Driving back to UK with a dog

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06 Jun 2014 10:38 by SandyTW Star rating in Heading to Spain in .... 1 posts Send private message

Hello Everyone,

I am driving to UK end of this month/early July driving with my Dog, for a 6 month UK stint to rebuild my flooded house.

I am looking for advice & recent good experiences (& any warnings too) about driving through Spain & France & dog friendly stop off points. As I will have a full car of belongings I only want secure parking. I am not on a mad dash, will be driving at an economical fuel consumption rate! Have some concerns over the north of Spain border crossing (from listening to the radio warnings). Also wondering about using all or some of the toll roads in France?

I will be setting off from Sotogrande. Any suggestions very much appreciated.

thanks in advance Sandy

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06 Jun 2014 21:22 by broph Star rating. 147 posts Send private message

Hi , have you also considered / and / or priced up the crossings from either Santander or Bilbao. Sometimes it can balance out between the costs of tolls, fuel, and hotels driving up through France. Good Luck and enjoy whichever you route you go for.


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06 Jun 2014 22:50 by Jimbothescot Star rating in Urcal,Huercal Overa,.... 41 posts Send private message

Hi Sandy, Don`t know what warnings you have heard but I haven`t seen any Douanne or police at the Spanish border at Irun in the last 6 months. More Basque cops pulling lorries on the Spanish side.

Just don`t be taking many cigarettes through France, no more than 2 sleeves or the Douanne will confiscate more than that and fine you. I never see many cars getting pulled more vans and lorries, I got pulled off the road between Nantes and Rennes a few months ago. Opened the back of the lorry, drug dog was put in for a sniff around and then I was allowed to go, 10 mins maximum.


Can`t give any advice on dog friendly hotels as I have a nice comfy bunk in the lorry to sleep in.


Only warning I would give is do not stop for anyone other than a marked police or Douanne vehicle, particularly in Spain,there are many unmarked Police cars

 now, but if he is genuine and you don`t stop he will radio for a marked car to stop you. I have had two attempts at stopping me by potential robbers waving fake police badges at me. My gut instinct told me they were robbers and I just kept going when they tried to slow down in front of me. I took note of the make and model of the car, registration number and number of occupants and pulled into the first services I saw  Trafico car in and reported it.


When fuelling up, make sure you lock your car when going to pay.


Enjoy the drive and have a safe journey.




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07 Jun 2014 09:22 by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1839 posts Send private message

I drive this route twice a year with a dog. I stay in Ibis hotels which are never a problem with pets. I take the route from Valencia - Zaragoza, Huesca to Pau over the Pyrenees, via the Somport Tunnel. It's in my opion the best option and toll free. Then the N10 through most of France. South of Spain to Calais takes a comfortable 3 days doing no more than 8 driving hours each day and stops for the dog. If you are careful there is no need to pay a cent in tolls.

It's an easy comfortable journey. Never had any bad experiences. Happy travelling.

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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17 Jun 2014 11:19 by Susanspain Star rating in Mijas, Malaga. 145 posts Send private message

Susanspain´s avatar

Thank you to MickeyFinn for very useful advice ^

We are looking at the costs too as may want to drive both ways at some point, (with pet.) 

Have been weighing up costs of going from French port to UK and Spainish Ports (Bilbao or Santander.)

It seems it 'might' be cheaper to do second option as although the ferry cost is more expensive (from Eu340 one way, against Eu120 from France ), there are no hotel bills and no French tolls, plus less fuel costs.

I am happy to be educated though on someone who has done both routes :)

(Our start/return point will be Malaga City.) 


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17 Jun 2014 19:45 by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1839 posts Send private message

It depends on how sea sick you get. I have tried many times but crossing the Bay of Biscay is not for sea sick souls such as I. Every time I try it I say never again. Compared to a good French dinner and decent hotel there is no contest.

However horses for courses. I do the entire route without paying a cent in tolls. It's slower but if you have time it's not a problem. Pets are accepted in almost all French hotels. Buy fuel and picnic lunch in supermarkets.

Bon route.

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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