Your pre-travel checklist

Documentation abroad

All passengers (including any pets that are travelling with you) will need a valid passport or ID card.

A driving licence is not a valid document for travelling abroad.

If you are a UK passport holder and lose your passport whilst abroad, you must report the loss or theft as soon as possible to the local police and the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) or Embassy or High Commission of the country you are in. To obtain details of a local (FCO) post, please call +44 20 7008 1500 (0845 850 2829 within the UK) or visit  

You will need your full driving licence documentation as well as the original Vehicle Registration Document (V5). If the vehicle you are driving is borrowed, hired, leased, or a company car, it is vital that you carry a Vehicle on Hire Certificate (VE103). For more information on travelling with a hire car, visit


We recommend you and your passengers have sufficient insurance to cover you in case anything happens whilst away. We offer comprehensive insurance packages and travel or motor breakdown cover insurance for you to choose from.

Motoring requirements and information

You'll find the AA shop in the Folkestone Passenger Terminal Building handy for any forgotten equipment, headlight kits etc.

Boot Requirements – although not all of the following items are a legal requirement, they are all recommended: GB sticker, spare bulb kit, first aid kit and fire extinguisher.

Headlights need to be adjusted to drive on the right.

Seat belts, if fitted, must be worn by both front and rear seat occupants. Children under 10 cannot travel in the front with the exception of babies (up to 9 months and less than 9kg) in rear facing seats.

Drink Driving – there is only one safe rule – if you drive, don't drink. The laws are strict and the penalties severe.

French driving laws

All vehicles driven in France, including vehicles registered outside of France, MUST have one Hi-Viz reflective jacket and one warning triangle in their vehicle. The reflective jacket has to conform to EU standard and must be inside the car – not in the boot. On the spot fines varying between €90 and €135 will apply.

Mandatory in car breathalyser

From 1st July 2012, every driver of a motorised land vehicle, excluding mopeds, must possess an NF approved digital breathalyser or an unused (and immediately available) NF breathalyser kit.

The rule equally applies to vehicle registered outside France. Only vehicles fitted with breathalyser Interlocks are excluded.

The new legislation, which is part of a bid to tackle drink driving and cut road accidents, comes into force on July 1st 2012. Failure to comply will result in on-the-spot fines.

Be fully prepared for driving abroad. Call into the AA Travelshop, in our Folkestone Passenger Terminal Building, for all compulsory or recommended equipment required in your car. 

Driving abroad advice

Don't drive abroad unprepared. For the latest advice on driving abroad safely, visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office's travel advice.

Travelling on the motorway

Be prepared for charges at check in booths at the exit of some motorways - so have Euros or your credit card ready (toll free roads offer a quick and easy alternative route). For further information on motoring in Europe, visit the AA website.

Reporting a crime in France

Kent Police and the French Police and Gendarmerie have joined forces to offer support and guidance to UK travellers in the event of a crime in France.

French time

The continent is one hour ahead of UK time throughout the year. French summer time starts on the last Sunday in March at 2am and ends on the last Sunday in October at 3am.

Money matters

International credit cards and debit cards (Carte Bleue, Visa/Barclaycard, Mastercard and American Express) are widely accepted throughout the Continent. Knowing your PIN number is useful, but if you don't have your PIN, have your passport with you as you may be required to show it as a measure against credit card fraud.

We also recommend that you carry Euros for refreshments, tolls, parking. You can buy or pre-order your currency now from Travelex and collect it from our Folkestone Passenger Terminal Building on your way out.

Cash dispensers will dispense money that has the same international symbol as your card.

Opening hours

Most shops and hypermarkets are closed on Sundays. Many shops, with the exception of the larger hypermarkets, have a midday break for two hours.