Can I Take My Campervan Abroad? Here's What You Need to Know

Travelling through Europe when the UK was part of the EU was a doddle. You simply made sure you had the right registration plate stickers and off you went, driving off the ferry in France, to find the rest of Europe unfolding in front of you as the miles ticked by. Now, however, you might be facing some obstacles: trickier border and customs guards to get past, and you must make sure that all your paperwork is in order so that you and your family are not disheartened by the loss of your European holiday. But, what are the rules, exactly? Let's take a look at what you need to know in order to take your campervan abroad.

#1. What Paperwork Do I Need?

Each EU country has their own rules about what is needed from you, so do check the specific countries requirements before you set off, but most will want to see:

  • Your motorhome logbook (this applies to caravans, motorhomes and campervans).
  • Your driving license, insurance papers (compare insurance for campervan conversions here if you want an impartial source of independent information) and passport, the latter complete with visa if it is needed.
  • Details on your numberplate stating where you car is from. Note, that countries like Spain require a separate 'UK' sticker, even if UK appears on your numberplate – other countries accept the numberplate as proof enough. This replaces the old GB stickers.
  • High-visibility vests to keep you safe and alert other road users to your presence in the case of an accident.
  • You must have a warning triangle in your campervan, ready to use should you need it.
  • You must have fitted headlight converters so you don't dazzle oncoming traffic while driving. This particularly applies in France.

#2. What Should I Do Before I Book My Holiday?

Before you settle on a definite destination and pay expensive deposits to secure a berth for your campervan, you should consult the relevant pages on the country's embassy website. This is where you can find travel advisories, useful facts about visiting the country, and a host of useful information about everything from visas to local customs to individualised requirements for entry and/ or staying in that country.

Only once you are sure that your plans are realistic and that you can meet all the requirements of each country, should you go ahead and finalise your plans.

#3. No Green Card!

The former system of receiving a green card to prove that your vehicle is insured has fallen away and you can now just show your insurance papers, as mentioned above, to satisfy law enforcement that you are, in fact, insured and legal to be using their roads.

#4. Visa or No Visa?

In general, if you are travelling in the EU you can stay for up to 90 days without needing a visa or leave to remain, but, once again, this will depend on each country and you should make sure that you have received any required passport stamps before you travel if this is necessary. Border guards are sometimes able to issue visas on your arrival at the border post, but you should never assume that this is the case!

What about you, have you taken your campervan abroad? If you have, feel free to share any tips & advice with us below :)

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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