Vehicle size driving in Europe

Page 2 - Passionate about caravans & motorhome? Join our community to share that passion with a global audience!
Mar 14, 2005
9,639
553
30,935
lutzschelisch.wix.com
One shouldn't get too concerned about the driving licence issue. An overseas visitor will need an International Driving Permit and that will say what vehicles he is entitled to drive. The classes shown on the IDP won't necessarily coincide with UK or EU categories such as B or BE, etc.
What is not quite clear to me is whether the OP is intending to ship his outfit over from Canada or the buy/rent one when he gets to Liverpool. There may be technical issues regarding temporary importation of vehicles. It would also be important to know for how long he is intending to tour Europe of he is bringing the outfit over from Canada and whether it will be be returning back to Canada afterwards. If the vehicles are going to be bought in England, will they be returning back to the country after the trip and remain there?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jcloughie
Nov 11, 2009
18,423
5,269
50,935
One shouldn't get too concerned about the driving licence issue. An overseas visitor will need an International Driving Permit and that will say what vehicles he is entitled to drive. The classes shown on the IDP won't necessarily coincide with UK or EU categories such as B or BE, etc.
What is not quite clear to me is whether the OP is intending to ship his outfit over from Canada or the buy/rent one when he gets to Liverpool. There may be technical issues regarding temporary importation of vehicles. It would also be important to know for how long he is intending to tour Europe of he is bringing the outfit over from Canada and whether it will be be returning back to Canada afterwards. If the vehicles are going to be bought in England, will they be returning back to the country after the trip and remain there?
Are non EU visitors restricted to 90 days in 180 days, or can they apply for a longer period. He is shipping to Liverpool or Zeebrugee
 
Nov 20, 2021
14
6
15
One shouldn't get too concerned about the driving licence issue. An overseas visitor will need an International Driving Permit and that will say what vehicles he is entitled to drive. The classes shown on the IDP won't necessarily coincide with UK or EU categories such as B or BE, etc.
What is not quite clear to me is whether the OP is intending to ship his outfit over from Canada or the buy/rent one when he gets to Liverpool. There may be technical issues regarding temporary importation of vehicles. It would also be important to know for how long he is intending to tour Europe of he is bringing the outfit over from Canada and whether it will be be returning back to Canada afterwards. If the vehicles are going to be bought in England, will they be returning back to the country after the trip and remain there?
Yes, most likely Liverpool in and out. ACL runs from Halifax to Liverpool direct and back. I can drop the car off at the terminal and plan to do my own entry at customs to save any brokerage fees. I haven't heard of any temporary import fees in the UK for vehicles. ACL also offers a passenger service across the Atlantic (pre-covid). We see Europeans arriving in Halifax onboard with their vehicles below. This was more desirable with the old ACL ships, the new Chinese built vessels are bare bones.
 
Mar 14, 2005
9,639
553
30,935
lutzschelisch.wix.com
Are non EU visitors restricted to 90 days in 180 days, or can they apply for a longer period. He is shipping to Liverpool or Zeebrugee

The 90 day limit only applies to the Schengen visa. If he is intending to stay over 90 days he will need a separate national visa for each country that he intends to visit.
If he is shipping the car and caravan across the Atlantic the vehicles will no doubt be to Canadian specification and run on Canadian license plates. He will of course have to take out appropriate insurance coverage for UK and the EU and probably have to apply for a Carnet de Passage en Douane to avoid a possible customs issue when travelling between the UK and the EU and back. Having the caravan to Canadian spec will also mean that the gas installation won't be compatible with European requirements. It may need modification before it can be used here.
 
Nov 11, 2009
18,423
5,269
50,935
If you plan to spend time in Britain the Caravan and Motorhome Club have lots of five van sites throughout the country ranging from a field to dome very well fitted out ones. The Camping and Caravan Club do the same but not quiet as many. The advantage is peace and quiet and some really nice locations. You need to be a member. Look at the websites. Fir Europe ACSI are worth considering as the pitch savings are worthwhile.
 
Mar 14, 2005
9,639
553
30,935
lutzschelisch.wix.com
Yes, most likely Liverpool in and out. ACL runs from Halifax to Liverpool direct and back. I can drop the car off at the terminal and plan to do my own entry at customs to save any brokerage fees. I haven't heard of any temporary import fees in the UK for vehicles.
In that case the Carnet de Passage en Douane would have to be issued in Canada. To my knowledge it's not a mandatory requirement but it can help in case customs officers start asking too many questions, especially when crossing many borders.
 
Last edited:
Nov 20, 2021
14
6
15
In that case the Carnet de Passage en Douane would have to be issued in Canada.
I thought the ATA Carnets were only for commercial goods but I guess they can be used to track a vehicle. Would I get the first section stamped in the UK and the next when entering the EU? As far as I know this is not a requirement for European vehicles entering Canada. I thought there would be a reciprocal agreement.
 
Nov 11, 2009
18,423
5,269
50,935
I thought the ATA Carnets were only for commercial goods but I guess they can be used to track a vehicle. Would I get the first section stamped in the UK and the next when entering the EU? As far as I know this is not a requirement for European vehicles entering Canada. I thought there would be a reciprocal agreement.
I worked and lived in Ottawa for a year and enjoyed my time in your country, including winter time Solely for interest what is the cost of shipping the car to U.K. via ACL, and a passenger too. Iโ€™m used to ships being quite basic. ๐Ÿ˜‚
 
Nov 20, 2021
14
6
15
I worked and lived in Ottawa for a year and enjoyed my time in your country, including winter time Solely for interest what is the cost of shipping the car to U.K. via ACL, and a passenger too. Iโ€™m used to ships being quite basic. ๐Ÿ˜‚
Talking to an ACL agent it was around $1600 each way for the vehicle. The passengers were $2000-$2500 before covid. The old ACLs had an English style pub in them with great food. You can fly from Halifax to the UK for $600 return though.
 
Nov 11, 2009
18,423
5,269
50,935
Talking to an ACL agent it was around $1600 each way for the vehicle. The passengers were $2000-$2500 before covid. The old ACLs had an English style pub in them with great food. You can fly from Halifax to the UK for $600 return though.
Thank you thatโ€™s not a bad price for the car. But Cunard, P&O etc do better โ€œ cruiseโ€ deals. Cheers
 
Jun 16, 2020
4,190
1,577
6,935
Hahaha, I have always wanted to retrace the Canadian Army's route from Juno beach to Germany, that would be very authentic. Might have to settle for a snorkel on the 4Runner and drive out of the channel without getting arrested!
Thanks for the help, I will look into the BE license a little more then perhaps plan B if that doesn't work.

On your way stop at the Vimy Ridge memorial. Well worth a visit, and paid for by the Canadian government and manned by Canadian senior school kids.



John
 
Jul 18, 2017
10,040
2,717
32,935
The regulations on towing a trailer seemed a bit murky. I thought I would need a BE license. The weight of the trailer is 1318 kgs and the 4Runner is 2863 kgs. This is their GVWR weight, not dry weight. So a total of 4200 kgs.
What I found was: The trailer is heavier than 750 kg and the combined weight of car and trailer is more than 3500 kg but less than 4250 kg. This is only allowed with a category B+ or BE driving license.
My research seems to keep indicating a B+ or BE license.

I'm not sure what my Canadian driver's license equates to in Europe. I do have a license that allows me to tow 4500+ kgs in Canada.
Ideally this setup would work best in my opinion. Allowing us to drop the trailer at a camp site and use the 4runner to explore the local area or mountain bike.
We do not have 4 runners in the UK. They are known as the Toyota Surf in the UK and are a grey import. The Tundra is the Toyota Land Cruiser or Prado.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is available as we have the 3.0l diesel. You should not have an issue with either of these vehicles. As you will be spending most of your time in Europe maybe it is best to consider a left hand drive vehicle. Maybe cheaper to temporary import your current vehicle to use in UK and EU?
 
Jul 18, 2017
10,040
2,717
32,935
It sounds like I can drive in Europe up to 12 months with my Canadian license and that it equates to a B license? One site says that only EU residents can obtain a BE license.
Just to add when we immigrated to the UK, my South African licence had the equivalent for the B+E automatically. Same with OH as both of us had passed our driving test in South Africa prior to 1997.
 
Nov 11, 2009
18,423
5,269
50,935
Just to add when we immigrated to the UK, my South African licence had the equivalent for the B+E automatically. Same with OH as both of us had passed our driving test in South Africa prior to 1997.
After yesterdays result you must feel dejected. ๐Ÿ‰
 
Nov 11, 2009
18,423
5,269
50,935
Why as South Africa won again! What nationality is the English team coach? :ROFLMAO:
It takes 15 English players and 15 Welsh players to beat two 14 player Southern Hemisphere sides. But the French do it 15 v 15. Does that bode well for the next World Cup for the Home Nations? Uhhhm ๐Ÿ˜Š
 
Jul 18, 2017
10,040
2,717
32,935
It takes 15 English players and 15 Welsh players to beat two 14 player Southern Hemisphere sides. But the French do it 15 v 15. Does that bode well for the next World Cup for the Home Nations? Uhhhm ๐Ÿ˜Š
As said previously we watch it for the game and cheer good moves by either side. Although of SA descent I am now English and my wife is Welsh which puts me in an awkward position when SA are playing against Wales. LOL! :ROFLMAO:
 
Mar 14, 2005
16,940
2,628
50,935
Hello again Blackwatch.
I'm guilty of not having read all the information you have supplied.
The Toyota 4runner should be fine, and the length of the trailer is well within UK and EU length limits, the only concern may be the width of the trailer which you haven't told us but we now allow 2.5m wide caravans. The Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) you describe is also not exceptional.

I'm still unsure how Canadian driving licences relate to UK and EU categories, so that is something you do need to sort out, but I'm sure there is a way, as there are plenty of foreign visitors who have preceded you.

There are many people who love pop top camper's, and doing van conversions (we have sprinters in the UK so quite a common approach) but you have correctly identified one of the big draw backs, and that is having to pack up each time to visit places of interest, so the convenience of a tow vehicle that can be decoupled is not to be underestimated.

There is an alternative which you might consider, larger motor homes or converted vans, may be able to tow a small car for local excursions.

I do hope you can sort out the legalities, and I'm sure it is perfectly possible. Good luck.
 
Nov 6, 2005
6,730
1,588
25,935
Hello again Blackwatch.
I'm guilty of not having read all the information you have supplied.
The Toyota 4runner should be fine, and the length of the trailer is well within UK and EU length limits, the only concern may be the width of the trailer which you haven't told us but we now allow 2.5m wide caravans. The Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) you describe is also not exceptional.

I'm still unsure how Canadian driving licences relate to UK and EU categories, so that is something you do need to sort out, but I'm sure there is a way, as there are plenty of foreign visitors who have preceded you.

There are many people who love pop top camper's, and doing van conversions (we have sprinters in the UK so quite a common approach) but you have correctly identified one of the big draw backs, and that is having to pack up each time to visit places of interest, so the convenience of a tow vehicle that can be decoupled is not to be underestimated.

There is an alternative which you might consider, larger motor homes or converted vans, may be able to tow a small car for local excursions.

I do hope you can sort out the legalities, and I'm sure it is perfectly possible. Good luck.
Towing small cars behind motorhomes is a VERY grey area - technically possible but rarely done legally because of the braking requirement - and not permitted at all in Spain
 
May 7, 2012
8,152
1,531
30,935
A 16 ft camping trailer should not be a problem as the maximum trailer body length allowed is 7 metres which is far longer. The maximum width allowed equates to about 8 ft which should not be a problem. Because of the heavier population density in many European countries, particularly in the UK very large tow vehicles could be a problem. Height should not be a problem in normal driving although there may be height restrictions for parking sometimes and the spaces can be very tight. .
If shipping your car across here you might have to look at import tax charged as you enter and the ability to get this back when you leave, particularly if you enter and leave at different countries.
 
Nov 20, 2021
14
6
15
Hello again Blackwatch.
I'm guilty of not having read all the information you have supplied.
The Toyota 4runner should be fine, and the length of the trailer is well within UK and EU length limits, the only concern may be the width of the trailer which you haven't told us but we now allow 2.5m wide caravans. The Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) you describe is also not exceptional.

I'm still unsure how Canadian driving licences relate to UK and EU categories, so that is something you do need to sort out, but I'm sure there is a way, as there are plenty of foreign visitors who have preceded you.

There are many people who love pop top camper's, and doing van conversions (we have sprinters in the UK so quite a common approach) but you have correctly identified one of the big draw backs, and that is having to pack up each time to visit places of interest, so the convenience of a tow vehicle that can be decoupled is not to be underestimated.

There is an alternative which you might consider, larger motor homes or converted vans, may be able to tow a small car for local excursions.

I do hope you can sort out the legalities, and I'm sure it is perfectly possible. Good luck.
It appears that the overall weight of the trailer and vehicle exceeds the limitations of a normal license in the UK and EU. Total weight for both is approximately 4200 kgs. Not much in North America, regularly tow a boat for work with an F-350 diesel dually. Total length is 63 feet and 23000 pounds.
The response from the South African gentleman has given me some hope. I have had my license since 1988 and with the heavy tow endorsement plus air brakes on my license I'm hoping it will equate to a BE license. I will contact the UK ministry and the Canadian auto assoc, who issues international driver's permits. Hopefully they should be able to answer the questions.
Ideally the 4runner with the Nucamp tab 320 Boondock I think would be an ideal set up.
 
Jul 18, 2017
10,040
2,717
32,935
It appears that the overall weight of the trailer and vehicle exceeds the limitations of a normal license in the UK and EU. Total weight for both is approximately 4200 kgs. Not much in North America, regularly tow a boat for work with an F-350 diesel dually. Total length is 63 feet and 23000 pounds.
The response from the South African gentleman has given me some hope. I have had my license since 1988 and with the heavy tow endorsement plus air brakes on my license I'm hoping it will equate to a BE license. I will contact the UK ministry and the Canadian auto assoc, who issues international driver's permits. Hopefully they should be able to answer the questions.
Ideally the 4runner with the Nucamp tab 320 Boondock I think would be an ideal set up.
My wife changed her South African riving licence issued in the 80s for the UK licence in 2000 and was automatically given the B+E so you should not have an issue.
 
Mar 14, 2005
9,639
553
30,935
lutzschelisch.wix.com
It appears that the overall weight of the trailer and vehicle exceeds the limitations of a normal license in the UK and EU. Total weight for both is approximately 4200 kgs. Not much in North America, regularly tow a boat for work with an F-350 diesel dually. Total length is 63 feet and 23000 pounds.
The response from the South African gentleman has given me some hope. I have had my license since 1988 and with the heavy tow endorsement plus air brakes on my license I'm hoping it will equate to a BE license. I will contact the UK ministry and the Canadian auto assoc, who issues international driver's permits. Hopefully they should be able to answer the questions.
Ideally the 4runner with the Nucamp tab 320 Boondock I think would be an ideal set up.
As I mentioned before, you will presumably be travelling with a Canadian, not a UK or an EU licence, so we don't know what you are entitled to drive. Canadian categories may be quite different to ours but if you are allowed to drive your outfit in Canada, you will also be allowed to do so here.
You mention air brakes. Does your outfit have them and if so, how are they activated? If it's not automatic, you may run into problems with them in Europe. If I recall correctly from when I lived in the USA, which I presume has similar technical provisions to Canada, the trailer will be additionally secured to the towcar by means of safety chains. In Europe the brakes on a trailer over 750kg and under 3500kg must be automatically applied if the trailer becomes detached from the towcar. For this purpose, we have a breakaway cable that activates the handbrake. I don't know how this would work with chains.
 
Last edited:

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts