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International dialling code: +33

Driving on the right

European Emergency Dial: 112, Police 17, Fire 18, Ambulance 15

Border Crossing(s)

Entry: Coquelles (or Calais) from Folkestone (or Dover) UK

Additional information: EU. Schengen member.

Covid measures: For details of country entry restrictions, requirements and measures in place see Government Coronovirus Covid 19

Approximate time to clear:​ 5 mins. Normally a very slick process. Liable to change after Brexit.

Exit:  Between Ghyvelde, France and Veurne Belgium

Additional information: EU Country - normally no formal border checks. 

Approximate time to clear:​ EU border. Should be seamless drive through with no delays.

Documentation

 

Passport: For British Citizens your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

VISA's: Not required for British Citizens. Schengen member.

EHIC: You should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel. If you already have an EHIC, make sure it hasn’t expired. 

Driving licence: Visitors can drive using a valid UK or other EU/EEA driving licence. You will need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) to be able to drive in some European countries as a visitor if there’s a no-deal Brexit. Check this guidance page for full information. You should also check guidance on driving in the EU after Brexit for information on other additional documents you may need to carry. If you’re living in France, check the country Living in Guide for information on requirements for residents.

Insurance: Vehicle and travel insurance policies to be in place for the trip. 

Logistics

Roads: The standard of roads and ring is generally good, at least
along Tip Toe's primary planned route. 

Some protests linked to the yellow vest (gilets jaunes) movement
continue across France, generally taking place on Saturdays.

If demonstrations do turn violent, a heavy police/gendarmerie
presence is to be expected. Motorists travelling through France
may continue to experience some delays or blockages caused by
local demonstrators - you should drive with caution as protestors
may be present on roads, motorways and toll booths. In all cases,
you should avoid demonstrations
wherever possible and follow the advice of the local authorities.

If you’re crossing the Channel, check the website of your chosen
operator before you set off. In the event of any disruption, information about alternative routes and operators is available via this interactive map.

There remain some migrants around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally. There have been instances of migrants seeking to slow down traffic on approach roads to ports, including by placing obstacles on the Calais Port approach road. If this happens you should keep moving where it’s safe to do so, or stop and call 112 if isn’t safe to proceed (keeping car doors locked).

All vehicles, including motorbikes, driving in central Paris, Lyon and Grenoble now need to display a special ‘pollution sticker’

Driving regulations in France can differ from those in the UK:

  • The normal rule is to give way to the right each time you reach an intersection

  • The maximum speed on autoroutes is 130kph (80mph) in good weather and 110kph (68mph) in poor weather. Speeding can result in heavy, on the spot fines, and your vehicle and licence could be confiscated

  • Using mobile phones with headsets or ear pieces when driving is forbidden

  • In-car radar detectors and satellite navigation systems warning of the presence of speed cameras or radars are illegal, whether in use or not

  • It’s compulsory to carry a warning triangle and reflective jacket. The reflective jacket must be stored inside the vehicle itself and accessible without getting out of the car

  • It’s illegal to cross, even partially, on to the hard shoulder of a motorway without good reason.

  • Keep vehicle doors locked in slow moving traffic and secure your vehicle when it is left unattended.

Traffic: See Via Michelin or various applications including Wase.

 

Winter Tyres: No special requirements along primary route. 

Weather: BBC weather forecast Calais

 

Fuel: National Petrol Station networks. No restrictions.

Water: Readily available at most campsites and garages

Food: No restrictions​

Vehicle / trailer repairs: Main cities. 

Bottle Gas or Refills: Campingaz is widely available. Bottled gas is also available from several retailers in
France:

  • Campingaz Gas Locator. The largest rechargeable cylinder appears to be 2.75kg butane.

  • Gaslow R67 is especially designed to meet the French R67 Gas Tank Standards. Gaslow have always held the
    view that the Gaslow Bottles are considered as "Cylinders" and therefore they are manufactured to the cylinder standard EN1442:2006. Gaslow were not just alone as the UK LPGA also believed the same. The French however, believe that refillables should be classified as tanks and that we should produce to the tank standard R67. This regulation applies to specific equipment of vehicles of category M and N1 using liquefied petroleum gases in their propulsion system. For complete safety, the European Pi approved filler valves automatically shut off the gas when 80% capacity is reached - preventing dangerous overfilling.  The 11 kg cylinder contains 21L of gas.

  • Antargaz, Butagaz, Primagaz, Totalgaz also supply bottled gas. The bottles are all from different suppliers so when you return your empty bottle to the outlet you will only be able to purchase a new one of the same type. Not all outlets sell all suppliers’ bottles. It is obviously a good idea to have at least two bottles in circulation to avoid panics when you run out unexpectedly. If you are going to purchase another bottle (there will be an initial charge for the bottle, around €50) you may as well buy a different kind so you have more options available if one type runs out, as sometimes happens.

LPG: In addition to cooking gas for those with tanks, LPG is also used to power vehicles. Details of LPG gas stations and connectors can be found on the website myLPG.eu. A list of Points of Interest (POI's), a list of stations, can also be downloaded in other applications and on other devices like Garmin, TomTom, Google Earth and iGO primo. Links can be found here.

Gas Adapter: The 'Dish' adapter is required in France. 

Currency: Euro

Health

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

Pets

 

There will be no quarantine for your pet as long as the following regulations are met. Unless otherwise stated, the regulations below apply to domestic dogs, cats and ferrets including service and emotional support dogs and cats. Owners of other pets should refer to item 12. 

For owners of pets entering or returning to the European Union (EU) from the United Kingdom (UK): as of October 31, 2019, if there is no ratified deal between the UK and EU, the UK is likely to be treated as an unlisted (high-rabies) country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme. If this is the case, then a titer test will be required a minimum of 3 calendar months in advance of travel any EU Member State from the UK. (see step #3) Your pet will also need an EU health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 10 days of travel. (see step #5) Your pet will need to enter the EU at an approved Border Inspection Post.

For owners of pets returning to the UK from the EU, your pet will need either an existing EU pet passport (both for UK and EU citizens) or the EU health certificate issued in the UK used to travel to the EU.

Places to stay 

 

Name / Point of contact / Email / Tel No / Website

Price per night

Hotels

Campsites including places (like hotels) that allow camping within their grounds

Wild camping

Things to do and places to see

Any other suggestions / Information: 

There have been reports of burglaries taking place while travellers have been asleep in their caravans, mobile homes and other vehicles. Avoid parking in isolated or dark areas of unsupervised camping grounds or car parks and consider installing an alarm in your caravan or mobile home. There have been many attempts by illegal migrants to enter vehicles while stationary or in slow moving traffic. Take sensible precautions against break in to your vehicle, particularly in Northern France.

You must be able to prove your identity either by providing documents when asked or within 4 hours at a police station. Identity documents can be a passport, a photo driving licence or other documentation provided by a government body.

Concealing the face in public places in France is illegal. This includes balaclavas, full veils or any other garment or mask that is used to conceal the face. Failure to comply with the ban is punishable by a maximum fine of €150. Under this law, forcing someone to hide their face is also a crime and is punishable by a year’s imprisonment and a fine of up to €30,000. If the person forced to hide their face is a minor, the sentence is doubled. The law does not provide any exemption for tourists.

Other off road routes: If West Arica route is to be used then: 

  • Trans Pyrenees

  • Trans Alps

Observe all warnings regarding avalanches and where appropriate consider carrying avalanche search equipment. You can check the latest avalanche risk areas on the Meteo Alarm website. Conditions on roads in mountainous areas can quickly become difficult in winter. You should carry water, food, warm clothing and medicines in your vehicle.

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