Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Travel Through Europe

Probably a boring bit for most, but potentially useful for those that follow. I had put least effort into planning this part of the trip, so was mostly reliant on the Sat Nav and Google maps.

We travelled the most direct route (through Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia), though if you had an extra day, the route through Hungary and Romania would undoubtedly be more fun, and save you some money on insurance (see below).

Things to remember:


These are licences to drive on the motorway, which you will need to buy for Austria, Slovenia and Bulgaria

They cost up to about €10, and can be purchased at the border, but do make sure you stop to pick them up


Your UK insurance is likely to be valid in the EU, but most do not cover Serbia, Montenegro and Turkey


Serbia has now signed a reciprocal arrangement with the EU, which should mean it is illegal for your insurer not to cover you there, but none of the insurers have caught on yet, so you might need to do a bit of negotiation before leaving home

If you have no cover (like me), you can purchase it at the border at a cost of €110 (cash only)

At the Croatian / Serb border, it is available on the Serbian side, from some booths off to the right, which will probably be obscured by trucks

The process takes about 15 mins, and you will need your V5C


The process is similar in Turkey, but you buy it from the bank in no mans land. Here is costs €55

KGS Card in Turkey

This is a card to get you through the toll roads in Turkey, and is incredibly difficult to obtain. You should try to buy one at the bank at the border (not sure if they sell them though).

The card costs 5 TL, and you will need around 50TL credit to get you all the way to Iskenderun to catch the ferry

Failing that, you can try to stop at the first toll gate

There was nowhere obvious to buy them there, but it may work

After paying an enterprising local guy who turned up at the first barrier a rip off 20TL to get through, we managed to buy a card in a Ziraat bank in Istanbul (this is the only bank that sell them)

This card worked fine, but we didn’t put enough credit on it, and despite advice, couldn’t top it up anywhere but a bank, so had to pay another single trip fee as we entered Iskenderun

A thoroughly frustrating system – good luck!

Safety Equipment

Bear in mind you now need a long series of equipment in the car if cross Europe

  • Fire extinguisher
  • 2 x Breathiliser mouth pieces
  • 2 x Warning triangles (one will suffice if not going to Turkey)
  • High vis vest in car (not boot)
  • First aid kit
  • Spare set of bulbs for the car
  • Beam benders (bring at least 2 sets, they fall off in the rain!)

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