Taking your car with you to Verbier
Taking your car with you on holiday gives you absolute freedom to go where you want, when you want, and you are likely to find the mainland European roads refreshingly empty when compared to the UK. However, it’s not just as simple as loading up, filling up and hopping on the first ferry to the continent. Whilst road tripping is undoubtedly one of the best ways to see a country (well in our opinion anyway), in order to ensure that the journey itself is as stress free as possible, a bit of forward planning and preparation before you leave is essential. Ensuring your car is up to the trip, planning your route in advance, and familiarising yourself with the road rules and regulations of the country you are visiting, will all help ensure that the drive itself is as much a part of your holiday as your final destination. In the article below, we’ve put together some key points for you to consider before hitting the open road on the continent.
Will my car make it?
Before embarking on a journey of several hundred kilometres, you want to be sure that your vehicle is mechanically up to the job. Breakdowns and repairs in Europe are costly affairs so reduce your chances of conking out on the autoroute by servicing your car well in advance of your trip. If you’re planning a ski trip, then ask your garage to perform a winter service on your car, and they will adjust the engine fluids accordingly to cope with the colder temperatures in the Alps.
Speed Limits & Road Regulations in France
When driving in France, it is important that you are aware of any road laws and restrictions that may differ from home. For starters, UK licence holders must be 18 years or older in order to drive a temporarily imported car on French roads. For motorbikes with an engine less than 80cc the age is 16, but this increases to 18 for more powerful bikes. Starting with the obvious, additional rules and regulations on the French roads are as follows:
Driving in Resort
You’ll probably find that once you’re in resort you may not need to use your car very much as most ski resorts have excellent public transportation links that you can use for free with your lift pass. Make sure you park in legal parking spaces. Traffic wardens or “Police Municipal” are regularly seen patrolling the streets on the look out for illegally parked vehicles. Parking in ski resorts can be very problematic especially during high season, so it is always worth reserving a parking space in advance wherever possible to ensure you have a suitable spot to leave your car. Foreign plates do not give you diplomatic immunity from parking fines so if you do leave your car in an inappropriate spot then you should expect to be ticketed or even towed away and impounded.