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Wednesday March 6, 2024

Touring Europe in a Motorhome: A Beginner’s Guide

4 minutes well spent

Written by John Broderick
Motorhome parked on a rocky coastline in summer weather

Although the UK is currently not part of Europe (at least politically, administratively and economically) there will never be any doubt that travelling across to that continent to visit our closest neighbours can be a motorhoming pleasure. It offers a great chance to tour some wonderful countries and experience interesting and exciting cultural life and breathtaking scenery.

There are, of course, things you need to know before you go and while you’re on the road – and in this edition of our blog we list them so you can be prepared.

Paperwork and admin requirements

Rules and motorhome regulations for Europe

Once you have decided which parts of Europe (i.e. which countries) you will be travelling to, get on the internet and do some research into any possible legal requirements. There are certain bits of paperwork which may be necessary to carry – so make sure you have the correct documents required or have fulfilled the obligations of each individual country you intend to visit. Since November last year (2023) all travellers without visas who make trips to EU countries will need to register online in advance (European Travel Information and Authorisation System). It’s also important to be acquainted with the general on the road rules of each country, so that you can yourself the chance to be ready for anything that might happen (e.g. in France you have to pay any speeding fines or violations in documentation there and then, on the spot).

Passport, the best motorhome breakdown cover for Europe, and other requirements

A UK driving licence is also an absolute necessity to travel on European roads. If it was issued in Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey or Gibraltar then you must get an International Driving Permit alongside it. Your motorhome must also have a UK sticker stuck on the back (unless it already has the UK flag on the numberplates – though in Spain it must have both sticker even if has the UK flag plates). On the date of your return into the UK from Europe it’s a legal requirement to have over three months left on your passport (this must have been issued in the past decade). It’s worth noting that it is not a legal requirement to invest in European motorhome breakdown cover, but investing in insurance ensures coverage in case of vehicle issues during European travels.

Other admin requirements

The Global or European Health Insurance Card (aka the GHIC or EHIC) is not a legal requirement, but getting one will mean you could gain access to any medically necessary state-provided healthcare in EU countries while you are travelling in Europe. This means, for legal definition, any healthcare which can’t wait until you return to the UK. The GHIC or EHIC is free and you apply for it at the NHS website.

The motorhome itself

Prepare your motorhome

When you’re leading up to your trip into Europe, you should run a series of checks on your motorhome. By doing so you will make sure everything is completely roadworthy and then the chances are that you won’t end up in a breakdown situation by the side of the road in the middle of Spain! Check (and address if necessary) things like the tyre pressures, the brake lights and indicators, the onboard electrics, the water and gas systems, the cooker, the fridge – in fact, just about everything you can think of. In terms of the motorhome’s mechanical aspects, you could even book in with a mechanic for a professional inspection.


It’s important to make sure there is enough food aboard your motorhome. There may be several occasions along the way when you choose to ‘eat out’ at a restaurant in a town along your route, but there will always be a need for food and drink aboard. It’s also important to bring along condition-appropriate clothing for the countries you’re intending to visit. Take spares of toiletries – toilet roll, deodorant, toothpaste etc – as well as tool type gear – a puncture repair kit, cycle helmet and high-vis vest (if you’re taking a bike with you).

Your itinerary

Use any guidebooks you have – and the internet – to prepare a route for your trip. Work out the best way to make your way through the countries you intend to visit, and take account of things like toll roads or toll bridges. You should also work out what are the best locations at which you will stop for necessary fuelling – avoiding a situation when you are travelling from one location to another on, say, a quarter-full tank and it turning out that there are no fuel stops. You should also, if possible, acquaint yourself with the parking regulations for motorhomes at the places on your route (if there are any). There are plenty of websites which offer information about parking and where you can stay overnight.

Taking a motorhome trip into Europe isn’t just about pointing in the direction of Paris or Prague and pressing the big red ‘go’ button. It’s also about planning – and making sure you’re prepared. It’s the only way to avoid being taken by surprise by the potential pitfalls. You can take your journey at your own pace and spend time completely immersing yourself in many attractive aspects of the European vibe, all the while knowing that you’ve done everything you can to ensure your trip goes without any problems.

Here at Don Amott we stock a wide variety of motorhomes to choose from, each of which will provide you with the perfect home-from-home for your European adventure!