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Advice wanted, eurotunnel and European breakdown icover

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Fatfranky

VIP Member
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45
Location
Co. Durham
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Hi

My other half and I plan to head off to southern Germany soon, Koblenz, Rhein valley and romantic road. We’re based in north east England and have 19 days for the trip, the plan was on day one to travel down to eurotunnel after work, then cross to France, bed down for the night, then onward, but we’d be cutting it very fine to catch the 0:20 crossing. It seems during the night crossings are only every 2 hours.

Plan B would be similar but bed down at the eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone and book a crossing for say 9 AM.

The questions I have are

1) do they allow you to park overnight?

2) do they allow some flexibility on crossings? Eg if we arrive in time for the 00:20 crossing will they bump us on to this, the eurotunnel basic ticket says for booked crossing only

I did a search and the answers were from 2018 and a lot has changed since then


The second part of my query is what is the best breakdown cover? My van is a 2007 California SE

Finally, any other general tips or must sees for our journey

Thanks in advance
 
1) No. We book the premier inn nearby. Some have preferred BnBs and others nearby sites.
2) Booking a 9am for a 2am, unlikely. We booked a 9, arrived at 7, left at 8. The flexibility tends to be a few hours either way of your booked time and depends on how busy they are. It is what it is. A shuttle. They hustle you on accordingly. Technically the ticket allows you to travel that day but thats to allow for in case you are late, not 7 hours early. AFAIK.

Your existing insurance or breakdown should include European cover.
 
Just doing similar.
At ‘Le Shuttle’ it appears they were rescheduling crossings and bumping a number of trains onto a later one (passenger numbers appeared low). Not sure if this would continue into the night - ours was a midday crossing.

I’ve always searched around for breakdown cover to see who offers best deal. Have opted for Green Flag, AA and RAC in the past - but never used them.
 
Did you consider an overnight ferry from somewhere in the north east to Netherlands or even Belgium? With time taken to drive to Dover and hours spent staying at a Prem Inn it might be easier?
 
Last edited:
Hi

My other half and I plan to head off to southern Germany soon, Koblenz, Rhein valley and romantic road. We’re based in north east England and have 19 days for the trip, the plan was on day one to travel down to eurotunnel after work, then cross to France, bed down for the night, then onward, but we’d be cutting it very fine to catch the 0:20 crossing. It seems during the night crossings are only every 2 hours.

Plan B would be similar but bed down at the eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone and book a crossing for say 9 AM.

The questions I have are

1) do they allow you to park overnight?

2) do they allow some flexibility on crossings? Eg if we arrive in time for the 00:20 crossing will they bump us on to this, the eurotunnel basic ticket says for booked crossing only

I did a search and the answers were from 2018 and a lot has changed since then


The second part of my query is what is the best breakdown cover? My van is a 2007 California SE

Finally, any other general tips or must sees for our journey

Thanks in advance
If you arrive for a 9.50am train early they sometimes bump you onto 9.35 or similar but at peak times they discourage you from showing up too early. When you’re queuing to get on you often end up on the earlier one or later one. Happens a lot.

Our Safeguard insurance - see bottom of the page - includes European breakdown cover.
 
A good /Very local overnight stop would be the Drum inn /campsite TN25 6DN .. 5min from jc11 M20 .. Tunnel exit is jc 11a. 10mins From Drum inn
 
2) do they allow some flexibility on crossings? Eg if we arrive in time for the 00:20 crossing will they bump us on to this, the eurotunnel basic ticket says for booked crossing only
I've always found at checkin ( when we are not using flexiplus tickets) they they give you options if space is available on earlier trains, the options always include going on your booked train or maybe one earlier for free, or one going in an hour or so for a supplementary fee.

Its in their interests to run all trains full, getting you in a space on an earlier train frees up your space for someone running late or a last minute ticket purchase.

We always used to buy a ticket for a few hours after we thought we would get there, saves on the stress of rushing for a train & we always managed to get on an earlier train. In your case I would book the say 2.20 but arrive in the hope of getting on the 0.20

These days as we tend to travel in peak hours we pay the substantial extra for a flexiplus ticket & get pushed to the front of the queue for the next train.
 
Have you considered the Hull to Rotterdam ferry? Overnight but good fun and you arrive ready to go around 8am. It's very handy fro Germany connections.
 
If you arrive more than 3 hours before your crossing time at the ticket booth it will print you an exit ticket and you will have to leave the site.
I have never been turned away, we even turned up 24 hours early once in error.
 
Hi

My other half and I plan to head off to southern Germany soon, Koblenz, Rhein valley and romantic road. We’re based in north east England and have 19 days for the trip, the plan was on day one to travel down to eurotunnel after work, then cross to France, bed down for the night, then onward, but we’d be cutting it very fine to catch the 0:20 crossing. It seems during the night crossings are only every 2 hours.

Plan B would be similar but bed down at the eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone and book a crossing for say 9 AM.

The questions I have are

1) do they allow you to park overnight?

2) do they allow some flexibility on crossings? Eg if we arrive in time for the 00:20 crossing will they bump us on to this, the eurotunnel basic ticket says for booked crossing only

I did a search and the answers were from 2018 and a lot has changed since then


The second part of my query is what is the best breakdown cover? My van is a 2007 California SE

Finally, any other general tips or must sees for our journey

Thanks in advance
Do you not take Holiday Travel Insurance that would cover medical, personal accident and vehicle breakdown/accident incidents?
 
I have never been turned away, we even turned up 24 hours early once in error.
It happened to me in September last year. I thought I would try to get an early train but I couldn't enter.
 
Thanks for the replies so far

The Newcastle or Hull ferries are ruled out due to the long check in times, we’re both at work till 5 ish and won’t hit the road before 6.

I don’t currently have any breakdown insurance but am wary of travelling across Europe without it

Thanks for the suggestions of places to stop, I’ll probably book a crossing for around 9 the next morning for peace of mind
 
Thanks for the replies so far

The Newcastle or Hull ferries are ruled out due to the long check in times, we’re both at work till 5 ish and won’t hit the road before 6.

I don’t currently have any breakdown insurance but am wary of travelling across Europe without it

Thanks for the suggestions of places to stop, I’ll probably book a crossing for around 9 the next morning for peace of mind
We live about 2 hours away and if we getting the 10am just leave home at 7am. You could make your first stop down somewhere about 2 hours away North and use it as a stopping point. 3 hours from the Toon and then 2 hours to Tunnel - should be loads of places in and around the M25/M11.
 
Did you consider an overnight ferry from somewhere in the north east to Netherlands or even Belgium? With time taken to drive to Dover and hours spent staying at a Prem Inn it might be easier?
Yes, totally agree with this. Makes great use of the time if you take the overnight crossing to Hook of Holland, and saves having to drive all the way down to Folkestone.
Have done this myself several times when heading for Germany :)
 
Hi

My other half and I plan to head off to southern Germany soon, Koblenz, Rhein valley and romantic road. We’re based in north east England and have 19 days for the trip, the plan was on day one to travel down to eurotunnel after work, then cross to France, bed down for the night, then onward, but we’d be cutting it very fine to catch the 0:20 crossing. It seems during the night crossings are only every 2 hours.

Plan B would be similar but bed down at the eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone and book a crossing for say 9 AM.

The questions I have are

1) do they allow you to park overnight?

2) do they allow some flexibility on crossings? Eg if we arrive in time for the 00:20 crossing will they bump us on to this, the eurotunnel basic ticket says for booked crossing only

I did a search and the answers were from 2018 and a lot has changed since then


The second part of my query is what is the best breakdown cover? My van is a 2007 California SE

Finally, any other general tips or must sees for our journey

Thanks in advance
I use Green Flag. Last year we had a major breakdown in France, needed a new alternernator. Green Flag organised collection from motorway (only the police can collect off motorways in France) took us to a nearby garage for the night. Next day they collected it and took it to another garage for the work, arranged taxis and hotel for four nights (all paid for). I had to pay for the parts and labour (1000 euros).

Just renewed with them.

France october 2022 (1).jpg
 
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