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Table of Contents
What Tour Support can I expect
All our Group and Club tours are accompanied by a Tour Director, and often a Tour Manager, in a classic car. Most of our tours outside the UK are also accompanied by our dedicated Tour Mechanic. (Link to Tour Mech page)
Why should I join a Classic Travelling tour?
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.
What is in the Tour Pack?
Each car will be given a detailed comprehensive tour book which will contain:
- An overview of your holiday and the countries/regions to be visited
- Detailed but easy to follow, written directions of your daily route, accompanied by overview maps marked with the route
- The address, telephone number, web address for each hotel, as well as information on parking, facilities etc
- A detailed itinerary with comprehensive information on everything there is to do, see and visit each day to ensure you’re able to make the most of your trip
- Contact details for your Classic Travelling guides, and other tour participants (accompanied group tours only)
- We also give each car a road atlas or maps (accompanied group tours only)
- We can also supply pre-programmed Garmin GPS/sat navs (accompanied group tours only) or the GPX files for you to load onto your own Garmin or TomTom. (These must be reserved in advance)
What happens if my car breaks down?
For all our tours we recommend you have suitable car insurance and breakdown cover for the countries in which we are travelling. This is often included as standard for many classic car insurance policies – please check with your insurer. For the tours that are accompanied by our Tour Mechanic just call and ask for assistance. The mechanic will do their best to fix your car as much as possible, or assist in the next steps. Please also have European breakdown cover and repatriation cover, just in case our tour mechanic is unable to fix the problem. All the cars on a group tour are entitled to basic mechanical work (up to about 30 minutes) to keep you on the road and in the event of any ‘failures to proceed’. Any extra labour, and any parts used, will be charged to you at the usual rate.
WHAT TO EXPECT
What does a guided group tour entail?
Your Tour Director/Manger will be with you all along the route, helping you check into hotels, providing evening and/or morning briefings and making sure everyone is ready for each day. We encourage you to drive each day at your own pace. People naturally split, sometimes with one or two other cars, and it’s usual to see one or more of the group along the route each day, either stopped at a café or enjoying a visit to one of the sights.
Do I have to drive as part of the group?
Not at all. There are no set departure or arrival times on most days, and you are free to drive at your own pace. We just ask that you are present for group dinners, or tell us before hand if you will be there. The Tour Director likes to know that everyone has arrived safely at the hotel each evening.
How many people are on the tours?
Each tour is different but generally, between 12 and 20 cars. We like to have smaller tours as it allows us to use more boutique hotels, and there is often better camaraderie and importantly a lot more fun in the evenings!
How far do we drive each day?
Mileages will obviously vary a lot from tour to tour, but some days with lots of visits and more challenging driving will be under 100 miles and sometimes when we have a cruising day we can cover up to 200 miles, but each and every day is designed to be manageable. We suggest leaving between 9am and 10am and you will generally be at your hotel by 5pm or 6pm. This will still allow you plenty of time to enjoy drink and meal stops, and visits to the variety of attractions on route.
Do we drive every day on tours?
No, we try and have as many two-night stays as possible on our longer tours, so there is plenty of opportunity to not drive at all on some days. However, we have also often created a small circular route for those days too, for those who wish to drive.
What are the roads like?
Our recommended routes are usually along excellent, fully-metalled, quiet, scenic roads. We avoid motorways and main roads wherever possible. This generally ensures you will be driving along the quieter back roads, usually surrounded by lovely scenery.
What shall I do if I have special dietary requirements?
Please let us know on the Booking Form, or as soon as possible so we can make suitable arrangements.
What is the standard of Hotels?
We tend to use four to five star standard hotels. However, we don’t choose any hotel because of its star rating: more on the ambience, service, charm, quality and parking facilities. We aim to use the best hotels, within reason, in the area in which we’re staying. On occasion this might only be a three-star hotel due to the remoteness of location.
Are the cars secure at the overnight hotels?
The first thing we check at every hotel is the car park. It’s not always undercover but it has to be somewhere where we would feel comfortable leaving our own classic cars. We also check car parks for the access ramps (for some sports cars), as well as height and length restrictions, which may pose issues to large vintage cars.
What information will I receive?
Before all the tours start you will be sent a full tour pack with route details, daily sights, hotel information and contact numbers. We also send a suggested packing list for both you and your car, documents you require and legal information as well as driving advice for each of the countries you visit.
Is the Tour Director always available?
Yes, your Tour Director will accompany you on the whole trip and will be contactable by phone/whatsapp at all times during the day in case of problems or questions. They will also be at every breakfast and group dinner, ready to answer questions, give advice and general chat.
On our escorted group tours we include the following within the price:
- Mechanical Assistance: On most of our tours outside the UK we usually have a mechanic to accompany the tour. They will carry a comprehensive set of tools and equipment and they will also be able to carry a reasonable amount of spares (provided by the tour participants) in case of emergency. On some tours there may also be a limited luggage-carrying service.
- Visits: We often include visits on our tours – museums, car collections (private and public), historic buildings/stately homes, sailing trips, vineyard tours, concerts, private lunches, private city guided tours etc. The visits vary with each tour and are detailed in the itinerary.
- Ferries: Where applicable/necessary the ferry crossing (or Eurotunnel/Le Shuttle) will be included with the tour. The exception to this is where ferries cannot be pre-booked (eg across fjords in Norway, chain ferries across small waterways etc).
- Accommodation: For your comfort and enjoyment we carefully hand-pick quality, luxury, 4-5 star boutique hotels with style, charm, atmosphere and personality. Hotels are usually in the local style and always have suitable parking for your classic, vintage or sports car, which is occasionally undercover or in a garage. Any parking charges are always included within the tour price. All taxes, resort fees and applicable gratuities are also included.
- Dinners & Breakfasts: A good breakfast is always included to help you start the day. We also include dinner on most evenings. Where we stay two nights in a hotel then dinner will be included on the first evening, leaving you free to dine at your leisure on the second evening, although we do offer recommendations in the tour book. When the hotel is rural and there is nowhere else to dine, we shall include all dinners.
- Wine: Half a bottle of wine per person is included with each dinner. Please let us know when booking if you don’t drink wine so we can make alternative arrangements.
- Tour Book: Each car is given a comprehensive tour book with easy-to-follow directions. We also include route maps, hotel details, and lots of information on everything to do, see and visit each day. The tour book also has lots of useful information about the country or region you’re visiting. Each tour book will come in a clear plastic zip bag to keep it dry along with the road atlas.
- Road Atlas: All cars on our escorted tours will be given a good, clear and detailed road atlas showing the areas you’re travelling through.
- Regalia: Each car on a group tour will be given a rally plate, ballpoint pen with highlighter, and window sticker. On some longer tours we also give branded clothing or bags.
- Tour Director: Each tour is fully escorted by a Tour Director and an assistant, to ensure your trip is hassle-free and great fun.
PREPARE YOUR CAR
Will my car be suitable?
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. 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).
What tools or spares should I bring?
Download our comprehensive Tools & Spares List and our Useful Check List.
How do I prepare my car?
Please ensure you have enough spares with you and that the car has been fully prepared for its journey. If in doubt over any part then please replace it or take a spare. The organisers’ resources are limited and may not be able to cope with a serious accident or breakdown. We strongly recommend you have European breakdown cover, including repatriation cover. This is often included with classic car insurance, so check with your insurance provider. For tours outside Europe only (eg USA/South Africa) fully comprehensive motor insurance is included in the tour price (for cars valued up to £150,000). Breakdown cover may be available on a reciprocal basis through your normal cover (eg AA/RAC) for tours outside Europe. Please check with your provider.
You alone are responsible for the security of your car and its contents. Please take the usual precautions such as not leaving any valuables on display in your car. Obviously, we also ensure that there is suitable parking for your car, and that it is as secure as possible. This may not always be under cover or in a garage, and the parking is rarely locked, but it will be in a private car park and not on the street. We also ensure that access for our cars is appropriate, with no bad driveways, low ramps or impossibly tight corners, but the surfaces may be gravel or tarmac/concrete etc.
Legal Vehicle Requirements
This varies from country to country and is subject to change. Please click on the links below, which should provide you with the information you require. You are responsible for ensuring your car complies with regulations, but generally please ensure you have a warning triangle, high-visibility jackets for everyone in the vehicle, spare bulbs, fire extinguisher, headlamp adapters, country of origin sticker. Check the www.theaa.com for specific details. You will also need to have your vehicle registration documents and proof of insurance.
Breakdowns & Accidents
Despite the best preparation and most careful driving, breakdowns and accidents still happen. Each owner and driver are solely responsible for the maintenance and road-worthiness of their vehicle. We also suggest that you: Have your car thoroughly serviced and prepared before departure Have appropriate European breakdown and recovery insurance which provides alternative vehicle use, should your car not be capable of being immediately repaired, as well as vehicle repatriation. This may well be included with your vehicle insurance, so do check. This is often more suitable than getting standard cover from RAC or AA etc, as they will already know the appropriate garages. On escorted group tours call the Classic Travelling tour guides or mechanic (numbers in tour book) and we will try to help as best we can
To ensure your holiday is as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible, please ensure your car is fit for the trip and in excellent mechanical condition. We recommend a thorough service before departure. We suggest that you tell your mechanic about the tour, and the time and distances involved, and if in any doubt over any part, replace it or take a spare – Click here for our Tools & Spares List. Click here for Check List of things to Prep.
Be Prepared – Some tips for a great tour
Sort, sort then re-sort: It will ruin your trip if you’re sorting a newly restored car during the tour. Put at least a couple of thousand miles on the car, for a good ‘shake-down’, before the tour. Fix the quirks and niggles: Before heading out make a list of the things on the car that need attention – and fix them. Little problems get annoying on a long trip. Don’t let a carb issue, misbehaving gauge or wobbly side mirror constantly irk you. Bring spares: Compile a spares list and kit. Things like fuses, alternators, points, plugs, fuel pumps, starters and relays can be easily replaced if you have the correct spares. Instead of waiting 24 hours plus for delivery, you may only spend 30 minutes fixing it. Leaks are bad: This sounds so obvious, but your oil, cooling and fuel systems shouldn’t leak. You don’t want to have to keep topping up or worrying about fluid levels. And some car parks get very precious about spills and may charge you for ‘damage’. Also, none of us wish to pollute any watercourses etc. Wear layers: Don’t be surprised when it’s cold in the morning and warm by midday. Dress in layers, especially in an open car. You may want to bring hats, gloves, scarfs (or baffles) and even goggles. Don’t forget sunglasses. Ear plugs are useful too, to stop the wind whistling around your ears. Pack lightly: Don’t be that person struggling to carry too much luggage into the hotel each night. Pack clothes that don’t really need ironing and can be worn a few times or in different combinations – i.e. a shirt or that goes with all your trousers, or top that matches skirts. On our group tours we do ask that you dress smart-casually for group dinners – not jeans please. Don’t forget many of the hotels have laundry facilities. And remember, we’re all in the same position – little room and living out of a suitcase, so most of us will look slightly crumpled and outfits will be worn more than once, particularly on longer tours!
What should I pack?
Download our useful Packing List here
Is there a dress code in the evening?
We respectfully ask that you change from your driving clothes for dinner. We aim for smart-casual: no blue jeans, no trainers, no fleeces, no hats/caps.
What luggage Should I take?
We highly recommend having fitted luggage for your classic car. This ensures that all the available luggage space is used, and you won’t experience an explosion of small bags that have been stuffed in the little nooks and crannies (and associated arguments, and damaged fingers!!). Please see our sister website – www.classictravellingluggage.com
For UK residents who are intending on driving abroad or drive outside of the UK (or anyone from outside the EU) from the 1st January 2021, we have pulled together the important information which will hopefully help you to understand what you may be required to take with you or steps you might need to undertake. Check how long is left on your passport: You will need at least six months left on your passport before it expires, and it will need to be less than 10 years old or you might not be able to travel. The new rules do not apply when travelling to Ireland. Read more on travelling to the EU after Brexit here. All UK vehicle insurance provides the minimum third party cover to drive in:
- the EU (including Ireland)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
Check with your insurer if your policy has extra cover for things like theft or damage to your car abroad. You do not need to carry a green card when you drive in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia, and Switzerland. You still need valid vehicle insurance. You will need:
- Driving Licence: You need to take your Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving licence with you to drive abroad. Check yours is still valid and renew your driving licence online if it’s expired or about to expire. You’ll need to apply to renew your licence at least a week before you travel.
- Log Book (V5C): If you’re taking your own vehicle, you also need to take your vehicle logbook (V5C) and you should carry it with you when driving. If the original has been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, you will need to get a replacement. The Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will be able to assist you.
- If you’re taking a vehicle abroad that you’ve hired or leased in the UK, you’ll need a VE103 certificate.
- International Driving Permit (IDP): From 1 January, most UK drivers will still be able to use their normal driving licence to drive in the EU for short visits. There are some exceptions and what is called an International Driving Permit (IDP) will be needed to drive in some European countries. The exceptions are people who only have a paper licence, not a photocard one, as well as those with licences issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man. An IDP can be bought at Post Offices for £5.50.
- Check your vehicle insurance if you’re taking your own vehicle. Your UK vehicle insurance gives you a minimum of third-party cover to drive your vehicle in EU countries. Check with your insurer if your policy covers extra things like theft or damage.
- Country of Origin Stickers and Number Plates. You should display a UK (not GB) or your country of origin sticker on the rear of your vehicle
What Insurance Should I have?
Car Insurance: The owner of each vehicle is solely responsible for arranging insurance for his/her car and Classic Travelling can not accept responsibility for the consequences of failing to have in place the appropriate car insurance. Please be aware that:
- Some insurers will require several days advance notification before leaving the UK
- Additional drivers (if applicable) will need to be added to your insurance policy
- Your insurance policy may be invalidated if you do not comply with the legal requirements for each country you visit
- You need to bring your insurance papers with you on the holiday and have them available for inspection at all times.
- You should also take your car’s registration document, and a valid driving licence – and check whether an International Driving Permit (IDP) is necessary.
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. Health & Travel Insurance: Each customer is solely responsible for arranging their own health and travel insurance and Classic Travelling Ltd can not accept responsibility for the consequences of failing to have in place the appropriate health insurance. We strongly recommend you have travel insurance in case you need to cancel your trip for any reason, or experience any problems whilst on your holiday. Sadly it does happen occasionally so please don’t be complacent. As a UK resident, you’re entitled to free, or reduced cost, state healthcare when you visit a European Union (EU) country – but only if you have a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) with you. This replaces the EHIC forms which are no longer valid. For further details or to apply online for your GHIC please visit www.dh.gov.uk/travellers. If you had European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued before the end of 2020 it will be valid until the expiry date (the expiry date will be on the front of your card).
How do I book?
Once you have decided which tour you want to go on, just contact us to ensure places are still available. Then complete the booking form at the bottom of each tour page. 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.
Is my money protected?
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 UK 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. 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.
How do I use my mobile phone abroad?
From 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end. You should check with your mobile provider to see if you’re likely to face extra charges. The four main UK operators have said they have no plans to reintroduce roaming fees. A new law means that you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing. Once you reach £45, you need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad. Your phone operator will tell how you can do this.
Can I bring my dog?
Generally, yes. We have had quite a few four-legged friends join us for motoring adventures. More and more hotels, especially in the UK, are dog-friendly. There is usually a surcharge, imposed by the hotels, which we will pass on to you. Please check with us for each tour so we can ensure you have a dog-friendly room for you.