Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Transportation/driving  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 21.06.2011, 19:14
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
CuteCat has no particular reputation at present
driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Hi everyone
Thanks for reading my message – first of all

I am planning on driving to uk from Switzerland with my 2 toddlers (ages 7 and 4) for the very FIRST TIME
I have done my homework and I really appreciate your thoughts, help, comments, assistance

Additionally I am happy to drive one person to UK. It would be a good support for me too J
My kids are quiet type and used to long road trips
I am leaving on 13th or 14th of July

Here are my gatherings – please correct me if I am wrong
1. Take the tunnel not ferry – its fast, no delay, connected to the motorways
2. Take plenty euro coins with you – petrol in France is hectic – don’t drive through on Sunday – tank before entering France
Q
a. If I tank before France, would that take me through tunnel till im on the otherside?
b. I have always driven at midnight. Would you recommend that too, considering Petrol/Gas chaos in France? (I have read they are closed on Sundays and late nights and machines don’t take any foreign bank cards???)
c. Where and How do I pay the road Tax of 29.12 Euro ?
d. I assume the tolls take Euro coins and there won`t be any problem with that in France?

3. Is that the right site to reserve my train ticket (per car, one ticket?)
http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/promotions/tickets/summer-travel/
Q
a. Once I have my ticket FlexiPlus for 199 £. Can I turn up any Time and Day or Night?!! (taking short breaks and traffic might not get me there on time, right?)
b. How does the terminal look like, do have to queue for ages? How do I know I am in the right slot?
c. I can not speak French – just like Mr. Bean – would that be a big problem finding my way to this famous channel tunnel??
d. I have read the trains travel 3 times a day, true?

4. I have TomTom Nav and printed map and direction from www.ViaMichelin.com


5. 50 Euro Toll cost – Petrol 150 Euro
6. Taking A4, A26, passing close to Strasbourg, Metz, Arras. Taking A16 toward Tunnel Sous La Manche
Q
a. How can I find the terminal. Is it easy?

7. I noted all the speed cameras

Note 1:
Please bare that in mind that saving money is not my priority in this trip. I am a woman, driving with 2 kids. I don’t want traffics, delays and complicated routes.
Note 2:
I have no problem nor question once I touched the earth in UK . I am good on the other side of the channel tunnel
My worries are mainly how to get to this channel tunnel and what I am expecting there?!!

Thank you for any comments that you would leave for me

CuteCat
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 21.06.2011, 19:41
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

It's all clearly signposted, and it couldn't be easier - put your credit card you paid with in the machine and it will 'recognise' you- if a bit early, you might be offered an earlier crossing, but only if there is space (maybe not in July). You will then park in the waiting area (or straight through depending on time of arrival). Several cafés are available, duty free shop, toilets, etc. When you LETTER (allocated at the machine) is called you just drive up to the appropriate lane, and drive into the train, and through carriages until an attendant tells you exactly where to park. During the journey you and kids can come out of the car or stay in, and toilets are available. When you get to UK, drive out, through customs, and straight onto the motorway. Easy peasy.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 21.06.2011, 19:50
stephen_NE's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Luzern
Posts: 1,512
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 1,594 Times in 758 Posts
stephen_NE has a reputation beyond reputestephen_NE has a reputation beyond reputestephen_NE has a reputation beyond reputestephen_NE has a reputation beyond repute
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

I answered most of your questions on the other forum where you posted them earlier today... have a look.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank stephen_NE for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 21.06.2011, 20:00
Kash_Z's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 456
Groaned at 3 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 597 Times in 196 Posts
Kash_Z has a reputation beyond reputeKash_Z has a reputation beyond reputeKash_Z has a reputation beyond reputeKash_Z has a reputation beyond repute
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

You can pay at the road tolls by credit card and some debit cards: alot of them are manned. Likewise the service stations will also take credit cards. But just in case of an emergency, I would still carry Euro notes and coins!

On the two occasions i drove to Calais, i got lost on approach to the terminal, so make sure you have the end point set correctly in the Tom-Tom (i was off a bit).

I drove through France during a period of major strikes which affected refineries but petrol was always available on the major roads, though at a couple of the stations there was a limit to how much you could buy. You should have no such problem.

The roads were traffic-jam free from top to bottom each of the four times i've crossed France so no point leaving at midnight. The only advantage I can think to leaving at a non-normal time is to save yourself from the queues that sometimes build up at the Swiss-French border crossings.

One reason I can give though to drive during the day is that you are going in mid-July when the weather should be nice and you'll be able to enjoy the view of the lovely French countryside as you drive through the South of France. I was blown away by how beautiful it was.

Have a safe journey!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Kash_Z for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 21.06.2011, 20:45
LNT LNT is offline
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 1
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
LNT has no particular reputation at present
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Hi,

just wondering why you are planning of driving through France? I am going to the UK in a week from Zurich and will be going up towards Luxembourg, then head towards Brussels and then via Oostende to Calais. 20km more but you don't pay any tolls. Luxembourg makes for a nice stop on the way as well.

When you are heading towards Calais (regardless of whether you are on the A26 or the A16) follow signs to Tunnel sous la Manche. You cannot miss it.


Everything is signposted once at the tunnel so easy peasy.

Just another thought - Eurotunnel is usually quite fast but it can have problems and I also had to wait there for 2-3 hours due to congestion. Since my son was born we actually preferred to take the ferry. SeaFrance ferries have play areas for kids under 12. You can eat on the ferry as well and make it a longer break.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank LNT for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 21.06.2011, 21:09
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Don't use toll roads (apart from the Colmar tunnel) just drive through Lexembourg and Belgium. It takes the same time and is cheaper.

Petrol/diesel is also cheap in Luxembourg so fill up there and save some more money.

Re tunnel, don't get flexi plus tunnel ticket get the cheapest time you can that is close to the time you want, then you can arrive +/- 2 hours and get on the next train with no problem, and +/- 24 hours you'll get on the next available space at no extra charge.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 21.06.2011, 21:18
NSchulzi's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Zug
Posts: 2,422
Groaned at 52 Times in 33 Posts
Thanked 2,523 Times in 1,215 Posts
NSchulzi has a reputation beyond reputeNSchulzi has a reputation beyond reputeNSchulzi has a reputation beyond reputeNSchulzi has a reputation beyond reputeNSchulzi has a reputation beyond reputeNSchulzi has a reputation beyond repute
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Quote:
View Post
Don't use toll roads (apart from the Colmar tunnel) just drive through Lexembourg and Belgium. It takes the same time and is cheaper.

Petrol/diesel is also cheap in Luxembourg so fill up there and save some more money.
Good advice - that is the route that we used to take and we always used to fill up in Luxembourg too (usually behind a queue of Germans!!)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 21.06.2011, 21:21
Global Hermit's Avatar
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Oetwil am See
Posts: 1
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Global Hermit has no particular reputation at present
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Hello,

I took the journey from around Zurich through the tunnel two weeks ago (bank holiday in Switz and France) slow leaving Switz in mid Friday afternoon, but then no problem throughout France due to the toll roads (so I am told). I think that cards or Euros are best for the tolls as I was ripped of by one teller on the way back when I had to use Swiss francs and he roughly charged me double!!!

Refuelling in France was absolutely no problem for me in either direction.
The Tom Tom I had borrowed did not have the up-to-date map of a section in France that threw me off course for a short while, but going into Calais was easy finding the tunnel.

I was told that for the crossing, you have to take the booked crossing or pay extra to change either earlier or later, but this is just hearsay.

Good luck and make sure to stay well awake if travelling late..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 21.06.2011, 21:22
OBone's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Aeugst Am Albis
Posts: 529
Groaned at 21 Times in 8 Posts
Thanked 334 Times in 138 Posts
OBone has earned the respect of manyOBone has earned the respect of manyOBone has earned the respect of many
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Quote:
View Post
Don't use toll roads (apart from the Colmar tunnel) just drive through Lexembourg and Belgium. It takes the same time and is cheaper.

Petrol/diesel is also cheap in Luxembourg so fill up there and save some more money.

Re tunnel, don't get flexi plus tunnel ticket get the cheapest time you can that is close to the time you want, then you can arrive +/- 2 hours and get on the next train with no problem, and +/- 24 hours you'll get on the next available space at no extra charge.
its not always as easy as that. I got there 20 mins after our 7PM checkin at Easter and got put on the 23.55 crossing.

BUT, there is a way of getting on the very next one if you park right over by where they filter out the cheeky people try to sneek on. if you wait the otherside of the path, they wave on people if there's still space
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 21.06.2011, 21:27
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Quote:
View Post
I was told that for the crossing, you have to take the booked crossing or pay extra to change either earlier or later, but this is just hearsay.
http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/tickets...es-and-prices/

Standard Tickets
If you arrive within 2 hours of the booked departure time, the booking will be exchanged without charge;
If you arrive more than 2 hours but no more than 24 hours after the booked departure time, the booking will be exchanged if you pay any difference between the price you paid and the price applicable to the departure for which your booking is exchanged;
If you arrive more than 24 hours after the booked departure time, your booking will not be exchanged;
These tickets are not refundable;
All travel must be completed within 1 calendar year of the date of booking.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 21.06.2011, 21:37
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Quote:
View Post
its not always as easy as that. I got there 20 mins after our 7PM checkin at Easter and got put on the 23.55 crossing.

BUT, there is a way of getting on the very next one if you park right over by where they filter out the cheeky people try to sneek on. if you wait the otherside of the path, they wave on people if there's still space
I usually book the train sometime between 10pm and 2am depending when is cheapest so it's never been a problem

Travelling at night also avoids traffic problems (and speed traps).
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 21.06.2011, 21:59
stephen_NE's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Luzern
Posts: 1,512
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 1,594 Times in 758 Posts
stephen_NE has a reputation beyond reputestephen_NE has a reputation beyond reputestephen_NE has a reputation beyond reputestephen_NE has a reputation beyond repute
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Quote:
View Post
I think that cards or Euros are best for the tolls as I was ripped of by one teller on the way back when I had to use Swiss francs and he roughly charged me double!!!.
Maybe also worth mentioning that French motorway toll booths don't seem to accept Maestro cards for some reason. I'm not sure if this is the case for all the motorway companies, but I got caught out recently when driving down from Geneva to Grenoble (luckily I had a Mastercard on me as well).

Last edited by stephen_NE; 21.06.2011 at 21:59. Reason: Corrected "tool" to "toll"...
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 21.06.2011, 22:25
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

You will actually be choosing one of the busiest times of the year- so flexibility may not be possible. Have you booked yet? you may be surprised by the cost at such a peak time - although it helps that you'll be travelling mid-week. Do you have Swiss car and Insurance, so that companion can help with the driving? Where are you headed in UK?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 21.06.2011, 22:53
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Out in the Stick - Zug-ish
Posts: 86
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 31 Times in 25 Posts
snoopy1664 has earned some respectsnoopy1664 has earned some respect
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Definitely 2nd routing through Luxembourg - very cheap for petrol and saves a ton on the tolls.

Find Eurotunnel very expensive for one way trips. I almost always use Norfolk Ferries from Dunkerque to Dover. 2 hours vs. 35 minutes on the tunnel but does make for a nice break.

Mmmm that's all I can think of at the moment...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 21.06.2011, 23:00
Carlos R's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Roundn'about Basel
Posts: 7,231
Groaned at 105 Times in 95 Posts
Thanked 9,934 Times in 4,178 Posts
Carlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond repute
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Have a look here. I think you'll find all your questions have been answered... or debated before. Just reverse any route recommendations as appropriate...
__________________
Never let right or wrong get in the way of a good opinion
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Carlos R for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 23.06.2011, 20:47
perkyp's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 297
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 76 Times in 50 Posts
perkyp has earned some respectperkyp has earned some respect
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

P&O doing good deals on Channel crossings at the mo- £23 for a single by motorbike, not much more with a car and it is a Saturday crossing as well
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 24.06.2011, 02:21
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 481
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 267 Times in 168 Posts
gourmet is considered knowledgeablegourmet is considered knowledgeablegourmet is considered knowledgeable
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

I was stuck on M20 (just out from the Euro tunnel) two weeks ago as they are doing some road work from J8 onwards. it took me 3 hours to get from J9 to J8.. Check traffic situation and you might want to cut North-WEST on J9 up towards Faversham M2 to avoid this. Being summer, a lot of road work started, so be aware and petrol is not cheap either! so fill up as much as you can in France before you come back.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank gourmet for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 24.06.2011, 07:31
p42's Avatar
p42 p42 is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Kanton Schwyz.
Posts: 840
Groaned at 4 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 430 Times in 277 Posts
p42 has an excellent reputationp42 has an excellent reputationp42 has an excellent reputationp42 has an excellent reputation
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

I drive through Luxembourg as stated above, (will with cheap petrol) paying with cards, and usually go by ferry, £30 one way, from Dunkirk via aferry.co.uk. How much discount is available on non-flex tunnel crossings? I usually book the ferry the day before/8 hours earlier via internet while en-route.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 24.06.2011, 08:51
transition
 
Posts: n/a
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Quote:
View Post
Don't use toll roads (apart from the Colmar tunnel) just drive through Lexembourg and Belgium. It takes the same time and is cheaper.

Petrol/diesel is also cheap in Luxembourg so fill up there and save some more money.

Re tunnel, don't get flexi plus tunnel ticket get the cheapest time you can that is close to the time you want, then you can arrive +/- 2 hours and get on the next train with no problem, and +/- 24 hours you'll get on the next available space at no extra charge.
Hold on a minute, remember, it is her first time and she has children with her. I would not 'just drive through Luxembourg and Belgium' to save money or any other reason especially at night!
The tolled motorways through France are quite safe and the road is smooth, the charges aren't that much and you have to remember to take the ticket first...then pay at the next toll booth making sure you have plenty of euro coins.

Here are some points why this VIA Belgium/Luxembourg advice is not good:
  • Belgians are notoriously bad drivers
  • Car crime is more prevelant (with open EU borders)
  • There are lots of roundabouts (not good if the kids are sleeping)

The best idea is to time the journey so that in the first part of the journey the children are asleep. If you go overnight the best time is actually very early morning (start at 3am for example). Pack the car before and all sleep together waking at 2am, coffee, juice, eat, go. The children will probably fall straight back to sleep in the car and then you can try to drive for three hours, quick refuel and another three hours before a long stop (of an hour). Before you know it you will see signs to Calais and it gets easier then.

I have done this journey many times and the last time (over and back) with two children aged 1 and 5 with the total distance (from west country) in one go about 1,300km.

What is this about saving money, if you really want to save money on a trip like this then why not FLY? Her children are both under ten years old!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 24.06.2011, 09:07
transition
 
Posts: n/a
Re: driving to UK from Switzerland - one person may come with us

Quote:
View Post
Hold on a minute, remember, it is her first time and she has children with her. I would not 'just drive through Luxembourg and Belgium' to save money or any other reason especially at night!
The tolled motorways through France are quite safe and the road is smooth, the charges aren't that much and you have to remember to take the ticket first...then pay at the next toll booth making sure you have plenty of euro coins.

Here are some points why this VIA Belgium/Luxembourg advice is not good:

The best idea is to time the journey so that in the first part of the journey the children are asleep. If you go overnight the best time is actually very early morning (start at 3am for example). Pack the car before and all sleep together waking at 2am, coffee, juice, eat, go. The children will probably fall straight back to sleep in the car and then you can try to drive for three hours, quick refuel and another three hours before a long stop (of an hour). Before you know it you will see signs to Calais and it gets easier then.

I have done this journey many times and the last time (over and back) with two children aged 1 and 5 with the total distance (from west country) in one go about 1,300km.

What is this about saving money, if you really want to save money on a trip like this then why not FLY? Her children are both under ten years old!
I added a link about Belgian drivers as an example.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
driving advice, driving through france, driving to uk, taking one with us




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any Social welfare for an uninsured person living here in switzerland? Evita is here Family matters/health 9 21.06.2011 20:26
Person-to-person small claims process Zass Finance/banking/taxation 5 17.05.2011 09:22
Driving in Switzerland vs. driving in the US SwissPete Transportation/driving 142 07.10.2010 12:12
[HELP]Non EU person visit to Switzerland for a funeral smile_pls Permits/visas/government 7 23.02.2010 23:14


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:29.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0