So, you’ve crossed the English Channel and are driving towards your ideal summer getaway when… you get slapped with a fine for over £5,000.
Sounds like your dream European holiday could be over before it even starts. Fail to do your homework before setting off and it could happen to you.
While driving laws are fairly similar across Europe, the punishments handed out to offenders vary massively and could end up leaving you short of spending money.
Some of the harshest fines relate to speeding, in particular those in-car devices that detect or even interfere with fixed, roadside speed cameras.
Although detectors that pinpoint the location of speed cameras are legal in the UK, in many other European countries these are against the law – even if they’re a feature of your sat-nav system.
If you’re caught with a detector you could face a fine of up to €200, but the punishments are even worse if you’re found using a radar or laser jammer.
These jammers block signals from police speed cameras meaning they’re unable to record a car’s speed, and you could be taken to court in the UK if you use one.
On the continent, penalties for using these jammers range from €1,500 in France to €6,000 (£5,260) in Spain, which could put a massive dent in your holiday plans.
And it’s not just speed camera-related fines you should be wary of, as police forces across the continent can hand out on-the-spot fines for a whole host of other offences.
Using your phone while driving or failing to use your seatbelt are just two offences which could see you slapped with an on-the-spot fine of up to €750 in France.
Fines in other countries vary significantly, so do your homework before you head away and make sure you stay on the right side of the law throughout your holiday.
For more information on driving on the continent have a read of our guide to driving abroad.