A routine police inspection in Croatia: Driving too fast? No. Forgot your driver’s license or vehicle insurance and registration? No. Forgot your advance warning triangle or first-aid box? No. Spare lamps on board? Come again?
Several European countries – though it is widely unknown – do indeed require drivers to have spare lamps for their car lights on board. Spain, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia require spare lamps for all lighting systems, while Croatia, Slovakia and Russia have made xenon and LED lamps the only exceptions to this law. Violations are associated with heavy fines. France, the Netherlands, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia recommend that drivers have spares at all times. All the other countries, including Germany, have not issued any requirements or recommendations.
A blanket requirement doesn’t really make sense, because so many vehicles today are equipped with LED or xenon systems, and they’re not easy to replace. However, taking along spare lamps is a good idea for halogen systems, because according to Murphy’s Law, a lamp will go out at the worst possible moment. And any defect in a vehicle’s lighting system is a source of danger when driving in the dark or on poorly lit roads.
OSRAM has a simple solution. Instead of buying individual lamps, OSRAM sells a replacement lamp box for cars or motorcycles. It contains one common headlamp (H4, H7 or H1), the five most important signal lamps for the indicator or brake lights, and three blade type fuses. In other words, the box meets all requirements you may encounter in Europe, with all its many laws.