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Home Ren's Biking Blog

Brexit Booking

Blog Date - 06 August 2018

Firstly let me make this clear. I will not allow comments "for" or "against" Brexit on this post. Nor do I want to deal with ANY political stuff. There are plenty of other forums on which to vent your political anger, let's keep this one out of it. 

Sharon and I really enjoyed our trip to Spain this year. As such I'm already looking at ferry bookings and our options. I could actually book now, it's tempting. Then I watch the news. The question is being asked - how will Brexit affect holidaymakers? 

EHIC - European Health Insurance Card. From what I understand (I am not an expert) the EHIC card gives Brits access to medical care which is then charged back to the UK government, it extends the NHS care we receive in the UK. Be warned! I get the idea it's only basic and health/medical insurance is strongly recommended above and beyond the EHIC.

Will this still apply after Brexit? Will we need to alter our personal medical insurance? Will there be extra costs? This wont stop me going to Spain but there is a question that needs answers.

Visa? There is a possibility after Brexit that UK citizens going to Europe will need a Visa. On the news they were banding around this price of £7 which is manageable. It is an additional complication and again as yet we do not know whether or not we'll need this.

Mobile phone roaming. This year in Spain Sharon and I could use our phones just like we were using them in the UK. It was incredibly handy to have access to data for things like weather forecasts and navigation. What will happen with Brexit? Will things return to the old ways of massive costs for using foreign mobile services? 

Motor Insurance. Presently my insurance covers me for riding in Europe without complication. I am wondering if Brexit will remove the default European cover and become an additional cost. Will we need to go back to the old "Green Card" system?

GB Stickers. Presently if your registration plate has one of those blue Euro symbols on with "GB" you don't need the old school GB sticker. Will this change?

an old style GB sticker on the back of Ren's 125

I am not for one single minute suggesting that we British motorcyclists will no longer be able to travel in Europe after Brexit. What I am concerned about is that without a deal presently I do not know what will be required for Sharon and I to legally ride our motorcycles around Spain next year.

So I was on the Brittany Ferries' website. It will cost £580 to book the ferry for next year. I was thinking about getting my credit card out. I watched the news, I saw the article. Now, well now I am going to have to give this a lot more consideration. 

Please please please...no political comments. I don't want to upset people by having to remove them.


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Reader's Comments

Ian Soady said :-
OK, no politics. But you are absolutely correct that all those things are highly likely if we crash out without a deal. Even if a deal can be made it is probable that many of the things you mention (EHIC, mobile phone roaming in particular) will stop.

I remember the days before we were in the EU when you needed a Green Card, International Driving Permit etc, and the cross-border checks were far more rigorous than they are now.

What you didn't mention is the probable further devaluation of the £ which has lost more than 20% of its value against the € since 2015.

Will we continue to go to France? Yes, despite all the potential problems as we love it and we're in the fortunate position to be able to afford it. I'm getting a little Euro flag to hang from our awning......

WRT the ferry, if you want to go then book it. Prices will only go up.
06/08/2018 13:07:14 UTC
Rod said :-
Ren, If you are planning next years holiday, I am with Ian. Just book it!
Do not let the media stories put you off.
We may need a visa, but this is not likely to be more than £10.00.
The ehic may no longer apply, but many current bank accounts give free travel insurance.
Mobile Roaming, The European weather forecasts are not that good as you have found on your last trip, and you can download offline maps for free before you go.
GB stickers are cheap and not worth worrying about.
Insurance is the big uncertainty, but I feel that competition between the insurance companies will mean we still get European cover. The worst case scenario is the green card, so there may be a cost.
I do not have a crystal ball, so I do not know what the exchange rate will be next year. It is currently better that 2009, about the same as 2010 and 2011. The exchange rate had not been at the relatively high rates of 2015/2016 since early 2008.
Trying not to get political, but the fall in the exchange rate is probably due to the uncertainty after the brexit vote, as markets do not like the unknown.
Do any of these things mean that you will not go?
06/08/2018 13:36:33 UTC
Ross said :-
Go for it Ren...I'll look forward to another travel tale from Spain! :) (Is there still more to come from the first trip?)The media promised Armageddon after the vote and it didn't really happen, I suspect that there wont be monumental changes which ever way the 'leaving' goes.


Don't forget the EHIC card doesn't cover all your costs even now, as my other half found out on a trip to Germany. She fell over (Not drunk, allegedly!) and needed an ambulance trip to the nearest hospital in Berlin, and although the treatment was free a large bill for the ambulance followed her home!
06/08/2018 14:31:53 UTC
John S said :-
A friend of mine had a serious bike accident in France about five years ago. The medical treatment was free but the bill for hospital food came to about 400 Euros!
06/08/2018 16:02:11 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I did have some degree of understanding that the EHIC card was NOT an all encompassing don't worry you'll be just fine get out of jail free card. I think these stories give us an idea of roughly how it works (or doesn't).

I have medical insurance with my bank account. I'm with the Nationwide, this also covers my Euro breakdown cover. I'm wondering if they'll put the fees up because Brexit will provide an excuse.
06/08/2018 21:26:36 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Ross - yes there is more to come from this trip. Just give Madam Parker a nudge for me will you? She keeps on claiming that she's "busy". It's not like she's got a job, a poorly daughter and a really really REALLY annoying boyfriend to cope with is it.
06/08/2018 21:28:49 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Will I still go?

I hear you all telling me to go - but. Why do I need to be perhaps one of the first wave of post Brexit holidaymakers? I am certain that any wrinkles will be ironed out, new ways of doing things will come to the fore and soon enough it will just become part of the prep of the tour.

I was planning to go mid May. With Brexit set to trigger March 31st that's around 5 to 6 weeks after Brexit. I'm not in the business of trail blazing paper trails and regulations, I'll let others do that. I think it prudent to book for September 2019 or spring 2020, give things time to settle a while and read about how other folks have got on.

Never forget we have a beautiful and fascinating country right here to explore. I miss The Highlands (seriously, I feel a yearning to go). There are people I want to go and visit. There are countless places I want to see. I wish to return to Spain but it's not any problem to wait a while.
06/08/2018 21:43:39 UTC
Ross said :-
Hah, don't get too set on the Highlands, they could be off soon, too (scexit?!) and/or re-joining the EU!

Come and visit Kent...I don't 'think' we're going anywhere soon! :/
07/08/2018 15:17:06 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Scexit! Fabulous! Yeah I think Manchester will be heading for independence soon, would that be Manxit? Hmmm, could be confused with The Isle Of Man.

Are northerners allowed to visit Kent? It could be a problem you know - I hear rumours you wouldn't understand our language, you don't have pies so we'd have nothing to eat, you're susceptible to our various unhygienic ailments and your women are susceptible to our manly charms and our cloth caps.
07/08/2018 19:18:11 UTC
Henrik said :-
Everything is "politics" ,.. and yet I am not allowed to be political :-)

Ok then !

I look at it from a positive perspective

OK, maybe it would be best to delay next trip to Spain until later, to not be a test-rabit, and simply try to focus elsewhere meanwhile.

Focus on "possibilityes" and not "possible troubles"

Brexit, I guess, will strengthen the ties, trade, and relations to you old partners, and new "land" plus opportunities will rise from the ashes, maybe even give you opportunities that the rest of us will not have.

Maybe next year its time for one of those arranged trips to f.eks India, where you go like two weeks on rented Royal Enfields with a guide
mcasien.com/en/india-himalaya/ ...
07/08/2018 21:06:10 UTC
pocketpete said :-
Let me know when and where your going I was gutted last year after your most generous invite to spain .to be double booked I havent booked scotland yet so if the invite still stands this year let me know spain looked a real adventure.
08/08/2018 04:38:13 UTC
Ross said :-
"Ren - The Ed said :-
Are northerners allowed to visit Kent? It could be a problem you know - I hear rumours you wouldn't understand our language, you don't have pies so we'd have nothing to eat, you're susceptible to our various unhygienic ailments and your women are susceptible to our manly charms and our cloth caps."

Crickey! I better alert the boarder guards at the Dartford Crossing!
08/08/2018 08:10:51 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Dartford crossing? You are trying to lure me into a southern capitalist trap aren't you Ross? I believe that is a TOLL crossing! While you shandy drinking executive yuppies in your flash cars and Savile Row suits can afford to pay tolls me and my ferret down me pants can't go splashing out like that.

I do realise that the Dartford crossing is free for motorcycles but that rather spoils the story.
09/08/2018 07:44:51 UTC
Borsuk said :-
If you are contemplating Spain again let me know as well. I might be able to meet you once you are there.
09/08/2018 17:28:31 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
There is much to be discussed between Sharon and I before we book anything. I shall keep you all informed :)
10/08/2018 09:12:59 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
You're going to end up running package tours.

Ken Craven used to do them in the 1960s and 70s, and the the legendary Stuart Jenkinson's tours with over 750,000 miles on a Vincent twin. I wonder whether your keeways will manage that......
www.bonhams.com/auctions/19163/lot/348/ ...
10/08/2018 13:58:05 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
£35,000 to £40,000 for a motorcycle that has 721,703 MILES!!!!! I think I'd best keep my 125 secure it's gotta be worth at least 4 grand by now. I reckon that Vinny must have seen a couple of services.

Package tours? I had an email of an Indian package tour company asking for a price for "my tour Spain, we have customers waiting, look for very good price sir". They had a website that looked legit - was this the ultimate scam or have I missed my vocation?

I have considered the tour idea. It'd be a bloody minefield of legal issues though and I am a professional worrier. Maybe I just sell some BAT logo t-shirts...
10/08/2018 15:11:10 UTC
Ian Soady said :-
I don't think it actually sold as it wasn't a "barn find" and had some mods to make it more suitable for those big trips. I must say a Black Prince wouldn't be my choice of mount.....
10/08/2018 15:32:50 UTC
Rod said :-
Mmm, Package Tours. If Ren is leading the tour on his bike, does this mean that Sharon will drive the support vehicle with all of the luggage?
10/08/2018 15:43:06 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Rod - I don't think Sharon would be too pleased about driving a support van. She'd want to be playing on the roads with the rest of us on two wheels.

Anyhow - support van? How do you envisage a BAT tour working? Posh hotels, fine dining, concierge service and valets cleaning the bikes as we sleep? Look right, it'll be me in the morning getting out the tent and waking you lot up at an ungodly hour. Any broken motorcycles will be fixed with zip ties and gaffer tape. You'll be given the address of the next campsite on a scrap of paper and told to make your own way there. You'll have to carry your own kit, sort out your own food and damn well fend for yourself!

All this joy can be yours for the cheap cheap price of 5 grand per person for a 2 week tour...of Greater Manchester. Please form an orderly queue.
10/08/2018 19:50:39 UTC
Sharon said :-
Support vehicle.... Teee heeee
Sharon driving....Noooooo

BAT tours will offer some support of course. I usually carry a couple of plasters when touring.
Support vehicle..I just can't stop giggling.
10/08/2018 22:04:25 UTC
Henrik said :-
The tours I linked to in the Himalaya actually has a support vehicle

I talked to Villads, the boss, there is several reasons for that vehicle


One can laugh about it, but the idea could be adopted in many other kind of tours, and in many other ways, as long as there is somebody to drive it that is,..

One good new support vehicle, will allow spares, and will allow all the rest of the team to drive on older less reliable MC's ,.. all without roadhelp

You will also have the choice to just take you MC home again, it it breaks down totally, without the risc for expensive repairs from people you don't know or don't trust

Good idea, especially for a larger group touring
11/08/2018 10:09:47 UTC
Henrik said :-
support vehicle and Royal Enfields


11/08/2018 10:32:33 UTC
Henrik said :-
From DK to RO we used a transporter with trailer 4 person, 4 bikes,..

Guess with a bigger trailer, and all seats mounted it could have been 8 persons

Preferable a larger trip would be with two cars, so one car could assist the other car needed be,

We was 4-5 vans leaving from DK, a few people took the plane and was picked up in Bukarest, one person took hes own car

We took turns driving 4 hours each, and sleept on the seats, we left early one day and reached the destination in the evening next day, despite the trailer, and lot of traffic all through Europe. 2000 km.

Guess a car with 8 bikes on a trailer would be much cheaper transportation, both in fuel, ferry tickets, and road price, than driving individually, in most cases at least


11/08/2018 10:44:47 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I certainly would appreciate a support vehicle on any tour, it provides a sense of backup and security.

The question would be - do I really want to run a tour business?

I know a few folks who do and they're quite passionate about it. However they are nice people not grumpy curmudgeons like myself. Hmmmmmm. Maybe the Unique Selling Point for BAT tours would be the hosts. Rather than chirpy positive minded lively enthusiastic hosts you get me! Miserable, doom laden, negative and unhelpful.

BAT tours. We guarantee you won't have a great time.
12/08/2018 07:47:30 UTC
Sharon said :-
For a professional tour company yes a support vehicle is a great idea. It was just the thought of me and Ren having the money to own one that got me giggling. Plus having someone who wanted to drive it rather than ride.
We are not in anyway or form in the tour company arena. Not yet anyhow, depends how much you are all willing to pay. I might be able to offer a bandage then rather than a plaster for support.

12/08/2018 16:21:24 UTC
Henrik said :-
I was just suggesting to consider different models of implementing one or more cars, thus mentioning our private tour to RO, we had one person to book hotel for all of us, that was all, we even paid cash individual all of us

Personally I would not like to drive a tour-company, for dealing with office work, logistic, booking, insurance, burocracy, and authoritys, (especially in some countryes), and last but not least, demanding customers, I think life is to short for that, and the profit to small.

Ren, some buissnesses are actually plain rude, by nature, and yet survive for a longer periode, Fawlty Towers comes to my mind, I can imagine you telling people to leave, on a trip, in the middle of nowhere :-)


www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8IeNHa3nlw ...
13/08/2018 08:33:01 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
HAHA! Yes that'd be me - "GET OUT GET OUT!!! ALL OF YOU OUT!!"

I keep on toying with the idea of the camper car - like yours. With a trailer for the bikes. I keep on toying with the idea of a small van converted into a camper car. It's getting to the point where I even took Sharon to look at a few options yesterday.

Then I always come back to this "thing". Bigger cars or smaller vans are expensive compared to little run-arounds like I already have. I'd need to spend around 4-5 grand to get something that's not going to be a troublesome piece of junk. But 4-5 grand buys a lot of holidays! Nice holidays.

If a 5k car lasts me 10 years that's £500 per year in depreciation. Then there's tax, MOT, insurance etc etc etc. I'd estimate EASILY £800 per annum. That's a trip to Spain AND a Scotland trip.

I guess I'm just tight.
13/08/2018 14:05:05 UTC
Rod said :-
Ren, That is just the cost of owning it.
The ferry will cost more, and the fuel consumption will be higher. So I guess it will cost a lot more,as there is no point buying one to just stand and depreciate!
13/08/2018 17:09:31 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Sharon and I were discussing the fact that sometimes (often) we overthink things and just take the joy out of whatever we're thinking about. But then a fool and their money is easily separated.

In the interest of overthinking...

2 motorcycles travelling, one at 80mpg and one at 90mpg gives a sum total of 45mpg (think about it...). One frugal car even with a trailer could return around 50mpg (or more with my delicate slow style).

I would have to look up the cost on various ferries and the Chunnel for 1 car with trailer versus 2 motorcycles. I suspect it may be cheaper for the car and trailer at times.

If I created some kind of camper car we could install a fridge. This makes brewing up and eating on the road "do-able". One of the ongoing expenses of motorcycle travel is NEEDING to visit costly cafes. A typical cafe break for 2 teas and 2 sandwiches is at least £5, often £7-£9.

I'm talking myself into this aren't I. I'm off now to look at my bank balance. No, not to SPEND anything. I find if I look at the balance then imagine it with 5 grand missing this upsets me enough to dispel any notions of actually spending anything.

And breathe...
14/08/2018 07:46:32 UTC
Rod said :-
Ren, I was forgetting the you waste money taking two bikes.
The two of us on one bike at 85mpg towing the trailer, bike plus trailer on the ferry. This a much more frugal way to travel.
I do not seem to be able to convince my wife that wild camping is the way to go,cuz that would save even more dish.
14/08/2018 11:48:49 UTC
Rod said :-
That should read dosh not dish. Dam that clever spell checker thing.
14/08/2018 11:50:41 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I quite liked Dish...

Right right right. My CBF125 is the most frugal bike we have. BUT - you cannot tow with a 125 in the UK. So here's my thinking.

Get the 125 bored out to 126cc.
Fit a towbar on the CBF125(CBF126?)
Get a trailer
Put the CB500X and Z250SL on the trailer
Put our luggage on the trailer
Fit a fridge to the trailer
Put Sharon on the back of the CBF126

I'm sure someone somewhere will spoil this perfect solution. There'll be some nonsense law that states a 120kg vehicle cannot tow a 500kg trailer.
14/08/2018 15:14:25 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
I'm a little bit parsimonious too Ren, but I'd pay good money to see you and Sharon ride off into the sunset on that rig out :)
14/08/2018 16:00:11 UTC
Rod said :-
Yeah, Sorry Ren, You can tow a maximum weight of 150kg or two thirds of the kerb weight of the bike, so with a 126cc bike weighing 120kg you could tow two push bikes 80kg.
I was just trying without success to get a reaction to the wasting money bit!
14/08/2018 21:09:55 UTC
Henrik said :-
As usual, it gets down to as cheap as possible :-)

Two persons on the relatively heavy Inazuma, with trailer for food and camp

Guess that would be the cheapest realistic solution at all

In Norway and Sweden its furthermore possible to wild-camp legal

But there will never ever be a trailer on my Inazuma :-)

(had a GS500 with trailer, not to be repeated)


15/08/2018 05:25:47 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I'm being goaded huh Rod!? Yeah Henrik, cheap as possible.

Thanks folks, you make me smile and you know how much I hate smiling.

These are all merely thoughts, ideas, considerations that I enjoy musing upon. I may spend a little, maybe even a lot! I'll not be rushing into anything though.

I'm imagining myself on the CBF126 with a 500kg trailer behind. I'm imagining a steep hill. I can see the 126 pulling the trailer up slowly. I can see the trailer flying down the hill at high velocity with the CBF flailing around like a ragdoll in the jaws of a dog.

Damn the law!!

15/08/2018 05:49:24 UTC
Åsa said :-
You can fly in over a long weekend and borrow my bike.
I think you'll have little problem travelling after brexit - as others have said, insurance will probably be the trickiest thing.
15/08/2018 18:49:27 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Oooooh borrow a bike! Wonder how that works with insurance though?
16/08/2018 08:17:09 UTC
Rod said :-
Ren, I may be wrong on this, but I belive that bikes and cars are insured for any rider/driver in Spain.
16/08/2018 12:21:44 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Åsa or Borsuk should be able to shed some light on this :)
16/08/2018 14:32:46 UTC
Borsuk said :-
In Spain you insure the car or bike, not the person. Mine are insured for any driver over 25 to drive with my permission. Permission has to be in writing and the person driving must have the letter on them when driving. All documents for the car have to be with it at all times.
16/08/2018 16:53:31 UTC
 

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