I'm driving home for Christmas....

HelenMW Image
12/11/2009 - 06:12

Can anyone suggest a website where I can find out conditions, especially around Switzerland so I can decide whether to chance it or just go through France and also I have an Italian car-do I need to get headlight converters. I spoke about it to a friend who said they are illegal but wanted to double check Thanks



 This site has the Swiss motorway webcams - so you can see what its like   http://www.autobahnen.ch/index.php?lg=001&page=017     Beam Deflectors? - I assume you mean for when you are in the UK.  Whether they arre a legal requirement, I'm not sure.  However, I'd play safe and assume they are [its good manners to other drivers anyway] I'd suggest you stick a triangle of black insulating tape on each headlight to cut out that part of the dipped beam that shoots to the right.  Fix them on at Calais - or wherever you cross the Channel  They won't do much good [even professional ones are pretty useless] but the police will see them and think you've done something

  Be sure to play Chris Rea on your CD player in the Car.................... Re headlamp deflectors UK police wont really bother you much as a friend of ours asked the Police in Dover and they said not to bother just use dipped beam and if you have adjustable height to keep it low.

I came up through Switzerland on Tuesday. There was a bit of snow just before Gotthard but it had been well cleared earlier. There are a few roadworks but it was a breeze, as usual. I would still avoid weekends if you can. I have taken to going through Belgium just to ring the changes (and save on tolls!) and have had no problems at all. I resent doing the Mont Blanc route just because they charge 30 odd euro each way, whereas Gotthard is free once you have your vignette.

In reply to by SirTK

Whats a vignette.Sir TK? Will be doing it next week is it something I need to order in advance-Mont Blanc though covenient is expensive  shas

 Its like a road fund licence for driving on Swiss motorways [and you can't really avoid using them crossing Switzerland. Tou can buy it on line at http://rail.stc.co.uk/userdata_vignette.php?passid=5&frame=1&system=GB&affiliateid=45, and at the border, and at some service stations just before the border Its valid for a calendar year plus the December before and the January afterwards.  You stick it on your windscreen, and they check at most border crossings   [you can often get them on e-bay - from tightwads who manage to peel the vignette off after they've finished travelling.   Apart from the vignette, there are no extra costs fpor using motorways and tunnels uin switzerlans

Hi Helen & Brian, apart from the weather situation, you shopuld be aware that you have to pay for annual roadtax in switzerland. so if you drive before Xmas you pay for 2009 and when you return (after new year), you also pay for 2010. It's between 40 and 60 Euros per year. We usully go via France and find that the roads are very well maintained in winter. So you might want to avoid Switzerland altogether. Try this site for the weather www.weatheronline.co.uk/France.htm. You need to choose the region you're going through according to the route you choose. Best wishes to you both for a Merry Christmas, John and Jana

As has been said by previous postings (but NOT teh one immediately above) the Swiss annual motorway ticket covers the period from beginning of December to end of January 14 months later so you only need to buy one ticket.  Plus as has been said a year's ticket costs about the same as one way through the Mont Blanc tunnel.  You can buy them on line http://rail.stc.co.uk/userdata_vignette.php?passid=5&frame=1&system=GB&a... for £27 or at motorway services.   We have used the route through Switzerland a number of times (including last Christmas when it was fine) - more recently we have been going up to Luxembourg and Belgium which saves on French tolls, enables you to fill up with cheap fuel and is not much longer.   Chris