Whether you need to drive a van into Europe for business or are making a domestic move, below is our guide to why you should join the growing trend in DIY and ‘drive it yourself!’
If you’ve got a small amount of goods to take over to the continent you have some options to get them there: you might choose to use a courier, or removal company. However, this can be prohibitively expensive and you are entrusting your precious cargo to a third party. An increasingly popular option is to hire a van and transport the goods yourself, many people believe this is cheaper and safer, but what does European van hire entail?
Happily, it has never been easier to book van rental for carrying cargo to Europe! We at Oxford Van Hire can organise van hire in a number of Western European countries including Andorra, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Spain and Switzerland. We can also arrange van hire over all of Scandinavia to your requirements.
Most countries in the EEC have similar road laws to the UK, but we recommend that you check the driving regulations specific to certain countries before you begin your journey. Of course, vehicles that are hired specifically to travel to Europe should already have the following changes made by the van rental companies but it is your responsibility as the driver to make sure before you take a hire van abroad.
You simply need to carry the following: a valid, full UK driving license and your motor insurance certificate, a GB sticker clearly displayed on the back of your hired van – unless your rental van has ‘Euro-plates’ fitted already. Headlamp converters (stickers you put on your LHD headlights, so your lights don’t dazzle other motorists), a warning triangle and reflective jacket for use if you break down or have to pull over to deal with any problems are also necessary. If you don’t have these, you could be fined around €90.
There are variable speed limits in Europe (these will always be displayed in Kilometres on signs), if you’re caught speeding, you may have to pay an on-the-spot fine and your hire van and licence could be confiscated immediately. The drink-driving limit can vary but be aware it is often lower than the UK limit of 80mg per 100ml. Be prepared to pay motorway tolls, so take plenty of change in Euros! And note it’s illegal to carry any radar detection equipment; finally, children under 10 can’t travel in the front seat.
Lastly, while you are there, why not use the hire van to bring a few exclusive European goods back with you? But don’t forget the duty limits at UK customs!
Prepare properly and keep the above in mind, and you should have a safe motoring experience taking your hire van abroad whilst saving yourself some money. If you would like a quote or book European van hire please call us on 0330 111 5397 – happy driving!