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Off to Malaga in May, hints and tips appreciated.

Volkywagen

Volkywagen

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Hi, I’m off to Malaga for two weeks in May to visit family in the beloved van, I’ll be on my own and meeting the missus there as she’s not a fan of driving all that way!
So, up to now I’ll be updating my insurance to reflect, but if there’s anything else I should know it really would be appreciated.
Few questions:-
Will my standard VW breakdown cover, cover me in Europe? (van New Oct 17)
Does the discovery media plus have Europe Sat nav on it?

Hints and tips really appreciated

:help:thanks
 
andyinluton

andyinluton

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If you are intending using the toll roads get a tag before you go.

The worst bit of your journey will be from where you get on the m25 until you get on the ferry / channel tunnel.

I sometimes spend more hours in a day driving round the M25 / through London than it takes to get from Calais to the Spanish border.
 
Volkywagen

Volkywagen

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Noted an
If you are intending using the toll roads get a tag before you go.

The worst bit of your journey will be from where you get on the m25 until you get on the ferry / channel tunnel.

I sometimes spend more hours in a day driving round the M25 / through London than it takes to get from Calais to the Spanish border.
Noted Andy, I’ll be hitting the M25 (which is three hours from where I live) around 3am to beat all that traffic. Toll tags sold on line?
 
westfalia

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Pay online for the dart charge.
Depends from where you are coming from as to whether
you need to go over the bridge.
 
E

Esandar#1

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Hi, I’m off to Malaga for two weeks in May to visit family in the beloved van, I’ll be on my own and meeting the missus there as she’s not a fan of driving all that way!
So, up to now I’ll be updating my insurance to reflect, but if there’s anything else I should know it really would be appreciated.
Few questions:-
Will my standard VW breakdown cover, cover me in Europe? (van New Oct 17)
Does the discovery media plus have Europe Sat nav on it?

Hints and tips really appreciated

I agree with Andyinluton about getting a Sanef Tag for the French motorway tolls, as it saves hassle and you can use the automatic express lanes where there are usually no queues. Viamichelin is a great site to plan a potential route and helps maps how far you should be able to cover in any 3 or 6 or 9 hour period. We have looked into a trip to Spain and some people choose to drive only one way - by catching the ferry (from Santander or Bilboa) back to UK. This means you don't have to retrace your footsteps. The advantage of doing it this way, compared to taking the ferrry out and driving back, is you have the rest at the end rather than the beginning of your adventure! Have fun!

:help:thanks
 
Amarillo

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Will my standard VW breakdown cover, cover me in Europe? (van New Oct 17)
Yes - throughout the EU, Norway and Switzerland. If you have any problems pop into any VW service centre and they will have full access to your van's records and will undertake any Year 1 or Year 2 warranty repair. (Year 3 and extended warranty issues are handled by a different process outside the UK)

Does the discovery media plus have Europe Sat nav on it?
Yes - the whole of the EU plus Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican and Lichtenstein have highly detailed maps. Finding addresses in the search database is not 100% reliable perhaps due to different spellings or abbreviations. Postcodes outside the UK cover a much larger area. If you are in a real fix finding a location, find it on Google Maps then enter the lat and long into the sat nav. Asking for the shortest route can be great fun, but can also take you along unmetalled roads.



Follow my blog: www.au-revoir.eu
 
Volkywagen

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Pay online for the dart charge.
Depends from where you are coming from as to whether
you need to go over the bridge.
Yes will most probably hit the dart, as it will be the quickest route
 
andyinluton

andyinluton

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Noted an

Noted Andy, I’ll be hitting the M25 (which is three hours from where I live) around 3am to beat all that traffic. Toll tags sold on line?

Trouble with 3am is thats when they tend to have lanes closed to repair the damage from the previous days accidents.

I got my Sanef Tag through the caravan club - costs peanuts to buy & small admin charge per year + admin for every month its used. Mine doesn't cover Spain but an additional tag is available that does. You get a statement in English & its paid by direct debit from a uk account.
 
bigmac77

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Don’t fill up with fuel on the autoroutes where it is currently over €1.50 make a short detour into a town and you’ll find fuel significantly cheaper.
 
andyinluton

andyinluton

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Yes - throughout the EU, Norway and Switzerland. If you have any problems pop into any VW service centre and they will have full access to your van's records and will undertake any Year 1 or Year 2 warranty repair. (Year 3 and extended warranty issues are handled by a different process outside the UK)


Yes - the whole of the EU plus Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican and Lichtenstein have highly detailed maps. Finding addresses in the search database is not 100% reliable perhaps due to different spellings or abbreviations. Postcodes outside the UK cover a much larger area. If you are in a real fix finding a location, find it on Google Maps then enter the lat and long into the sat nav. Asking for the shortest route can be great fun, but can also take you along unmetalled roads.



Follow my blog: www.au-revoir.eu

The important thing to note is that its only breakdown cover not accident & leaves you at the mercy of the local VW garage awaiting parts. Theres nothing in the cover that says you will be given a cali to continue your holiday whilst they fix your van & nothing that says they will fix it in time to get your ferry home. Also where are you going to live whilst the van is repaired?

Depending upon how risk adverse you are, you may want insurance to cover the above.

For the accident bit, check what your cali insurance covers, most cover a courtesy car but not something big enough to carry everything you've got in the van.
 
Barbara

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Hi, I’m off to Malaga for two weeks in May to visit family in the beloved van, I’ll be on my own and meeting the missus there as she’s not a fan of driving all that way!
So, up to now I’ll be updating my insurance to reflect, but if there’s anything else I should know it really would be appreciated.
Few questions:-
Will my standard VW breakdown cover, cover me in Europe? (van New Oct 17)
Does the discovery media plus have Europe Sat nav on it?

Hints and tips really appreciated

:help:thanks
Spainish traffic info:
http://infocar.dgt.es/etraffic/

Have you considered taking the ferry to Santander or Bilbao? It saves a lot of miles and a nice trip.
http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/ferry-routes/ferries-spain

I find driving in Spain is easier than UK due to less traffic on autoroutes. As you are driving by yourself you may wish to consider getting a toil tag but at least with a van it is easy move over to the other side to reach to pay.

An addition sun visor may be useful too as sun can be a problem depending on which direction you are travelling.

Have a great journey.
 
Volkywagen

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Spainish traffic info:
http://infocar.dgt.es/etraffic/

Have you considered taking the ferry to Santander or Bilbao? It saves a lot of miles and a nice trip.
http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/ferry-routes/ferries-spain

I find driving in Spain is easier than UK due to less traffic on autoroutes. As you are driving by yourself you may wish to consider getting a toil tag but at least with a van it is easy move over to the other side to reach to pay.

An addition sun visor may be useful too as sun can be a problem depending on which direction you are travelling.

Have a great journey.
Thanks Barbara - ill look into all options, early at this stage but im looking forward to the drive across the two countries if im honest.
 
briwy

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The important thing to note is that its only breakdown cover not accident & leaves you at the mercy of the local VW garage awaiting parts. Theres nothing in the cover that says you will be given a cali to continue your holiday whilst they fix your van & nothing that says they will fix it in time to get your ferry home. Also where are you going to live whilst the van is repaired?

Depending upon how risk adverse you are, you may want insurance to cover the above.

For the accident bit, check what your cali insurance covers, most cover a courtesy car but not something big enough to carry everything you've got in the van.

Another thing to watch is that if you get a hire courtesy car then you need to be aware that there will be a massive excess figure on it. We got caught by this last year when the auxiliary belt went. The courtsey car was paid for for by VW Assistance but cost us anothe 110 euros for the excess cover. The excess was something like 1600euros. Absolute ripoff. Slightest scratch and they whip it off your card.
When the hire was extended they tried to charge us again so got round it by using these people
http://www.insurance4carhire.com/
Cost about £35 for the year. Got the cover online while in France.
 
Erbster

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Another thing to watch is that if you get a hire courtesy car then you need to be aware that there will be a massive excess figure on it. We got caught by this last year when the auxiliary belt went. The courtsey car was paid for for by VW Assistance but cost us anothe 110 euros for the excess cover. The excess was something like 1600euros. Absolute ripoff. Slightest scratch and they whip it off your card.
When the hire was extended they tried to charge us again so got round it by using these people
http://www.insurance4carhire.com/
Cost about £35 for the year. Got the cover online while in France.

You can buy cheap excess cover online. I read about that on moneysavingexpert.com and have used that cover ever since
 
mccp

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Thanks Barbara - ill look into all options, early at this stage but im looking forward to the drive across the two countries if im honest.
Have you planned your route across France yet? We go A16 from Eurotunnel Calais to Paris, various routes through Paris, then A10 to Orleans, A71 to Clermont Ferrand and A75 to Beziers. You can then get the A9 to Spain. This route is pretty much North to South on the Greenwich Meridian.

The A75 is free and goes through the Massif Central, much more scenic than the alternative route which is A6 from Paris to Lyon and then A7 to the A9. The A16 is generally quieter than the A26 and just seems nicer.

We have tried various routes through Paris. Of the two we use most, one goes through a new tunnel with a max headroom of 2m and I don't know whether to try it out with the Cali. The other goes like this:

A16 -> N1 -> N104 -> A1 -> A3 -> A4 -> A86 -> A10

It looks complicated, but is easy to follow. The A16 turns into the N1 and you just follow signs to Charles de Gaulle airport after you get to the first set of lights. If you keep following the CDG signs, you end up on the A1 and then start following the signs to Bordeaux until you are on the other side of Paris.

Following a Sat Nav in Paris can be quite difficult, because the junction layouts are often quite difficult to figure out. It only gets worse once you take a wrong turn and have to reroute.
 
WelshGas

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Have you planned your route across France yet? We go A16 from Eurotunnel Calais to Paris, various routes through Paris, then A10 to Orleans, A71 to Clermont Ferrand and A75 to Beziers. You can then get the A9 to Spain. This route is pretty much North to South on the Greenwich Meridian.

The A75 is free and goes through the Massif Central, much more scenic than the alternative route which is A6 from Paris to Lyon and then A7 to the A9. The A16 is generally quieter than the A26 and just seems nicer.

We have tried various routes through Paris. Of the two we use most, one goes through a new tunnel with a max headroom of 2m and I don't know whether to try it out with the Cali. The other goes like this:

A16 -> N1 -> N104 -> A1 -> A3 -> A4 -> A86 -> A10

It looks complicated, but is easy to follow. The A16 turns into the N1 and you just follow signs to Charles de Gaulle airport after you get to the first set of lights. If you keep following the CDG signs, you end up on the A1 and then start following the signs to Bordeaux until you are on the other side of Paris.

Following a Sat Nav in Paris can be quite difficult, because the junction layouts are often quite difficult to figure out. It only gets worse once you take a wrong turn and have to reroute.
I think it is the A86 that has the 2 m height restriction. About 10 km long. You keep ducking but absolutely no problems if you have a towbar bicycle rack.:Nailbiting

DO NOT ATTEMPT WITH TAILGATE RACK + Bicycles.:eek:

 
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briwy

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Yes that tunnel is scary.
Personally I would steer well clear of Paris and just head down to Rouen, Le Mans, Tours, Poitiers, Angouleme, Bordeaux, San Sebastian, and then you have a choice down past Madrid or to Salamanca and Seville.
 
Volkywagen

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Thanks guys, I’m jotting all this down so it’s very helpful. Very much appreciated.
 
WelshGas

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It is the A86 duplex tunnel. We have used it a lot in our old Disco 3 - have you been through it in your Cali?
Yes. No problem but I have a towbar bicycle rack and wouldn't attempt it with a tailgate rack.
 

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