hair and your favourite person navigating at your side. We’ve teamed up with classic car hire platform BookAclassic to provide you with the ultimate guide to organising a European road trip.
Where do you want to go?
The world is your oyster. Well, Europe is your Oyster. Make a shortlist of the places you’d like to visit and start planning a route around that. If you prefer to wing it, it’s still a good idea to have a list of places you want to go to give you some direction on a day-to-day basis.
Choosing the classic car
I think this is the most important part of any road trip. I like to think of the Instagram posts that could come from choosing the prettiest classic you can find. I’m thinking a Jaguar E-Type, Triumph Stag, or MGB. (BookAclassic’s Instagram is a good source of inspiration if aesthetics are important to you.)
Of course, you also have to think about driveability, fun factor and comfort. There are some glorious classics out there that will keep you entertained for hours and you’re going to have fun no matter what you choose but, typically, the sportier the car (and this goes for modern cars too), the less comfortable the ride.
Choose something that resonates with you and makes you smile. It’s going to be your steed for the entirety of this trip.
Take the road less travelled
A highway might be nice and quick but it’s hardly inspiring. Try to go off the beaten path to find the most amazing roads you can. If you’re venturing into the Alps, you’re not going to be disappointed but Croatia, southern Italy and Belgium also have some fantastic roads.
Give yourself enough time to stop regularly to enjoy the view, buy roadside food, take photos and speak to the locals. Don’t give yourself hours of driving each day, a classic car road trip should be enjoyed so take your time.
Learn the local lingo
It’s not difficult to learn a few words in the languages of the counties you’re visiting. The usual please, thank you and hello should suffice.
Speak to the locals
The best guides you’ll ever have to places off the beaten track are the locals. If you get the chance to speak to people, ask them for recommendations, their favourite roads and where they love to eat.
Stick to the rules
The countries of Europe all have slightly different rules of the road. Make sure you understand where you need to have your lights on, what you need to carry in your car and the kind of insurance you need. Check out this guide to driving in Europe.
Get the right insurance
Generally, whatever cover you get that allows you to drive in Europe should be enough for the EU but if you’re popping outside of the European Union, check and see if there are other requirements. For example, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you need another insurance document called a green card.
Proper planning is the key to any successful road trip whether you’re in a classic car or a (dull) modern hire car.
What classic car would you choose to road trip around Europe?