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Touring Europe In A Motorhome After Brexit
None of us really know the impact that Brexit will have on our day-to-day lives or long-term futures – no-one even knows if it will actually ever happen – but one thing that does seem certain is that travelling between the UK and Europe will be a lot more difficult. Or will it?
Here’s everything you need to know about touring Europe in a motorhome after Brexit.
How will Brexit affect my travel plans before October 31, 2019?
As things stand, the Brexit extension means the UK is not set to leave the EU until October 31, 2019.
This means that if you’re touring Europe in a motorhome at any time before this date, the current arrangements should still be in place and you’ll not need to make any alternative plans, such as getting an International Driving Permit, as your UK driving licence will still be valid for driving in the EU.
This also means you won’t need a Green Card for insurance, unless you are travelling to Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel, Morocco, Montenegro, Tunisia or Turkey, but you do still need to make sure your car and caravan insurance cover you for European travel, as does any breakdown cover you have.
If you have an up to date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you’ll still have access to state medical care in all EU countries, although you should always make sure you still take out full travel insurance.
If you plan to take any pets to the continent, your pet passport will still be valid, and you’ll not have to worry about your gadgets running up any expensive data roaming charges, as the current EU data rules will still apply.
How will Brexit affect my travel plans after October 31, 2019?
While nothing will change up until October 31, it could be a very different story if you’re touring Europe in a motorhome that date. The trouble is, it’s difficult to speculate exactly what will change for anyone travelling to Europe after Brexit without actually knowing what will be included in any deal, or even what the outcomes of leaving with no deal at all will be.
The good news is that if a deal is agreed, the UK will enter a transition period, which means everything will remain the same for a set period and you’ll be able to travel as you do now.
Even if the UK leaves without a deal, there have been reassurances around flights and visas, to make travel as straightforward as possible. There will be changes though, so here is our breakdown of what we think could affect UK travellers to the EU after Brexit.
Will trains and ferries still operate between the UK and EU, post-Brexit?
Trains and ferries between the UK and Europe should still run as normal, meaning you’ll still be able to get your caravan across to the continent as you always have done.
Will flights still operate between the UK and EU after Brexit?
If the UK and EU agree on a deal, then we will enter a transition period which means flights will continue as normal until at least the end of December 2020. Even if there is no deal in place then a bilateral agreement between the UK and the EU means that flights will still operate in both directions. All of which is great news if you prefer to fly to your destination before picking up your caravan.
Will I need a visa after Brexit?
The good news is that the European Parliament has confirmed that UK travellers won’t need a visa to enter the EU after Brexit, even in the event of no-deal. This means UK citizens will be free to travel to the EU for up to 90 consecutive days within a period of 180 days, without the need for a visa.
Will my passport still be valid for travel to the EU following Brexit?
The overriding advice where passports are concerned is to renew it if you’re going to have any less than six months left on when the UK leaves the EU.
There also appears to be a further complication in that extra months may have been added to your passport end date, if you renewed a ten-year adult passport before it expired. These extra months won’t count towards the six months that must be remaining, so you may unexpectedly be denied entry on it. If this could be the case, you can check the validity of your passport at GOV.UK, but it may be worth renewing your passport if you have anything less than 12 months on it.
Will my driving licence be valid in the EU after Brexit?
Although you can currently drive in the EU on your UK driving licence, this could well change once the UK leaves the EU, particularly if it does so with no deal. This means that if you’re travelling on or after October 31, 2019, you may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP), possibly even multiple permits if you’ll be driving across more than one country.
The reason you may need more than one IDP is that different countries are covered by different permits, via the following conventions:
- A 1949 Convention IDP covers the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Malta and Cyprus.
- A 1968 Convention IDP covers all other EU countries plus Norway and Switzerland.
You can pick up permits directly from the Post Office at a cost of £5.50, and you’ll need to have it with you before you leave the UK, as you won’t be able to apply for one once you’re on the continent. IDPs are issued by the Government and not by your insurer, meaning you won’t be able to get an IDP from Comfort Insurance.
If required, you’ll need to show your IDP along with your UK driving licence. It is important to note that the Government is also advising drivers to attach a GB sticker to cars and caravans.
Will I be able to take my pets on a caravan holiday following Brexit?
The family pet can be an integral part of any camping trip, and the good news is that you’ll still be able to take your pet between the UK and the EU, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The bad news is that it won’t be quite as simple as it now, as the requirements for documents and health checks will be more stringent.
This means anyone looking to take a pet to an EU country after October 31 will need to visit an Official Veterinarian (there’s a full list at the Animal and Plant Agency website) at least four months before the planned date of travel.
Will I have trouble insuring my motorhome for EU travel after Brexit?
Although you shouldn’t have any trouble insuring your motorhome for European travel, insurance requirements will change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and you’ll need to carry a Green Card in order for your UK car insurance to be applicable in the EU (this is an actual card you’ll need to keep in your vehicle). These cards will be issued by insurers and may come with a small administration charge.
If you’re going to be travelling after October 31, you should contact us at least a month in advance of your departure date to arrange getting a Green Card.
Why do you need a Green Card?
A Green Card is an international certificate of insurance which guarantees that you have the necessary minimum level of cover and are suitably insured to drive abroad. A physical copy of a Green Card on green paper is needed when travelling as digital copies are not currently accepted. If you arrive at a border without your Green Card you might not be allowed to drive in that country.
How do you get a Green Card?
The process of issuing Green Cards for driving within the EU is currently being implemented by Comfort Insurance. Until more certainty is provided about the formal Brexit agreement on October 31, the interim guidance is that you should contact us if you intend to drive abroad three weeks before you travel, and we will issue and send the required document. There will be no charge when we issue a Green Card.
We will keep you updated with further information when there is more clarity regarding the long term implications of Brexit.
How to get European motorhome insurance
If you’re planning on travelling to the EU in a motorhome, whether before or after October 31, it’s important to make sure you’re motorhome is fully insured, whether on the road or on the campsite, bearing in mind you’ll need also extra European insurance and breakdown cover.
To find the right policy to suit your needs, give our insurance experts a call on 0800 0304 206 – our unrivalled choice of policies is what helps 93% of our customers rate our service as ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot with a customer satisfaction score of 9.7 out of 10.**
*A charge will apply for Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel, Morocco, Montenegro, Tunisia and Turkey.
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