Can I take a road trip in Europe this summer?

We all want to get back on the road as soon as possible – and not just for essential travel and business purposes, but also to enjoy some of the best road trips in Europe.

The continent’s river gorges, coastal roads and mountain passes might feel even further away than ever, but from May 17th the UK’s COVID-19 ‘road map’ plans to allow foreign travel for leisure.

Although international travel will still be subject to local restrictions in the country you want to visit, we should hopefully start to see an easing of those restrictions too, especially as the vaccine roll-out continues.

Self-drive holidays have always offered extra convenience as you can control your own travel a lot more easily, and Ontime will be here to get your car to and from your starting points, wherever and whenever you decide to take your trip.

Head Out to Help Out

Last summer we saw the UK hospitality sector given a much-needed boost thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

In 2021 we think the motto should be ‘Head Out to Help Out’ as domestic and international tourism is in serious need of some business.

A government report from the Global Travel Taskforce said: “International rail operators through the Channel Tunnel, who transported more than 20 million passengers per year pre-COVID-19, have seen a substantial fall in demand.

The report, published in April 2021, added: “2020 international ferry passenger numbers with Europe fell by 63% from 2019.”

How to avoid quarantine on your return

Depending on where you take your road trip in Europe this summer, you may not need to quarantine for ten days when you return.

Under the Test to Release scheme, you can take a COVID-19 test five days after returning to the UK. If the result is negative, you do not need to quarantine on days 6-10.

The rules are likely to change frequently over the coming months, especially for countries added to the so-called ‘red list’ which are subject to tighter restrictions on your return.

By keeping up to date with the latest rules for the countries you plan to visit, you can stay on the right side of the law, as well as planning your route to avoid any areas of greater concern.

Getting your car back from Europe after a breakdown

More than ever, we would urge you to have a plan in place to repatriate your car to the UK after a breakdown in Europe.

By contacting Ontime ahead of your departure from the UK, we can make sure you have the details you need to contact us in an emergency.

Repatriating a broken down car from Europe can avoid the expense of paying for repair work in the country where the incident occurred, so it’s sensible at the best of times.

But with the added element of COVID-19, it’s even more critical to get you and your vehicle safely back to the UK – so make sure you have our helpline number safely stored in your glove compartment and phone book.