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The Motorists' Guide

The Motorists Guide

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The Motorists Guide last won the day on February 2 2021

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  1. This French Road Trip took us down the eastern side of France, down to the mid-region across it to the western side and up to the north, effectively in a horseshoe type route. We set off in an Alfa Romeo GT Diesel coupe which was a superb choice for this trip as it is incredibly economical, powerful and comfortable. It also had superb air conditioning which was definitely needed on this trip in August, one of the hottest times of the year to travel through this region. Day 1: Dover - Calais - Reims - Dijon No trip through Northern France for a petrolhead would be complete without visiting the now defunct but restored Reims race circuit. If you are not into motorsport then maybe indulge in the Champagne as Reims is where all Champagne originates from. Upon arriving in Dijon and feeling quite exhausted from breaking the back of the journey in one hit, we found out hotel for the night. Dijon has undergone some considerable revitalisation in the city centre and is now an up and coming city worth visiting for its many architectural wonders along with many fine restaurants, markets and shops. Day 2: Dijon - Annecy Setting off from Dijon, we headed down to Annecy and you can see the landscape changing quite dramatically the more miles you drive Once you arrive in Annecy, you are struck by how beautiful this town actually is. Annecy is set within a network of canals with buildings arranged on the bank and also within the canals. Day 3: Annecy - Chambery
  2. Doesn't look like there will be much overseas travel this year.....maybe next year then? Although not impossible to hop across the ocean for a European road trip, the resulting restrictions would spoil an otherwise joyful event in my opinion. Besides, there is so much to see in this country and also keeps the UK economy buoyant 🙂
  3. Radiohead is now topping my list of road trip tracks
  4. Have received my new GHIC and it looks very flashy with Union Jack splashed all over the front of the card. Here is the link to apply for one, at no cost: https://www.gov.uk/global-health-insurance-card
  5. Fast, detailed and entirely offline maps with turn-by-turn navigation – trusted by over 140 million travelers worldwide. OFFLINE MAPS. Save mobile data; no internet is required. Download App link: https://apps.apple.com/app/id510623322
  6. SatNav Map Book (for when you have no SatNav) Driving Licence(s) Insurance documents MOT Certificate Passport & Visa's Dash Cam Breakdown Cover documents Spare Tyre or Tyre Repair Sealant Tyre Inflator Tool Kit Torch Warning Triangle Spare Bulb Kit Hi-Vis Fluorescent Jackets (enough for driver all passengers) Bottled Water First Aid Kit Fire Extinguisher GB Bumper Sticker
  7. Before you travel, make sure you’ve got a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or travel insurance with health cover You may not have access to free emergency medical treatment and could be charged for your healthcare if you do not have an EHIC or GHIC when visiting an EU country, or travel insurance when visiting Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. If you have an EHIC it will still be valid while it remains in date. More information: Check if you need a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) Updated: 15 January 2021
  8. Alfa4. totally agree, all my trips are a round trip and never going back on the same roads...widens the scope of places to visit
  9. Why do you Road Trip? Is is the journey, the destination or just the experience? List your reasons below
  10. TAKE THE STRESS AND RISK OUT OF YOUR EUROPEAN ROAD JOURNEYS ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has published advice for staying safe and secure on European road journeys this year. The advice takes the form of six top tips covering planning, equipment, safety, legal matters and security issues. Neil Worth, road safety officer at GEM Motoring Assist, said: “The European motorway network is excellent and extensive, but it’s important to ensure that you and your vehicle are safe and legal before you drive off the ferry for a family holiday or business trip. By using our tips as a starting point, you can go a long way to maximising your safety and minimising the risks you face while you’re travelling, as well as the inconvenience and expense of being unprepared if anything does go wrong.” 1. Check your documents before you go Is your driving licence valid? Are the passports for everyone in your party all in date? Do you have appropriate insurance? Are you covered for the country or countries you’re visiting? Do you have breakdown cover as well? Run through all the necessary paperwork in plenty of time, so that you have everything to hand on your journey. 2. Carry the right equipment Different countries have different rules. Most require that you carry high visibility reflective jackets, a first aid kit and a warning triangle. Some countries also insist on replacement bulbs and fuses, a fire extinguisher or spare pairs of spectacles for any drivers who need them. French rules require that you carry a disposable breathalyser, but under the current system, police are unable to enforce payment of the €11 fine. Make a point of checking the specific requirements for each country you plan to visit, so that you won’t risk a fine if you’re stopped. 3. Know the rules Make sure you understand the specific traffic rules and signs. Drink-drive limits across Europe are lower than in the UK, and police officers in most countries can issue and collect on-the-spot fines for traffic offences. If you’re in any doubt about local parking regulations, ask someone before leaving your vehicle. Remember, ignorance is no defence. 4. Budget for motorway tolls The European motorway network is excellent and extensive; you can cover long distances quite easily – but there is a price. For example, the 715-mile motorway journey from Calais to Fréjus on the Mediterranean coast will cost you a fraction under €100. Toll tags such as the French ‘Liber-t’ device can save time at tolls. Register your details online before you travel and you’ll receive your own tag which you place in the windscreen of your car. You can then drive through the toll plazas without needing to find coins or credit card, as you receive an invoice and pay shortly afterwards by direct debit. 5. Fill up off the motorway You can save significantly by leaving the motorway network to buy your fuel (and refreshments). For example, a litre of diesel costs around €1.37 (£1.16) at a French motorway service area, compared with €1.21 at a supermarket. Just be aware that the older automatic payment mechanisms at French fuel stations may still decline British credit cards (though the problem is much less significant than it used to be). It’s also worth noting that bigger supermarkets have toilets and very reasonably priced cafés – and are often no more than a couple of minutes’ drive off the autoroute. 6. Don’t drive for so long that you become dangerously fatigued Don’t ignore the early signs of fatigue when you’re at the wheel. Share the driving if possible, and take regular breaks. Fatigue-related crashes are most likely to happen between 2am and 6am, although there is also an increased risk during the afternoon, when our body clocks experience a natural dip in alertness. Don’t be tempted to press on when you’ve been at the wheel for several hours. Avoid heavy meals, as these can exacerbate the symptoms of fatigue, and certainly don’t drink alcohol during journey breaks. 7. Be vigilant at motorway service areas Don’t fall victim to crime when you’re enjoying a break on a long motorway journey. Huge numbers of people pass through service areas every day, making them hotbeds of criminal activity. Make sure you lock your car when you’re parking, and don’t leave high value items visible. Watch out for possibly bogus ‘officials’ who try to tell you that your tyres are illegal and that you’ll need to purchase a new set on the spot. Don’t let children out of your sight at any time, and in particular make sure you accompany them to the loo. 8. Disable any speed camera alerting systems from your satnav before you arrive in France. There are harsh penalties in France if you are found with any sort of speed camera detection system in your car, regardless of whether or not you are using it. So, make sure you disable the alerting mechanism before you drive anywhere in France. Check online if you are unsure of how to do this. If you have a built-in satnav, then be sure to check with the car manufacturer if you are in doubt as to how you switch off the speed camera alerts.
  11. Anyone planned a road trip through Europe yet and when are you setting off? What restrictions have you researched and how easy (and fun) will it be to traverse the various countries?
  12. Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will change from 1 January 2021. Things you may need to do before you go include: check your passport get travel insurance that covers your healthcare check you have the right driving documents organise pet travel - contact your vet at least 1 month before you go There are more things to do if you’re travelling for business. For example, going to meetings and conferences, providing services (even with a charity), and touring art or music. Passports: check if you need to renew You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling from 1 January 2021. On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both: have at least 6 months left be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left) If you do not renew your passport, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You can check whether your passport is valid for the country you’re visiting. Healthcare: check you’re covered You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad. Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be valid up to 31 December 2020. It’s particularly important you get travel insurance with the right cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This is because the EHIC scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not. Entering other countries Border control: you may have to show your return ticket and money At border control, you may need to: show a return or onward ticket show you have enough money for your stay use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing Visas for short trips: you will not need one if you’re a tourist If you’re a tourist, you will not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. If you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total. You may need a visa or permit to stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel. Travel to Ireland will not change from 1 January 2021. You’ll also be able to work in Ireland in the same way as before. Taking food and drink into EU countries You will not be able to take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries from 1 January 2021. There are some exceptions, for example certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, or pet food required for medical reasons. Check the rules about taking food and drink into the EU on the European Commission website. Taking plants and plant products into EU countries You’ll need a certificate to take certain plants and plant products into EU countries from 1 January 2021. Check the rules about taking plants and plant products into the EU on the European Commission website. Travel There may be changes from 1 January 2021. What these are depend on how you’re travelling. However you travel, check before you leave for any delays or disruption. Driving You may need extra documents from 1 January 2021. You might need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries. If you’re taking your own vehicle, you will also need a ‘green card’ and a GB sticker. Compensation if your travel is disrupted Some travel insurance policies only cover certain types of disruption. Check your provider’s terms and conditions to make sure you have the cover you need if your travel is cancelled or delayed. Your consumer rights will not change from 1 January 2021. This means that if your travel is cancelled or delayed you may be able to claim a refund or compensation. Check your booking’s terms and conditions to find out more. Pet travel: allow at least 1 month to arrange From 1 January 2021 you will not be able to use the existing pet passport scheme. Instead, you’ll need an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet. Allow at least 1 month to arrange this and relevant vaccinations. Follow the guidance about pet travel to Europe from 1 January 2021. Mobile roaming: free roaming may end From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end. Check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you might get from 1 January 2021. A new law means that you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing. Once you reach £45, you need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad. Your phone operator will tell how you can do this. If your travel company goes out of business You’re protected if you buy a package holiday and the company goes out of business. You get this cover even if it’s an EU company, as long as the company targets UK customers. Otherwise, you can claim compensation if you used your credit card. You’ll continue to be able to claim for payments between £100 and £30,000.
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