Stuck in UK and need travel advice urgently!
Replies: 21 - Last Post: Aug 1, 2012 7:47 PM Last Post By: pennydime
Jul 30, 2012 11:43 PM
Stuck in UK and need travel advice urgently!Hey Guys
Alright so me and two of my friends planned an awesome adventure and it just started. We are Australia FYI. We decided to travel to London, buy a car there (only stay here for like 2 days) and then drive through Europe into Turkey where we would rent a place for 3 months.
We got to London yesterday and it was great but then we soon stumbled upon crazy problems due to our lack of planning.
We found out in order to buy a car we need to have a UK residential address. My cousin lives here and might let us use his but we also found out that it would take between 2-6 weeks for the registration papers to arrive and we would not be able to cross the English Channel into France without those papers meaning we would be stuck here from 2-6 weeks. Our whole plan has gone to crap now and we have no idea what to do because we cannot stay in London for that long. We need some ideas as to what to do right now.
Our objective was to travel around Europe for a month driving from London to Turkey and stopping over at places we want to see. We were going to go to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Hanover, Berlin and through Czech republic and so on so forth until we got to Turkey.
A couple of options we have are
1 - We could rent a car a do the same plan and drop it off in Turkey, the problem is that in London you have to be 23 to rent a car and the oldest one of us is 20.
2 - We could buy a car in a diffferent country in Europe but we do not know if we would get caught up by the same restrictions in UK. Does anyone know a country where we can buy a car that is cheap and get it registered easily without an address in that country.
3. We could just fly to a couple of locations for cheap and then fly to Turkey.
4 - We could take trains and get to Turkey but we have massive backpacks as we planned to drive so we packed extra stuff.
Anyone have any ideas suggestions or thoughts to help us out. We need to think of something quickly as we do not have anymore accommodation booked in London.
Jul 30, 2012 11:51 PM
11 - We could rent a car a do the same plan and drop it off in Turkey, the problem is that in London you have to be 23 to rent a car and the oldest one of us is 20
So that option is out. That leaves you with 3 options.
2 - We could buy a car in a diffferent country in Europe but we do not know if we would get caught up by the same restrictions in UK. Does anyone know a country where we can buy a car that is cheap and get it registered easily without an address in that country
Look into "Germany+export plates". Germany is the only country I know of where non-residents can buy a car and register it.
Also google "Renault+car lease", perhaps that's something worth considering.
3. We could just fly to a couple of locations for cheap and then fly to Turkey
You could do that, but remember that it's high season and cheap flights are usually not at all cheap when booked at short notice.
4 - We could take trains and get to Turkey but we have massive backpacks as we planned to drive so we packed extra stuff
Probably your best option, especially given that you mention only cities you want to visit until you leave Germany.
Also note that you need a pretty decent sized car to accommodate 3 adults plus "massive backpacks". Not cheap to hire.
Jul 31, 2012 12:13 AM
2Take the train. You can try to find cheap tickets for your destinations (start at bahn.de), but as this is very short notice, you might also want to consider a rail pass for the 'Western part' of your trip. In Eastern Europe, rail travel is super cheap. Buses might also be an option for some legs of the train, have a look at Eurolines. Then go through your backpacks and leave everything behind that you don't really need, or send it home.
See it that way: at least you'll have a story for your grandchildren one day: 'and then, we got ourselves stranded in London, but of course we found our way out of what could have been a desperate situation...' :-)
On a side note: Hamburg is much more beautiful than Hannover.
Jul 31, 2012 12:27 AM
3Forget the buying a car idea. A decent car won't come cheap and it will take time. Also, it's next to impossible to drop off a rental car in Turkey or sell a car in Turkey (if you bring a car into Turkey, you have to take it out as well - simple as that).
Forget cheap flights as well (short notice + hefty luggage surcharges).
Take the train.
Note that Australians can obtain a visa on arrival in Turkey valid for 90 days but you must have proof of onward travel and able to show sufficient funds for the intended duration of your stay in Turkey.
Jul 31, 2012 12:38 AM
4In add to point 2 of #1 (Aribo) I would suggest to check out first and before you buy a car in Germany if the insurance you need covered your whole trip to Turkey also in relation with your age.
As you discover in the moment things you never heard about, check also what you will do with your car at the end of your trip.
Jul 31, 2012 1:50 AM
5Just travel by train to Turkey. Even if you buy a car in Germany you will still have trouble selling it in Turkey, and are you really down with the option of abandoning your newly purchased car in Turkey, or giving it away to a stranger who may find it quite fishy that a stranger would just give another total stranger their car?
Jul 31, 2012 3:02 AM
6Now let me get this straight;
You fly fro the end of the earth, to one of the Most important historic, and fascinating cities ib the world,
and you're only gonna give it two frigging days?
Your problem isn't planning its perception.
Why bother with the rest of Europe? What will you do with car problems in a foreign language or two.
Get thee to Kangaroo Valley.
And chill long enough to learn something in your native language first. And quickly.
Jul 31, 2012 3:07 AM
7And I hope to hell you know where Kangaroo Valley is in London.
Jul 31, 2012 4:10 AM
8As Aribo posted, my thought was Renault Eurodrive. A quick check of that website gives me a a price of about $6000 (Australian) for a car that would probably suit you for about 4 months. Their insurance covers you in all the countries you want to visit (including Turkey), and you get roadside assistance as an added bonus. Doesn't look like they have any age restrictions.
Main problem is the closest drop off point to Turkey is Milan.
I'd suggest if you want to do your road trip, it might be an idea to do a little research, find out the requirements of the countries you're planning on driving into. You are crossing international borders here - it's not quite the same as shuttling between Albury and Wodonga.
Jul 31, 2012 4:19 AM
- 5 : abandoning the car is not an option - you won't be allowed to leave Turkey without the car.
Jul 31, 2012 5:12 AM
10There's other problems with this as well - local laws.
For example France needs you to carry breathalyser kits in the car (by law).
France, Belgium and Austria (countries you conceivably might pass through) demand high vis vests - either for everyone or just the driver and maybe if you're on the motorway, maybe not, depends on the countries and I can't be bothered to go into the differences.
Pretty much every country going demands you have a warning triangle.
First aid kits are required in Austria
Belgium also requires you to have a fire extinguisher.
In Germany it's illegal to give anyone the finger, or run out of fuel on the autobahn.
Your car needs headlamp beam convertors (cos the mainland drives on the other side of the road - not a problem if you can somehow find a left hand drive car in the UK - which'll be very difficult). In addition, over 100 towns and cities now have congestion charging zones, low emission charging zones, or both. Parking in many European cities is difficult and expensive, primarily because many of them were built before the car came along.
There are also laws relating to drink driving, speeds, summer vs winter tyres (admittedly not applicable in your case) + some motorway networks require you to buy vignettes (for example Switzerland and Austria).
Also (you haven't mentioned it), you were gonna buy vehicle insurance, right?? It's very expensive...
If I haven't put you off yet, refer to all the information you need for transiting Europe at http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/countrybycountry.html
If I have put you off, I'd go with the rest. buy an interrail ticket. Reason - cheap flights will be very difficult to come by at this stage because it's summer school holidays + also short notice. You can find train timetables Europe-wide at http://www.bahn.co.uk and http://www.seat61.com will fill in all the remaining information that you need.
Jul 31, 2012 5:22 AM
11PS To buy an interrail ticket, either find your nearest STA travel centre or else go to the rail europe travel centre at 193 picadilly london, nearest tube is Picadilly Circus or Green Park.
Jul 31, 2012 5:41 AM
12If I have put you off, I'd go with the rest. buy an interrail ticket
Not that I want to put you off even more, but you can only buy an Interrail ticket if you've been living in Europe for at least 6 months.
Consider Eurail instead, or buy point-to-point tickets to wherever takes your fancy.
Jul 31, 2012 5:55 AM
Jul 31, 2012 6:29 AM
14I think Gawkabout is on to something. Instead of thinking you are "stuck" in the UK, why not stay longer in London. You are there now and have some re-jigging to do for your trip, and I do believe there is some sort of sporting event happening as well.
As to the rest of your trip, catch trains to where you intended to drive. You will find that you will have a better quality of journey than if you drove - trains do not get lost, do not have to be fueled up, do not have to be parked. The public transport system is significantly better in Europe than it is in Austraila.
I suggest that you re-pack your stuff with ruthless efficiency, and hand all the discarded stuff to your cousin to mail back to Oz. Also, don't stress about the car thing. You are here now, relax and enjoy yourself.
PS - I hope you brought your own stubby holders, these "Sophisticated" Europeans don't know what they are. Also they will tell you that Marmite is the same as Vegimite, but it isn't. AND you can get TimTam's in Turkey!!!
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