Are you planning on taking your campervan overseas for a couple of weeks in another country, or maybe even a tour of Europe spread over a number of months? If so, then you want to make sure you aren’t inadvertently breaking any laws along the way as you could end up in serious trouble if you don’t do your research before embarking on your trip of a lifetime.
Here is a list of things to consider before you even think of leaving the UK in your motorhome.
Road Safety Laws
When travelling in the EU, it is important to remember that different countries have different rules when you are travelling on their roads in an RV. These include which side of the road you should be driving on and how fast you are allowed to travel – which will depend on where you are. On some journeys, you might end up travelling through two or three countries in just one day so make sure you familiarise yourself with the road safety rules of each beforehand.
International Speed Limits
Motorhome drivers have a different set of speed limits that they must stick to compared to other modes of transport like cars and lorries. These limits are subject to change depending on the size and weight of your campervan and you must pay particular attention to these speeds as you could end up fined or arrested for a simple mistake. For example, many European destinations have motorway speed limits of around 80kmh for motorhome drivers – whereas in Portugal it’s 110kmh and in Belgium it’s 120kmh.
Just because you have valid UK motorhome driving insurance – it does not mean you are covered to drive your campervan abroad. You will need to have a motorhome specific driving policy which covers you for the countries you intend to visit along with a current Driving Licence and remember that both should be carried with you at all times. Make sure you are insured for the entire duration of your trip and that your policy will cover you for an extra few days at the end of your journey as you don’t want your insurance to run out whilst you are still travelling abroad.
Travel Permits and Tax
Some EU countries will require you to have special permits and travel cards if you are planning to drive on their motorways and roads. Make sure you research these requirements before crossing any borders – as again you don’t want to end up fined or arrested for a straightforward oversight.
Finally, when travelling abroad it is important to have the correct road safety equipment. The main list of items you should have includes a first aid kit, warning triangles, a high visibility jacket, a working fire extinguisher, a spare tyre or two and a nationality sticker. Remember that in some countries, these items are compulsory and you will get into trouble if you don’t have them with you.