Permit changes for Jersey motorhome sites

Jersey has become an increasingly attractive destination for some UK motorhome owners. A combination of good weather & stunning beaches coupled with a UK centric culture, but with a distinctly European flavour, leads many people to the largest channel island for a break. Critically for many, Jersey broadly follows the UK's highway code and they drive on the left, which makes using a caravan on island roads a relatively familiar experience for UK motorists.

That said, the island is small with some very narrow roads, and improving but still limited facilities for mobile home owners, so the authorities have historically been cautious about allowing the arrival of an uninhibited flow of large motorhomes.

However, there has been a slight change in the rules recently which will make it easier for many mobile home owners to visit.
This change is to happen following alterations to Jersey's planning laws instructed by Deputy Jonathan Renouf, Jersey's Minister for the Environment, who said in a statement, "The existing system seemed overly burdensome for those valued visitors wanting to enjoy a short visit to Jersey without getting caught up in red tape.

There are still criteria in place around the size of vehicles, where they’re stationed overnight, and how long they can stay here without a permit, but we hope that removing the pre-holiday administration will make things more straightforward for the holidaymakers and for our team.” [1]

So, what's changing?

To be more specific, what will change is that holidaymakers who plan to go to Jersey with their motorhome, campervan, or caravan in tow will no longer be required to apply for a permit to be allowed to bring their vehicle to the island with them, if their stay will be for less than 31 days. If staying for longer than 31 days, then you will still be required to apply for a permit, in advance of making the trip to the island.

Despite the changes, there are still a number of rules that must be followed, and these are [2] :

For visitors staying at campsites

  • You must stay at a registered campsite and can only be on the island for a maximum of 31 days

  • The maximum length of your motorhome is 9.3 metres

  • You can drive your vehicle on Jersey's roads, but it must return to the registered campsite each night, if you are using your vehicle for overnight accommodation.

For visitors not staying at campsites

  • You can bring your motorhome or campervan to the island and stay at a private address, such as a friend or family's home or tourist accommodation other than a registered campsite.

  • However, you cannot use your motorhome or campervan as overnight accommodation if this is the case.

If you are intending to bring a towed caravan, folder camper or trailer tent to Jersey, the following rules will apply:

  • Your caravan, folding camper or trailer tent must stay on a registered campsite for the duration of your visit.

  • You can only do 1 journey to and 1 journey from the campsite to the port.

  • The maximum length of your caravan is 6.7 metres, excluding the A frame or tow hitch.

  • The maximum length of your caravan and its towing vehicle is 16.5 metres, this includes any projection to the front and rear of the vehicle.

What might this mean for my motorhome holiday?

If you want to take your motorhome abroad, but are perhaps daunted by the prospect of driving in mainland Europe, then Jersey might be a worthwhile alternative to consider. It has many of the advantages of an overseas holiday destination, but is within a short 4 hour ferry crossing from the south of England. It ‘s climate is attractive, boasting the title of sunniest place in the British Isles for 4 consecutive years [3] and it retains much of the driving familiarity of the UK, which could be a particularly important point for those driving motorhomes or campervans.

With the changes in rules removing the need for a permit to be obtained prior to travel to the island (for stays of less than 31 days’ duration), Jersey has recognised the growing value in attracting visitors of this type to its island by the removal of an administrative hurdle to their arrival.

This helps the island provide access for tourists to enjoy Jersey's wildlife, countryside, coastal views and beaches, and much more that the island has to offer, including the long walks and exploration that can be done, as well as the watersports, attractions, and world class cuisine that can be found there.