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Mr Plodd

No extra charge for bike racks on BF

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Posted (edited)

I just sent the below email to Brittany Ferries

 

Hi

 

I note when on your booking pages you ask if there is a rear mounted cycle carrier on a car and, if so, there is an additional charge.

 

I have a car and caravan which, for obvious reasons remain attached whilst on board. If I have a cycle carrier mounted on the back of my car, between the car and caravan I assume there is NO additional charge because no additional space is taken up and the bikes to not project above the roofline of the caravan.

Can you please confirm if this is the case.

 

Thank you.

 

 

Their speedy response was......

 

 

 

From: Brittany-Ferries Reservations UK <reservations@brittanyferries.com>
Date: 19 August 2019 at 18:20:23 BST
To: 
Subject: Re: Cycle carrier query
 

Good Afternoon,

 

Thank you for your email.

 

I can confirm that if you are taking the Bikes on the back of the car there is no extra charge.

 

I get this checked with a duty manager for you and we would just but a note on the booking to advise that you are taking bikes with you.

 

Kind Regards

Barry

 

 

Might be worth printing off if you wish to use a car mounted cycle rack when using BF!

 

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd

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What about non caravanners? 

My SIL is going with BF back to Spain in 2 weeks with my bike carrier and assumes they will charge.

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READ my initial email to BF!!

 

Andy

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I wouldn’t even ask - the question is clearly angled towards identifying if a vehicle has extended length, between a car and caravan they make no impact to the loading on the boat.

 

When I booked in at St Malo on Saturday the BF lady did ask if the bikes on the roof of my car were on when we left the UK - I was tempted to ask if it was a trick question but she had our passports at the time so thought better of it. The guy on the dockside wanted to measure the height, 2.7m as I expected.

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The reason for me asking was because I just heard from a pal who left for France (via BF) with his motorhome a few days ago.

 

His wife “forgot” to state in the (on line) booking form they would be taking a couple of bikes on a towbar mounted bike rack. On arrival at the port check in they had to pay extra for the bikes on the rack. The ferry was less than 50% full B)

 

I wondered if I  might get hammered the same if I had a couple of bikes on the back of the car, so I asked the question and, when I got the response, thought others might be interested/benefit. 

 

If they WERE going to charge me I would simply put the (folding) bikes inside the caravan in the check in lane and take ‘em out again after disembarking the other side.

 

Andy

,

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They do similarly with roof boxes.   If you travel with a roof box on a solo car, they charge extra for it.   However if you have a roof box on a car towing a caravan, there's no further charge.  

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Isn't it all determined based upon the dimensions you input at booking?

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23 minutes ago, PandR said:

Isn't it all determined based upon the dimensions you input at booking?

 

Look at the booking form. After your vehicle details there is a SPECIFIC QUESTION in respect of rear mounted cycle carriers. 

 

If you want further information try asking Brittany Ferries, that’s what I did AND I posted the information on here, for the benefit of others. 

 

Andy

 

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I don't need or want further information. Besides, if I was towing a van and had the cycles suspended between the car and van a little common sense would tell me I don't need to contact BF...

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8 hours ago, PandR said:

I don't need or want further information. Besides, if I was towing a van and had the cycles suspended between the car and van a little common sense would tell me I don't need to contact BF...

 

Nicely put.

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8 hours ago, PandR said:

I don't need or want further information. Besides, if I was towing a van and had the cycles suspended between the car and van a little common sense would tell me I don't need to contact BF...

Totally agree, I don't know why we are discussing this as the overall length is the same when the bikes are on the tow ball

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10 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Look at the booking form. After your vehicle details there is a SPECIFIC QUESTION in respect of rear mounted cycle carriers. 

 

If you want further information try asking Brittany Ferries, that’s what I did AND I posted the information on here, for the benefit of others. 

 

Andy

 

 

I think it is confusing if you have a bike rack permanently fitted  but no bikes on it and folded up then do you need to declare the bike rack although empty ?

 

Dave

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10 hours ago, PandR said:

Isn't it all determined based upon the dimensions you input at booking?

 

Yes!   But then they check - not always.      Two years ago the young lady checking me in jumped up off her seat and said, "Excuse me!   I need to check the length of your outfit."    All she did was pace down the length of it.

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Posted (edited)

I totally accept that “common sense” says there wouldn’t/shouldn’t be an extra charge under those circumstances, and that would be a totally reasonable assumption to make, BUT as there is a specific question about rear mounted cycle racks on the booking form I thought it sensible to get a definitive answer, just in case it gets queried at check in. 

 

 

 

Having gone to trouble of getting a definitive answer I thought it would be kind to post it for the information of others so they would be in the same position of knowing, rather than just surmising, that there would be no “extra” charge (like my pal had) at check in, and yes I do realise he had a MH and wasn’t towing anything, but the ship was nowhere near full but he still got charged for the towbar mounted bikes. 

 

If you look at  the booking form there is a “maximum” car length of up to 5m in length. If you have a car that’s much shorter than 5m you will STILL get charged for a car “up to” 5m long AND then extra for any rear mounted bike rack, even if the total length of car plus rack is LESS than 5m!  

Where’s the “common sense” in that?

 

I adopt the maxim of “ If in doubt, check” so that’s what I did, and shared the information. 

 

Andy

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Edited by Mr Plodd
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10 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Look at the booking form. After your vehicle details there is a SPECIFIC QUESTION in respect of rear mounted cycle carriers. 

 

If you want further information try asking Brittany Ferries, that’s what I did AND I posted the information on here, for the benefit of others. 

 

Andy

 

 

Thank you for letting us know the result of your communications with Brittany Ferries. I have always assumed the phrase "rear mounted cycle carriers" referred to the rear of the outfit, not the car. After all, it's the car and caravan you are booking. Except when travelling solo, I've never thought to mention the towbar-mounted carrier we use and have never been challenged. Yet. :ph34r:

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12 minutes ago, hawkaye said:

 

Thank you for letting us know the result of your communications with Brittany Ferries. I have always assumed the phrase "rear mounted cycle carriers" referred to the rear of the outfit, not the car. After all, it's the car and caravan you are booking. Except when travelling solo, I've never thought to mention the towbar-mounted carrier we use and have never been challenged. Yet. :ph34r:

 

I had never even thought about a cycle rack on the back of a caravan! I had always just assumed (dangerous I know) that it referred to racks on the back of (possibly solo) cars!

 

Andy

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7 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

I had never even thought about a cycle rack on the back of a caravan! I had always just assumed (dangerous I know) that it referred to racks on the back of (possibly solo) cars!

 

Andy

 

Check out the backs of new Swift group caravans. They are primed and ready to accept Thule Elite G2 cycle racks. ;)

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Our vehicle is 4.822m in length and the caravan is 8.16m so together they are 12.982m in length.  However Brittany Ferries state up to 5m for vehicle and up to 9m for caravan length which then makes it 14m in length instead of up to 13m combined. You are then charged for the extra metre although it does not exist.  I queried this with BF but they were not able to give me a conclusive and definite answer despite writing to them.

On our last crossing in 2018 via Caen I used the up to 8m for the caravan which made a difference to the price.  At the docks the overall combination was measured probably because of my written query and there was no extra charge.

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I for one appreciate the OP making this available. It's better to be clear than argue the toss when you get there. Although I have never declared the rear mounted (on the car) cycle carriers myself.

 

Another point is the height of the towcar. If you have a towcar higher than 1.85 metres (as I do), do NOT put the full height in the box when you're pulling a caravan as you will then be charged twice for overheight. This may be a case when "common sense" doesn't prevail. You will see that there is a line at 1.85m which the staff can check your vehicle against.

 

I've found BF to be very reasonable in general but there's nothing more likely to cause difficulties than arguing with the ticket booth staff. We were stuck for ages in a queue this year behind someone who didn't have the correct documentation and refused to get out of the way to let the rest of us through.

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BF have confirmed to me previously, via email,  that for roof mounted items, when towing a caravan,  you only need to mention it if it is higher than the rest of the outfit.

As mentioned there are height markings on the check in booths but the only outfits I have noticed being checked for length were  those towing large vans but I guess if you look longer/higher than what you have paid for then they may check.

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8 hours ago, hawkaye said:

 

Check out the backs of new Swift group caravans. They are primed and ready to accept Thule Elite G2 cycle racks. ;)

 

I followed one yesterday with two bikes on the back .

 

 

Dave

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I followed one the other day without two bikes on the back.  :D

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Hi, 

Interesting topic reference to Bf and measuring the outfit,  slightly off topic but I would still like your feedback please. Over the past five years I have used BF twice, Dfds once from Dover and once from Newhaven, several times with P&O and solo with the tunnel. The only operator to measure on both occasions was Bf, typically I watched 2 caravan ahead go through ahead unmeasured! They're obviously very keen commercially to ensure that they don't miss out on any further charging if applicable.  Personally it did get my back up and I went out with the attendent to ensure that all was  measured correctly.  The 2nd time(following year) i  waited for her to return into the booth, to say oh everything was correct. 

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When I looked at a BF price recently I used the default car height of 1.83 m.

After I reviewed the final price I noticed my error and went back to correct the car height to 2 m.

Well blow me, the price went up, even though I declared a height on the van of 2.6 m.

I don't believe BF uncouple your outfit and park them separately B)

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See my earlier post about five up from here.....

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