Travelling to Europe comes with added red tape for British citizens since Brexit. Gone are the days of free movement, holidaying, working, and living in the EU without permits or visas. The UK’s new “third country” status means we’re outside of the EU, and British citizens are treated as such. A consequence of this is that you’ll need to abide by the Schengen 90/180-day rule from now on. Chances are you’ve never heard of it, so here’s a quick guide so you’re better equipped for your European road trip.

What is the Schengen 90/180-Day Rule?

It’s a policy that applies to non-EU nationals visiting the so-called Schengen area. The rule puts a limit on the number of days individuals can stay in the included countries within a certain period. That limit is 90 days out of every 180 days.

To put it simply, if you stay in any of the Schengen countries for 90 days, you must leave, and you can’t revisit the region for another 90 days. It’s essentially a rolling count, so as long as you haven’t spent more than 90 days in the region in that last 180, then you’re not breaking any laws.

What Countries are in the Schengen Region?

Almost every EU nation is a part of the bloc, which abolishes all need for passport control between member states. It’s 27 countries in total, including:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

The only EU countries not included are Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, and Romania.

Schengen Region
Schengen Region

How Does it Impact my European Road Trip?

If you’re planning a road trip through any of the countries in the Schengen region, then you’ll need to factor in how long you spend in the area entirely. You can’t spend more than 90 days in the region in any 180 days.

This may influence your route or travel duration, particularly if you’re going for more than a few months. It’s another thing to consider on top of taking out motorhome insurance, understanding driving laws in each country, and ensuring your vehicle is roadworthy.

Am I Able to Stay Longer?

If you do want to stay longer in any of the countries, each should have long-stay visitor permits or visas that you can explore. However, you may be asked to provide evidence of income or available funds and other requirements. These only give you special visitor permissions in the country issuing your visa, not for the wider Schengen area.

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