Shipping out into Europe or Beyond? Need advice, directions, this forum is for both the veteran and first time Euro driver
Can any of you guys help a friendly motorhomer? I would like to know if there is a sensible (safe) overland route to Greece in February. Is it possible via Albania, and the coast route or is this too risky for any reason? Please do not suggest Italy and ferry, because I am the world's worst sailor. The Channel Tunnel was made for me!
Although I haven't done it, Albania is likely to be problematic, not least because you will have to transit similar uncooperative countries on the way and they will all welcome a large splodge of your money.
I would transit Hungary, then either Romania or Serbia, and then through Bulgaria into Greece, I have done both routes and they are fine if you observe the usual precautions- theft is quite common and roads will be poor at that time of year. You will need to be well equipped for this.
I believe you will need to buy insurance if you transit Serbia.
Germany, Austria, Hungary then thru Serbia I have done and can vouch that the motorways are good all the way. In a motorhome you should not expect any border difficulties leaving EU into Serbia... Then at Nis in Serbia split for either Macedonia or Bulgaria depending where in Greece you are headed. Obviously you need to be prepared for winter weather all along the route but Hungary and Serbia are largely flat. I advise against the Croatian coastal route at that time of year as in inevitably leads to mountain passes into Kosovo, Serbia or Albania
I know the OP said that he doesn't like ferries but this route would be so much easier going Ancona-Patras etc and the ships are so big that you don't get that short-sea-crossing scary effect!
According to my friends, I would not advice going via Romania. My friend used to travel regurarly between WrocÅ‚aw, PL and Asenovgrad, BG, and when I was going Turkey in 2006, he told me "If you like hazard, go via Romania, if you want to pay certain amount of money, go via Serbia". According to him, in Romania cops and other uniformed forces are always seeking for bribe, or they create some crazy rules like "extra insurance" "car disinfection" "bridge toll", "border toll" etc.
In Serbia you have to pay for motorways (which are sometimes single carriageways ) and it was about 27 Euro for a car three years ago. In Romania it's all depends of how many police car will spot your foreign license.
My other friends were in Romania last summer, and it seems that not much changed - they were stopped by police car, they took all documents off them and told them that they have to pay to have it back. They were really desperate to do not pay, but after 6 hours on the hard shoulder (!) next to police car, they gave up...Next three bribes they paid on the spot, as it was much faster and much cheaper.
At least in Bulgaria when you pay a bribe, they give you a receipt! (I am serious!!!) and you don't have to pay again on that day
If you are going to Eastern Greece, I really recomend you to see the Rodops Mountains.
And no, you don't have to buy any extra insurance for Serbia if you have green card.
Also: south of Budapest you can save money by going off the motorway - there is really good road along, with not much villages or towns on it and few nice places to see.. And on motorhome it should not be much slower, especially, that lorries are banned from this roads, unless they have some delivery there.
Yes, that is my experience of Romania too although I always made it clear that I was up for paying a backhander fairly quickly and I never got held up for long.
Last time I was there they still had vehicle disinfection at the border and you had to drive through jets of filthy bleach on your way in to the country. Firstly because they could charge some astronomical fee for doing it, and secondly to insult their neighbours.
I haven't been there since they joined the eu, much might have changed.
Just came back from Greece this week, Bari -Patras out, Patras-Ancona back, I know you said you are a bad sailor, but if you go with Minoan line they do a , Camping deck for people with motor homes, so you dont have to pay for a cabin.
Hi i went to Sofia a couple of years ago in my sprinter van. This was after Romania and Bulgaria had joined the EU. To avoid customs i went through Romania crossing the Danube at Calafat.The normal green card will cover you for EU countries only so if you want to transit Croatia and or Serbia you will have to add it on or pay at the border crossing. The roads in Romania are crap but although i got stopped 4 times by police it was still a good trip and i,d be happy to do it again.Now they are in the EU
you don,t have to take no bull.... ,if your wrong pay the fine if not call the bluff. Outside the EU maybe better to pay the coffee. Its years since i went to the old Yugoslavia [ old lhd 141 ] but the better route maybe via Serbia and Bulgaria, unless anyone tells you otherwise avoiding Kosovo.
This is not true, my Polish green card was covering me in all countries except Iraq, Afghanistan and some African countries. The same is written on my British one, except that it's valid for up to three months only. So I do not understand why your green card is worse than mine...
great, the knowitall on the case again, the countries on the green card can vary from insurer to insurer, that's why they're different and it doesn't hurt to check for any of them missing on your green card. I haven't been stopped once in romania, but if you look like you'll agree to anything, you'll pay everywhere.
I am not telling you that you lie, but I am pretty sure that you are simply wrong. That what you scanned for us is not a green card but this is "Motor Fleet Insurance European Cover", as we can see from the title of the document.
I googled a bit, and what I found is that the green card system is valid for every countries belonging to the system, and also many countries NOT belonging to the system respect it. At the moment in Europe system we got 44 national offices for the green card system:
but this map is old as from this year some new countries joined the system, among others Russia.
Green card is not a policy itself, but it's just a certificate that your country request mandatory Third Party insurance and countries who are part of the system are agreed for mutual recognition of national Third Party insurance policies.
Green card is always printed on the green paper (since the name) and no matter of language it has always the same layout:
As for Britain, Britain is just a strange country and some insurers selling third party covers limited to use in UK only - that's why you sometimes need to pay extra for insurance abroad - my policy is quite good at it and I can drive my car abroad for up to 3 months a year, which is still nothing compared to standard Polish policy, as there were no limits for driving abroad (other that if you are taking your car for more than 6 months off from Poland you have to report it's export) and green card was issued on demand, in most cases free of charge and it was no limits on it as well.
So if you have British insurance you have to check with your insurer, but normally your own country insurance allows you to drive in whole European Union except Romania and Bulgaria and also Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
So that's all I know, if I am wrong somewhere, please correct me.
No kerbut,I get all my insurances thro' my bank CIN (groupe CIC)
No worries as my bank manager sorts it all.
Leaves me with nowt to do,except count me pensions.
Don't you love France? 53 & two pensions!
Bear in mind guys. UK only policies are perfectly reasonable for the UK. It's quite difficult to inadvertently slip over the border to a neighbouring country .
As long as you don't plan to leave the UK, in your car, there's no need to pay any extra insurance costs for other countries.
That's true as long as the insurance companies are able to give you cheaper insurance thanks to that. I am not believe in that though, I would rather be not suprised if that's do not cost them extra (as thanks to green card system most european countries mutually respect national insurances) but it's just another oportunity to charge us more if we have special foreign needs...
Or, maybe, driving abroad is more risky for Brits due to driving on the right?
My point being, it's only the UK that rip's you off by adding an extra charge for an international cover.
All the rest of Europe prints insurance on green paper.
I left that toilet in the '80's & have voted against another woman. The dwarf aint so good,but he's male.
Sorry DonB you trip intrests me as i,ve never been to Greece for a trip what about going through Macedonia. For me working i,d go through RO and BG to avoid customs. Also if you have a large camper van you need to buy a GO box for Austria. Thats above 3.5t
Ok you say thats not true so i must be a lier then you quote a car green card i,ve only ever bought green cards for a truck and now my van for the last 20 years in the UK apart from 1993 when i took my ZZR1100 to Italy .
Oh you asked your friends and then you went on google, tosser i drove to Sofia a couple of years ago and it was,nt that hard in fact as this is not a trade site i,d say it was for me like a walk in the park . my costs round trip with freight ferries and net of vat was around £700.00. if you plus another £100 or£ 200 should cover you. enjoy your trip and take your camera.
That map looks to me like it was never right, one national identifier that never existed (except in the country in question, and what use is that?), also another country that hasn't existed for quite a while......
Rule Polski, Polski rules the.....swede soup?
See above, probably more mistakes but I'm bored....
DonB, if you must go down to Greece overland (which no matter which route you take, will provide some great scenery and places to stop along the way), do it in the Spring not the winter. And unless war breaks out, whichever route you take is as safe as driving elsewhere in Europe, just prettier. If you go by ferry, the big Minoans and Superfast are smooth except in the roughest of Adriatic squals.
Iâ€™m a firm believer in the â€œten percentileâ€,
10% of mankind are idiots,
10% of car drivers are idiots,
10% of truck drivers are idiots,
10% of a companies drivers are idiots,
10% of TNUK forum users are....
Could you explain which one you mean? (except Serbia and Montegero, which split after that map was created)?
Many things in Britain are different than in the rest of Europe. This is a fact - from driving on the left, through imperial unit system, law system to separate taps in the bathroom. That's apply also to different car insurance rules. So no need for nationality attack.
This is really good advice. March in this area is like may in France - really pleasing time!
You say in your post that "Britain is just a strange country", Orys. Could you explain to me why you feel that way about my country?
I,m sure that you will be able to explain it to me by putting me right on these few points.
How many other EU Member countries pay Family Allowance to immigrants from other EU Countries, whose families live back in their Home country. (Poland for instance). Then allow them to send it back to that country, to their family, in Poland or where-ever, who have no intention of ever setting foot in this "Strange Country".?
How many other EU member countries give free University education to "students" from other EU Member Countries. You are Polish. Do you pay University fees at whichever University you study in Scotland?
How many of the EU Member countries whose people benefit from what this "Strange Country" Britain ,is prepared to give for free, would return the compliment to a British subject, going to work or study in ,for instance,your home country?
You often denigrate this "strange country", in your many posts on TNUK. What is it, apart from its generosity to people like yourself, which persuades you to stay here? We "strange " people must have some good points. Please enlighten us.
OO? ME? Yer jokin officer!
Who is online