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-   -   Driving to the UK (https://www.englishforum.ch/leaving-switzerland/243896-driving-uk.html)

blizard 18.11.2015 14:05

Driving to the UK
 
Hi All,

I am looking for a Driving Companion. A careful driver!.

I have never driven to the UK however since I will be living there for a while (studying) I intend to take my Car with me. I must be there on the morning of 15th December. That means we leave Switzerland 3 days earlier and take our time on the road. I badly need a co-driver. Please - answer back!

Anyone? any recommendations?

:)

dodgyken 18.11.2015 14:09

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blizard (Post 2487781)
Hi All,

I am looking for a Driving Companion. A careful driver!.

I have never driven to the UK however since I will be living there for a while (studying) I intend to take my Car with me. I must be there on the morning of 15th December. That means we leave Switzerland 3 days earlier and take our time on the road. I badly need a co-driver. Please - answer back!

Anyone? any recommendations?

:)

3 days???? You're crazy - or will be by the time you arrive.

Have you booked a ferry/tunnel - where in the UK will you be travelling to? What car will you be taking?

In general Dunkirk and Calais are 7hrs from Basel - with Le Havre and Dieppe no more than 30mins further on - assuming you avoid Paris. There are numerous informative threads on routes, tolls etc.

The_Love_Doctor 18.11.2015 14:20

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Take the plan and hire a car...

Much more cheaper... depending on how far you're going and how much you value your time.

Guest 18.11.2015 14:26

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blizard (Post 2487781)
Hi All,

I am looking for a Driving Companion. A careful driver!.

I have never driven to the UK however since I will be living there for a while (studying) I intend to take my Car with me. I must be there on the morning of 15th December. That means we leave Switzerland 3 days earlier and take our time on the road. I badly need a co-driver. Please - answer back!

Anyone? any recommendations?

:)



I can't help your co-pilot situation, but I think 3 days is rather a lot. As Dodgyken has said, you can get from Basel/Calais (my only reference points I'm afraid, without further Googlage) in about 7 hours, not accounting for stops. You can take it steadily to Calais, book a cheap hotel room and then get an early Chunnel to the UK.


Have you ever driven in the UK? You may need to check for kits that alter the angle of your headlights. It's the reverse of UK drivers driving their cars over here! We're in the unusual position of having to research driving in the UK (which we're both very used to) in a non-UK car.


Good luck with your journey and your subsequent studies.

moggy 18.11.2015 14:27

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Note setting off early on Sunday is a good idea, as many of the roads within Europe (not UK) do not have trucks on the roads until sometime late in the day.

You have not stated if you are traveling alone or have other passengers. Important to let the other driver know how much room for their luggage.

We prefer the Dunkirk crossing to Calais, as then have 2 hours on a comfortable ferry, i.e. no driving and perhaps eat on the ferry.

Zenistar 18.11.2015 14:34

Re: Driving to the UK
 
3 days does seem a bit excessive with two people sharing the driving.

We generally take the car when we go and we drive straight through to the ferry in one day without issue (and that's with two kids and a lot of stops).

Depending on where you are heading, spending a night in a B&B before the tunnel is not a bad idea, though if you are heading up north take a look at the overnight ferry from Rotterdam to Hull. We generally take this as we have a further 8 hours of driving / ferries upon reaching Hull.

dodgyken 18.11.2015 14:38

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zenistar (Post 2487798)
overnight ferry from Rotterdam to Hull. We generally take this as we have a further 8 hours of driving / ferries upon reaching Hull.

OUCH!!!!

Looking at Scotland for next September - and considering the Amsterdam-Newcastle route to balance out the driving.

blizard 18.11.2015 14:46

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blizard (Post 2487781)
Hi All,

I am looking for a Driving Companion. A careful driver!.

I have never driven to the UK however since I will be living there for a while (studying) I intend to take my Car with me. I must be there on the morning of 15th December. That means we leave Switzerland 3 days earlier and take our time on the road. I badly need a co-driver. Please - answer back!

Anyone? any recommendations?

:)

Hi All,

just a quick update! :)The good news is that - I've got a Relative to Drive to the UK (Birmingham) with me - Yipee!

I am sooooo happy and so relieved as I know how he drives and also because he is such a patient guy! And he loves driving, and the drive to the UK for him (a retiree) will be a good venture.

Thanks to you all for your tips and replies to my post!
:)

Zenistar 18.11.2015 14:51

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dodgyken (Post 2487802)
considering the Amsterdam-Newcastle route to balance out the driving.

I really like the overnight ferries for that reason. We generally get on just after 5, stick everything in the cabin and head to the playground with the kids. Have some dinner and chill out while the kids sleep.

A nice bit of black pud and bacon for brekkie in the morning and then head out. The only thing i don't like are the customs delays when getting off the ferry in Hull - it seems to get worse each visit.

dodgyken 18.11.2015 14:52

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zenistar (Post 2487810)
The only thing i don't like are the customs delays when getting off the ferry in Hull - it seems to get worse each visit.

Thanks for the tip. Have you tried Amsterdam/Newcastle?

Sbrinz 18.11.2015 14:54

Re: Driving to the UK
 
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?

Zenistar 18.11.2015 14:56

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dodgyken (Post 2487811)
Thanks for the tip. Have you tried Amsterdam/Newcastle?

No, I've never tried this route as it is too far up. We drive straight across from Hull to either Liverpool or Heysham where we have a long wait and a 4 hour ferry to the Isle of Man (if it runs).

Guest 18.11.2015 15:08

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sbrinz (Post 2487812)
I imagine the Channel Tunnel to be claustrophobic, so I never went that way.



I was worried about this same thing until I did it - and it's surprisingly OK. You stay in your car (unless you need the facilities, such as they are, or want to stretch your legs) so it's no more claustrophobic than that, really.


And it's quick!


R

chrisIDS 18.11.2015 15:16

Re: Driving to the UK
 
I did that once, drove to the UK using the Zeebrugge / Hull ferry. My folks lived only an hour's drive from hull, so that direction was OK.

However, something to consider:

On the way back, I could not sleep at all on the ferry (apart from falling into the world's deepest sleep, about 5 minutes before I had to get up), meaning that the nine-hour drive back from Zeebrugge to Baden was not a particularly pleasant experience.

Medea Fleecestealer 18.11.2015 16:26

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

I can't help your co-pilot situation, but I think 3 days is rather a lot. As Dodgyken has said, you can get from Basel/Calais (my only reference points I'm afraid, without further Googlage) in about 7 hours, not accounting for stops. You can take it steadily to Calais, book a cheap hotel room and then get an early Chunnel to the UK.


Have you ever driven in the UK? You may need to check for kits that alter the angle of your headlights. It's the reverse of UK drivers driving their cars over here! We're in the unusual position of having to research driving in the UK (which we're both very used to) in a non-UK car.


Good luck with your journey and your subsequent studies.
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. :)

Belgianmum 18.11.2015 16:30

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2487883)
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. :)

It is actually recommended to put the beam deflectors on the headlights when driving a LHD car in the UK. They sell the kits on the ferries.
It's not very pleasant driving towards a foreign car and being blinded by their headlights which are pointing directly at you.

Zenistar 18.11.2015 16:44

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Belgianmum (Post 2487890)
It is actually recommended to put the beam deflectors on the headlights when driving a LHD car in the UK. They sell the kits on the ferries.
It's not very pleasant driving towards a foreign car and being blinded by their headlights which are pointing directly at you.

Some cars have a switch on the light itself that deflects the light of a LHD car for driving on the left. Our Touran has this and it is a much better solution than the sticky deflectors - worth checking your car manual.

Medea Fleecestealer 18.11.2015 16:53

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Really? I'm amazed. Not that it's needed - I've always been puzzled by the fact that "foreign" cars haven't needed to change their lights in the same way the UK ones do when abroad - but that the ferry companies/ports aren't shouting this from their rooftops. I see lots of signs telling travellers about the need to change their headlights when going to Europe, but never once seen anything about it when going the other way. They're missing out on a big sales opportunity there. :p

Carlos R 18.11.2015 17:05

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Medea Fleecestealer (Post 2487899)
Really? I'm amazed. Not that it's needed - I've always been puzzled by the fact that "foreign" cars haven't needed to change their lights in the same way the UK ones do when abroad - but that the ferry companies/ports aren't shouting this from their rooftops. I see lots of signs telling travellers about the need to change their headlights when going to Europe, but never once seen anything about it when going the other way. They're missing out on a big sales opportunity there. :p

Maybe because the rest of Europe is educated about such things?

But as said about by BM it is something that you should do if you can't adjust settings. Baby wipes are perfect for getting the residue off post holiday by the way. It's one of those jobs I do while I am waiting for the ferry to load.

Medea Fleecestealer 18.11.2015 17:22

Re: Driving to the UK
 
Then how come I've never seen any of these light changing strips being sold in Europe. :rolleyes:


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