As it gets nearer to our trip to Ninove in Belgium, my friend Ollie and I decide it is best to have a bit of a ‘planning meeting’, at the moment, we have the most important thing booked, our tickets for the trip in the (Channel) Eurotunnel on board the Le Shuttle to France before we drive up to Ninove in Belgium!
I’ve got a great vintage GB country badge (that also incorporates the AA logo (Automobile Association)), I now just have to sort a way to display/mount it on the rear towel rail bumpers of my VW Split screen camper. I love its aged patina and crisp typography!
There is a check list of items you are required by law to carry when driving in France and Belgium that includes the following:
- Reflective jackets (must be kept inside the vehicle, within reach)
- Warning triangle (compulsory in every vehicle with 4 wheels or more)
- Headlamp beam deflectors (Depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually)
- Breathalysers/alcohol test (As of January 2013 the French government announced that the introduction of an €11 fine has been postponed indefinitely, but probably a good idea to have one regardless)
- GB sticker: UK registered vehicles displaying Euro-plates (circle of 12 stars above the national identifier on blue background) no longer need a GB sticker when driving in European Union countries.
- Full, valid driving licence* (with paper counterpart)
- Proof of Insurance (third-party or above)
- Proof of ID (Passport)
- Proof of ownership (V5C Certificate)
*International Driving Permits are recognised but not compulsory
There can be hefty on-the-spot fines can be issued for failing to carry specific items, so it is essentially to check to see what different countries requirements are!
I’ve been gradually going through the list and updating various items I’ll need to be taking with me for the trip. In many ways, most of the items make good common sense, and maybe here in the UK some of them should also be legal requirements as well?
If you’re from the UK and going abroad on holiday or a business trip, you should also apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which may give you access to reduced-cost medical treatment. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaced the old E111 in 2006. Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return.
You can apply for free here, European Health Insurance Card Application