Driving to Morzine from the UK

Driving to Morzine from the UK

July 7th, 2023 Holiday Tips

It might look a long way on the map, but driving to Morzine is relatively straightforward, with easy motorways (with usually little traffic) and interesting places to stop along the way. From the South of England once you’ve crossed the channel the drive is approximately 8 hours, although you may want to take your time and enjoy some scenic stops along the way. What’s more, arriving by car means no luggage restrictions and if you are bringing your four legged friend, it is definitely the easiest (and most affordable) option.

Read on for a checklist on what you need to bring, rules for driving in France, the best routes by road and worthy places to stop on-route.

Driving from the UK to Morzine in the French Alps

Laws and what to bring

 

Car insurance & breakdown cover

Most UK insurance policies cover drivers on European roads, while some require an extra premium to extend comprehensive cover, which is usually a minimal fee. When it comes to breakdown cover, many UK policies also include cover when driving in Europe. For those whose policies don’t, it’s a good idea to arrange temporary cover. It’s also a good idea to check your vehicle’s tax and MOT are up-to-date.

 

What to bring: checklist

It is worth noting, the first 5 items are included in an AA Euro Travel Kit, which you can buy online before you set off.

Items to carry in your car

  • UK sticker (if needed, see below)
  • Reflective jackets
  • Headlight beam deflectors
  • Breathalyser alcohol test
  • A warning triangle
  • High visibility jacket in case of a breakdown
  • Snow chains if coming in winter

Documents

  • Passport(s)
  • Driving license
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Breakdown cover details
  • V5C certificate (vehicle’s log book)
  • A credit card somewhere handy to pay for the tolls

Road laws

There are a few French road laws that British drivers should be aware of:

  • From September 2021, UK number plate stickers have replaced the old white oval GB stickers. If your number plate includes the UK identifier with the Union flag (also known as the Union Jack), you do not need a UK sticker to drive in France. However, you will need to display a UK sticker clearly on the rear of your vehicle if your number plate has any of the following: a GB identifier with the Union flag (also known as the Union Jack); a Euro symbol; a national flag of England, Scotland or Wales; numbers and letters only – no flag or identifier.
  • From 2022, all vehicles travelling in the French Alps between 1st November and 31st March must carry in their car boot (or be using them if the road requires) metal snow chains or snow socks suitable for fitting at least two driving wheels; or be equipped with 4 winter tires, mounted on at least 2 wheels of each axle. Find all the info here.
  • Dipped-beam headlights must be used in poor visibility and in tunnels.
  • The drink-drive limit allows only 0.05% alcohol in the bloodstream (0.08% is the legal limit in England and Wales).
  • It is prohibited to use any device that attaches to the ear while driving a car, e.g. Bluetooth headsets/earphones.
  • Drivers must carry a warning triangle and a reflective high-visibility vest at all times.

Planning the route from the UK to Morzine

Route from the South of England

Cross the channel by catching a ferry from Dover to Calais or take the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. The ferry is often cheaper but takes longer (90 minutes), whereas the tunnel is super fast to board and takes just 35 minutes. Ferry crossings also offer everyone a chance to stretch their legs and kids enjoy the novelty of boarding a boat. If you’re coming from East Sussex, it’s worth checking out the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry crossing – it’s around 3 hours long but often includes a lunch ticket and can work out very affordable. Whichever route you choose, book well in advance to get the best prices.

From Calais it takes around eight hours to drive to Morzine. It’s an easy to navigate, fairly traffic free route for first-time drivers on the continent. Traffic may appear around major cities in busy times, but usually its pretty clear.

Route from the North of England

If driving to Morzine from the north of England or Scotland, you have a couple of options. Either drive south to catch the ferry from Dover or take the overnight Hull to Rotterdam ferry. The second option is an overnight affair, but you can rest your head in a passenger cabin. Then the drive to Morzine is 10 hours from Rotterdam.

Tolls

Whilst avoiding tolls might seem like a good idea to avoid costs, it really will add a great deal of time to your trip. Therefore, we recommend setting aside around €160 for the tolls and ensuring you have a credit card handy to pay for them – you don’t want to be struggling to find money or your card when at the toll machine. Remember that the machine will be on the opposite side to the driver (if you’re in a right-hand drive) so its a good idea to designate operating the machine to your passenger.

Places to stop and accommodation

If the mountains are calling and you’re in a hurry you’ll find a good range of service stations with eateries and often, play areas, on-route, as well as road-side hotels. If you’re saving money for lunches on the mountain, budget hotel chains include F1 (the cheapest), Fasthotels and Ibis Budget. Family rooms can be booked from anywhere between €40 to €110.

If you’d like to get into holiday mode and include a stop somewhere interesting, there are some excellent options:

 

Reims

A pretty, Gothic city and the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing. The city has a total of 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites and is a must for history fans.

 

Paris

France’s capital city needs little introduction, and continues to live up to its reputation as a global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture.

 

Dijon

Known for its traditional mustard, vineyard tours, gastronomic fair, historic buildings and elegant squares, this city is a worthy place to rest your head for a night and enjoy a memorable stroll and meal.

 

Troyes

An unusual town, medieval Troyes features narrow, cobbled streets lined with colourful, half-timbered houses, mostly dating from the 16th century. Great restaurants and hotels can be found in the centre.

 

Pets

Both the Eurotunnel and ferry companies allow you to travel with your dog. Check out the information to decide which is best for you and your pet. Bring your best friend on the Eurotunnel from £22 each way; or £15 on the Dover – Calais crossing. As with humans, dogs must remain in the car during the tunnel crossing. On the ferry they must also remain inside your vehicle, however, you can visit your pet during the crossing.

AliKats Mountain Holidays offer luxury catered and self-catered chalets in Morzine with access to the huge Portes du Soleil mountain range – one of the biggest ski areas in the world and an excellent base for mountain adventures in the summer. Our accommodation is also dog-friendly.

Al
About the author: Al
After an interesting but ultimately unrewarding 10 years working in banking in London and Geneva, I made the move into full time mountain life and have never looked back. When I am not looking after our 3 energetic and hilarious children, I oversee the commercial and business change side of AliKats. I also helped set up a local environmental charity called Montagne Verte, along with Kat. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn

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