Equipment You Need To Have In A Car In Europe

Translated by Alexandra Igna (2019)

The requirements for equipment that owners must carry in their vehicles varies from country to country.

Warning Triangles

In countries of belonging to former Yugoslavia - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro - when towing a trailer, you must have 2 emergency stop signs.

In Turkey, Romania and Cyprus, you must have 2 warning triangle signs in the car, regardless of the presence or absence of the trailer.

In Spain, the obligation to have 2 triangle signs exists only for residents. For foreign drivers, this is only a recommendation. However, in the event of an accident, it is recommended to install 2 signs (local authorities may fine the driver if only one is installed).

Reflective Vests

In Norway and Portugal, the obligation to carry a reflective vest in the car is only valid for residents. For foreign drivers, this is only a high recommendation.

In the following countries - Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden - it is recommended to have a reflective vest in the car.

Fire Extinguisher

In Belgium and Poland, a fire extinguisher is mandatory for residents. For foreign drivers, fire extinguishers are only recommended.

Spare Light Bulb Sets

It is recommended to have a set of spare light bulbs in those countries where drivers are officially required to use dipped-beam headlights in the daytime. This requirement does not apply to vehicles equipped with xenon, neon, LED and similar lamps.

Miscellaneous Equipment

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain, Serbia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, it is necessary to equip cars with a spare wheel, and in case of its absence, a tire repair kit.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia, a tow rope must be found in the vehicle at all times. Moreover, in Serbia, the length of the tow rope should be of at least 3 meters.

In Estonia, there is an obligation to have two wheel chocks in a car.


The absence of any of the required equipment in any of the countries does not mean that you will not be allowed into the country. Or, if you are already in the country, it does not mean that you will be deported. Most likely, given that you are a foreign tourist, you will simply be introduced to the legal requirements and informed that you have broken then. However, keep in mind that, formally, you could be fined.

We also want to note one more point. The absence of any of the equipment, even if it is not mandatory in a given country, can also lead to sad consequences.

For example, if under certain circumstances, due to the lack of a first-aid kit, you cannot provide first aid to the victim, and this will lead to the loss of the “quality of life” due to the injuries, then you may be forced to pay compensation to the victim.

Or, if the warning triangle is not displayed due to its absence, and this will lead to an accident, you will get blamed for the accident, since you have not taken all the necessary measures to ensure safety.