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  • Total time for Channel Tunnel
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    Does anyone know the total time for using the channel tunnel?

    I used the Dover – Calais P&O ferry and both crossings took 3.5 hours, timed from passport control / check-in until I was underway again.

    Premier Icon VanMan

    Just back from using it, journey took 1 hour from leaving the motorway exit both ways, I was however using the freight side not the passenger side.

    Think it’s 45 minutes crossing.

    Total time depends on how busy a day/time you’re travelling. You’ll get an email from tunnel peeps a few weeks before you travel saying whether you’re scheduled on a busy time or not. If one of your days is a busy one, there’s not much point turning up early. Just plan on turning up when they tell you (I think it’s minimum of thirty or forty minutes before departure). You drive up, the ANPR system recognises your plate and you’re given options on the screen for when you want to depart – if it’s a quiet time, you may get an earlier option. If it’s a busy day, you’ll most likely the one you’ve pre-booked.

    So all in all, if you time it well, it could be around an hour and a half between turning up and being on the road in France. Transport links at either end are excellent, especially in France…you’re straight on the autoroute in a few minutes.

    Actual journey is 35minutes. Add 10 minutes or so to get off. Probably about 90 minutes in total but depends how busy it is – always seems to take us a lot longer on the way back than the way out.

    Premier Icon Simon

    I’ve never timed it but I’m guessing no more than 45mins when I’ve used it.

    I’ve never timed it but I’m guessing no more than 45mins when I’ve used it.

    I think the OP wants to know how long total time from turning up to being on the road at the other side. ❓

    Anyway, OP, this is the email to which I was referring:

    Premier Icon chunkypaul

    used it a three weeks ago

    got lucky going over to Calais and we were put on an earlier train so approx 45 min total journey

    coming back was different and had to wait for the correct train – roughly 80 min total with the wait


    60-90 minutes from motorway to motorway depending on whether your arrival ties in with a departure. Customs/passport control on the French side can take a while at peak times.

    Oh, and if you’re travelling with a pet, it won’t impact your crossing from Folkestone to Calais, but will coming the other way as you have to get the dog’s chip scanned and passport checked for injections etc. Allow yourself 30 mins-ish for this.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    Blimey @ 3.5 hours. Must have been peak time and/or dodgy weather? Don’t think I’ve ever managed much more than about 2-2.5 hours motorway-motorway, although that’s usually a few days either side of Christmas.

    Tunnel should be about 40 minutes quicker in theory.

    Only reason I don’t use the tunnel is because of the discriminatory pricing for those starting journeys on the French side.


    We’ve always been pretty lucky for turning up and being directed straight to loading. I would say on average 1 hr for motorway to motorway crossing on the tunnel.

    Ferry always seems to take half a day out my holiday. It may be cheaper but I’d usually rather have the time.

    Premier Icon Moses

    If you’re travelling from some distance away from Dover, I’d recommend the ferries. They take longer but you get a chance to stretch your legs, eat, & rest. The chunnel means you’re stuck in your car all the time, it’s not a break.


    Used it two weeks ago – 30 minute check-in plus 35 minute crossing. You’re off in about 10 minutes once you’re in France.

    We were running late so only got to Folkestone bang on the minimum check in time, but had not problems getting on the train.

    Our ticket wasn’t much more than the Ferry, and it’s way quicker. Plus we got an earlier crossing on the way back as we got to Calais early.


    Thanks for answers.

    I chose the ferry because of cost, but next time I will take the Tunnel. The two hours saved are worth the extra cost, I could have been 200km down the road by the time I got off the ferry!!

    Premier Icon timidwheeler

    Used it 4 times in the last month. 50-90 mins from motorway to motorway.

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