Travelling abroad has become a little harder in recent years, with Brexit having revoked our rights to freedom of movement in Europe. But there remain quick channels to the mainland, even in the costs involved in crossing borders are a little higher. Indeed, thanks to ferries and the Channel Tunnel, it is still possible to drive to and across Eurasia from the UK. But is it wise to take your own car abroad when holidaying?
The Advantages of Taking Your Car Abroad
Driving across into Europe is an act of freedom, and beneficial precisely for that freedom. By driving, you are no longer reliant on the timetables or travel routes of public transport systems, meaning you can plan your ideal travel routes and times without much in the way of compromise. Doing this also frees you from the prohibitive cost of certain transport routes, where some international flights can, in all, cost vastly more than driving the same distance.
The Disadvantages of Taking Your Car Abroad
There are, however, some significant disadvantages to travelling abroad with your own car, which are important to weigh up against the positives. One of the bigger disadvantages is that driving can be quite an intensive endeavour; if your travel itinerary is tight, and also incorporates hours of driving between destinations, you might find yourself too tired to really enjoy your holiday. There is also the matter of potential breakdown, where navigating breakdown rescue and repairs could not only be difficult but also quite expensive.
If you do decide to take your vehicle abroad with you, there are some key considerations you will need to take, both mechanically and logistically. With regard to the former, you could find yourself in expensive trouble if your car were to break down abroad, or fail in such a way as to cause a road traffic accident. As such, it would behove you to get a full car service before you leave in order to ensure your car is in the best possible condition.
Logistically speaking, if you and your car will be abroad for less than 12 months, legal passage of your vehicle is relatively simple, You will need to bring your V5C logbook along with you, in order to demonstrate legal ownership at ports and border crossings. Another major consideration is vehicle tax, where your car must remain fully taxed for the full duration of your trip and after your return – otherwise your car will not be road-legal. Finally, depending on the countries you are visiting, you could be liable for import tax on your vehicle.