In Nigeria, drivers frequently flout traffic laws as they hustle through the road, forcing newcomers off the highway.
While this culture is widely accepted across the country, it is frowned upon in other places and Nigerians who need to drive in foreign countries find themselves facing dire challenges.
Ensure You Have All the Proper Documents
It is important to note that your local driving license will not suffice abroad. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all the documentation needed to comply with the requirements of immigration, customs, health and other relevant agencies as you may be asked to produce your documents at any time.
Get a car insurance certificate, vehicle registration document and an International Driving Permit (IDP). Confirm that they are valid and readily available to avoid being fined by the police or having your car impounded. Also, do not forget your motor insurance certificate, passport(s), travel insurance documents and visa (for countries with this requirement).
Know the rules
The rules that apply in Nigeria are completely different from the rules that apply in most countries abroad and it is important you familiarize yourself with these rules to avoid trouble.
Find out the speed limits, check what is required by law in the countries you are visiting for example some countries require you to carry a first aid kit, a high-visibility jacket, C-caution, fire extinguisher, headlamp beam deflectors or spare lamp bulbs. Also, acquaint yourself with the things considered illegal so you do not fall foul and attract a defaulter’s fee.
Check your car before moving
Many people do not bother to check the condition of their cars before they set out as there are usually many repair shops along the road which can address sudden breakdowns, however, in most countries, resolving with a car malfunction is a complex process and something no one would want to live through.
For this reason, it is important that you minimize the risk of getting stranded by checking your car thoroughly before you set out. Ensure that you do not forget the oil levels, tyre tread and inflation.
Pack a map and phrase book
This may sound archaic, especially with Google map installed on almost every smartphone and gadgets in the world. But these gadgets can fail and you may find yourself asking directions or dealing with the traffic police.
The phrase book comes in handy if you are in country where English is not the main language. However, if you are very good with directions, you can boycott all the stress that comes with asking questions and just find your destination on your own.