Caravaners and motorhomes often take their vehicles with them when travelling to Europe. While this can be a great way to explore the continent, it’s important to know the visa requirements for each country you plan to visit.
Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter some European countries. If you’re planning on taking your motorhome to Europe, you might be wondering if you need a visa.
You will not need a visa for a short-term stay (up to 90 days) in the Schengen Area of Europe; an ETIAS (valid from May 2023) visa waiver will be required, but if you want to stay beyond that period, you’ll need to apply for the visa.
The RV travel landscape in Europe has irreversibly shifted since Brexit. The freedom of movement has not been relaxed, so travelling throughout Europe after Brexit will be different. As a result, caravaners will need to get used to being a “third country” outside of the EU and Schengen Area.
This means that, when travelling to Europe in your RV, you’ll need to plan your route carefully and ensure you have all the necessary documents.
You need to make sure:
British nationals do not require a visa for stays of 90 days or less within a 180-day period; however, if you intend to remain longer than 90 days, you must check each country’s individual visa entry requirements.
The age of your passport must be under ten years old, and it must be valid for at least six months after the date of travel (even if they have 6 months or more until expiry).
Children must have their own passports, which will be stamped at the port of entry to indicate the date of arrival.
Before you depart, ensure your car and personal paperwork are current and that everyone in your party satisfies the border entry requirements for every country on your itinerary.
Always have your passport, driver’s license, original vehicle registration paperwork (or Vehicle on Hire Certificate), insurance certificate, and vehicle on hand. It is now standard practice in several countries to always carry picture identification.
How long can I stay in Europe in my motorhome?
The amount of time British travellers can stay in the Schengen Area without a visa has changed significantly due to Brexit. British passport holders are only permitted to stay for a maximum of 90 days every 180 days as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU.
Holders of valid UK passports can travel across external EU borders and remain anywhere in the Schengen Area for up to three months. A visa or another type of travel authorisation is needed if you intend to stay in the Schengen Area for more than 90 days.
What is the Schengen Area?
At the mutual borders of the 26 European countries comprising the Schengen Area, all passports and other forms of border control have been abolished. The Schengen Area covers an area of more than 4.3 million square kilometres and has a population of over 400 million people.
The 26 countries in the Schengen Area are Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Latvia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Malta, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Spain, and Switzerland.
What is an ETIAS visa waiver?
European Travel Information and Authorisation System is referred to as ETIAS. The European Union developed this program to fortify and secure its borders. Finding potential dangers or risks linked with tourists travelling to any of the Schengen Area nations is the primary objective of ETIAS for Europe.
The 90-day maximum stays for short-term stays under the ETIAS visa waiver. When visiting any of the Schengen member nations, tourists and business travellers must have an ETIAS that has been authorised.
Do you need a driving license to drive your caravan in the EU?
If you have a photocard driving license issued in the UK, you are allowed to drive in the EU. However, suppose you have an older-style paper driving license or a license from Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man. In that case, you may require an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in some EU countries and Norway.
Any older-style license should be exchanged with a photocard license, which is widely accepted throughout Europe. It is simple to obtain an IDP at post offices.
Does a caravan need to be insured to enter the EU?
Yes, you will need insurance for your caravan to enter the EU, this is often covered by the policy of the towing vehicle. You should have a green card as proof that your caravan is insured.
You can get a green card from your insurance company. In the case of rental vehicles, the rental company usually provides and confirms insurance if you are towing a caravan.
Does my dog need a pet passport to enter Europe?
For travel to the EU, pet passports are no longer acceptable, so to bring your pet, you must obtain an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) from a licensed veterinarian. This paperwork attests to your pet’s microchipping and rabies vaccination.
Is motorhoming in Europe after Brexit still possible?
Yes, absolutely, motorhoming in Europe after Brexit is very much possible. You just need to be aware of any new requirements and comply with the 90/180 day rule within Schengen countries. Of course it is possible to stay more than 90 days in Europe if you really just, and know your way around the Schengen rules.
Is towing a caravan in Europe after Brexit still possible?
Yes, much like the above answer you can still enjoy towing a caravan in Europe after Brexit, and explore all that Europe has to offer.