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Thread: First time using the EuroTunnel... any tips?

  1. #1
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    First time using the EuroTunnel... any tips?

    I'm heading to the Continent for a few days and thinking of using the Eurotunnel for the first time. When I go to book, it gives two hour time slots (1600-1800, 1800-2000 etc), so does this mean I need to arrive two hours in advance... e.g. - 1800 arrival for 2000 departure?

    Any advice or tips received gratefully. I'll be driving through France and Switzerland, so guessing I need to keep to the speed limits too.

  2. #2
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    When I have booked it has always been for a specific departure time. I usually get there early and usually they put you on an earlier train.

    I always use the tunnel now, especially since then P&O mass sacking.

    Their Twitter feed and app are pretty good for updates.

    I typically book a specific time out and a flexible back.

    Don’t forget the motorway sticker for Switzerland.

    Get one of these for the French tolls, make the long journey easier.

    https://www.emovis-tag.co.uk/
    Last edited by Montello; 22nd September 2022 at 21:38.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by W44NNE View Post
    I'm heading to the Continent for a few days and thinking of using the Eurotunnel for the first time. When I go to book, it gives two hour time slots (1600-1800, 1800-2000 etc), so does this mean I need to arrive two hours in advance... e.g. - 1800 arrival for 2000 departure?

    Any advice or tips received gratefully. I'll be driving through France and Switzerland, so guessing I need to keep to the speed limits too.
    If you arrive early for the EuroTunnel you can often go through before your normal time, so allow yourself time, turn up with plenty to spare and youíll be fine. Unless itís a really busy time youíll go through faster. Youíll be allocated a precise train when you complete your booking but Iíve rarely stuck to it.

    Speeding: just donít. Cruising at 140kph (French motorways are 130 in the dry) is fine, any more will get you a ticket. Not sure whether they still come through automatically post-Brexit, but I still wince at the 5 tickets I got after one trip. A new S Class was to blame. Switzerland is still more prescriptive, at least on the motorways.

  4. #4
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    I'm an idiot and didn't click the time slot... I now see that it gives you specific times at the next stage.

    I'll book the 2020 train which is slightly cheaper, hoping that I can take a slightly earlier train. Purchased the vignette and I think my Spanish Emovis tag works in France too but I'll confirm.

    Good to know about Switzerland as that's my destination and I'm heading for the mountain passes... which will hopefully still be open by the time I arrive. I've also got winter tyres and wheels being installed next week.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by W44NNE View Post
    I'm an idiot and didn't click the time slot... I now see that it gives you specific times at the next stage.

    I'll book the 2020 train which is slightly cheaper, hoping that I can take a slightly earlier train. Purchased the vignette and I think my Spanish Emovis tag works in France too but I'll confirm.

    Good to know about Switzerland as that's my destination and I'm heading for the mountain passes... which will hopefully still be open by the time I arrive. I've also got winter tyres and wheels being installed next week.
    Sounds like you are all set, the mountains can be snowy but unlikely you will have any problems. Itís a great place to be Ö enjoy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Sounds like you are all set, the mountains can be snowy but unlikely you will have any problems. Itís a great place to be Ö enjoy.
    Thanks, appreciate the advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by W44NNE View Post
    Thanks, appreciate the advice.
    Regarding snow I have never seen it lay in September but I have seen it in the air Ö then enjoyed 25 C in the valley.

    Which passes have you got planned?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Regarding snow I have never seen it lay in September but I have seen it in the air Ö then enjoyed 25 C in the valley.

    Which passes have you got planned?
    I donít want to state when Iím going on a public forum, but itíll be more likely thereís snow/ice conditions around for sure. The winter tyres and wheels should suffice but it depends when the passes close etc.

  9. #9
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    I recommend taking a good stock of Britsh cheese, it's highly unlikely you'll be able to find any once in France.
    "A man of little significance"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxy100 View Post
    I recommend taking a good stock of Britsh cheese, it's highly unlikely you'll be able to find any once in France.
    Iím much more interested in the wine lol

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by W44NNE View Post
    I'm an idiot and didn't click the time slot... I now see that it gives you specific times at the next stage.

    I'll book the 2020 train which is slightly cheaper, hoping that I can take a slightly earlier train. Purchased the vignette and I think my Spanish Emovis tag works in France too but I'll confirm.

    Good to know about Switzerland as that's my destination and I'm heading for the mountain passes... which will hopefully still be open by the time I arrive. I've also got winter tyres and wheels being installed next week.
    Youíll be sorted; if thereís buckets of snow in the Swiss Alps youíre in trouble, but itís unlikely. Take your time on the hills though; slow down a little and enjoy the beauty. Itís tempting to go full-tilt at the twisties but unless youíre an absolute trackday demon youíll realise that slower is waaay better.

    Have a good trip.

  12. #12
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    I didnít post earlier as you said ďin a few daysĒ and previous posters covered it well. But if youíre going later in the year you may want to carry chains too, as some passes are closed to vehicles without them.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longblackcoat View Post
    Youíll be sorted; if thereís buckets of snow in the Swiss Alps youíre in trouble, but itís unlikely. Take your time on the hills though; slow down a little and enjoy the beauty. Itís tempting to go full-tilt at the twisties but unless youíre an absolute trackday demon youíll realise that slower is waaay better.

    Have a good trip.
    Youíre right. I have a favourite road I cover as quickly as possible in Spain. Driven it loads of times, and then recently I had reason to drive it slow. The beauty was nuts around it. I wonít be going fast if itís icey, winter tyres or not :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    I didnít post earlier as you said ďin a few daysĒ and previous posters covered it well. But if youíre going later in the year you may want to carry chains too, as some passes are closed to vehicles without them.
    Yeah thatís a good point. I donít think Iíll need them but might look in to options just in case.

  14. #14
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    Make sure you have plenty of petrol in the tank if you're going up mountains and through passes. Motorways in Switzerland are a bit slow down/speed up at every slip road and tunnel and often for no apparent reason at all. Snow tyres should be fine, unless you're really unlucky. Never had a problem in 20 years of driving through Switzerland. As others have said, chill out, don't speed in either country, and enjoy the views.

  15. #15
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    I've turned up at the tunnel 4h early in the past and no issues they just put us on an earlier train if there's room.

    In terms of the Alpine passes, the biggest worry is your brakes on the downhill. They are endless so can cook your brakes if you are feathering them all the time. Stick it in a low gear and let the engine slow you.

    If you go truly high, like the col de la bonette, you also need to watch your temperatures. My mates Elise was reading sky high every 5 minutes and needed parking to cool down.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBB21 View Post
    Make sure you have plenty of petrol in the tank if you're going up mountains and through passes. Motorways in Switzerland are a bit slow down/speed up at every slip road and tunnel and often for no apparent reason at all. Snow tyres should be fine, unless you're really unlucky. Never had a problem in 20 years of driving through Switzerland. As others have said, chill out, don't speed in either country, and enjoy the views.
    Quote Originally Posted by pete-r View Post
    I've turned up at the tunnel 4h early in the past and no issues they just put us on an earlier train if there's room.

    In terms of the Alpine passes, the biggest worry is your brakes on the downhill. They are endless so can cook your brakes if you are feathering them all the time. Stick it in a low gear and let the engine slow you.

    If you go truly high, like the col de la bonette, you also need to watch your temperatures. My mates Elise was reading sky high every 5 minutes and needed parking to cool down.
    Yeah thanks, good tips. Iíll take the GR Yaris for this one and it does well in these sorts of environments with massive brakes (for its weight), AWD and a turbo.

  17. #17
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    French Government are subsidising fuel just now to tune of 30c/ltr. BUT - many supermarkets are not the cheapest any more.

    Look out for Total stations, where 98RON fuel can be Ä1.60/ltr or even lower in some places.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    French Government are subsidising fuel just now to tune of 30c/ltr. BUT - many supermarkets are not the cheapest any more.

    Look out for Total stations, where 98RON fuel can be €1.60/ltr or even lower in some places.
    This is good news! I was in Spain recently where they’re doing the same… nothing beats a discount at the till on premium fuel lol

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