Car checklist for road trip across Spain

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gauravM3, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. 13 Sep 2019 at 10:39 AM #1
    gauravM3

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    The wife and I have decided to embark on a long road trip across Spain in the next month. I’m looking for advice for what my car needs as I know a few of you do frequent road trips across Europe. Car is 2009 E90 M3.

    The plan is to take the ferry from Portsmouth and do a counter clockwise trip back to Bilbao to get the ferry back.

    I had in mind the following:
    - AA euro travel kit (triangles, beam converters the lot)
    - take out a break down cover for Europe (any suggestions?)
    - carry all car documents
    - carry locking nut, puncture repair kit, top up oil, antifreeze, washer fluids

    Can’t think of much else! Have I missed something?

    Thanks !

    P.S if any automotive journalists on here are reading and want me to do a long test drive and blog about it let me know. :muttley:
     
  2. 13 Sep 2019 at 11:38 AM #2
    ElliotR

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    High vis vests for each passenger
     
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  3. 13 Sep 2019 at 11:42 AM #3
    ElliotR

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    Oh and good shoes for walking as if you cherish your car you won't want to park anywhere near other cars
     
  4. 13 Sep 2019 at 11:42 AM #4
    Hopz121

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    On my E46 I always carry some basic tools and a spare coil pack too. Some of the puncture repair plug kits are excellent too maybe add them to your list
     
  5. 13 Sep 2019 at 11:55 AM #5
    klan8456

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    I recently did a couple of thousand miles through Europe. Car packing list was as follows:


    · Torque wrench

    · Wheel nut socket

    · Full size spare

    · Jack

    · Tyre pressure gauge

    · Tyre weld spray cans

    · Wurth windscreen cleaner spray foam (an absolute godsend – there were so many bugs, and the wipers just smear)
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Würth-Active-Windscreen-Cleaner-500ml/dp/B016177BWA/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=wurth+spray+glass&qid=1564658238&s=gateway&sr=8-4

    · Wurth washer fluid concentrate

    · Stoner’s glass cleaner

    · Paper towels

    o All the kit required to be legal in Europe – GB sticker, headlight deflector stickers, yellow vests, breathalyser sticks, foil blankets, warning triangle, first aid kit, spare bulbs etc etc

    · Spare parts: crank position sensor, ignition coil x 2, throttle position sensor, fuel pump relay, water temp sensors, throttle pedal, fuel pump, fuses, and a few other bits and pieces

    · Tools required to change coil pack (most likely out of all the above to go)

    · All the required paperwork – V5, confirmation of insurance, breakdown assistance contact details etc

    · Spanish / French toll tag

    · 1 L of engine oil and collapsible funnel

    · Zip ties, electrical tape, side cutters, multimeter

    · 20L VP Fuels container
     
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  6. 13 Sep 2019 at 11:56 AM #6
    klan8456

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  7. 13 Sep 2019 at 12:11 PM #7
    Ashway

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    Just come back from our annual 4 month trip to Spain, we crossed Portsmouth to Santander and then drove down to Murcia. Roads are all fine, most of the tolls have now been removed and the remainder due to be removed later this year.

    The service stations are fine and stock all you need rather than stock your car up as if you're going on the Paris Dakar rally. I took the precaution of obtaining International driving permits for the wife and I in case of no deal Brexit whilst we were away, also need V5, Insurance certificate (and green card if no deal brexit) Hi viz vests for all passengers these should be readily available in the car and should be worn as soon as you get out in emergency situations. Warning triangle.

    Make sure you have your locking wheel nut, I forgot to put mine back in the boot after swapping my winter wheels and lo and behold I managed to get a screw in my tyre. Luckily they are runlets on the X5 and there was no deflation. Local BMW dealership plugged the tyre and got me a replacement set of wheel bolts as that was easier and quicker than ordering the socket.

    Fuel in Spain is much cheaper than the UK.

    can't remember if the E92 has automatic headlight adjustment for left and right hand drive motoring if so you don't need the beam deflectors
     
  8. 13 Sep 2019 at 6:29 PM #8
    mjn

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    As a veteran of European travel;

    • All paperwork; V5, insurance cert, MOT, Driving Licence.
    • Check all tyres for tread, bulges and pressures.
    • Spare bulbs (although you are not expected to have a replacement xenon bulb)
    • Safety vests in cabin, not boot.
    • Spare tyre or gel foam stuff.
    • Spare coolant, oil, screenwash.
    • Tyre compressor.
    • Emergency cash.
    • Sunglasses.
    • EU compliant numberplate.
    • Maps.
    • Windscreen tag for France (no more queuing).
    • Blankets in boot. (In case you breakdown.)
    • Breakdown cover.
    • Water and snacks.
    • Advise your insurance company you are going abroad.
    • Code reader.
    Any questions just ask.
     
  9. 13 Sep 2019 at 6:30 PM #9
    mjn

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    Only once have i had all paperwork checked and that was in Switzerland. They were thorough! Even had a quick quiz on Swiss road law! :eek:
     
  10. 13 Sep 2019 at 6:38 PM #10
    kevM3

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    Don't forget a leg of Iberico ham (love it) and manchego cheese! I did a trip to Spain two years ago, was great, loved it, all along the coast from santander to galicia I did
     
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  11. 13 Sep 2019 at 10:32 PM #11
    gauravM3

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    Thanks all for the fantastic advice! My car still has the old school standard plates, assuming they’ll be fine as long as I have a GB sticker ?
     
  12. 13 Sep 2019 at 10:33 PM #12
    mjn

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    Yes.
     
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  13. 13 Sep 2019 at 11:01 PM #13
    Fixit

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    Crikey,I took fewer spares driving a clapped out 1965 Sunbeam Alpine across Europe in the 1970’s.
    Doesn’t leave much room for luggage.
    I would suggest the standard TVR kit consisting of a mobile phone, credit card, AA relay card and stout walking shoes.
     
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  14. 14 Sep 2019 at 7:47 AM #14
    Pondboy

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    Hi-vis vests are a legal requirement. Baby wipes are just a good idea to help you clean up if you have to do any work on your car.
     
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  15. 14 Sep 2019 at 9:02 AM #15
    FrazerD

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    Or have to go for a **** in the woods.

    Cheers :thumbsup:
     
  16. 14 Sep 2019 at 9:45 AM #16
    klan8456

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    Massive amounts of room for luggage - just needs to be soft bags to fit the through the roll cage aperture into the space where the rear seats once were
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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  17. 15 Sep 2019 at 9:22 PM #17
    simonc

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    I have an apartment on Costa Blanca with secure parking and often think of driving there in my M3 but have only ever flown there and use hire car. I live down in Kent so only about 3 hours from Portsmouth. Puts me off a bit hearing stories that it can be a rough crossing to Santander or Bilbao. Some of the ferries state that your car may be parked open to elements and get covered in sea spray! Looked like it was about 400 miles or so from Bilbao to Calpe where apartment is so not too far. Most cars seem covered in parking dents in Spain which also puts me off taking a nice car there!
    Have you used the ferry from Portsmouth a few times with a good experience?
     
  18. 16 Sep 2019 at 7:17 AM #18
    Pondboy

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    We have used the Bilbao / Portsmouth ferry about 20 times and only had 2 roughish crossings. You are right about being wary of street parking, I always look for nose to tail spaces rather than side by side slots to prevent door banging incidents.
    I would highly recommend bringing the car over, you will love the empty roads. Siesta time (2-4pm) is an especially good time for putting down some rubber.
     
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  19. 16 Sep 2019 at 9:01 AM #19
    Vergis

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    Fantastic roads. Enjoy
     
  20. 16 Sep 2019 at 1:27 PM #20
    KentM3fan

    KentM3fan A mere Chipper

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    Done this a couple of times to do driving trips in the Pyrenees. I have been lucky and had nothing but dead calm weather. The truck ferry is the one that has some cars open to the elements. On our 2018 Porsche trip, all the guys other than me got inside and I was stuck outside and the car ended up covered in salt on the way back. Not happy. But, I just used a garden sprinkler under the car in multiple places once I got home to thoroughly rinse everything I could. That seemed to do the trick. You don't have to use the truck ferry though, it just happened that our travel days forced us to use it one way. Its also a more boring boat with less food options, so best avoided.

    Its a boring boat trip with horribly slow wifi, but we have found that for a driving trip it gives you 24 hours to unwind from work before hitting the road and that first late afternoon in Spain fresh off the ferry is a nice little intro to a week of driving. On one trip, one of our guys slept for 14 hours solid as he had been working so hard. Similarly, on the way back, it beats the long and expensive schlep back on French toll roads. If you are doing an Alps trip, you have the option of some good roads getting there (Ardennes, Black Forest, Jura mountains etc), but Spain is just a long way to drive.

    $0.02
     
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