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  #21  
Old 07.12.2006, 23:39
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Re: driving to UK

A few years ago I left Leave ZH early - Basel > Germany > turn left at Strassburg > follow Paris signs to Riems > turn right for Calais. 8 hours behind the wheel, 40 euros ligher and a 3am start got me to the Tunnel before 12 am and earned me a £70 day return, which was cheaper than the £120 single ticket. I didn't return for 2 weeks - I hope they didn't spend too much time looking for me.

This summer I did the same but with speedferries.com (£50 retrun) just made the 13.30 sailing and arrived in Godalming at 4pm (one hour saved with BST).

If required, overnight stops that are good: Laon, Amiens and Arras.
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  #22  
Old 07.12.2006, 23:56
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Re: driving to UK

if you do "cheat" a day return, a tip is to pay cash. I've heard of credit cards being zapped for the full monty
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  #23  
Old 08.12.2006, 06:18
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Re: driving to UK

Yeah, they do. Even if you pay cash, they insist on "ID for security reasons" so they can send you a bill

dave

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if you do "cheat" a day return, a tip is to pay cash. I've heard of credit cards being zapped for the full monty
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  #24  
Old 09.12.2006, 17:11
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Re: driving to UK

When I got the Chunnel day return I paid cash. I had £120 ready for a single crossing and the woman in the booth suggest I saved £50 and took a day return and winked at me. I was never asked to pay the rest.

With Speedferries.com at £50 return for a car and 4 passengers, I don't use the Tunnel now anyway...
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  #25  
Old 13.12.2006, 12:48
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Re: driving to UK

I will be making my first raod trip to the UK in late January through the toll roads of France and wondered whether they accept CHF crdit cards or whether I am better to take a large bag of Euro coins with me.

Could one on you seasoned travellers let me no what the best approach is?
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  #26  
Old 13.12.2006, 12:53
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Re: driving to UK

Go through the CB (carte bancaire) lanes and your CC will work fine, no PIN required.

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  #27  
Old 13.12.2006, 13:09
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Re: driving to UK

...except when the effing machine swallowed my ticket and I had to reverse out and pay cash at another booth.

Take some Eurines with you, just in case.
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  #28  
Old 13.12.2006, 13:35
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Re: driving to UK

Quote:
I am better to take a large bag of Euro coins with me.
You'll need more than coins!! its bleedin expensive, think we spent about 50 euro our last trip back! I'm sure TomTom sent us the most expensive route for a laugh!
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  #29  
Old 13.12.2006, 13:37
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Re: driving to UK

Quote:
You'll need more than coins!! its bleedin expensive, think we spent about 50 euro our last trip back! I'm sure TomTom sent us the most expensive route for a laugh!
see post #5
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  #30  
Old 13.12.2006, 13:59
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Re: driving to UK

Quote:
see post #5
Think we tried that route once, we asked our mate TomTom to take us a route avoiding tolls but it was such a horrible bumpy ride that the next time we decided we'd rather pay!! i mean with all the bumps in the road i couldn't get any sleep while my husband was driving for 17 hours
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  #31  
Old 13.12.2006, 15:24
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Re: driving to UK

Some other bloke I know used a after market Satnav to get from UK to CH.
He never used it again after his enforced "scenic route" option.
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  #32  
Old 13.12.2006, 15:33
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Re: driving to UK

Quote:
Some other bloke I know used a after market Satnav to get from UK to CH.
He never used it again after his enforced "scenic route" option.
Yep we have similar problems, for some reason our Sat Nav sends us the same route to the UK from CH every time which is the direct toll route, expensive but smooth easy drive but for some reason when it sends us back it gives us a different route everytime!! the first time we drove back the Monday after that big snow fall in Zurich this March, it sent us up into the hills in germany, bearing in mind we had no snow tyres and the snow at the side of the road on these little country winding roads was above our car! it was snowing heavy and my husband had been driving 16 hours!!he wasn't happy and to top it off took an extra 2 hours to get home on top of the already extended scenic journey because we hit the lorry traffic jam going into basel from Germany on the Monday morning!! the second time it sent as back abother route, insisting we go through a tunnel in France near the border that had been closed since about 97!!! we ended up in a french town (may have been St Louis) with no petrol and on a sunday so no garages open, and the automat garages wouldn't accept our credit cards!! eventually found an open garage... anyway moral of this particular story, get a road map as a back up!!! or in our case a better sat nav system!!
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  #33  
Old 14.12.2006, 08:27
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Re: driving to UK

I think there is a point in your post that is worth writing large in search-engine friendly words

Many French garage service filling station automats for petrol or diesel in France do not accept swiss or foreign credit or debit cards.

They often close on Sundays and some do not take cash in the machines, so you can be completely stuffed.

Its happened to me more than once. But even that was better than the time I just stopped at a Motorway service station in France , and was just about to use the pump, when this guy came up to it with some bolt croppers and cut the pipe ! .... it was one of there many farmers protests....

dave





Quote:
Yep we have similar problems, for some reason our Sat Nav sends us the same route to the UK from CH every time which is the direct toll route, expensive but smooth easy drive but for some reason when it sends us back it gives us a different route everytime!! the first time we drove back the Monday after that big snow fall in Zurich this March, it sent us up into the hills in germany, bearing in mind we had no snow tyres and the snow at the side of the road on these little country winding roads was above our car! it was snowing heavy and my husband had been driving 16 hours!!he wasn't happy and to top it off took an extra 2 hours to get home on top of the already extended scenic journey because we hit the lorry traffic jam going into basel from Germany on the Monday morning!! the second time it sent as back abother route, insisting we go through a tunnel in France near the border that had been closed since about 97!!! we ended up in a french town (may have been St Louis) with no petrol and on a sunday so no garages open, and the automat garages wouldn't accept our credit cards!! eventually found an open garage... anyway moral of this particular story, get a road map as a back up!!! or in our case a better sat nav system!!
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  #34  
Old 14.12.2006, 08:46
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Re: driving to UK

Quote:
I think there is a point in your post that is worth writing large in search-engine friendly words

Many French garage service filling station automats for petrol or diesel in France do not accept swiss or foreign credit or debit cards.

They often close on Sundays and some do not take cash in the machines, so you can be completely stuffed.<snip>
I recall that within the last 20 years the Glanerland autobahn services in the direction of Zurich didn't accept credit cards. To confuse matters, the other side did.
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  #35  
Old 14.12.2006, 09:28
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Re: driving to UK

Nicky - why are you driving 16 hours to get from the UK?!

If you go up north, by far the most effective and relaxing way is via Europoort/Rotterdam....overnight ferry and frankly not a chore. 7½ hours to get there [drive-time], typically.

I've factored-in that driving in England is shit, petrol is overpriced and the cost of the crossing plus suite (oh yeah baby) is better than driving in England and potentially stopping in a hotel.
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  #36  
Old 14.12.2006, 10:03
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Re: driving to UK

I've decided to fly to UK this year. I love driving but the inconvenience of the journey has finally outweighed the freedom offered by the car. Two weeks of no-driving will be a holiday on its own...
dave


Quote:
Nicky - why are you driving 16 hours to get from the UK?!

If you go up north, by far the most effective and relaxing way is via Europoort/Rotterdam....overnight ferry and frankly not a chore. 7½ hours to get there [drive-time], typically.

I've factored-in that driving in England is shit, petrol is overpriced and the cost of the crossing plus suite (oh yeah baby) is better than driving in England and potentially stopping in a hotel.
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  #37  
Old 12.02.2007, 11:13
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Re: driving to UK

I've been reviewing the various things you guys have said here, and I've got a few questions since I confuse easily

Using a diesel van/bus from Basel to north London, what is the most cost-effective route to go? And, roughly, how much would anyone guess it might cost, and how long to get there? (no, no crystal ball needed, just the words of those who've done the drive).
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  #38  
Old 12.02.2007, 11:31
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Re: driving to UK

Quote:
I've been reviewing the various things you guys have said here, and I've got a few questions since I confuse easily

Using a diesel van/bus from Basel to north London, what is the most cost-effective route to go? And, roughly, how much would anyone guess it might cost, and how long to get there? (no, no crystal ball needed, just the words of those who've done the drive).
www.viamichelin.com

But:
8 hours from Basel to Calais via Belgium (as above).
2-3 hours from Folkestone to North London.

Reckon on perhaps 8-10 miles/13-16 km per litre of diesel.
I get around 10.5 in a 1.7 diesel MPV at 130km/h across France

The website above has fuel consumption and fuel cost figures to play with.
I forget the exact distance for me from Zurich area...
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  #39  
Old 12.02.2007, 12:54
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Re: driving to UK

Quote:
I've been reviewing the various things you guys have said here, and I've got a few questions since I confuse easily

Using a diesel van/bus from Basel to north London, what is the most cost-effective route to go? And, roughly, how much would anyone guess it might cost, and how long to get there? (no, no crystal ball needed, just the words of those who've done the drive).
It is now 18 years since we did this in the opposite direction.

A heavily loaded Mercedes diesel 20 cu meter van with all our worldly goods in took considerably longer than the usual 8 hours by car. I would allow 10 or even 12 hours to get to a Channel port. I would take the straightest route with a full van as above:
Basel > Germany > turn left at Strassburg > follow Paris signs to Riems > turn right for Calais.

And that means paying about euro50 (I think, vans cost more than cars) in tolls in France.
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  #40  
Old 12.02.2007, 12:55
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Re: driving to UK

do also note that the exact type and category of the vehicle might change its permitted top speed and rights to use the overtaking lanes in some areas
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