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Dover Calais ferries


hi all,

I am contemplating a holiday in the UK in August. I am thinking of going via a ferry from Calais to Dover. However, I am wondering if it is best to book a ferry in advance online or whether you can just show up on the day and take a ferry. The same goes for going back Will it be cheaper to book online for example?

Also, the reason I ask is normally I would book online in advance, however I am going to rent a car and I don't know what dimensions it will be, so for that reason I can not book a long time in advance

TIA for all answers


Don't even think about just showing up on the day and taking a ferry. It's peak summer, thousands of people are using the ferries. Many, have booked months in advance.

You don't need to know the dimensions, unless you're planning to hire a van? A standard car is what you need to book.

Also, depending on your plans, you should also check Channel Tunnel prices as these can be very competitive. (And it's significantly faster on the Channel Tunnel).

Jun 11, 2019 19:12

There are 2 ferries a 1 tunnel company doing the short crossing of the Dover straits, all information you need is on the 3 carrying company websites.

Jun 11, 2019 19:59

Don't forget to get the agreement of the hire car company for visiting Great Britain, there will undoubtedly be extra fees to be paid.

Jun 11, 2019 20:18

There aren't any extra car rental fees for visiting the UK. I do it all the time.

Jun 11, 2019 20:30

If there are only one or two of you, think about taking the Eurostar train or finding cheap flight and renting the car there. It’s not so difficult switching side. Getting an automatic makes it easier.

If you take a ferry, book as soon as possible. Same for Eurotunnel. If renting a car here, just advise the rental company that you are going to the UK in case that changes anything.

Jun 11, 2019 21:40

Just to repeat myself, if you're going to the UK, you do not have to tell the rental company. It's no different to going to France or Holland or anywhere else in the EU.

Jun 11, 2019 23:12

You can leave the registration no blank and comment you will use a rental car.
Please see FAQ section in Eurotunnel, Ferry
They do address this case.

You may have to inform the rental company. You will never have time to read the fine print and read 1.5 pages of TC

Jun 12, 2019 07:11

Anon, in spite of repeating himself/herself is wrong. Budget, for one, require you to inform them and get permission to take the car outside the country of rental. See below. There should be no extra charges for UK/France. So just tell the rental company that you plan to take the car outside Belgium. That way you are safe and all insurance, roadside assistance etc is covered.
Buying an independent CDW Insurance can also save you a lot of money.

If you do not have an EU driving licence, also check the requirements in advance.

Here is the Budget T&C.
You must NOT...
• Take the vehicle outside of the country of rental or any other permitted country without our prior agreement

Jun 12, 2019 07:54
wezembeekwanderer Jun 12, 2019 08:00

Contemplate longer queues for passport checks, and consider DFDS from Dunkirk - the ferries are better.

Jun 12, 2019 08:35