A European Campervan holiday is an amazing way to travel around Europe but just like any camper van trip it pays to be prepared before you set of on your European adventure! From our own experiences and feedback from our hires these are our best tips to make the most of your campervan trip.
1. Driving Insurance
Make sure you are covered on the self drive hire insurance to travel to Europe. Its an additional option for most hire company’s insurance policy so make sure you get this insurance option added to your policy before you head over to the continent. Most hire companies will offer the addtiional insurance on a per day basis.
2. European Travel Packs
Another aspect that sometimes catches out European travellers is the legal requirements of countries such as France. These include the requirement to have reflective jackets within easy reach inside the vehicle, carry a warning triangle, apply headlamp deflectors and to have a breathalyser on board. And don’t forget the GB sticker that needs to be displayed on the campervan! The fine for not carrying one has currently been suspended but we suggest you carry one to save any hassle.
3. Be aware of Crime
Just like the UK there are always going to be parts of Europe that have more crime than others so make sure you take the same sensible precautions that you would anyway at home. Don’t leave anything in sight – particularly mobile phones, tablets/laptops or credit cards. Make sure your campervan is locked and secure if you leave it unattended. All windows and roof lights should be closed and if the vehicle has an alarm then make sure it is utilised.
4. European Travel Insurance
Just as with any other holiday when you travel abroad, it is important to have holiday insurance that will cover you should the unexpected happen such as illness or an accident that requires medical treatment. You can of course get treatment in other European countries but you may have to pay and claim back the costs from your travel insurance company when you get back.
Most of VW Camper Hire’s fleet come with handsfree bluetooth for mobile phone usage for your safety so if you have handsfree make sure you use it. Just as it is in Britain, you cannot use your mobile phone while driving without handsfree in Europe. There are severe fines for phone usage whilst driving in some European countries.
Whilst most petrol stations will take UK issued credit cards there may be some that will not. This happens more often in smaller stations in remote areas so ensure you have alternative methods of payment such as cash using the local currency such as Euros.
In most countries it is a legal requirement that you carry certain documents around with you when travelling in Europe. These include driving license card and paper, passport and proof of insurance for the vehicle you are travelling in. If you are hiring a campervan then make sure your hire company provides the insurance document for you to take with you on your travels plus the V5 and a letter of authorisation.
8. Road Worthiness
You should ensure your vehicle has been properly maintained and is prepared for a distance trip across Europe. Oil and water checks should be carried out before departure and just as it is in the UK, European countries require that the tyre depth is 1.6mm across at least 3/4 of the tyre wheel. All reputable hire companies will ensure the above is correct but it is worth double checking.
9. Speed Camera Alerts
Most European country laws prohibit drivers from carrying specific devices capable of detecting speed cameras whilst you are driving. In some countries this has been amended further to include other devices such as sat nav which has integrated the location of speed cameras sites as PoI. If the sat nav in your vehicle has this capability make sure you access the setting in the system to disable this function as fines can be heavy.
10. Drive Right
Remember that the only countries in Europe where we drive on the left is the UK and Ireland, everywhere else is on the right in Europe. Its particularly important to remember this when you have taken a break in a car park or stopped to refuel so remember to think right as you leave and enter the main highway again.
If you need more European Travel advice then get in touch with VW Camper Hire
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