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  #21  
Old 18.11.2015, 18:24
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Re: Driving to the UK

For cars fitted with Xenons you should be able to adjust them quickly and easily for driving on the left or right. Check your manual for details.
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  #22  
Old 18.11.2015, 18:27
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Re: Driving to the UK

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Then how come I've never seen any of these light changing strips being sold in Europe.
Probably because not so many people go in the opposite direction.
They have them in the shops at the ferry terminals in France and on the ferries. You probably don't see so many of them now since a lot of the modern cars have the ability to change the beam direction.

Years ago hubby used to stick black electrical tape in the appropriate place in order to avoid blinding oncoming drivers when we didn't have any reflectors.
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  #23  
Old 18.11.2015, 18:27
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Re: Driving to the UK

Also some older Renaults could be switched fairly easily, read the hand book.
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  #24  
Old 18.11.2015, 23:38
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Re: Driving to the UK

Just to answer your queries although, I already got myself a co-driver; Yes - I move to Birmingham and on this trip I go alone, without kids to prepare the passage so to say.

And yes - we have agreed with my co-driver that 2 days are quite enough and ya, the ferry is a definate YES!. I drive a VW Golfplus(and just incase you are eyeing me with a devilish eye... -no, no I am not a polluter, mine is not part of the VW scandal, i am squeaky clean).

Lastly, I will be paying my co-driver to fly back and I have a decent Sat-Nav, otherwise I would be holed up in my house.

I appreciate your reply and the links!



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Are you moving to Birmingham? In which case I would spread the journey over 2 days, and stop overnight somewhere near Dover so that you are fresh for the "challenging" UK driving on the left side.

I always cross the channel with DFDS ferries from Dunkirk to Dover, and enjoy the sea views. I imagine the Channel Tunnel to be claustrophobic, so I never went that way.

Which car are you driving?
Will you be paying for the co-driver to fly back here?
Do you have a decent Sat-Nav?

https://ferry.dfdsseaways.co.uk/Fares

http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-6546-ib...re/index.shtml

https://www.google.ch/#q=budget+hote...06020707561767

http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/web/Rou...nce=&corridor=

About 800 Km (9 hours driving) Zurich to the ferry at Dunkirk.
About 350 Km (4 hours driving) from ferry to Birmingham.

How old are your 2 children?
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  #25  
Old 18.11.2015, 23:42
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Re: Driving to the UK

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OUCH!!!!

Looking at Scotland for next September - and considering the Amsterdam-Newcastle route to balance out the driving.
I've done Switzerland to central belt scotland 3 times and usually have a stop in London.

It's not bad at all. Won't be doing it again though.
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  #26  
Old 19.11.2015, 00:29
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Re: Driving to the UK

Drove to and from Ireland last winter and it snowed from Chester, England to Strasbourg, France so be prepared for that.
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  #27  
Old 20.11.2015, 11:41
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Re: Driving to the UK

I much prefer the tunnel to the ferry. It's a lot faster, and the terminals are on the motorway network rather than in the town which saves more time - all in I think it's between 90 minutes and 2 hours faster than the Dover Calais boat.

The other big benefit is the flexibility, if you arrive early or late you can get on a different crossing at no extra charge which makes things a lot less stressful when you're stuck in traffic. Also, I can't get seasick on a train
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  #28  
Old 20.11.2015, 11:44
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Re: Driving to the UK

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Nope, no need. It's only the UK cars that need to change their headlights. Just remember that the driver has to be on the kerbside of the road and you go the other way around at roundabouts.
Are you sure about the headlights? I could have sworn I read otherwise... ah well.

Very true about the roundabouts!
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  #29  
Old 20.11.2015, 11:50
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Re: Driving to the UK

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Are you sure about the headlights? I could have sworn I read otherwise... ah well.

Very true about the roundabouts!
No, the headlight thing is wrong - you should adapt your lights for a LHD car in the UK, the same as for a RHD car in Europe. The issue is finding the right beam deflectors for sale anywhere to do it...

My car doesn't need any adjustment, as it has a totally flat beam pattern with no 'kick' up at either side but if you do need to adjust them and can't find the right kit a bit of black electrical tape can work fine if applied in the right place.

It's usually Xenon lights which can be 'switched' or don't need any adjustment, the vast majority of halogen lights will need an external sticker.
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  #30  
Old 20.11.2015, 11:50
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Re: Driving to the UK

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Are you sure about the headlights? I could have sworn I read otherwise... ah well.

Very true about the roundabouts!
Medea is wrong.
Headlights direct from the driver to the passenger side of the car - so a LHD car on the right (as per Switzerland) won't dazzle an oncoming driver. The reverse is true in the UK.

As soon as you drive on the side you sit then the headlight will be directed towards the oncoming traffic. It doesn't matter whether that is a RHD car on the continent OR a LHD in the UK.
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  #31  
Old 20.11.2015, 11:53
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Re: Driving to the UK

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No, the headlight thing is wrong - you should adapt your lights for a LHD car in the UK, the same as for a RHD car in Europe. The issue is finding the right beam deflectors for sale anywhere to do it...

My car doesn't need any adjustment, as it has a totally flat beam pattern with no 'kick' up at either side but if you do need to adjust them and can't find the right kit a bit of black electrical tape can work fine if applied in the right place.

It's usually Xenon lights which can be 'switched' or don't need any adjustment, the vast majority of halogen lights will need an external sticker.
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Medea is wrong.
Headlights direct from the driver to the passenger side of the car - so a LHD car on the right (as per Switzerland) won't dazzle an oncoming driver. The reverse is true in the UK.

As soon as you drive on the side you sit then the headlight will be directed towards the oncoming traffic. It doesn't matter whether that is a RHD car on the continent OR a LHD in the UK.

Thank you. You guys beat me to it. I'm mid Google! I think there's a bit about it on the AA website too. Glad to know I wasn't making stuff up...

Cheers
Rufus
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  #32  
Old 20.11.2015, 12:03
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Re: Driving to the UK

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Are you sure about the headlights? I could have sworn I read otherwise... ah well.

Very true about the roundabouts!
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No, the headlight thing is wrong - you should adapt your lights for a LHD car in the UK, the same as for a RHD car in Europe. The issue is finding the right beam deflectors for sale anywhere to do it...

My car doesn't need any adjustment, as it has a totally flat beam pattern with no 'kick' up at either side but if you do need to adjust them and can't find the right kit a bit of black electrical tape can work fine if applied in the right place.

It's usually Xenon lights which can be 'switched' or don't need any adjustment, the vast majority of halogen lights will need an external sticker.
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Medea is wrong.
Headlights direct from the driver to the passenger side of the car - so a LHD car on the right (as per Switzerland) won't dazzle an oncoming driver. The reverse is true in the UK.

As soon as you drive on the side you sit then the headlight will be directed towards the oncoming traffic. It doesn't matter whether that is a RHD car on the continent OR a LHD in the UK.
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Thank you. You guys beat me to it. I'm mid Google! I think there's a bit about it on the AA website too. Glad to know I wasn't making stuff up...

Cheers
Rufus
Wasn't that what I said in my post #16 in direct response to Medea's erroneous information.


Driving to the UK
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  #33  
Old 20.11.2015, 12:03
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Re: Driving to the UK

Never ever heard anything about that. Never seen a kit, a notice, nothing to tell/warn European drivers that they need to change their headlights over and we've been driving back to the UK for over 16 years now.

All the manual for our Qashqai says is that the Xenons have an automatic aiming control. "Vehicles with xenon headlights are equipped with an automatic levelling system. The headlight axis is controlled automatically." Does that mean they switch left to right too?
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  #34  
Old 20.11.2015, 12:06
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Re: Driving to the UK

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All the manual for our Qashqai says is that the Xenons have an automatic aiming control. "Vehicles with xenon headlights are equipped with an automatic levelling system. The headlight axis is controlled automatically." Does that mean they switch left to right too?
How on earth could it tell which side of the road you were on automatically?

What would it do if you overtook someone and so ended up on the other side of the road?

The levelling is to cope with heavy loads in the rear which would tip up the front of the vehicle.
Nothing new there. Even 2CVs had that.
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  #35  
Old 20.11.2015, 12:11
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Re: Driving to the UK

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Never ever heard anything about that. Never seen a kit, a notice, nothing to tell/warn European drivers that they need to change their headlights over and we've been driving back to the UK for over 16 years now.

All the manual for our Qashqai says is that the Xenons have an automatic aiming control. "Vehicles with xenon headlights are equipped with an automatic levelling system. The headlight axis is controlled automatically." Does that mean they switch left to right too?
Auto leveling is a requirement for all cars with Xenon headlights, what it does is adjust the aim downwards depending on the position of the car relative to the rear axle to compensate for a heavy load.

A quick Google should tell you how to adjust the beam to the correct side.

The reason you never see anything telling you to do it is because the motoring accessory concessions are all British run and the vast majority of cross channel traffic is Brits going to Europe not the other way around so nobody is advertising it. That doesn't mean it's not needed though.
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Old 20.11.2015, 12:15
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Re: Driving to the UK

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The reason you never see anything telling you to do it is because the motoring accessory concessions are all British run and the vast majority of cross channel traffic is Brits going to Europe not the other way around so nobody is advertising it. That doesn't mean it's not needed though.
French police are also far more willing to stop Brits and fine them for being British.

The British police gave up actually having police officer in cars back in 1983 and instead rely on speed and ANPR cameras to catch ALL law breaking on British roads.
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  #37  
Old 20.11.2015, 12:30
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Re: Driving to the UK

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Never ever heard anything about that. Never seen a kit, a notice, nothing to tell/warn European drivers that they need to change their headlights over and we've been driving back to the UK for over 16 years now.
You'll know for next time now. You should either adjust the lights or put the stickers on. I'm amazed that you've not been flashed by the other drivers you were nearly blinding in the UK during all that time.

We moved to France in 1989 and OH has adjusted the headlights every time we've gone to the UK for the last 26 years either with the stickers or tape (as we've never had adjustable headlights). They deflectors for LHD cars have always been available in the shops on the ferries and at the terminals on the French side although I'll admit they've never been well publicised.
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  #38  
Old 20.11.2015, 12:32
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Re: Driving to the UK

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You'll know for next time now. You should either adjust the lights or put the stickers on. I'm amazed that you've not been flashed by the other drivers you were nearly blinding in the UK during all that time.
.
I haven't done it either the last few times but then I can't remember the last time I actually drove in the dark (or bad light) in the U.K. as we only tend to go in summer and tend not to drive late in the evening.
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  #39  
Old 20.11.2015, 12:37
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Re: Driving to the UK

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You'll know for next time now. You should either adjust the lights or put the stickers on. I'm amazed that you've not been flashed by the other drivers you were nearly blinding in the UK during all that time.
Been flashed loads of times in the UK when I haven't been bothered to change the lights.

(I am such a rebel!!!)
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Old 20.11.2015, 12:54
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Re: Driving to the UK

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Auto leveling is a requirement for all cars with Xenon headlights, what it does is adjust the aim downwards depending on the position of the car relative to the rear axle to compensate for a heavy load.

A quick Google should tell you how to adjust the beam to the correct side.

The reason you never see anything telling you to do it is because the motoring accessory concessions are all British run and the vast majority of cross channel traffic is Brits going to Europe not the other way around so nobody is advertising it. That doesn't mean it's not needed though.
What even on the French side? What about the French ports are they British run too? Because they put big notices up on the signboads in the UK ports about changing your headlights for Europe, but it never appears at any French ports.

And if you think it's all one way traffic then you haven't been looking at the licence plates of the cars around you when you're in the UK. Nearly 250,000 foreign drivers didn't pay the Dart Charge when they used the tunnel/bridge - so that's not counting those like us who do pay and others who don't even go that route.

Our model is a 2012 one and no mention of any switch to adjust headlights with.
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