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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

We are planning a road trip to Monaco this bank holiday. I have never driven in Europe so I am being a bit indecisive about this trip. I am sure we have so many members over here who live in Europe and few members who have done this sort of trip.

We have 5 days to play around with, I was hoping to get some advice on;

1. Is it doable
2. Where should I break the journey. Few friends have said Toyres or Dijon.
3. How do you pay the toll tax. Auto reader or cash?
4. Any outher places apart from Monaco. We are looking for some great driving roads.

Any thanks in advance
S
 

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Ok.. done this trip load of times

1) Yes, easy
2) If you want to break, get to Lyon really, gets 80% done on 1st day, crash in a half decent business hotel and do the last bit fresh. On the way back I recommend Bourne if you like wine and dead cows. Ibis Style in town is cheap, clean and well staffed and really close to excellent restaurants (Pique Boeuf is awesome)
3) Maybe too late for a auto pass now, your passenger will have to plank ;) with a credit/debit card
4) Stick to Monaco on the rally course for good roads, the rest are usually crammed or the road surface is awful.

The Autoroute d'Anglais will be quite busy by its standards (ski traffic) but it'll still be VERY quiet by UK standards.

Have a good trip!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok.. done this trip load of times

1) Yes, easy
2) If you want to break, get to Lyon really, gets 80% done on 1st day, crash in a half decent business hotel and do the last bit fresh. On the way back I recommend Bourne if you like wine and dead cows. Ibis Style in town is cheap, clean and well staffed and really close to excellent restaurants (Pique Boeuf is awesome)
3) Maybe too late for a auto pass now, your passenger will have to plank ;) with a credit/debit card
4) Stick to Monaco on the rally course for good roads, the rest are usually crammed or the road surface is awful.

The Autoroute d'Anglais will be quite busy by its standards (ski traffic) but it'll still be VERY quiet by UK standards.

Have a good trip!
Cheers mate,

Thats really helpful. I was worried before however feel a bit confident now.

How much on avg does it cost on toll tax anyway?
Also, will I be ok if I carry this kit in the boot with me
http://shop.theaa.com/store/advice-on-driving-in-europe?ito=86411

Saurabh
 

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Toll cost I think is about €40-60 each way, can't find my invoices but will keep looking for you. Sounds a lot, but it's really worth every penny on a route like that! Btw, Fuel is very cheap over here at the moment (Unleaded about 80-85p/l, diesel is nearly free!) but not on the Autoroute. Check your satnav for garages close to but not on the 'route.

That kit will do you fine, but it's advised to have a high vis jacket for each person in the car. Also remember that when driving in France you are OBLIGED to stop and help if you are first on scene to an accident! Keep the vests in the car not the boot as le flic (rozzers) can be picky if they check you, which they will if you get done for speeding!!

The drive is really very easy. Roads are smooth and comfortable. Set your cruise or right foot to about 135kmh and "cruise on down" :)
 

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One advice, max speed in the French highways is 130 km/hr when dry and the 'gendarme' is not amused when you cross the line by more than 10 km/hr. Foreigners will often be forced to pay on the spot when you're pulled over and the fines are quite high.

Otherwise, it's a nice trip to Monaco and if you want some nice roads in the area try some of the 'gorges'. Great MINI territory :D

Have fun!
 

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One advice, max speed in the French highways is 130 km/hr when dry and the 'gendarme' is not amused when you cross the line by more than 10 km/hr. Foreigners will often be forced to pay on the spot when you're pulled over and the fines are quite high.

Otherwise, it's a nice trip to Monaco and if you want some nice roads in the area try some of the 'gorges'.

Have fun!
Slight modification to this... 10kmh over speed limit + 10% speedometer error, therefor 143 is your theoretical max.
The Gendarme are unable to fine you below this. I had one that tried, and failed as soon as I mentioned it... He tried to pull me for 141..

But of course this was indeed speedo error, I would never knowingly break any law :D
 

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Oh yeah, @Burning_rubber

What's the deal with Belgian highways? I know the limit is 120, but you'd never know that as at a guess you say the limit on the ring was 160!! I've been in Belgium for 2 years (1/2 time) and I've still not figured it out!

Big fines? Any "known" tolerance from the Politie?
 

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We like to get to our destination quickly but we also have our share of speeding cameras and overactive law enforcers but the fines, especially on the highways, are relatively mild compared to some other European countries. The 'ring' around Brussels used to be a racetrack but those times seem to be over.

On the other hand, police is not very creative and is always posting on the same spots...and on the radio during traffic messages the people on the radio are so kind to mention the spots where they are active at that moment :)

But no matter how you look at it, money spent on speeding tickets (or other traffic violations for that matter) is a waste of money. I can think of better ways to spend my hard earned euro's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Toll cost I think is about €40-60 each way, can't find my invoices but will keep looking for you. Sounds a lot, but it's really worth every penny on a route like that! Btw, Fuel is very cheap over here at the moment (Unleaded about 80-85p/l, diesel is nearly free!) but not on the Autoroute. Check your satnav for garages close to but not on the 'route.

That kit will do you fine, but it's advised to have a high vis jacket for each person in the car. Also remember that when driving in France you are OBLIGED to stop and help if you are first on scene to an accident! Keep the vests in the car not the boot as le flic (rozzers) can be picky if they check you, which they will if you get done for speeding!!

The drive is really very easy. Roads are smooth and comfortable. Set your cruise or right foot to about 135kmh and "cruise on down" :)

I have never driven on the other side of the road. How difficult do you reckon it get while driving over there?
 

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I think you will get used to it in no time. I had the experience the other way around driving of the left side but also had to drive a local car with the steering wheel on the right side. Just follow the other cars and tou'll be fine. Mistakes are made when there's noboby around.

When I returned from New Zealand after 4 weeks I walked to the wrong side of my own car the first times I wanted to leave...that's how quickly you get used to it :)
 

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This sounds like an awesome plan.

In 2012 I went around Europe in 4 days with some mates. We had a Passatt estate for that trip and did Belgium (Brussels), Luxembourg and France (Nancy, Reims, Paris), one big loop and it was a really great and memorable trip.

This is giving me itchy feet to follow your lead! Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This sounds like an awesome plan.

In 2012 I went around Europe in 4 days with some mates. We had a Passatt estate for that trip and did Belgium (Brussels), Luxembourg and France (Nancy, Reims, Paris), one big loop and it was a really great and memorable trip.

This is giving me itchy feet to follow your lead! Enjoy.
Great. Lets do it together.

The great MINI European TRIP....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok.. done this trip load of times


2) If you want to break, get to Lyon really, gets 80% done on 1st day, crash in a half decent business hotel and do the last bit fresh. On the way back I recommend Bourne if you like wine and dead cows. Ibis Style in town is cheap, clean and well staffed and really close to excellent restaurants (Pique Boeuf is awesome)

Have a good trip!
Hi there,

Pardon my ignorance, the only Bourne I could find on the map is 130 kms away from Monaco. Wasn't the idea to break our journey half way or something?

Or am I missing something?

S
 

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I have never driven on the other side of the road. How difficult do you reckon it get while driving over there?
It's fine, If you use the tunnel/ferry you get spat out onto the motorway anyway so you have a bit of time to settle down on the wrong side of the road.

Tricky things at first are:
a) Roundabouts. They do your noggin for a wee while, especially if you arrive at the roundabout "alone" not following other cars. Hurts your head but just be careful and super aware.
b) Pulling out of driveways (ie hotel etc) in the morning can sometimes mean you do it "wrong" as there are no markings to remind you... Postit notes on steering wheels are an old trick for this.
c) "Priotité a droite" (priority to the right) can REALLY catch you out. Small villages and towns in France (and virtually anywhere in Belgium) people zoom out of side roads as they have priority, and cross roads you just give way to the right, like the opposite of a uk mini-roundabout. PaD zones are identified by a yellow diamond with a white boarder, but it's best to assume they all are and be careful!

Seriously though, I drive on the right/left all the time in my RHD cars and it's fine, in fact, if I get a LHD hire car i get confused as **** for a few hours!! :D
 

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Bloody ****, that is a bit steep. When I go "down and back" by toll bill is usually around €120-140 so I think someone's being pessimistic there!

Edit: Just found an invoice. All the way from Calais to Les Arcs in the Alps, €121 there and back.
 
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