DOCUMENTS

When travelling abroad you are required to carry the vehicles ownership documents, ie the V5C, as well as its MOT certificate (photocopies are not acceptable). Add to these documents, travel insurance, vehicle insurance, passports and maybe prescriptions etc and you can see that they need to be held securely.

We have a hidden steel safe onboard in to which all of the above are held. We only dig the passports out when we judge we may need them.

Also in the safe are:

  • Envelopes, each containing €100 in cash. They are numbered so that we always know how many we have used whilst away. Most of our purchases are made using bank cards but you need to have cash readily available. We also have one envelope marked ‘Emergency Euro’s’. This is never touched and is there to cover us should we fill the vehicle up with fuel and the filling station doesn’t accept any of our cards. In such a situation you can’t give it back, it’s in your fuel tank. That’s when the emergency funds come to the rescue. 
  • Bank cards of other accounts which can be called upon in the event of loss or theft of cards from our main accounts. 
  • Spare keys to the vehicle and the front door key to the house. 
  • A list of contacts in the event of an incident, including family and organisations. This means we aren’t relying on ‘contacts’ in a mobile phone which may get lost or stolen.

Having space to fit and hide a steel safe is another good reason for buying a vehicle large enough for your needs, and I would suggest the security of your possessions is a need.

In the cab we have another plastic wallet which will contain photocopies of our vehicle insurance details and MOT together with a copy of the ‘Travelscript’ giving details line by line of that trip’s cunning plan, together with anything else which may be considered appropriate and useful, but which, if stolen, would not cause us any problems.

Now that Brexit has happened life will become more difficult if travelling to the EU:

PASSPORTS:

Different passport validity rules now apply to UK Nationals visiting Europe. You must check your passport validity online as you may need to renew it earlier than planned. This does not apply to Ireland. Visit gov.uk/checkpassport.

On the day you travel you'll need your passport to both have at least six months' validity remaining and be less than 10 years old (even if it has six months or more left). Please note that burgundy passports, whether with "European Union" on the cover or not, remain valid alongside the new blue passport.

 

VISA’S

Tourists will not need a visa for short trips to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland of up to 90 days in any 180 day period. (Note time spent in Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania do not count towards your 90 day EU limit). You may need a visa or permit to stay for longer and it is recommend you check GOV.UK for more information on how to get a visa or permit.

EUROPEAN HEALTH INSURANCE CARDS

European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) remain valid until their expiry date within the EU but not in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. From January 2021 new Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) will replace UK EHIC's and will provide the same access to state medical healthcare within the EU. Make sure you get travel insurance that covers your needs, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Visit GOV.UK to check what your travel insurance should cover.

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT

 

You can still drive in most European countries with a UK driving licence and it won’t be necessary to have an International Driving Permit (IDP). However, depending on which country you're visiting you may also need an IDP if you have:

 

 

 

 

A paper driving licence

A licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man

For more information, please check gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit

GREEN CARDS

When driving in Europe from January 2021 you will need to carry a Green Card as proof of relevant insurance for your car, motorhome and anything you may be towing. Contact your vehicle insurer who will provide this.

 

GB STICKERS

It is a requirement that you display a GB sticker on the rear of your vehicle. This applies irrespective of whether you currently have a number plate which includes the GB identifier.