Travelling with a Van to France

Whether you’re going for business or pleasure, travelling with your van from England to France couldn’t be easier when you travel with P&O Ferries.

Travelling with your van or mini bus on our Dover to Calais route means you will reach France in just 90 minutes! Once you arrive in Calais you can choose to stay in France and visit great cities such as Lyon or Paris, or head further afield and discover more of continental Europe. With great road connections from the port of Calais you'll reach your destination in no time at all.


If you are travelling with a van and are carrying commercial goods please visit our freight website to make your booking.


Book your next trip today and don’t forget to check out our travel guides for some inspiration.


2022 Update:

New rules will be coming in to place in 2022 for travel using a commercial vehicles in the EU. To find out more download the latest department for transport information leaflet here.

Travelling with a van commercial goods

If your van is 7m or less in length then you can easily make your booking through our website – just make sure you choose the correct option from the drop-down list.

It’s a good idea to have the dimensions of your van to hand, as you’ll need to enter these at the next stage of the booking process.

You will then need to give us some information about your cargo – we need to know whether you’re travelling with commercial goods, and whether these are hazardous or not.

If the goods are classed as hazardous you will need to contact our Freight Team on +44 (0) 1304 863875 or book via our freight website.

Commercial Goods include:

  • Tools

  • Exhibition materials

  • Goods for onwards sale

  • Removal services

If you are travelling with any of these then you will be charged the corresponding VAT amount, based on the rate and currency of the country that you depart from when placing your booking. To make a commercial booking please visit our freight website.

Personal Goods include:

  • Furniture

  • Hobby equipment

  • Car or boat

You will not be charged VAT for travelling with personal goods.

When you arrive at the port, follow the signs to the ‘vehicles with reservations’ lane.

You’ll need your passport and booking number to hand for Passport Control and check-in.

Please note: you may be asked to confirm whether you’re carrying non-hazardous commercial goods, so please be prepared to open your van for inspection if asked to do so.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to go, our friendly staff will always be around to help you out.

They’ll let you know which lane you need to be in for boarding and then will direct you on board the ship and to your parking space.

As the ferry approaches Calais, an announcement will be made asking customers to return to their vehicles to prepare to disembark.

All you need to do now is go through French Passport Control and you’re ready to start finding your journey in France.

When driving in France you are required to have a European Driving Kit, which includes the following items:

  • Reflective jackets for each occupant of the vehicle

  • Warning triangle

  • Headlamp beam deflectors

  • GB sticker - (Drivers need to display a GB sticker to the rear of the vehicle and trailer, even if the number plates include the GB identifier under the EU logo. Vehicles registered in Great Britain or Northern Ireland don’t need to display a GB sticker to drive in the Republic of Ireland. 

  • From 28 September 2021, the distinguishing mark, (or national identifier), displayed on vehicles registered in the United Kingdom that are driven abroad will change from GB to UK. This means that from 28 September vehicles registered in the UK must display the letters “UK” when driven abroad (excluding the Republic of Ireland). The identifier can be incorporated in vehicle number plates (along with the Union flag) or as a separate sticker.

  • Vehicle Registration Document (V5C), or if the vehicle is rented or leased a Vehicle on Hire Certificate VE103B which can be obtained from the company who you leased or rented the vehicle from. Your vehicle could be seized if you are unable to prove that you have the owners permission to take the vehicle abroad.

  • Breathalyser/alcohol test (recommended but not a mandatory)

  • Spare bulbs (recommended but not a mandatory)

  • Snow chains (if visiting in the winter in some areas)

Last updated 22nd July 2021

Travelling with a van commercial goods