We are starting to put the plans in place for our long drive to France this summer to stay at Eurocamp La Croix du Vieux Pont Campsite. Of course, anyone who drives any distance at all should be on top of their regular tyre checks and making sure the MOT is done in a timely fashion but we all know that isn’t always the case.
NB: Ad in Collaboration with Kwikfit
I passed my test more years ago than I like to admit, so in light of our upcoming trip I was intrigued to try out Kwik-Fit’s #TyreChallenge to see what I could remember, it was way before those driving theory lessons even! I got 6 out of 10 right – not bad – but can you do better?
The quiz reminded me that we should be thinking about this kind of stuff all year, not just when we go on a specific long journey, so here’s some more things I’m making sure that we keep on top of all year round.
- Ensuring our MOT and insurance are up to date – you can enter your registration number online to check and if you need, book a test at an MOT Test Centre
- Making sure the tyre pressure is correct (for safety, for economy of fuel and also for the environment, as optimum fuel economy means lower CO2 emissions).
- Making sure tyres are not wearing thin. Did you know the legal limit for minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm and that driving with tyres below minimum limit could result in a hefty fine and penalty points on your licence? (I am sure you did, as you obviously got that right on the test above!).
Of course, a long journey through the Channel Tunnel means remembering a few extra things too, so here’s a couple of specific things to check before beginning a drive to France:
- Making sure our equipment and documents comply with French driving laws (see this post for more details) but a summary below
Must have the following in the vehicle:
- Documents – Full Valid Driving License, proof of insurance (third party or above), identification (passport), proof you own the vehicle (V5 logbook)
- Reflective/Hi-Vis jackets – enough for everyone in the vehicle and these must be within reach not in the boot so they can be put on before leaving the car in an emergency
- Warning Triangle and a set of spare bulbs
- Breathalysers/alcohol tests x2 – although it has been announced that fines are not issued for not carrying these, it is advised to still have them
- The car must display the correct GB sticker or plates.
- The headlamp beams must be deflected, either using stickers or manually in the car.
Keeping an eye on Brexit and remembering that if there is no deal we may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive outside the UK. These cost £5.50 from the Post Office and need to be bought before travel. As we only plan to drive to France, we would need the “1968 Convention IDP” which last 3 years. If you plan to drive to the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Malta and Cyprus however, you would need a “1949 Convention IDP” which lasts 12 months.