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Thread: Lost Number Plate travelling in Europe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Lost Number Plate travelling in Europe

    Last year when towing a caravan in France, when we arrived at the port of Calais from Dover, we discovered that the registration number plate on the caravan had fallen off or been stolen. Technically speaking I should have not moved, for doing so was illegal in France and probably so in the rest of mainland Europe. I hastily taped the letters and numbers on with black insulation tape. Someone suggested I could have taken the one off the back of the car (stuck on) and put it on the caravan. I was not stopped by the gendarmes. Now I carry a spare number plate, but as an Arrival RAC member, was there anything the RAC could have done to help me get a replacement?

    Could I suggest that the RAC add to their advice documents (if they don't have that advice already stated) the value of having a spare number plate(s) and the appropriate sticky pads for affixing. I would think it's nigh on impossible to get one made up in Europe as most number plates for towed trailers are actual licences to tow unlike in the UK.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    I suppose that if you were really worried, a spare would be easy to carry. Taking the plate off a newish car might be difficult as they are supposed to be thief-proof these days.

    I know that the Gendarmerie are well known for targeting tourists, but I would hope that even they would accept a temporary plate in the circumstances you describe.

    Some years ago, I toured the Lake District and Scotland, with the number of my previous car still on the back of the caravan. No one noticed.

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