The end of the Brexit transition period looms large and motorhomers are wondering how it will affect their spring and summer adventures.
Our message is ‘don’t panic’. Yes, there is likely to be some additional red tape – and possibly even some extra expense – but with a bit of preparation, an EU expedition can still be highly enjoyable and relatively stress-free.
Here are some of the most common questions we’ve been asked by our customers…
Will my passport be valid for travelling in the EU?
Good news here – your existing UK passport will be valid for travel to and within the EU.
Just make sure that your passport has at least six months to run – and it’s less than 10 years old.
If it doesn’t fulfill that criteria, you’ll need to renew your passport – possibly a litter earlier than you might have done otherwise.
These rules do not apply to travel to Republic of Ireland, as Common Travel Area (CTA) rules on travel documents will not change.
Driving in Europe and crossing borders
During the 2020 implementation period, if you were driving a UK-registered and insured vehicle with a fully comprehensive UK motor insurance policy, you continued to have at least third-party motor insurance cover for travel to EU or European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
From January onwards, you will need to carry an insurance green card while driving in the EU or the EEA. Don’t let that put you off – these are usually provided free of charge from your insurer. They can take around a month to secure, so plan ahead.
These green cards tend to last for up to 90 days. You do not need one if you’re renting a motorhome in your host country.
Also, you may need to put a GB sticker on your motorhome, even if you have a number plate which displays the EU and GB flags.
Crossing borders might become a bit more complicated than it has been, but it’s certainly not insurmountable. You’ll have to show a return or onward ticket, you might need to prove you’ve got enough cash for your stay, and you will probably have to use different lanes than EU and EEA citizens.
Will European Health Insurance Cards be valid?
The EHIC will no longer be valid for most UK citizens after the Brexit transition period ends.
It’s vital that you buy suitable travel insurance with healthcare cover before you embark on your adventure.
The government says this is “particularly important” if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Will I need a visa?
No, you won’t need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You can stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.
If you’re planning a longer motorhome trip, you may need a visa or permit.
The situation with taking your pets on motorhome trips is still up in the air. Follow the latest Government guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-from-1-january-2021
The existing pet passport scheme is definitely being abolished and a new process is to be announced.
Mobile roaming charges
It’s looking promising that motorhomers will still be able to share their travel photos on Instagram without breaking the bank.
True, surcharge-free roaming when you travel to EU and EEA countries will no longer be guaranteed from January onwards.
However, mobile operators Three, EE, O2 and Vodafone have said they have no plans to change their mobile roaming policies – and the Government has brought in legislation to cap monthly expenditure at £45