European road trip coming up - Alfa Romeo Forum
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European road trip coming up

Driving through France and then on to the Swiss alps after that

Really looking forward to seeing what this car is like on a long ride.

Will try and get some nice pics of the car is the mountain passes but won;t be making it to the Stelvio pass this time round. Maybe next year.

Anyone done this before? The French police need require us to carry bulbs for the car. Anyone found a cost effective way of getting all the bulbs that would satisfy the Gendarmes ?
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Driving through France and then on to the Swiss alps after that

Really looking forward to seeing what this car is like on a long ride.

Will try and get some nice pics of the car is the mountain passes but won;t be making it to the Stelvio pass this time round. Maybe next year.

Anyone done this before? The French police need require us to carry bulbs for the car. Anyone found a cost effective way of getting all the bulbs that would satisfy the Gendarmes ?
Halfords do kits with a selection of lamps. There won't be one which matches the Stelvio, but the Gendarmes won't know.

I've driven through France to Italy 2 or 3 times in most of the last 30 years and I'm yet to encounter a gendarme who's shown any interest in whether I'm carrying the kit the French law requires.

Andy
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I've been pulled over by the French Police twice, once bringing a 1300 GT Junior back from Italy and once in a battered Vauxhall Zafira, on both occasions they never asked to see any bulbs or other requirements. Also on both occasions they escorted us off the motorway to some predesignated area with many Police waiting to greet us?
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I believe EU does not tolerate "funny" laws like this anymore. And - of course - there is the tourism….
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I've been pulled over by the French Police twice, once bringing a 1300 GT Junior back from Italy and once in a battered Vauxhall Zafira, on both occasions they never asked to see any bulbs or other requirements. Also on both occasions they escorted us off the motorway to some predesignated area with many Police waiting to greet us?
Being escorted to the next service area has happened to me twice in France though many years ago. I thought it was because I was speeding, but, in fact, they were douaniers not gendarmes (their uniforms are quite similar). After a cursory inspection the contents of my boot, I was allowed on my way.

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For the last twenty years I have made sure I have had a full set of bulbs as the RAC state "Spare bulbs - by law you’re also mandated to carry a spare bulb kit for your vehicle, as the French police deem it necessary to replace it there and then on the grounds of safety." I wish anyone required to do so the best of luck given how hard it is to access modern headlights.

In all that time the only conversations I have had with the Gendarme is when the main road was closed and there was no indication of the diversion route other than said Gendarme waving traffic into the side road. When asked how to get to where we were heading his instructions were literally "follow that car in front he is going the same way"

In fact in twenty years I have only once found a bulb blown while on holiday and rather than do it myself I went to the local Citroen dealer, in the Austrian Tyrol, (it was a Xsara VTS) and they sent the apprentice out to fit the replacement as he had the smallest hands (and I suspect was the least able to refuse to leave his existing task). Being big on customer service they only charged for the bulb and not the fitting.

Procrastination is the thief of time
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There is a list what you need to bring with you when you travel to france,

Danger triangle.
Yellow vests.
Alcohol tester.

Spair lamp set is an advice.


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Nice trip through France and onto Alps. We’ve done it a few times. Meant to drive to Italy again this year but due to timing must fly. I was looking forward to taking the Stelvio pass in the Stelvio..
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There is a list what you need to bring with you when you travel to france,

Danger triangle.
Yellow vests.
Alcohol tester.

Spair lamp set is an advice.
And there's no penalty for not having the alcohol testers.

Checking advice as I'm going through France and into Spain, Spain requires 2 warning triangles. And it's an offence to not indicate when you change lanes.
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And there's no penalty for not having the alcohol testers.

Checking advice as I'm going through France and into Spain, Spain requires 2 warning triangles. And it's an offence to not indicate when you change lanes.
only the bulbs is an advice, the other 3 are not.
so yes a penalty when you dont have them.
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only the bulbs is an advice, the other 3 are not.
so yes a penalty when you dont have them.
Alcohol testers are NOT now required in France. The relevant law has fallen into abeyance. See:

https://www.drive-france.com/faqs/fr...athalyzer-law/

Andy

Last edited by Andy Bowden; 1 Week Ago at 06:41.
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French Police does not have best reputation re. those who does not speak fluent French. One would have thought that what happened in WWII, would have made them - at least - positive re. UK- but not always so.

I would recommend a trip to France, be done before any hard B-day.
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Recommend not to overspeed in all foreign countries, especially Switzerland. In France you need definitely yellow (red) vests (for each passenger?). In Switzerland you need in addition a triangel. The rest from my point of view you can forget. I never ever had a problem.
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Being escorted to the next service area has happened to me twice in France though many years ago. I thought it was because I was speeding, but, in fact, they were douaniers not gendarmes (their uniforms are quite similar). After a cursory inspection the contents of my boot, I was allowed on my way.

Andy
ah ha, yes on the first occasion in the Junior this is what happened, had everything out of the boot and were almost about to empty a large tin of olive out before they changed their minds..
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Many, many years ago, I was leading a test team from Sweden to north of Italy, where we were going to perform high speed tests on a test mule. Coming through Brenner Pass, we hit the border- no one there - everybody at lunch. Since we had a Carnet pass, with all our spares and tools, we had to get stamps from customs, that we did bring in those items.

We had to wait two hours. When customs arrived, it was a two minute affair.
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Many, many years ago, I was leading a test team from Sweden to north of Italy, where we were going to perform high speed tests on a test mule. Coming through Brenner Pass, we hit the border- no one there - everybody at lunch. Since we had a Carnet pass, with all our spares and tools, we had to get stamps from customs, that we did bring in those items.

We had to wait two hours. When customs arrived, it was a two minute affair.
There can be pros and cons of crossing an Italian border in the lunchhours. Your experience was a con.

Andy
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I've got everything except the bulbs

I'm gonna just buy a cheap set of bulbs to keep in the car

and i;ll take all the other advice on board.
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I saw your car on Murray ave today and it looks like you’ve been off-roadin!
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I saw your car on Murray ave today and it looks like you’ve been off-roadin!
Yeah I know. Can't explain how it got like that cos it's been nowhere near any mud! Must have been some filthy country lanes in June's downpours that caused it.

It's well overdue a wash and clean.
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We are going abroad with the caravan for the first time ever to South Brittany this summer. Removable tow bar now fitted along with a classy little GB plate. Good job on the tow barnby Pentagon Alfa Doncaster - all electrics etc out of view when not needed.
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And there's no penalty for not having the alcohol testers.

Checking advice as I'm going through France and into Spain, Spain requires 2 warning triangles. And it's an offence to not indicate when you change lanes.
What about beam deflectors or whatever they are called for your front lights?
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What about beam deflectors or whatever they are called for your front lights?
I thought that EU rules did away with them, but everywhere now says fit them. I think some manufacturers can switch the beam for driving on the left or right. I've never noticed deflectors fitted to European registered cars
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No one yet mentioned that you MUST not have speed camera alerts on your sat nav in France, big fine, turn them off. Also driving in Switzerland you need a vignette to drive on the Mway, get it from Switzerland Travel Centre £35.50, its a must. Cars were being checked at the boarder in Basel last week when we came through. Speed cameras in France are often no where near as visible as those in the UK and I was surprised how many cameras have popped up in Italy this year.
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No one yet mentioned that you MUST not have speed camera alerts on your sat nav in France, big fine, turn them off. Also driving in Switzerland you need a vignette to drive on the Mway, get it from Switzerland Travel Centre £35.50, its a must. Cars were being checked at the boarder in Basel last week when we came through. Speed cameras in France are often no where near as visible as those in the UK and I was surprised how many cameras have popped up in Italy this year.
The Stelvio's and Giulia's maps don't have speed camera locations in France. They just happen to have unspecified danger symbols and warnings near to speed camera locations.

The thing not to have in France is a speed trap detector. Those can get you into big trouble even if they are switched off.

I always buy my vignettes at the Swiss border. I see no need to buy them beforehand. Major Swiss border crossings have two lanes for those already with and those without vignettes. Petrol stations sell vignettes too if you happen to cross at an unmanned border crossing.

Andy

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The Stelvio's and Giulia's maps don't have speed camera locations in France. They just happen to have unspecified danger symbols and warnings near to speed camera locations.

The thing not to have in France is a speed trap detector. Those can get you into big trouble even if they are switched off.

I always buy my vignettes at the Swiss border. I see no need to buy them beforehand. Major Swiss border crossings have two lanes for those already with and those without vignettes. Petrol stations sell vignettes too if you happen to cross at an unmanned border crossing.

Andy
Indeed and as a Giulia owner I am quite aware of that, but my post was of a more general nature for anyone looking who might be using alternative GPS.

What is the advantage in getting the vignette at the boarder? Some boarders are unmanned, on our recent tour we entered Italy from France, only crossing into Switzerland at the top of the Gd St Bernard an unmanned crossing. No, its just so easy to get it sent to your home, get it on the windscreen before you leave and thats one thing less to do and saving having to stop.

Someone said to me, "so whats so special about an Alfa Romeo then?" I told him, "If you have to ask, you wont understand".

Giulia Super Lusso 2.0MA, wife drives 939 Spider 2.2, plus now a 147 1.6 TS whilst the Spider hibernates and there is a 1972 Spider 2000 S2 in the garage for fun days.

Previously, Brera 2.2 Prodrive - 159 SW 1.9JTDm
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