Car-related travel questions. See also the "car-rental", "driving", and "road-trips" tags.

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51
votes
4answers
16k views

Is there a ZIP code I can enter when paying-at-the-pump in the USA with a foreign credit card?

In the USA, many pay-at-the-pump fuel dispensers that accept credit cards require a 5-digit numeric zip code that corresponds to the billing address of the credit card. In Canada, for instance, we ...
34
votes
3answers
6k views

Is it legal to sleep in a parked car on the streets of Munich?

Oktoberfest is the world's largest beer festival held annually in Munich, Germany. Being the largest beer festival means accommodation during the festival is either super-expensive or hard to book ...
32
votes
7answers
17k views

Car rental vs. buying a car for 1 month

I would like to visit a few places in the states sometime next year, and I was thinking of doing a road trip while I'm at it. I could start in either Los Angeles or Montreal, and then I would like to ...
26
votes
7answers
7k views

How much cash am I supposed to prepay at gas station in the US?

In the US (and probably Canada as well), it is possible to pay at a gas station either with a credit card often with a fee (in the US) or cash. If I pay cash, gas stations often require to prepay for ...
25
votes
6answers
5k views

Flashing headlights on Autobahn

What does it mean when the driver behind you on the Autobahn flashes his headlights?
24
votes
4answers
14k views

Shipping my car from Europe to Canada or the U.S

The plan is to drive my car (a small 4x4) from Prudhoe Bay1 (Deadhorse), Alaska to Cape Horn, Tierra del Fuego in Chile. I will be travelling for an undetermined duration, with a minimum of two years. ...
23
votes
7answers
749 views

How can I protect my vehicle when left at a trail head for an extended period?

Previously when I went backpacking, the vehicle I left behind at the trail head was, erm, not particularly worth stealing. I'm looking at new vehicles now, and somewhere in the back of my mind is "do ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do taxis in Japan have mirrors on the hood?

In every country I've been in - save for Japan - cars have their mirrors on their doors. Even most cars in Japan do but the taxis don't. Any ideas as to why? It just seems strange. Here's a pic: ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

What's the name for the “blocking” stickers used on car headlights?

I'll be driving my car from Belgium to the UK, with plans to then drive around the country. Like most cars in the European mainland, my car's headlights/headlamps are slightly adjusted to the right ...
18
votes
4answers
15k views

How much do roof racks hurt gas mileage?

I'm going on a big national car trip, and I want to increase cargo space by getting a roof rack, but I'm wondering how much the additional drag will increase my gas bill. Is there any way to figure ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a website or resource that lists specific traffic rules or specific signs for each country?

Based on this question: What does this road sign mean? (Germany; red circle and X on a blue background, with a right-pointing arrow.) I started wondering about differences from country to country ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

How to drive a car from Australia to Europe?

I want to drive to Europe from Australia by shipping it to Asia and to drive from there onwards. Can someone tell me the cheapest way for shipping, which ports I should use for shipping and how much ...
17
votes
4answers
13k views

Driving in Iceland: a good idea?

For this summer I am thinking about going to Iceland. I would like to fly to Reykjavik, spend some days there, then rent a car, travel around the island and then fly back home. Now I have a few ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Are dashcams legal in Germany?

On Youtube I have seen a lot of videos like this with car accidents in Russia recorded by in-car cameras (dashcams). Is it legal to use such a device in Germany? If an accident happens, can I use the ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I find which European countries require headlights on during daytime?

I know that the driving law in several countries in Europe require headlights on during daytime, some of them only in winter. But where can I find which countries have such a requirement? Just to ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How to find out the speed limit in the US?

As I recently learned on this site, US speed limits are not always posted on the street and can vary between different cities even in the same state. Where do I find this information? Is there any ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

In which European countries do I have to have a country indicator on my car?

In Europe, a lot of cars have country indicators that indicate the country of origin and that look like this: I heard that in some European country this is necessary to have. Since I don't want to ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What does it take to make my car fully compliant with all EU countries?

In Belgium every car is required to carry at least one fire extinguisher. In Germany you need to have an environment sticker to drive into a city. In France you might need alcohol testers. Coming from ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Do I have to carry snow chains in Europe?

I will drive from Germany to Bulgaria through Austria, Hungary and Serbia. I will drive mainly on highways and I don't expect to need snow chains as the roads are usually in good conditions. Am I ...
14
votes
7answers
6k views

What are the most effective rideshare sites in the US?

Recently, I have been traveling from upstate New York to NYC quite frequently and would like to find a site that is more effective than craigslist in attracting reliable rideshares for splitting gas ...
13
votes
4answers
619 views

How far away can I get with my car starting in Amsterdam?

It is a question I have been dreaming about since I can remember. Could I for example drive to Argentina from Amsterdam, or can I drive all the way to South-africa? What are the extremities of a ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I remove highway vignettes and other miscellaneous stickers from the windshield of my car?

Taking this marvellous question as inspiration, I travel a lot by car, often in countries that require me to buy a vignette to use the motorways. Moreover it is usually mandatory to stick the vignette ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the cheapest way to get from Thailand to Australia with a car?

Imagine I have a car in Thailand and I want to get Australia, is there any ferry that cross from Asia to Australia? How much is it? No problem if have to drive to another country or if there is no ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Roadtrip coast to coast in the USA, let someone else drive car back

Hiring a car for a one-way trip across the USA is a lot more expensive than hiring it for a round-trip, even for the same distance, car and number of days. Theoretically, if one found another group ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Websites for car relocation in Europe?

Is there a good website for car/camper relocation in Europe ? I mean, those companies that allow you to rent a car/camper for free from point A to point B. Let's say between Netherlands and ...
12
votes
4answers
480 views

How can I get a reliable taxi/car service in LA?

I am fully aware LA is based around the car and has limited public transport. But I'm planning to be there a few days and will not be able to drive a car of any kind. I already have the airport ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the cheapest and most efficient way to travel around Jamaica?

I'm thinking about going to Jamaica next spring, but I am pretty unfamiliar with the infrastructure of the country. I'd like to go to Ochos Rios and maybe Montego Bay for a few days, then make my way ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How does full-service gas work in Oregon?

I'm from a state in the US where all gas is self-service. When traveling to Oregon (where all gas stations are full-service), how does the process work? Do you just pull up to the pump and hand the ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Crashing a rental car abroad

What happens if I (a US citizen) rent a car in, say, the UK, and crash it because I was driving on the wrong side of the road? Do I have to pay the damages out of pocket? What if I don't have the ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Are there advantages to using private car service over taxis from the airport?

When planning a trip I've seen people say private cars are scams and other people say they can be better than city taxi's because you know how much it will cost ahead of time. Are there any other ...
11
votes
3answers
594 views

Driving license in Australia

We will be in Australia for a few days and I was considering renting a car. Is a standard European license (we have Polish and Italian) good enough, or do we need "international driving license"? We ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What are my options for long term parking at Paris Charles de Gaulle?

I am flying from Paris on a two week holiday. The parking fees at the airport are quite expensive. Does anyone know alternatives?
11
votes
2answers
855 views

What is the quickest way to get a car from London to Iceland?

I am considering going to Iceland and was wondering if it is feasible to take there my car with me. The only way to get there by ferry that I could find is described here, which suggests getting to ...
11
votes
2answers
711 views

Insurance for campervan in NZ

I am traveling to New Zealand in May 2012 (I am a US citizen). I have been looking for a campervan to rent. Unfortunately, insurance seems to be quite expensive (or not very good. Some liability is up ...
10
votes
7answers
11k views

How does one know if a rental car takes diesel or gasoline?

Quite unlikely, but what if I rent a car and forget to ask if it takes diesel or gasoline? Is it customary that it's written next to the gas tank inlet (I've only rented a car once, and this was the ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Choosing a car for travel with kids in Florida USA

I'm planning a 3 week family trip to USA Florida (from Europe) and we already have numerous locations we want to visit. To name a few in no particular order, West palm beach, Miami, Everglades, ...
10
votes
2answers
428 views

If travelling through excessively cold regions, what steps should you take to keep your vehicle warm enough to drive?

Given the polar storm over the US at present, and temperatures hitting record lows, there's already reports of stranded motorists. I've once been in a situation where we needed to keep our engine ...
10
votes
3answers
18k views

What is the minimum age to drive a rental car in the US?

I recognized that renting a car in the US is allowed at the age of 21 or 25. But are 18 to 21 year olds allowed to drive it if their parents or another 25 year old person signed the contract?
10
votes
3answers
273 views

What needs to be done locally in case of a car accident while travelling in the US?

My friend is away from home right now; he lives in Ohio and has had a car accident in the state of New Jersey. What does he need to do locally before he can return home? He says a state trooper took ...
10
votes
2answers
35k views

What is the difference between “Gazole” and “Diesel” in France

I am driving a car with a Diesel engine. I always thought that "Gazole" and "Diesel" were synonymous to each other, only to drive in a gas station which mentioned both terms, as in "Gazole" and ...
10
votes
2answers
336 views

How should you drive on rush-hour lanes (“Spitsstrook”) in the Netherlands if they are open?

The Netherlands has so called rush-hour lanes, which are often emergency lanes that are opened for traffic during rush hours. They are always indicated with green arrows above the highway. I find ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Free parking in Bath UK

Where can I park in Bath for free, so that it's convenient for the town centre? I will be there 22nd Dec - 29th Dec, so on both holidays and normal weekdays.
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any guarded parking lots anywhere in or near Berlin, Germany?

Are there any guarded parking lots in or around the city of Berlin in Germany? By guarded parking I do NOT mean "guarded" by an automated gate or camera - that is a joke. I mean a real guarded ...
10
votes
1answer
174 views

International children car seat standards for multiple regions

I've been looking into car seats suitable for international travel. In the EU modern car seats have to meet ECE R44/04 and for New Zealand/Australia AS/NZS 1754.2010 I emailed a few manufacturers ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Foreign car insurance for Canada and/or the U.S

Still working on my plan to Ship my car from Europe to Canada or the U.S. We're planning on leaving early January. Shipping turns out not to be the problem. However, the next hurdle is: car ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Are petrol prices in a USA state the same in every Petrol Station?

I'm wondering how petrol price works in USA in general, specifically in California. Do prices remain the same regardless of where the Petrol Station is located? Are prices fixed for every fuel ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Can go to Germany on all-year tires in winter?

I know that German law requires tires apt for snow in winter time. It's quite obvious that I cannot use summer tires, but can I go on universal all-year tires? What are the exact requirements?
9
votes
3answers
229 views

How are road charges collected in France?

This summer we'll go to France by car for the first time. I noticed that some motorways on our route require road charge to be paid (in case it matters - we're going from Freiburg to Perpignan). How ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it possible for a foreigner to drive through (mainland) China in a foreign-registered car?

Is it possible to drive through mainland China, for example for transit from Kazakhstan to Vietnam, as a non-Chinese citizen, in an own car/van/truck? This is about an European Union citizen, trying ...
9
votes
1answer
474 views

What are the differences between French road signs and American road signs?

I'm looking for a comparison between French road signs and American road signs, just like this one regarding European road signs. The more exhaustive comparison, the better, but I'm mostly interested ...