Driving To Belgium

  • Driving guides
  • Belgium
  • 8 min read
Driving To Belgium

Drive from the UK to Belgium with LeShuttle. It takes only 45 minutes to drive to Belgium from our Calais terminal, with a total travelling time that is faster than any ferry to Belgium.

Belgium is a great place to visit in winter or summer. It’s easy to travel to Belgium from the UK with LeShuttle. With a total driving time of around 80 minutes from our Folkestone terminal, if you’re planning to travel for business or leisure, there’s no better way to go than by LeShuttle. 

Is it possible to drive from the UK to Belgium?

Yes, driving from the UK is easy, and LeShuttle provides one of the best ways to travel to Belgium from the UK. All you need to do is book a departure time with us, drive to our UK terminal, and take a 35-minute crossing from Folkestone to Calais. From there it is approximately a 45-minute drive to the Belgian border. Obviously it will take longer to reach your final destination in Belgium, whether it be Leuven, Liege or somewhere else (see the times and distances in the table below), but the beauty of Belgium is closer than you might have thought.

Why choose LeShuttle to drive to Belgium?

  • Crossings run from Folkestone to Calais 365 days a year
  • There are up to four departures every hour
  • Calais is closer to Belgium than Folkestone is to Hastings!
  • It takes LeShuttle just 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais
  • The fastest route to Belgium travelling from our Calais terminal takes an average of 45 minutes

Faster than a ferry to Belgium

When it comes to driving to Belgium, LeShuttle is the easiest and quickest way to get you there. Our service is also flexible and affordable, making us the number one choice.

One major benefit of using our service to travel from the UK to Belgium is the fact that the time saved will allow you more time to explore every inch of this fascinating country. Choose to take in its cities, each brimming with their own unique culture, or head off the beaten track to experience the countryside of Belgium and its rural landscape.

If you’re planning to drive from London to Belgium, or from anywhere else in the UK, using LeShuttle is also your easiest and fastest option. To find us, simply make your way to the M20 and take exit 11A. With the journey time from Folkestone to Calais being so short, you could travel from the UK to Belgium in little over an hour and 20 minutes. This means that even a day trip to Belgium from London is possible!

Driving from Calais to Belgium

Take a look at how close Calais is to these Belgian cities. These distances and times are from our LeShuttle Calais Terminal:

City in BelgiumDistanceDriving Time
Brussels125 miles/201km2h 16m
Antwerp129 miles/208km2h 29m
Ghent96 miles/155km1h 38m
Bruges73 miles/118km1h 25m
Ostend61 miles/99km1h 12m
Liege185 miles/298km3h 19m
Leuven146 miles/236km2h 47m
Please note: These distance and driving times to our Calais terminal are approximate and given as guidance only.

Top tips when driving to Belgium

If you haven’t yet taken a look at the map, you might be surprised at how short the trip from Calais to Belgium is. Just a short 45-minute drive along the E40, the route follows the beautiful coast of Northern France. But for those planning a ferry crossing to Belgium, the trip from Dover to Belgium could take over two hours and 10 minutes.

Once in Belgium, you’ll want to start exploring and making the most of the freedom granted by driving.


Before driving to Belgium, do all the normal checks on your car you would before any long drive – oil, screen wash, tyre pressure and depth, amongst others. Make sure you are equipped with everything you might need in an emergency. The following emergency items are mandatory when driving in Belgium: 

•    A reflective safety jacket

•    A warning triangle

•    Headlamp beam deflectors

•    First aid kit 

Plan your route

When driving to Belgium, make sure you know several routes to your destination, just in case there are delays on the quickest or main motorway route. If you need to find an alternative route, having planned it in advance will help. Looking at Google street view is a good way to familiarise yourself with the roads you will be driving on, especially if you have never driven in Belgium or the continent before.

Fuel and rest stops

You will find plenty of choice when it comes to refuelling when you are driving in Belgium. Diesel, unleaded and LPG is widely available, and petrol stations on motorways and main roads usually stay open 24 hours a day. On more minor roads and in residential areas forecourts usually close at 8pm and reopen at 8am. Driving to destinations in Belgium will take longer than others, of course, so it is useful to plan where you want to stop for a break in advance. For example, it takes around four hours to drive to Spa in eastern Belgium from Calais, so you might look to break the journey at Ghent or Brussels. 

Driving to Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent

Staying on the E40 will see you heading to Bruges, just one hour and 20 minutes from Calais. There is so much to see and do in this beautifully historic city, like climbing the Belfry of Bruges and admiring the views over the city, or taking in some culture at the Groeningemuseum. While wandering through the ancient cobbled streets, don’t forget to try a famous Belgian waffle or some delicious locally-made chocolate.

A two-hour drive from our Calais terminal is vibrant Antwerp, famed as the home of classic Baroque painter Rubens. The city has also become a mecca for fashion, making it a must-visit for shopaholics travelling to Belgium from the UK! Also when driving to Antwerp from Calais, you’ll pass the stunning city of Ghent, which is definitely worth a detour.

Driving to Brussels  

A trip to Belgium wouldn't be complete without a visit to its capital city, Brussels. Affectionately referred to as the heart of Europe and home of the EU, there is plenty to do in this fascinating city. From family fun in the Belgian Comic Strip Center, to exploring the walkways, lifts and escalators of the Atomium, to sampling the delights of Belgian beer on a brewery tour, Brussels has it all.

Driving to Wallonia

For those looking to breathe in plenty of fresh, Belgian air and see the country as mother nature intended, you’ll want to visit the Wallonia region. This French-speaking region is known for its medieval towns, Renaissance-era architecture, beautiful countryside landscapes and decadent châteaux.  

Take a trip to Wallonia’s largest city, Charleroi, or visit Belgium’s highest point above sea level, Signal de Botrange, in eastern Wallonia.

Driving through Belgium to other destinations

Belgium is a small country, but chances are if you are driving anywhere in northern Europe – the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark or even further into Scandinavia – that you will be driving through Belgium at some point. It is a flat country with a well maintained road system, so driving in Belgium is fairly easy and you will quickly get used to it. Just make sure that you have all the documents and equipment you need to drive in the countries beyond Belgium. 

Step by step guide to travelling to Belgium with LeShuttle

Perhaps using LeShuttle is a new experience for you? First book your trip from Folkestone to Calais by selecting your time and date of travel. Then on the day of your booking, follow these steps:

  1. Arriving at our Folkestone terminal
    Exit the motorway at Junction 11A and drive straight to our check-in booths. Allow yourself between one and two hours before your chosen departure time.
  2. Collecting your Departure Hanger info
    You will need your booking reference number and the credit/debit card used at the time of booking to collect this. Your hanger will print from the self-service machine or will be handed to you by check-in staff, depending on which booth you choose to use. A letter will be displayed on your hanger, which is the letter given to your timed shuttle.
  3. Our Passenger Terminal
    Once you're through check-in, take some time to relax and visit our Passenger Terminal Building for a spot of shopping, or enjoy some refreshments at one of the cafés. You can board approximately 25 minutes before your departure time, customer information screens and service announcements will let you know when LeShuttle is ready, so keep an eye on your shuttle's letter.
  4. Have your passport ready
    When it's time, drive straight through to the British and French border controls where your passport, vehicle and official documentation will be checked. Please have all passports to hand, removed from wallets and open at the photo page until you have cleared all controls.
  5. Drive on
    Follow the signs to France to find your way to the boarding lanes, where you may face a small wait. When your shuttle is ready to board the barrier will open in your lane, please proceed on the marked route towards the platform. Once boarded, you'll be able to stretch your legs and explore the light and air-conditioned LeShuttle carriages or sit back and relax.
  6. Drive off
    You stay with your vehicle throughout the short journey in bright, air-conditioned carriages and can either sit back and relax or get out and stretch your legs. Once you’ve reached Calais, simply drive off at the end of the crossing and voilà, your Belgian adventure awaits!

Book now and explore all that Belgium has to offer

From stunning architecture to delicious food and drink, Belgium is a country often overlooked, but which has so much to offer. Whether you are planning a city break or a longer road trip, start your driving experience in Belgium with a 35-minute crossing from Folkestone to Calais on LeShuttle. 

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Travelling to Belgium - your questions answered

What are the speed limits in Belgium?

The speed limits in Belgium are outlined in the table below:

Road type Speed limit
School areas 30 km/h
Urban areas 50 km/h
Outside built-up areas 90 km/h
Dual carriageways with central reservation 120 km/h
Motorways 120 km/h (minimum 70 km/h)
When driving in Belgium what documents must you carry in your car?

If you’re driving to Belgium from the UK, you must carry the following documents with you in the car:

  • A full, valid UK driving licence
  • Proof of ID (passport)
  • V5 registration document
  • Motor insurance certificate

You must also carry:

  • A reflective safety jacket
  • A warning triangle
Do I need a GB or UK sticker on my car to drive to Belgium?

All vehicles registered in the UK must be marked with the national identifier ‘UK’ when driven in Belgium.

This can be incorporated into your number plate (along with the Union flag) or as a separate sticker.

What side of the road do they drive on in Belgium?
In Belgium they drive on the right-hand side of the road and overtake on the left.
Is driving in Belgium easy?

Generally, driving in Belgium is considered quick and easy. The country is known for having a good road network and most of the main towns and tourist destinations are connected by either a motorway or dual carriageway.

One thing to be mindful of when driving in Belgium is the road signs. In Brussels, most of the signs are bilingual, but beyond this there is a high likelihood that the road signs will be in either French or Flemish.

Do you pay tolls in Belgium?
There are no road tolls in Belgium, apart from specific exceptions. If you are driving through Belgium from the UK, the only road that currently charges a toll for passenger vehicles is the Liefkenshoektunnel near Antwerp.
Do I need an emissions sticker to drive in Belgium?
No. If you are travelling to Belgium from the UK you do not need an emissions sticker. Some Belgian cities, such as Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent, operate low emission zones (LEZs), but drivers just need to register their details and pay the registration charge before they enter the LEZ of those cities.