What are the conditions for travelling with a caravan or motorhome through Europe?

So you’ve decided you’ve had enough of the good old UK and you’re heading out to pastures new, namely Europe, at least for this year.

And as the time is getting closer, you’re now thinking what are the conditions for travelling with a caravan or motorhome through Europe?

Other than planning the route, that will take in the countries you are keen to visit, which we assume you have already done, there is the documentation that needs to accompany you.

You must carry these with you if you want to avoid any unnecessary problems with the police. Each country will have its own set of rules, but it will not be too different from what you face in the UK.

Unlike at home in the UK, if the police have stopped you they give you 7 days to produce documents, in Europe they must be in your possession.

For yourself and family:

  •  Passports
  •  Driving licence for each person who will drive your vehicle

 

For Your Vehicle:

  •  Proof that you own the vehicle(s)
  •  MOT certificate if your vehicle is over 3 years old
  •  Proof of insurance, this must be the actual certificate

 

Additional Documents:

  • The EHIC card. With this, you’ll be able to claim emergency health care if you’re in an EU country. This will only give basic cover, still take out comprehensive travel insurance, for all members of your party.
  • Your CKE membership card. If you’re not a member, it would be a good idea to join. You won’t need your passport every time you register at a new campsite. You will enjoy discounted stays, and it carries third-party liability insurance.

 

Pet Passport:

  • If you plan on taking your pet into EU countries, you will need to bring this with you. Check with your vet at least 3 to 4 months before you travel to ensure you have the valid vaccinations for each country you will visit.

 

Insurance:

  • If you will only be in EU countries, then your UK insurance will cover you for third-party liability. However, probably extend this to fully comprehensive for the duration of your holiday.

This is how it stands, but from 1st January 2021 the UK will no longer be in the EU and the rules are going to change.

Conditions For Traveling With A Caravan Or Motorhome Through Europe After Brexit

Passports:

Your current EU passport should be valid for travel into Europe. The UK government has said there is no need to apply for the new passport until your current one runs out. You can apply for the new blue United Kingdom of Great Britain And Northern Island now if you want to though.

Driving Licences:

You will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) carried alongside your UK driving licence. The IDP is an official translation of your driving licence details. You can buy one from the UK post office.

You may need over one IDP depending on the countries you plan to visit. It’s a good idea to check the UK government’s website to find out which countries need one.

Green Card:

After Brexit, you will need a green card from your insurance company to take a vehicle into Europe. If you’re towing a caravan, you will need two green cards, one for each vehicle, for some EU countries. Check all the requirements from your current insurance company.

Give yourself enough time to get this issued, you don’t want to be on the roads in Europe without your green card, they could class you as being uninsured.

Check they allow which countries you may enter with your insurance and double-check the maximum time you can stay there on the same insurance.

GB Sticker:

Back to the days of the GB sticker. You will need to put one on your vehicle and on your caravan if you’re towing one.

European Accident Statement form:

Although being in possession of one is not a legal requirement for driving and towing a caravan in Europe, it makes sense to get one from your insurance company. Because you’re going to encounter foreign languages, it will make it much easier to swap details and facts of an accident.

Motorhome Insurance:

They will require you to carry the actual certificate with you (not a photocopy), same as usual.

Vehicle Registration Document:

The UK government recommends that after Brexit when taking a vehicle into Europe, you carry your vehicle ownership documents. This includes the ownership documents of your caravan. Ensure it has your correct address on them.

EHIC Card:

There’s some confusion around the EHIC. Some countries like Spain have suggested they will still honour the card. As of now, you can still apply for it.

Taking Your Pet Into Europe:

After Brexit, I’m afraid your pet passport will be of no use. There are a great many things that you will now have to do to take your pet with you.

  • First, you will need 4 months to get everything sorted.
  • Microchip your pet If you haven’t already done so, that’s the first job. This is necessary before you take any blood samples, which I’m coming to now.
  • Get your pet’s rabies vaccinations up to date.
  • There has to be at least thirty days from the rabies jab before you can go ahead with the next step.
  • When 30 days have passed, visit your vet again for him to take a blood sample. He should send it to a specific laboratory for testing that there are rabies antibodies in your pet’s blood.
  • Three months after a successful blood test and no later than 10 days before your travel dates, visit your vet once again for a medical certificate.

On arrival in Europe, you may only enter through a designated entry point with your vet. The immigration officials are within their rights to ensure all the procedures have been carried out. Make sure you take all the documents with you. Be prepared to pay a fee of up to 100 euros because they will most likely have a vet examine your pet, anyway.

A word of caution, if you don’t mind, the immigration takes this seriously and if you don’t comply fully they are within their rights to refuse your entry into their country.

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