Monday, June 07, 2010

Crossing that channel

This is one of my think aloud and post a lot of links posts. Enjoy!

20050916 - 1 Dover to Calais (9)I’ve been exploring the options for getting Munson from England to France next month which don’t involve me buying a car beforehand. I’m checking whether buying a used car might cause a multi-week delay if a full registration certificate from the DVLA is required to cross the channel.

Buying:  how will I pay for it at the time, as bank transfers from Australia will mean about a 2 day delay .

The Passports for Pets site indicates that there are very few surface crossings for foot passengers with dogs. The small-print says that it has to be a small dog in a carrier. Scratch that idea.

The ideal would be to take Eurostar and have a near seamless train journey, but they flatly refuse to participate in the PETS scheme, which I understand from listening to BBC Radio’s Excess Baggage program, is due to the personal antipathy of its CEO.

Mark Smith’s site The Man in Seat Sixty-One sets out many of the train/ferry options for pets.

Our options for the crossing now are:

  1. buy car
  2. rent car for the crossing and bring another driver who can return the same day and deliver the rental car back to its depot.
  3. rent car to cross channel one-way. Hertz minimum charge for same day use London to Calais is £350. Renting from Dover for 4 hours costs over £1200!!!!
  4. catch train to Dover and hitch a ride in someone’s car for the crossing. Theoretically I wouldn’t need to displace anyone as any other passengers won’t be in the car for the actual crossing (beyond some short squeezes at either end).

Once across:

  1. continue use of own car
  2. rent one-way car within France: Calais to Pau for about 100 euro
  3. take the train. Seat 61 says

“Dogs can be taken on all French trains.  Small dogs (under 6Kg) placed in containers not exceeding 45cm x 30cm x 25cm pay no more than 5.10 euros per journey.  Larger dogs on leads pay half the 2nd class full fare (even travelling in 1st class).  You can buy tickets for your pet at the ticket office.”

A train journey from Calais or Le Havre to Pau is somewhere between 9 and 11.5 hours.


  1. To which we all say "why do they make things so freakin' complicated"

    I guess it the next part of the blog post is 'when you come to it'

  2. I'll never understand why public transportation is so anti-dog! Good luck!


  3. The ridiculous thing is that the trains in both the UK and France take dogs without any hassle. It's just that short stretch on the line connecting the two that is the problem.

    I'm pretty close to addressing (for me) the problem with a car purchase.


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