Planning a driving holiday abroad is exciting!
Taking the opportunity to visit new places and take in the local scenery means that you can explore and make the holiday your own. Driving independently gives you the flexibility to park up when you want to, stop or spontaneously. This means that you can take a detour without being governed by transfer coaches or tour buses which restrict as to where you can visit during your journey.
However, to ensure that the travel is as least stressful as possible, it is important to thoroughly prepare in advance for the trip, in terms of documents and journey routes.
What to prepare for your driving holiday?
Destination research – Start by understanding your destination country and their driving rules which they expect you to comply with. Visit the .gov.uk website to research the country(s) you are planning to drive too and which legal documents are required – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Insurance checks – Before Brexit, insurance cover for the EU was often included within regular annual vehicle insurance plans. However, since Brexit, insurance cover is not regularly included and therefore you should not expect this to be an automatic policy inclusion. Be sure to check with your policy provider before setting off on your journey.
Passport checks – Please note, that for older passports, the date of issue may be different from the expiry date. When checking your monthly validation, check from the date of issue rather than the expiry date.
Your passport should be valid for the following term, after your intended return date of departure:
- 3 months for the EU and the Schengen area.
- 6 months to several countries outside of the EU.
- Some countries such as Australia, Canada and USA require validation only for the duration of your stay.
- For more information on individual country passport rules please go to: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/identity/soon-to-expire-passport
Planning a crossing from the UK – During the recent Easter school holidays, there has been lots of media coverage around hold ups at ports during busy periods, especially through Dover and Calais. To reduce your port waiting times, ensure that you check in your vehicle and passengers online within plenty of time beforehand. Aim to catch an earlier ferry – throughout the day traffic ques can build, so the earlier that you can make the crossing, the better. Check the crossing provider apps and social media for regular crossing updates.
Collecting a car from the airport – You will need to demonstrate that you are legally able to drive. Ensure that you carry the correct documentation such as a valid driver’s license and insurance documentation. You may also be required to leave finance details in terms of a valid credit card as a means of a deposit. Before you leave the forecourt, take a photograph of the dashboard to prove the mileage and petrol gauge. Furthermore, inspect the vehicle for any damage – take photos to protect yourself, in case these are highlighted by the lease company on your return.
Finding assistance through Stourbridge Automotive
For more information on vehicle servicing and repairs for your Audi, BMW, MINI, Mercedes Jaguar, Land Rover & Range Rover vehicles, please contact our experienced workshop team or find out more about how we can help you with vehicle support before driving abroad, through our website.