Bringing a car to Spain.

I need to bring a car from Dublin to Alicante, (not me actually … it’s a mate, I’m just going along for the ride).
We’re hoping to avoid the UK motorways and instead are thinking about going from Rosslare to Saint Nazaire (a twenty one hour crossing) and then continuing from there on to Gijon in Northern Spain (another sixteen hours) using LD lines who now operate ferries from Rosslare, it will cost about €800 for the two of us and the car (four berth cabin on both ferries), strangely enough it would only be about €900 for four of us so it seems we’d be better trying to make it more of a lads session, (probably not too much hope of getting the girls on board and into a four berth?), we will then be heading from Gijon to Alicante using the excellent Spanish motorway system.
We expect to be fully rested after the two ferry crossings and ready to take on the eight hour road trip, sharing the driving with as few pit stops as possible.
Have any of you done this trip or do you know of anyone that has?
How did it work out?
(Mainly the ferry crossings)
We’ve done a few road trips down the years but nothing on this scale, I don’t think the scale of it or the time involved will faze us too much as we tend to enjoy adventures of this nature, hopefully I’m not being too naive, we’ve done a few five hour ferry crossings/road trips thankfully and the friendship has survived intact.

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9 thoughts on “Bringing a car to Spain.

  1. Rat Catcher

    The ferry will give yis the chance to have a few jars. Only went that route once meself and that was on a school trip to Paris, by coach! Sounds like a bitta craic anyway, enjoy.

  2. Rat Catcher

    One of the few memories of that trip is the ex-headmaster looking for candidates to carry smokes off the boat for him (we had to walk through customs in Roslare) and looking at me and saying no point in asking you O’Connell, I’d say you’re smuggling more than the rest of us put together.

    Long time ago but the boat had plenty to keep all amused, bars, restaurants and a casino.

  3. flybynite

    When doing the Ro-Ro I used to take the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead, across Wales and on to Hull.
    The ferry used to take nearly all day but now they are much faster and the roads across Wales are also a lot better now, so it should be no problem getting a night ferry to Hook of Holland.
    Ro-ro drivers have their own accommodation on the ferries, but a bunk should not be too expensive.
    The brekkie used to be great on the North Sea Ferries. It is long ago, ships are probably much faster now. We used to get off rested and refreshed.
    Other options are of course the canal tunnel (never did it in my days) or the Rosslare to Cherbourg ferry. I fondly remember the St. Patrick. Probably long gone to the boneyard by now. That was a long sea journey (about 20 hours) but at least it would arrive well into France.
    Motorways in France are tolled. Again, this may well be out of date but motorists used to get a ticket when entering and the fees would be calculated when leaving.
    This system could lead to another ticket:
    Not only would the distance between the tollbooths of entering and leaving be calculated, resulting in the appropriate fees, but there also were time stamps on it.
    If a motorist was found to have travelled too quickly (time over distance = average speed), it would result in a spot fine. No such thing as getting it sent home and forgetting about it. The fines were hefty and had to be paid instantly. But perhaps this is all a thing of the past.
    Ambulances tend to cruise with the blue lights on, even if not on an emergency call.
    So do not be surprised if an emergency vehicle with the blues waits docilely at the traffic lights.
    Apart from that:
    They tend to drive on the right, of course.
    Traffic from the right have priority. So be prepared to give way to a car coming out of a minor side street. Unless the junction or road is marked as a major road, even traffic on a little side street from the right has the right of way.
    Buses pulling off a bus stop also have the right of way and do not drive in bus lanes. It is not tolerated and will lead to a fine.
    Here, bicycles on a carrier often obstructs the licence plate at the rear.
    On the continent that will NOT be tolerated.
    Also: rear fog lights may ONLY be switched on in dense fog. So if you turn them on just because there is rain or a bit of mist: spot fine € 50 ! (and that was some years ago).
    Make sure that you have your headlights adapted, carry an approved first aid kit.
    Check with the AA what you have to have on board.
    Light bulbs: If one burns out you can only avoid a ticket when you carry a spare.
    Cops on the continent are far, far less tolerant than the Gardai here when it comes to traffic offences. What would be a minor transgression here may lead to an instant fine on the continent.
    And they are NOT forgiving, just because you are a foreigner.
    For more serious offences: you may be thrown in jail until a judge has time to see you. Which may well be some days later. Fines that are imposed MUST be paid at once.
    Of course, I am sketching the worst-case scenarios but: forewarned is forearmed !

  4. flybynite

    PS.:

    It may seem that I am stating the obvious, but on more than one occasion – especially in the vicinity of a ferry port – have I come face-to-face with a car travelling the wrong way around a roundabout.

    In a large truck the risk is not so great, at least not for the truck driver.
    But it can ruin your day if you forget.

    It often happens when people are in a hurry or tired.

    Forgetting tot drive on the right also is something more frequent on quiet country roads.
    I have once seem a nasty accident on a French road. A car with a UK plate had a head-on with a local car. Police and ambulances were racing to the scene when I was passing. I did not see it happen but it looked very bad. So Roy, just take care !

  5. flybynite

    Some may be old hat, I have not been on the ro-ro for many, many years. In fact, I became a taxi driver just before de-reg and the big strike.
    And now I drive a coach – in Ireland.
    Still, sometimes, I have a bit of homesickness. Being on the road and sleeping in the cab on a motorway plaza is a great way of life – when you are young and have no family.
    Maybe it is ‘coz when I look in the mirror I see a balding head with the remainder going grey.

  6. flybynite

    Yellow headlights are not prescribed for non-French cars but check with AA for requirements.
    Some things have changed since I did continental Ro-Ro.

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