Taking the car to Europe

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DHallworth
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Taking the car to Europe

Post by DHallworth »

Have just tonight booked the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam to sail out on 14th February returning on 19th February.

Am still trying to work out which car to take though. Is there anything I've missed from what I need to take/sort out below?

Warning Triangle
GB Sticker
Head light beam adjuster stickery things
Bulb kit

I've spoken to my insurance company and informed them, no extra fees, no hassle, no nothing, just go apparently.

Going to take my certificate, logbook, both parts of driving licence etc.

Be interesting driving on the wrong side of the road!

Anyone got any suggestions?

David.

red_dwarfers
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Re: Taking the car to Europe

Post by red_dwarfers »

Other things to think about are florescent jackets for each passenger, a second bulb kit as if say a headlight does blow and you replace it with the spare and then get pulled over and on the off chance they do a thorough check you won't have a spare one. Some countries it's a legal requirement so they may do, not sure about the Netherlands.

A long book while waiting in the queue for British customs may be useful :lol: Also as a distraction if you get sea sickness.

Be wary that your insurance may only cover you for the minimum legally required in your country even if you have fully comp. After reading through my insurance documents I found I needed to specifically request fully comp European cover. They then sent me a 'Green Card' and an 'Accident Report Form'.

Take your European Heath Insurance Card.

Travel insurance could be a good idea.

Does your breakdown cover work in Europe?

Learn the speed limits and what defines a change in them and common road signs.

Find out what these mean in the native tongue - please, thank you, I would like. I found they're the most used.

The other side of the road thing is only an issue if you think about it too much and don't relax, it soon becomes natural with the flow of the rest of the traffic. One thing though, look left first when pulling out of a junction.

Some other info here

The Dutch are well into their Citroens so a camera may be useful!

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bonnyman750
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Re: Taking the car to Europe

Post by bonnyman750 »

Hi Dave,

from one of my previous posts on the same subject...
whenever we go to Europe we take the following:-
Passports (natch!)
E111 certificate/EHIC card
Travel insurance documents
Vehicle Log Book
Insurance documents
European Breakdown cover Documents
M.O.T.certificate
Driving Licence(s)
AND
Photocopies of ALL the above...at least then you can let the relevant authorities know that you are who you say you are in genuine in times of strife! (i.e. if your stuff gets nicked!)

GB sticker, only if you haven't got euro number plates fitted
Hi-viz vest (1 each passenger) which must be kept in the car, not the boot, so as they can be put on before leaving the car...
Breathalyser kit (now - France only, but required should you need to go through France for any reason)....purchased from Halfords at £4.99. We had to wait for them to come in as supply was limited...Rumour has it that they are only 1 Euro in Europe from pharmacies!
Warning triangle(s)...(we take 1 when on the bike, though not strictly necessary for motorcyclists and) 2 for in the car as some countries require you to carry two (Spain?)
Bulb kit with at least 2 of all the important ones, as you need to prove that you can still change one after just changing one... if that makes sense! and fuses...!
Headlamp deflectors...I know there has been debate on here about this before but I always do as I don't want attention from any type of European Plod...
First aid kit...to comply with the 'Good Samaritan' ruling in Europe...i.e. you must be able to offer assistance when necessary...
Snow chains...if you know that there is the possibility of driving in adverse conditions in Europe...fines are heavy for causing a winter traffic jam!

This is what we take and I know that some of these are for other european countries but we now make it force of habit so that we (try) not to get caught out. (almost now 'kit form').

HTH

Glyn

JohnD
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Re: Taking the car to Europe

Post by JohnD »

DHallworth wrote:
I've spoken to my insurance company and informed them, no extra fees, no hassle, no nothing, just go apparently.
.
Do get your insurance company to confirm that you will have full comprehensive cover when abroad. I use my car in Europe for four months each year, and particularly when seeking a new renewal quote, companies will say that European cover is included, but only when pressed will admit that what they offer is only the basic legal requirement - third party only.

I don't know how long your ferry crossing is but mine to northern Spain was two nights so a small electrical kettle and all the makings for tea & coffee taken to the cabin was very useful.

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DHallworth
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Re: Taking the car to Europe

Post by DHallworth »

Thanks guys.

I spoke to Admiral and got a guy that didn't really sound like he cared but he said that my cover in Holland will be the same as my cover in the UK which I found a little strange so I noted his name and the date/time of my call so I can refer to it if I needed to.

The travel insurance I have through the bank so don't need to do anything with that as apparently you just go according to the woman in the bank.

European health card i'd completely forgotten about so will get that sorted! The rest of the stuff on the list I've got covered. I'm not going to bother with snow chains as I think we'll be taking the Range Rover anyway so hopefully won't need them in February.

Just going to do the usual and give the car a good going over before we go etc.

David.

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Re: Taking the car to Europe

Post by Homer »

In the Netherlands you only need the basic stuff, beam deflectors, GB sticker / EU plates, warning triangle, documents.

No need for reflective vests, breathalysers, extra bulbs.

It would be worth reading up on driving over there, the biggest difference (other than driving on the wrong side of the road) is the give way lines. If you have a row of triangles across your path with the bottom corners toward you like VVVVVV then you have to give way, often you'll have these as you exit a roundabout and you must give way to the cyclists crossing the road.

I would suggest you check your insurance again, not by talking to some call centre numpty but by reading your policy document / booklet. It is very rare to have full comprehensive cover abroad but all policies have to give you the bare legal minimum at least in certain countries (NL is one). You don't need a green card but it can help if you are stopped and your insurance company will usually provide you with one if you ask.

I'd also suggest a decent satnav, which you are used to using, which has maps of the country you are visiting. It makes driving abroad much more relaxed.

I found driving my own car on the wrong side of the road much easier than using a LHD hire car.

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VertVega
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Re: Taking the car to Europe

Post by VertVega »

DHallworth wrote:... Be interesting driving on the wrong side of the road!
Anyone got any suggestions?
It sounds like you will be driving on the right side of the road for the first time.
My only suggestion would be: Enjoy it :)

Nothing to complain about Dutch traffic, highways are in good condition, good and understandable traffic signs. It's surprising you can figure it out what's written (some of it) even if it's in Dutch. Also you can see a lot of French cars like Xantia, XM and even older models like DS. Only Amsterdam traffic can be a bit challenging for a first timer.

Edit:
Image
Last edited by VertVega on 12 Jan 2013, 01:23, edited 1 time in total.

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DHallworth
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Re: Taking the car to Europe

Post by DHallworth »

Thanks for the heads up guys.

Will do some research online and see what's going on with road signs etc.

David.

evilally
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Re: Taking the car to Europe

Post by evilally »

Breakdown cover? ADAC is a good deal, the premium membership is 70 something euros a year, and covers you in all European countries, including the UK. In fact, if you phone them in the UK you get an AA van as they subcontract. When I get time, I fully intend to tell the AA to shove it, and get ADAC!

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old'uns
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Re: Taking the car to Europe

Post by old'uns »

spare car keys in someone elses possession.
In Holland, treat Cyclists like Gods...avoid contact at all costs!!
they'll appear from all directions and if anything like Belgium the car driver will be at fault regardless

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VertVega
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Re: Taking the car to Europe

Post by VertVega »

DHallworth wrote:Have just tonight booked the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam to sail out on 14th February returning on 19th February.
...
Anyone got any suggestions?
There's a "hot topic" going on at the moment and I remembered from that, I would have one more suggestion. That's for the destination location :) : If you have time in Amsterdam try to visit Heineken brewery museum. You'll get drinks during the tour which is included in the entrance ticket price and at the end of the tour a metal can of Heineken =D>