Driving on the continent comes with its own set of rules. Driving on the right side of the road, for a start! We take a look at the must-have kit that you need to take with you when driving your motorhome in France and around the rest of the Europe this summer. Plan a trip to Halfords before you European adventure!
1. GB Sticker and headlight stickers
If you don’t already have a GB sticker on your motorhome, you’ll need to get one for driving on the continent. They can be found very in driving accessories stores like Halfords and most petrol stations.
2. Headlamp-converter stickers
The other stickers you’ll need to pick up are the little strips that convert your headlamps to European driver-friendly headlamps – without them, you risk dazzling oncoming traffic. These can also be found at Halfords.
It is a legal requirement to carry a breathalyser kit with you when driving in France. Given the ease with which you can pick these up in the UK, it’s probably worth taking a couple of these with you, just in case you are asked to use one while away.
4. Warning triangle
You’ll need at least one warning triangle, in case you have a breakdown. It’s a legal requirement to carry one of these in France. But if you’re headed to Spain, you’ll need to avail yourself of two.
5. High-visibility vests
You also need to have a vest for everyone travelling in your motorhome. You can pick up high-vis vests in adult sizes very cheaply in stores like ScrewFix.
If you need kids’ sizes, Ikea is a good option (especially early in the summer, before they sell out). The price is very reasonable, especially if you are an Ikea Family member.
Another good tip for high-vis vest shopping is Clas Ohlson, not least because at this time of year its filled with lots of cheap, colourful melamine plates, plastic “glassware”, storage boxes, cheap hoses and all sorts of other paraphernalia that comes in handy in your motorhome.
6. Spare bulbs
One item that is often overlooked when driving on the continent is the need to carry spare headlamp bulbs. Drivers in France and Spain are expected to be able to replace any blown exterior bulb.
We’d also recommend carrying spares for your other bulbs and fuses as well, just so you don’t have to interrupt your holiday with trips to motorhome dealerships or garage accessories stores and have to flounder with a whole new slice of French vocabulary.
7. First aid kit
We recommend carrying a first aid kit, of course. This is especially true if you are travelling in certain countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway, because carrying them is a requirement for drivers of vehicles registered in that country.
It does no harm to be on the right side of official advice.
A decent torch with a strong beam is invaluable if you do get a breakdown while driving at night, and we heartily recommend taking a good quality torch or lantern with you. The range of lanterns from Luminaid is rather good.
9. Pack with photocopies of all your documents
Create yourself a little pack (ideally in a waterproof pack in a secure location) which includes a couple of photocopied versions of your driver’s licence (both parts), passport and any necessary visas, EHIC cards, etc. This way, if you do lose the originals, you won’t be so lost without them and you will still be able to access the necessary services.
10. The right insurance and good breakdown cover
Before you go, check that your insurance covers you for driving in Europe. Some policies place restrictions on the number of consecutive days you can be away, so check before you go.
We also heartily recommend getting yourself some good breakdown cover – make sure you give the right dimensions for your motorhome, so you can be assured of recovery should you need it.
The AA has produced a handy checklist that breaks down requirements by country. If you are worried about what you should be taking with you on your travels, do check it out here.
And, of course, our team here at TMC Motorhomes are always happy to discuss your queries and share our own experiences with you – just drop in or call us if you need advice.