Since the end of the Brexit Transition Period, there have been a lot of changes in travel between the UK and Europe. In this post, I will look at what you need to stay legal on Europe’s roads.
1. UK Sticker Required from 28th September
From 28th September 2021, to drive in the EU, British registered cars will require a UK sticker to replace the GB sticker. The new UK identifier is a move by the British Government to signify the inclusion of Northern Ireland, since GB refers only to England, Scotland and Wales.
The UK government specifies: On or after 28 September 2021 you will need to display a UK sticker clearly on the rear of your vehicle if your number plate has any of the following:
- a GB identifier with the Union flag (also known as the Union Jack)
- a Euro symbol
- a national flag of England, Scotland or Wales
- numbers and letters only – no flag or identifier
- If your number plate includes the UK identifier with the Union flag (also known as the Union Jack), you do not need a UK sticker.
- If you’re in Spain, Cyprus or Malta, you must display a UK sticker no matter what is on your number plate.
- If you have a GB sticker, cover or remove it.
- Ireland does not require a sticker or magnet.
2. Angles Morts Sticker for Motorhomes Over 3500kg
From from 1st January 2021, all vehicles over 3500 kg are required to display Angles Morts blind spot stickers when driving in France. Click here for more details. All vehicles and trailers must have signs 17x25cm, positioned between 0.9m-1.5m above ground level:
- On the rear, on the right-hand side (French kerbside)
- On each side (left and right) between 0m-1m of the front, excluding glass surfaces
- On trailers, each side (left and right) between 0m-1m behind the kingpin (for semi-trailers) or the front body of other trailers.
Non-compliance will result in a 4th class penalty fine (€135) that can be decreased or increased, associated with a loss of 1 to 6 points on the driving licence.
3. European Travel Kit
The extras that you might need are as follows;
- Extra Warning Triangle and Hi Vis Jacket – some countries, such as Spain, Cyprus, Estonia and Bosnia require that you carry two warning triangles.
- Family Pack Hi Vis Jackets – you must carry one reflective jacket for each passenger in the cab of your vehicle.
- Breathalyser – France has done away with fines, but carrying an in-date breathalyser is compulsory and recommended by motoring organisations to avoid problems if stopped. Breathalysers usually last only 12 months.
- Fire Extinguisher – a fire extinguisher is not a legal requirement to drive in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and other Central European countries, but carrying one is recommended. In most Nordic, Eastern European, Baltic and Soviet countries, it is required by law.
4. Bike Warning Sign Mandatory for Spain & Italy
In Spain and Italy, overhanging loads must be indicated by a square panel measuring 50cm x 50cm with reflective red and white diagonal stripes. If you carry bikes on the back of your vehicle, you must display this sign.
In Italy the panel must be aluminium, although I recommend the aluminium panel anyway since the plastic ones are very flimsy and break easily.
5. Electrical Accessories for European Hookup
Don’t leave for Europe without ALL of these;
6. Caravan / Motorhome Specific Satnav
This is one of the last things that I would leave behind, especially for European touring. We have used the Tom Tom GO Camper all over Europe for the last year and have been very happy with it. To read my review, click here. However, the two Garmin satnavs also came out very well in reviews, so there is little to choose between the two. If you prefer a slightly larger screen, one of the Garmin models is probably the way to go.
- TomTom GO Camper Sat Nav – 6 inch screen (132 x 79mm) with Updates Via Wi-Fi, Camper and Caravan POIs, Worldwide Lifetime Maps, TomTom Road Trips.
- Garmin 770 Camper and Garmin 780 Camper – (screen size 152 x 89mm). Like the Tom Tom, both Garmins are Which? Best Buys.
7. Road Atlas
Whether or not you have a satnav, I would always recommend carrying a road atlas for trip planning, or those moments when your satnav lets you down…!
Calor is not available in Europe, so take enough for your requirements, or consider a refillable cylinder such as Safefill and adapters. Click here for my Safefill Refillable Gas Bottle Review.
Other Brexit Changes
For a detailed precis of how Brexit will affect your plans, such as the new 90/180 day rule, data roaming charges and driving requirements, please see my post Brexit Blues – How Brexit Will Affect European Travel. Important points to remember are:
- Your UK passport must have at least six months left to run. IGNORE THE EXPIRY DATE, since unexpired time used to be added! To travel to Europe, your passport must be fewer than ten years old and have at least six months validity left.
- Pets can no longer use the UK-issued European Pet Passport. Instead, they need an Animal Health Certificate, which must be renewed before each trip.
- UK nationals who are resident in the EU need to show their visa or residency cards along with their passport each time they enter or leave, to avoid having their passport stamped as a visitor.
- There are restrictions on goods brought in to the EU from the UK, which includes high-value items, everyday food items and plants. The pdf from DEFRA outlines personal imports.
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