We have answered some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQ) below. If the question you have is still not answered below then please either call Classic Travelling on +44 (0)1264 710375 or email [email protected]
Classic Travelling takes away the hassle and guesswork from a touring holiday. Your free time is precious and so you want to know that you will be driving the best roads in the area, staying at charming hotels, and that your car will have suitable parking each night. You want to know what there is to do, see and visit on each day of your trip, without having to do hours of research or missing anything of interest.
The tour is organised, but you are not. This is no regimental exercise and you are free to spend your days as you wish, at your own pace, doing exactly what you want. We give you lots of suggestions for interesting places to visit and things to do and see. There is no convoy driving. All we ask is that you arrive at the accommodation we have booked on your behalf each evening.
All our accompanied Group Tours and self-drive Classic Independent Tours are carefully researched, created, tested and organised by Classic Travelling – and we also happen to be experienced, well-travelled and enthusiastic classic car owners & drivers. We accompany each Group Tour as your tour guides and organisers.
Unlike some companies and tour organisers, Classic Travelling tour directors actually drive every single mile of every single tour we offer, both as a reconnaissance trip – and then to accompany the Group Tours. We also carefully hand-pick and then visit and/or stay in every hotel we use and recommend, to ensure they are of the standard expected by us and our customers and have suitable parking for your cars. We use small, character hotels wherever possible, not large, corporate or coach-party hotels where you’re just a number, not an individual.
We provide you with a tour book to help you make the most of your trip. This book contains your route directions and maps, accommodation information, and describes everything we think may be of interest to you, that you will be passing by each day. The tour book also gives you a little bit of history of the area and may include some little anecdotes or stories about the places you are passing through. The idea of the book is to help you have all the information you need in just one place, and not be cluttered with various guide books, leaflets and maps.
Normally, about 14-18 cars – but a minimum of 10 cars and maximum of 20 cars for Classic Travelling group tours. However, we can organise tours for any party size: Some of our club tours can have between 10-60 cars.
All the hotels chosen for our Accompanied Group Tours (and many used for our Independent Classic Tours) have been hand-picked and personally inspected by us to ensure a high standard – generally 4-5 star standard. We aim to stay in small, owner-managed establishments wherever possible. What Classic Travelling values in our recommended accommodation is a warm welcome, rooms with character, a lovely setting and good food, usually locally sourced. But our most important criterion is “Can I relax here?” We want your stay to be memorable – for the right reasons – and refuse to use large hotel chains with featureless, identikit rooms that could be anywhere in the world. It is very, very rare indeed that we would use a corporate or coach-party type hotel. Classic Travelling uses hotels that have proper bed linen, lovely decor, good food and, of course, suitable parking. Usually, the hotels are within interesting or historical buildings reflecting the local architecture. The hotels we use tend to be four to five star (or equivalent). However, Classic Travelling will not use a hotel just because of its star rating: We stay in accommodation that offers good value for the experience. We do the legwork finding great places to stay – you reap the rewards.
Obviously, we also ensure that there is suitable parking for your car. This may not always be undercover, but it will be in a private car park and not on the street. We also ensure that the access for our cars is appropriate (ie not grounding on ramps etc).
We try and stay two nights in most hotels unless it’s just an overnight stay getting to the destination, so you have time to explore and relax, and not have to pack each morning.
The key to the tour is flexibility: There are no convoys, early departures or competitive stages. The route is merely a suggested one, and you are welcome to divert off-route if you wish. Our routes give you the opportunity to stop along the way, explore the local sights, and eat where you like (we usually make recommendations) – all at your own pace. The tour is organised, but you are not. Generally, crews drift away from the hotel after a leisurely breakfast. Pleasant lunch spots may be suggested and, after an enjoyable day’s driving, and having time for a few visits, you should be able to arrive at your hotel in plenty of time to relax before dinner. Should you wish to drive with other cars during the tour then that is entirely up to you.
For our accompanied group tours, all we ask is that you have a classic, vintage or sports car, of any age. This includes modern sports cars.
Classic Travelling offers mechanical back-up on all our tours to continental Europe (not UK/Ireland), USA & South Africa. However, please still ensure your car is properly maintained and serviced well. We also recommend that you have European breakdown cover (obtainable either from your insurance provider or breakdown service provider).
The most important thing is that your car is in excellent mechanical condition. We suggest that you tell your garage about the event and the time and distance and if in any doubt over any part, replace it or take a spare. We also strongly suggest you check your tyres for condition and age.
Power and handling are less important that robustness and reliability. Engines can tend to get quite hot when driving mountain roads, so an efficient cooling system is essential. Gradients can be severe, so please ensure your brakes are in perfect condition.
For our Independent Tours you can take any vehicle of your choice.
The Classic Travelling event director and tour guide will accompany the tour in a classic car. At least one of the Classic Travelling crew is trained & qualified in first-aid (human, not car!).Their vehicle will have a small first-aid kit, basic tool kit, and mobile phone.
Our tour mechanic will accompany all tours in Europe, but outside the UK. However, please ensure you have enough spares with you and that the car has been fully prepared for its journey. The mechanics will be able to carry your spares in their van. Read more here.
Download our spares list here.
The organisers’ resources are limited and may not be able to cope with a serious accident or breakdown. We recommend you have European breakdown cover, including repatriation. For group tours outside Europe (eg to the USA) breakdown cover and fully comprehensive motor insurance are included in the tour price.
Personal insurance: You are responsible for arranging your own travel and medical insurance, covering personal liability, theft or loss of personal effects, repatriation and cancellation. Please ensure that your insurance covers you for the full amount of time that you will be away for. We recommend that you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles the holder to free or reduced cost, state-provided medical treatment in any European Economic Area country and Switzerland. The card is free and you can apply online (www.dh.gov.uk/travellers), over the phone (0845 606 2030) or by collecting a postal application from the Post Office.
Motor insurance: You will need to inform your motor insurance provider that you are travelling outside the UK (if applicable). For tours outside Europe (eg USA or South Africa) we will arrange comprehensive insurance for your car whilst it is out of Europe, but this will be extra to the tour price. If your car needs to be shipped we will include marine insurance during shipping too.
You will need to ensure you have the necessary documentation in your car (insurance certificate, vehicle registration document, driving licence) for travel. We strongly recommend that you have European breakdown and repatriation cover, and that it covers the countries to be visited. Our mechanics are great, but even they can’t always fix everything by the roadside or hotel garage.
Each car will receive a comprehensive tour book. This includes detailed, easy-to-follow, written directions and overview maps showing the recommended routes. Those on Group Tours will also receive a road atlas. The tour book also has details of where you are staying and includes details of everything there is to do, see and visit each day, as well as a potted history of the areas through which you will pass. There is also general overview information and history on each country or region, and language information, where applicable. We also offer pre-programmed Garmin GPS units or we can send you the routes to upload into your own Garmin or Tom-Tom GPS sat nav.
See a Tour Book sample here.
No, we do not use Tulip routes as not everyone finds these easy. Our tour books have detailed, written, narrative-style directions (eg turn left by the pub, signed Anytown), accompanied by the overview daily route, which is also marked on a map. We also provide a clear and large-scale road atlas for you (Group Tours only). We find this easier for those who may wish to deviate from our recommended route, or for those who do not wish to spend each moment looking at directions, and be able to enjoy the countryside you are travelling through. We offer a choice of so many different things to visit on or nearby our routes, that traditional maps are easier to follow, and allow you to travel exactly as you wish.
We also offer pre-programmed Garmin GPS on loan for tours, or we can send you the GPX map files to load on to your own GPS.
See a Tour Book sample here
Our recommended routes are usually along excellent, fully-metalled, quiet, scenic roads. We avoid motorways and main roads where ever possible. This generally ensures you will be driving along the quieter back roads, usually surrounded by lovely scenery.
On some tours (mainly outside Europe) there may be very small sections of untarred road (to which there are usually alternative routes provided), but these are of good quality and we have driven our cars along them already on the reconnaissance trip. Where we do use untarred sections it is because the road or scenery is so outstanding that we think it really should not be missed! However, untarred roads are very rare and most tours have none. Obviously, driveways to some of the hotels will be gravel or similar too.
No, absolutely not! It does, of course, help that you take pleasure in motoring through fabulous scenery, relish individual, character hotels, and enjoy the company of like-minded travellers. But it is not the intention to make the tour exclusively car-oriented. Classic Travelling tours are first and foremost holidays to relax, enjoy and experience the countries we visit. We aim to satisfy everyone, (including non-car enthusiasts) so let us know if you have a particular interest that you would like us to try and accommodate.
All the accommodation includes breakfast. On accompanied group tours we tend to include evening meals on about 70% of the evenings. As a general rule, when we have only one night in a hotel we include dinner and when we have two or more nights in the same hotel, we include dinner on the first night. We often do not include meals at hotels in towns and cities, as there is often a good range of restaurants to choose from, and we will often be able to recommend somewhere good to eat. Occasionally it is also pleasant to have a meal without the group. Where there is no alternative, such as rural hotels, we will include dinner. Group dinners are always three courses, with wine (1/2 bottle per person). The meal will usually be a set menu or limited choice menu. Lunch is of your own choosing, although we make restaurant recommendations where possible.
Day: Comfortable travelling clothes are more important than looking stylish. We also recommend that you take plenty of sun protection (high-factor cream, wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved clothing), warm clothing for cooler days, and a waterproof layer.
Evening: For our group tours, it is preferred if guests change from their travelling clothes into smart-casual attire for dinner in hotels. You may wish to take something slightly smarter, but men usually won’t need a jacket and tie – smart casual will be fine. Gentlemen usually wear trousers and a shirt for dinner, and ladies are usually in skirts, dresses or smart trousers – although this varies depending on the nature of the hotel as well. But you certainly will not be required to bring lots of clothes or luggage.
Our customers book our tours to enjoy their cars, great driving, beautiful scenery, good food and wine, and quality hotel accommodation. Some of your fellow travellers are sampling European motoring for the first time, whilst others have been touring for years. Age ranges vary from mid-twenties to mid-eighties!
Please contact us to discuss your requirements. We will seriously consider any suggestions as an accompanied tour, or we can arrange a tailor-made tour for groups (clubs, friends etc, to meet your exact requirements (minimum 8 cars).
That’s no problem at all: Classic Travelling can arrange the hire of a suitable classic or sports car on your behalf. Please contact us to discuss your requirements. We can arrange car hire in:
UK: London, Yorkshire, Edinburgh, Stirling, Kent, Hertfordshire, Wiltshire, Cotswolds, Surrey, Cornwall
France: Dordogne & Burgundy
Italy: northern Italy – Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino, Tuscany
South Africa: Western Cape
For our Classic Independent Tours you can take any car. It’s just our accompanied Group Tours where we ask that participants are in a classic, vintage or sports car – of any age.
Once you have decided which tour you want to go on, just contact us to ensure places are still available. Then download the booking form (at the bottom of each tour page), fill it in and send it back to us – or you can book online. We require a deposit of 25% of the tour price to secure your place. Bookings made by telephone will be held for 7 days, by which time we hope to have received your booking form and deposit. The balance (75%) must be paid no less than eight weeks before departure.
There are various ways to pay: Direct bank transfer; Credit/Debit card via PayPal (3.5% surcharge imposed); Cheque (payable to ‘Classic Travelling Ltd’)
Bank details (Classic Travelling Ltd):
Please use the reference on the invoice number, or the tour name and your name.
|UK Sterling Account||Euro Account||US Dollar Account|
|Bank||Barclays Bank||Barclays Bank||Barclays Bank|
|IBAN||GB25 BARC 2002 2570 4099 95||GB28 BARC 2002 2572 958422||GB22 BARC2002 2584 5452 77|
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for Classic Travelling, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for non-flight packages.
ABTOT cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad. Please note that bookings made outside the EU are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Classic Travelling.
In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call our 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company.
You can access The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/contents/made
For all our tours, all payments made to us are fully bonded through the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT). Our ABTOT membership number is 5389.
This does not replace your travel insurance or motor insurance and we strongly recommend that you have this. It may cover you for various unforeseen eventualities during your trip, and may provide cover in case you have to cancel your holiday, and are not entitled to a refund.