Travelling to Europe in your motorhome after Brexit
From 1st January 2021, the rules for travelling between the UK and Europe have changed. But what does this mean for motorhomers? EU countries are popular destinations for UK motorhome and campervan owners, with 74% of Comfort Insurance customers revealing in a recent survey that they regularly travel to Europe in their leisure vehicle.
60% of customers also said that they intend to visit Europe in 2021. Spain was the most popular destination, with 27% of Comfort customers planning to visit there in 2021. France and Germany were also popular destinations, followed by the Netherlands.
So, if you are planning a trip to Europe in your vehicle, here’s what you can do to make sure everything is in place for your holiday.
We are only a few weeks past Brexit and no doubt there will be further changes in process as time passes.
What travel documents do I need when visiting Europe post Brexit?
If you have a British passport, you may need to renew it before travelling to an EU country. You need to make sure your passport has at least 6 months left on it and is less than 10 years old for it to be valid.
For your motorhome insurance to be valid in Europe, you will need to carry a physical copy of a Green Card. A Green Card is a standard document which proves to authorities that you have the minimum motor insurance required in the European countries being visited. In readiness for the start of the Spring travel season, all Comfort Insurance policies will include an annual Green Card as standard – so whether you’re taking out a new policy or renewing your cover, obtaining a Green Card couldn’t be easier! What’s more, we no longer charge for Green Cards as they are now included in your policy document packs issued when customers either take out or renew their policies.
Following the end of the transition period, it is now a requirement to have a GB sticker for your motorhome when driving in the EU. Plastic photocard driving licences are still valid, but if you have a paper driving licence, or a licence issued in Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, or Gibraltar, you may also need an international driving permit (IDP). So, if you’re thinking about regular EU travel, now’s probably the time to get a photocard licence.
What are the rules when entering countries in Europe?
As a tourist with a UK passport, you’ll be able to stay in most EU countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
If you’re a non-European citizen and you’re planning to travel to Europe for a holiday (tourism purposes), then you might be required to apply for a short-term Schengen visa under “tourist” specification. The way to apply for a Schengen visa depends on your destination country. Once you have a Schengen visa, you can travel to any country within the Schengen Zone as long as you don’t exceed the timeframe granted on your visa. This period is typically 90 days.
You might also be required to present your return or onward ticket at border control and show you have enough money to cover your stay.
With additional border control checks in place, it’s likely ferry and Eurotunnel check-in times and departures will take longer than they did previously. It’s important therefore to keep up to date on your travel departure information, local traffic delays and to allow time to get through border control.
Is it possible to travel as a tourist for over 90 days in Europe? If not, what other options are available?
The rules are that you can’t stay in the Schengen Area for more than 90 days in any 180-day period. However, if you’re planning to stay longer for reasons such as business travel – then you may need a permit or visa. For motorhome owners wanting to spend more than 90 days in Europe it may be possible to extend the 90 day period by visiting a non-Schengen Country such as Croatia which only applies a 90 day time limit from the point of entry into Croatia and not entry into Europe. So, theoretically, it is possible to benefit from the combined Schengen and non-Schengen period of residency limits.
Can I still take my pet to Europe on holiday?
If you love travelling with your pets, the good news is that your furry friends can still accompany you on your adventures! If you have pets that you’re taking to Europe with you, it’s crucial to allow at least 1 month to arrange pet travel as well as relevant pet vaccinations. Following the new regulations, you will need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) as the existing pet passport scheme is now invalid.
Are there any changes to Free Mobile Roaming post Brexit?
From the 1st January 2021, there is no longer the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming in the EU. There is a new law in place to protect you from incurring mobile data charges above £45 without your knowledge. However, you should check with your phone operator for information about any potential roaming charges you may incur and how any charges are applied.
Can I still take food with me to Europe?
Unfortunately, you are no longer allowed to take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. We know a lot of motorhome owners like to take their own food produce with them on their travels. After all, that’s one of the benefits of having a motorhome. Whilst you’ll need to pack carefully to make sure that you only bring permitted foods into Europe, the good news is that there are plenty of supermarkets in the main port town and cities across Europe. With a bit of extra planning, you can make your food stop the first leg of your European food adventure. You can then continue your journey to mainland Europe stocked full of your favourite foods.
Although the completion of Brexit brings a change of rules around EU travel, it’s still early days in terms of what this really means to us. Quite a lot has changed, but what hasn’t changed is your annual motorhome insurance policy – which still includes EU cover as standard.
What insurance cover do I need when travelling to Europe?
It’s important to get appropriate travel insurance which provides sufficient healthcare cover before you set off to Europe. With no protection of the NHS when you’re abroad, it’s likely your medical bill would be extremely costly if you needed medical attention while in an EU country. That’s why it is necessary to have a stand-alone travel insurance policy in advance of your EU travel. Furthermore, travel insurance policies typically also provide protection for other benefits such as cancellation, personal accident and loss or damage to personal effects whilst travelling.
If you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or a Global Health Insurance Card – they will still be valid for your travel to EU countries. Keep in mind that EHIC and GHIC do not replace travel insurance. The benefits afforded by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) arrangement have changed. Whilst it was always best practice to take out travel insurance before setting off to Europe, some travellers didn’t. A EHIC never replaced the requirement for medical expense cover as provided by travel insurance.
Before you hit the road for a European holiday in your motorhome, you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is covered. All Comfort motorhome and campervan annual policies come with European cover as standard, so there’s no additional cost. If you’re looking for an insurance quote or need help renewing your policy, speak to our friendly team of experts on 0208 9840 777.
Share this article
We’re a family run business with over 30 years' experience in the provision of specialist motorhome and campervan insurance. With a wealth of awards under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly and professional service, offering you the most comprehensive cover money can buy - starting from just £220!
We’re a family run business with over 30 years' experience in the provision of specialist motorhome and campervan insurance. With a wealth of awards under our belt, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly and professional service, offering you the most comprehensive cover money can buy - starting from just £200!