Booze cruises

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
st599_uk
Posts: 379
Joined: 4 Nov 2018, 8:59pm

Re: Booze cruises

Postby st599_uk » 27 Dec 2020, 10:35pm

My uni flatmate and I hold the record for the most booze brought back in to Portsmouth without the use of a motor vehicle. Great trip, 8 hours in the bar going there, 8 hours in France, 8 hours in the bar on the way back. Followed a week later by a great Houseparty, luckily at someone else's house.
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LittleGreyCat
Posts: 857
Joined: 7 Aug 2013, 8:31pm

Re: Booze cruises

Postby LittleGreyCat » 28 Dec 2020, 2:38pm

FWIW.

I remember the time before we joined the Common Market (or whatever).

That was not the time of booze cruises when you could take a white van and fill it to the roof.
The allowance was very small but just a bit of a bonus on a holiday trip.
Much like the couple of litres of spirits you can take/bring back on long haul flights these days.

The real booze cruise time was when we were in the EU/Common Market (or whenever they abolished cross border duties) and so there were no border restrictions on the amount you could bring back - as long as it was for personal consumption.

The savings were because of the draconian UK taxes on tobacco and alcohol, plus (IIRC) differential VAT rates.
https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-shopping/alcohol-tobacco for a quick review of the current status.
A long time back (late 80s?) because I have memories of filling the back of an estate with crates and crates of Grolsch and also finding that Stella was dirt cheap (wife beater) in Belgium/Netherlands although sold as a premium brand over here.

So people looking forward to the "good old days" may not be remembering quite what the rules were then and how they compare to the new rules from 1/1/21 (which I haven't got round to reading yet).
Although I suspect the Treasury would very much like to force us to pay UK taxes on all of our booze and ciggies instead of getting nothing and them furrins getting it instead.
Best not to book your rental van quite yet, perhaps.