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  #201  
Old 18.11.2015, 15:22
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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and (often illegally) it warns about fixed speed radar cameras.
They're safety zones - get with the lingo

@Castro - I've never really done a full overnight drive but have done early departures. Even then you feel like the whole day is spent travelling. I got quite grumpy about the thought of the drive this time - the first time that has ever happened. I suspect being "burned" by the screw up that was Calais in July has tainted my view on the whole thing.
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  #202  
Old 18.11.2015, 15:33
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

We usually start at 3-4 in the morning, breakfast around 730, arrive in time for the 11 sailing. (BS-Calais) But we have an easy trip post Dover to Canterbury where the in-laws are.

This summer we set off at 1800 hrs and arrived at 2 in Dunkirk (we avoided Calais due to the issues). Stopped over in the Etape and on the boat by 7.

If Calais is "premier league", Dunkirk is 3rd division at best in terms of set-up.

Coming back is always the challenge, as whatever time you set off in the morning, you have to get the children out the car for the boat and there is no going back to sleep on the way back through France (never mind the hr lost to the timezone change).

This time we sopped in Reims on the way back, having caught a late afternoon sailing. Dinner on the boat, drive, bed, breakfast and an "easy" 4 hr drive in the morning, home by 11 am. Worked a treat and likely to be our future approach.

Also, we got one of the autoroute badge readers for the car. Always a bit nervous that the barrier won't go up, but worked a treat.
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  #203  
Old 18.11.2015, 16:01
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Yes we've had a Liber-T tag the last couple of trips and it's really made a difference. We don't tend to end up in queues at the barriers anyway, but the fact it saves the hassle of having to dig out money or a credit card makes it worthwhile. So long as we aim for the proper lane (used the truck ones a couple of times by mistake which slowed the whole process down) and approach slow enough we're through in a couple of seconds.
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  #204  
Old 18.11.2015, 16:11
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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and approach slow enough we're through in a couple of seconds.
The seconds I lose with the credit card is made up by the car's acceleration.

(Now where is the willy waving emoticon)
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  #205  
Old 18.11.2015, 17:14
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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The seconds I lose with the credit card is made up by the car's acceleration.

(Now where is the willy waving emoticon)
That fast eh? Fast enough to turn time back. With the liberte pass, the acceleration is from a moving start and you don't have to stop, so however big you think your willy is... it isn't as big as you think it is!

More seriously, on the last couple of trips, I've had to queue to get through the card lanes. I believe the reasons are two-fold. 1) lots of renovations, meaning fewer pass points and 2) people finally working out that plastic is quicker than cash at the peage.
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  #206  
Old 21.11.2015, 01:52
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

I am moving to London from Zurich. I was thinking it might be cheaper to go there renting a van to take my stuff.

I have some furniture and books and clothes. Would you recommend driving there and back? Is it the best way to move or do you recommend any transport service? Do i have to pay taxes for my stuff?
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  #207  
Old 21.11.2015, 08:30
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

You can find info on moving your things here.

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_privat/?lang=en

Personally if you've never done anything like this before I'd get a professional moving company to do it. There's not only the paperwork, but driving on the "wrong" side of the road, physically moving stuff to/from van, etc. Is someone coming with you - because dealing with the toll booths on the French motorways can be difficult if you're in a RHD vehicle and you're on your own.
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  #208  
Old 24.11.2015, 00:52
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

If you're in a van AVOID FRENCH TOLL ROADS.
Over 3m high van from Geneva to Calais is €150 each way- that's more than the fuel! Even to get to Geneva I often go through Belgium, Luxembourg (cheap fuel), then dual carriageways.
BTW- manwithavan.ch would do London to Zurich, 20m cubed van for 2950chf, 10m cubed van 2400chf.

I just had to get that shameless ad in!

If you go it alone check U have enough km included on the rental or U can get done for 1chf /km when returning it. And Dover - Dunkirk is a way better route than Calais, when without the current problems.

Sandy
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  #209  
Old 24.11.2015, 00:57
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

And there is no tax to pay if the items are yours, over 6 months old and you intend to keep them. Customs rarely check the vehicle if the paperwork is in order.
Of course there is the other option of taking 1 of the 1000 unmanned borders- of course that would be illegal ago I wouldn't recommend it and have certainly never done it myself. Ahem
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  #210  
Old 24.11.2015, 08:02
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Manwithavan is correct - when I came back with my race-car (in the big FO transporter trailer) I was hit with the higher price.
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  #211  
Old 24.11.2015, 08:20
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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And Dover - Dunkirk is a way better route than Calais, when without the current problems
I'm curious. Why do you think that?

Having done both I find Calais infinitely better set up and the crossing is shorter. So interested to hear why your opinion differs.
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  #212  
Old 24.11.2015, 08:26
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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I'm curious. Why do you think that?

Having done both I find Calais infinitely better set up and the crossing is shorter. So interested to hear why your opinion differs.
I'm with him on the Calais thing. I got screwed by the chaos at Calais over summer and am now going tow wait 12mths before I rebook the route. The fact the French are so keen to strike, know Calais is a good place to piss-off the British AND any disruptions allowing migrants to run rampant makes it a higher risk port.

The biggest advantage of Dunkirk was that you'd opt for the Luxembourg route - giving no-tolls and a cheap fill up of fuel.
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  #213  
Old 24.11.2015, 08:36
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

We prefer the Dunkirk crossing too.

But it now gets a slight mark down from me since they got taken over by one of the big ferry companies and the food has changed from fairly decent (fantastic lamb shanks for example) to the ready-prepared frozen fried mush that the other serve.

We used to get an evening crossing so after a long drive, it was nice to have a good meal and relax before the last bit of the journey in the U.K.
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  #214  
Old 24.11.2015, 09:52
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Also prefer Dunkirk because its quieter and I need the full 1.5 hrs on the ferry to recharge before the final push to London
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  #215  
Old 24.11.2015, 09:59
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

We also preferred the Dunkirk option. Haven't used them since they changed from Norfolkline so can't comment on that but for us the whole experience was much nicer than going to Calais.
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  #216  
Old 24.11.2015, 10:34
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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I'm with him on the Calais thing. I got screwed by the chaos at Calais over summer and am now going tow wait 12mths before I rebook the route. The fact the French are so keen to strike, know Calais is a good place to piss-off the British AND any disruptions allowing migrants to run rampant makes it a higher risk port.

The biggest advantage of Dunkirk was that you'd opt for the Luxembourg route - giving no-tolls and a cheap fill up of fuel.
Ferry or Chunnel??
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  #217  
Old 24.11.2015, 10:37
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

We are chancing it and taking the Tunnel- but going week before xmas to avoid crowds. With the dog would never take the ferry anyhow. If we get stuck, we get stuck- and spend Christmas in Boulogne!
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  #218  
Old 24.11.2015, 10:58
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

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Ferry or Chunnel??
Ferry - P&O. We had OUR wedding to attend and could not risk the strike lasting longer than expected OR being delayed by >24hrs - both a very realistic possibility.

In terms of dogs on ferries:
Overnight on Newhaven/Dieppe is relatively short and ours was OK asleep in the car
LeHavre/Portsmouth has a limited number of Pet Friendly cabins - so your dog can go onboard with you.
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  #219  
Old 24.11.2015, 11:23
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

Another vote for Dunkirk.
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  #220  
Old 24.11.2015, 11:33
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Re: Driving to/from UK: Routes, advice, discussion

We've had a few really bad crossings/storms over the years with the ferry- twice stuck for hours as couldn't get into port- so personally would never chance it with a dog- ever. But interesting about Newhaven-Dieppe, thanks. Heck of a detour though if you are going East- Tunnel for me with the dog.
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