Questions tagged [automobiles]

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

79
votes
7answers
70k 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 ...
53
votes
1answer
6k views

What are cell phone lots at US airports for?

In every airport in the United States, I have noticed the existence of a parking lot, often among the furthest ones from the terminal, called a cell phone lot. What is the purpose of such parking ...
43
votes
8answers
6k views

How to make myself more visible in traffic as an EU mainland driver in the UK?

I will be moving to the UK soon, Scotland to be more precise, and will be doing so with a car. A driver-sitting-on-the-left sort of car, with licence plates from an EU country (eventually I will have ...
43
votes
8answers
52k views

Car rental vs. buying a car for 1 month, when visiting the USA?

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 ...
43
votes
7answers
7k views

Is it safer to drive up or down a dangerous mountain road?

Let's say you want to visit cities A, B and C, which are set in a triangle, so you can choose to travel A-B-C-A or A-C-B-A. The roads from A to B and A to C are fine, but the one between B and C is a ...
39
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
36
votes
5answers
5k views

Where can I try an autonomous driving car?

I heard that in the Netherlands there would soon be a self driving bus, and this would be the first sharing the road with other cars. There are also a couple of other places with autonomous cars, but ...
34
votes
11answers
23k views

What's the easiest way to relieve oneself in a car?

Ok, I know we're all adults here, but this is something that happens inevitably in most family trips I believe; it's occurred in our own family trips. You're driving on the road to your destination. ...
32
votes
2answers
7k views

Reserved parking for women in Germany

I've seen in several places in Germany that there are parking places which are reserved for women, in one such parking garage there was a sign saying that they are reserved due to "safety reasons". ...
31
votes
4answers
5k views

Do the speed limit reductions due to pollution also apply to electric cars in France?

From time to time, the speed limit is reduced due to pollution in France (example (mirror)). Do these reductions apply to electric cars? (image source (mirror): MAXPPP)
30
votes
6answers
10k views

Flashing headlights on Autobahn

What does it mean when the driver behind you on the Autobahn flashes his headlights?
30
votes
9answers
43k 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 ...
29
votes
2answers
4k 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: ...
29
votes
5answers
33k 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. ...
28
votes
9answers
10k views

How can I cross the English channel with a car?

I believe there's the Euro Tunnel as well as a number of ferry options, but which can I use to travel with a car between the UK and France, Belgium or the Netherlands? If there aren't too many ...
28
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
28
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
12k views

How to buy a car for a road trip in the United States?

For tourists coming to the US, getting a car is a great way to get around, especially if you want to see the national parks. Rental, especially for younger drivers, can be very expensive, so buying a ...
24
votes
4answers
6k views

Since New York doesn't have a residential parking permit system, can a tourist park in Manhattan for free?

It seems that neither New York in general nor Manhattan have any kind of residential parking system as of 2016. Does this mean that a tourist can just go and park a car in Manhattan free of charge? I ...
24
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I pay for a US parking ticket from the UK?

I went to States recently rented a car from enterprise and in Washington got a parking ticket (100$). Since it gives 30 days to pay I wasn't in to much of the hurry. When I tried to pay for the ...
23
votes
6answers
81k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
7k views

Is there a map of all the Umweltzones (environmental zones) in Germany?

I occasionally need to drive into Germany for work and since I'm usually taking a rental car it can be troublesome to obtain an Umweltzone sticker while on the road. Therefore it is useful to know ...
21
votes
3answers
17k views

Where in Europe can I purchase a car without residency?

I am not a resident anywhere and plan to travel for the foreseeable future, mostly in Europe. My country has good visa-free access to most of Europe, so it is conceivable I could remain without any ...
20
votes
2answers
138k 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 "...
20
votes
2answers
19k views

Where can I buy the German environmental badge while driving to my destination in Germany?

I am driving to Germany today and just noticed that I am traveling to a city which requires a so called "Umwelt-plakette" or environmental badge to enter. Normally you need to order them in advance. ...
20
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 ...
19
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Drive from US to Canada with a dog

For the holidays we often drive from Buffalo to Detroit via Ontario, since it saves a lot of time. However, this is the first year we will be bringing our new dog along as well. What sort of ...
18
votes
7answers
6k views

Do you need a Vignette to travel the roads of Switzerland, and how can I obtain one?

To drive on Swiss motorways if I recall correctly one needs a Vignette based on what I have been reading I should be able to buy it at various places in the country. I am renting a car in Frankfurt ...
17
votes
3answers
8k views

Entrance fee for Zion National Park: Paying for a car vs. paying per person

Entrance fee per vehicle for Zion National Park is $30. But it is suggested/even mandatory to leave the car in Springdale and take the shuttle bus. As there are four of us, we would have to pay $15 ...
17
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
38k views

Are there online maps showing the speed limit on the German highways?

I know that on the German highways (autobahns) there is no general speed limit, however parts of the autobahns have a posted speed limits (130 km/h or less). Are there any online maps showing the ...
16
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
7k 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 (...
16
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible for a foreigner to buy and register a car in Hungary?

So I arrived in Budapest yesterday for a 40 day stay and this morning I stumbled upon a tiny, old Fiat for sale for $700. Being a larger than average American I'm finding it hard to resist the ...
15
votes
4answers
879 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 get-...
15
votes
8answers
15k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
788 views

Is it normal that people in front of the bar demanding keys to my car?

While I was visiting Mykonos (a Greek island), I've rented the car for few days. I've visited many places across the island, however I've experienced unusual situation with few of them (such as ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Planning to stay for 3 months in Berlin, Germany. Should I bring a car with me?

I will be spending about 3 months (at least) in Berlin, Germany, primarly to look for some business oportunities or maybe a job. I am aware of the nearly perfect transportation services Berlin offers (...
14
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it legal to turn high beams on when driving on a European highway with fully separated lanes?

Wiki gives us the following explanation of the use of high beams in a car: Main-beam (also called high, driving, or full beam) headlamps provide an intense, centre-weighted distribution of light ...
14
votes
3answers
4k 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
3answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Where can I rent 90's sports cars in Japan?

Disclaimer: I am not advocating or planning on breaking any traffic laws, lots of fun can be had within these limits. As an Initial D fan, I would like to do a roadtrip to the various mountain passes ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the German environmental badge apply to other countries of Europe?

I planned the trip that will cover Germany, Belgium and France. I am aware that there are environmental zones in those countries and I need the correct badge for my car to enter them. So my question ...