European trip 2024

Wife and I just returned from our road trip in Europe. We covered 2,750 miles in my 1992 1.6 NA, it never missed a beat and we did most of it with the hood down. It is exactly what we bought the car for (well to be precise I had to agree to sell the motorbike, but I still got it). We were away for 4 weeks, stayed in Paradors in Spain, hotels and gites in Andorra and France and hotel in Jersey. We thought packing enough clothing would be a challenge but it wasn’t, I even came back with 4 pairs pants, 3 pairs socks and 4 T shirts unworn. The back roads in central Spain are amazing, empty and stunning views. The back roads in France are as good as they are in the UK, potholes not quite as deep though. Never saw another MX5 at all in Spain, saw only 1 NA whilst in France and 1 NA in Jersey also quite a few very new MX5’s (they don’t wave back). The car got lost of admiring glances and drew conversation whenever we stopped. Now converted my wife suggests that next year we do Black Corset, Austria, Switzerland and Italian Alps. Sounds good to me. I used the TomTom off my bike to plan 'Thrill Rides" it worked brilliant even took us up mountain tracks between roads (hairy moments).


Bloody awesome. I have started preliminary plans to get my ND into Europe from Belfast in 2025.

We are off to the Swiss alps, Northern Italy and Austria ourselves in our ND in July. I too have recently sold my bike.

That sounds fanastic! Would love to see the route you took, if you were able to plot it out :+1:t2:

Info here may be of particular interest to those travelling to Europe from Ireland (Rosslare/Bilbao)

Sounds like you had a great trip

It’s all on the TomTom when I’ve time I’ll get it off and into a list. Didn’t always follow what ‘She’ said, I sometimes disagreed and went another way because we saw a castle or a hillside village that looked interesting.
Best overnight (most stunning) Parador de Santo Domingo del Calzada. Best hotel and food Le Moulin de Mite in Auray (France). A memorable day eating oysters fresh from the oyster beds with white wine in Calcone (France) and only 10 euros a dozen. Then fruit de mer later with more wine (not driving that day). Best meal was at Le Parisian in the Tarn Gorge, fresh trout from the river. Too many best views/roads to mention.

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Very helpful. Two of us will be sharing the driving so once we have our set destinations plotted, we can then work out mileage. With shared driving and careful routing, we can blast through some big motorway days to get to the good stuff, spending a few days exploring more locally.

Half the fun is in the planning.

Keep us updated on your route/plans
Good luck

Just re-read my original post and noticed some errors that I would like to amend. Firstly ‘we got lots of admiring glances’ and secondly the Black Corsets should read Black Forest (I don’t know what I was thinking).
How much did it cost? Car plus two people from Sheffield and back the insurance, breakdown cover, ferries, fuel, 3*+ accommodation, eating out (every meal), train/metro fares (Barcelona day) and odd entrance fees for the whole 30 days came to £6,214 (kept receipts).
Was it easy travelling? We were fortunate, crossed the Bay of Biscay in flat calm and same to both Jersey and Poole.
Was space an issue? Yes, MX5 with no luggage rack is a challenge, could not leave out the spare wheel so even less roomie the ‘boot’. Two weeks before the start we packed and unpacked rationalised, and packed again three/four times to determine optimum luggage amount. Then every nook and cranny was used including behind the seats and passenger footwell.
Special preparation. All oils drained re-filled with highest quality lubes, coolant drained flushed and re-filled with Evans waterless coolant. UK sticker for Spain applied with tiny amount of double sided tape.
Hope this helps.


Did you obtain a Crit’Air vignette for France? I’ve just been reading about these which are obtainable from a French Government website however the online form is confusing and the speak-to-a-person phone number is permamently engaged. My Mk2 was registered on 1 March 2001 and seems to be on the cusp between two vignettes, No2 or No3.

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Make sure you are on the official French Government website -

There are many bogus ones out there. In English on the top right hand corner.
Can’t say I had any problems getting one, just do it in good time. They will email a certificate immediately just in case the sticker doesn’t arrive in time.

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I was never going to be in an area that was anywhere near these air pollution controls so it didn’t apply and I didn’t get one.

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Yes, I’ve already been to the correct website and the form is confusing to me.

  1. Serial number - what serial number?
  2. Euro standard - what Euro standard? With the car registered on 1 March 2001 she’s on the cusp between Euro 3 and Euro 4.
  3. CO2 emission - No idea. My registration document (V5C) shows a figure of 0.700g/km but the French application form does not recognise the decimal point so I cannot complete the damned form.

‘Serial number’ is the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) Paul.

This will be on the V5 document, as well as on the door jam, under bonnet and possibly under the driver’s carpet as well.

Euro standard and CO2 will depend on how it’s been registered. If you want to post up your car registration or PM it to me, I can try to help.


Check your V5
Serial no. = VIN no.
EURO standard = Euro status 1- 6 (our previous 2010 Miyako was 3)
CO2 emissions - it will be either 70 or 700g/km. Our 2024 2.0 has 153 g/km so more likely to be 700. In any case, they need a scan or photo of your V5 with the application so they will check the figures anyway!

Not quite. That emissions figure Paul has quoted is likely to be the V.1 ‘exhaust emissions’ figure on the V5, not the ‘Co2 output’. Two different things.

If CO2 output is listed on the V5, it should be item V.7, below cylinder capacity.

I believe a late 2001 NB should be either 196 or 229g/km as a CO2 figure. But it’s possible that’s not displayed on Paul’s V5.

Sorry chaps, it’s beaten me. After entering all of the details on my iPhone for the umpteenth time, it ‘says’ that the image I took of the registration document was too big and should be less than 2 MB (or something like that). I’ve had enough of it, so thanks for your advice. I’m taking the car over to Northern France in a couple of weeks and shall steer clear of any big cities although I did visit Reims last year.

Don’t let it beat you!

But I do understand - I found it a bit of a faff when I did it for our two cars last year.

Exhaust emissions figure would make more sense!

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Fantastic its on my bucket list to tour Europe .