Driving in Europe post-Brexit, taking your pets to Europe, Covid-secure driving courses, and Rural Business Award for Harborough site

The end of the year came with further headlines about some of the major news items of 2020 – the twin challenges of Brexit and Covid-19.

It’s probably a fitting way to bring things to a close and look forward to the freedom of next season’s caravanning now that Brexit is done, and a long-awaited vaccine should see off the last of the pandemic.

So, here are some of the news snippets in preparation for the coming season’s activities.

What you need to know driving in Europe after Brexit

Thanks to the agreement signed between the UK and the EU member states on the 24th of December, some things may change but a lot remains the same.

That includes recognition of your UK-issued driving licence throughout Europe – with the exception of certain UK driving licences identified in an article by the BBC on the 27th of December. If you are still driving on an old-style paper driving licence, for example, or any licence issued in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, you are almost certain to need an International Driving Permit (IDP).

As a posting by Practical Caravan on the 17th of December warned, however, although the motor insurance you arranged in the UK also extends to cover across the EU, you will need a so-called “green card” – issued by your insurer – to confirm the fact that you have the legally required insurance.

Your car and caravan need to be identified with GB stickers and also remember to take the vehicle’s logbook or V5C with you as proof of ownership.

Taking pets to Europe after Brexit becomes easier

While driving your car in Europe post-Brexit might involve some niggling changes to the current rules, taking your pet with you has actually become easier, advised a story in the Daily Mail on the 17th of December.

At one stage pet-owners had feared that European authorities were going to insist on tests for rabies antibodies – a complicated procedure likely to take three months to complete. In the event, the only documentation required to take your dog, cat, or ferret, into Europe will be proof of vaccination against rabies (21 days before the date you travel) and an animal health certificate (AHC) issued by your vet no more than 10 days before embarking on your journey.

As before, your pet must be microchipped and protected against common illnesses.

The rules apply not only to entry via any point of entry to the EU but also into Northern Ireland.

Caravan and Motorhome Club launches Covid-secure 2021 driving courses

If the experience of lockdown has awakened a desire to own and tow a caravan for the first time or if you worry that your driving skills have become a little rusty while being forced to stay at home, the Caravan and Motorhome Club can come to your rescue.

In a posting on the 27th of November, the Club announced its new – Covid-secure – driving courses for 2021. Available from February until October of the New Year, the courses will be held at 13 sites across the UK – so, there’s almost certain to be one near you!

The Caravan and Motorhome Club has been running courses like this for some 40 years already and topics currently covered include:

  • straightforward safety checks;
  • hitching and towing safely;
  • practice in manoeuvring an outfit forwards and backwards;
  • additional manoeuvring advice;
  • loading your caravan and how that affects towing; and
  • understanding the laws governing caravanning and motorhoming.

Family-run holiday site near Harborough shortlisted in the Rural Business Awards

Setting in the idyllic, rolling countryside around the village of Sibbertoft, in Leicestershire, there is a traditional working farm that also plays host to touring caravans and campers.

That 20-acre site – called Brook Meadow – already has a string of enviable awards for how the farm’s caravanning and camping site is run. Now it is poised to win a prestigious Rural Business Awards. The site’s shortlisting in the run-up to the awards was announced by the Harborough Mail on the 14th of December.