Travelling with Wightlink by car

Planning on travelling with us by car? Find out what you can expect when you arrive at one of our ports – the check in process, what facilities you can make use of and how you board our vehicle ferries.

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not allowed anywhere on our ferries or while in your vehicle waiting to depart the ship. At our ports smoking is only allowed in our dedicated smoking areas.

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Checking in

When you purchase a ticket with us, you’ll receive a QR code – make sure you have this ready for when you arrive. You can either print the QR code or access it on your smartphone with the Wightlink App. Some of our ports have Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to speed up the checking in process, so please make sure you have entered the correct number plate into your booking.

If you need to amend your booking, you can do so online or through the Wightlink App. You must arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled sailing time, but no more than one hour in advance. Show your QR code to staff at the entrance to the port and they will direct you to a numbered car lane. Pull up, switch off your engine and, if you fancy it, pick up a hot drink and a bite to eat.

 

Port facilities

While you wait to board the ferry, you can make use of the excellent facilities. At each of our ports, you’ll find a place to grab a hot drink, toilets and baby changing facilities. At our Portsmouth Gunwharf port, there’s also the Camber Cafe and Camber Express, where you can taste some scrumptious Isle of Wight-sourced hot and cold food, while our Lymington port has a Costa Coffee outlet.

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Boarding the ferry

We support Portsmouth City Council’s ‘Cough Cough, Engine Off’ campaign, so please keep your engine switched off until it’s time to board. A member of our port staff will let you know when it’s your turn to board and you’ll be directed onto the ferry.

When you drive on, the crew will direct you to a parking space on deck – you may be asked to park on the lower or upper deck, or on a mezzanine deck. Depending on which deck you are on, the crew may ask you to stay in your vehicle until it’s safe to get out. When it’s safe, head upstairs to the passenger lounges and get comfortable.

Other than in exceptional circumstances, which have been authorised by the Captain, customers are not allowed to stay in their vehicles or return to their vehicles during the crossing.

On board facilities

All of our vehicle ferries come with either a Costa Coffee or Wight Taste outlet, so you can pick up some food and drink for the journey, as well as pet-friendly areas, comfortable seating spaces and sun decks for warmer days. Both our Victoria of Wight and St Clare ferries also come with a kids’ play area, movie room and gambling section.

meet our fleet

Leaving the ferry

Just before the ferry arrives at your destination, the Captain will make an announcement asking you to return to your vehicle. A member of our team will be on hand if you need directions or assistance getting back to your car. There is no smoking, including e-cigarettes, inside your vehicle while on the ship.

Please keep your engine switched off until it’s time to disembark. A member of our staff will begin ushering traffic off the ferry – do take care when leaving as some of our ports have vehicles merging from upper and lower decks into a single lane when exiting. Please adhere to our 10 mph speed limit.

When things don't go as planned

We work hard to run a reliable and punctual service but sometimes we can be delayed by circumstance beyond our control; this includes bad weather, low tides or giving way to other ships such as the Royal Navy or cruise liners.

Unfortunately, mechanical, technical or other factors can occasionally cause disruption, too. We always do our best to minimise the inconvenience to you, but please bear with our staff as they try to resolve things.

If the service is cancelled or severely delayed, you could apply for compensation.

Keeping you up to date

Our port staff will do their best to keep you up to date with changes to our service while you are waiting to travel. The best way to keep up to date is to download our Wightlink App. Alternatively, you can follow our dedicated twitter feed @wightlinktravel.

When making your booking, please make sure you give us the right contact details so we can get in touch with you if we need to.

Find out the size of your vehicle by entering your registration number

At this time, this feature is only available for cars and vans

Registration number

E.g CU57ABC
Without any roofboxes, towbars, bicycle racks or trailers your vehicle should be:
Vehicle length

Vehicle height

Please note: vehicle size data is taken from a third party database and is provided here as a guide. As some vehicles may vary from the designed specifications, please ensure that the measurements are correct before booking.

Wrong details? Please click here to enter your vehicle sizes manually

Your vehicle registration number could not be found

Choose your vehicle size manually here, you can find your vehicle height and width at Parkers.

Without any roofboxes, towbars, bicycle racks or trailers your vehicle should be:
Vehicle length

Vehicle height

Please note: vehicle size data is taken from a third party database and is provided here as a guide. As some vehicles may vary from the designed specifications, please ensure that the measurements are correct before booking.

Wrong details? Please click here to enter your vehicle sizes manually

Is there anything on your vehicle which makes it longer or higher than the dimensions shown here, such as a bike rack, towbar or roof box, but excluding a trailer or caravan?

Does your vehicle have a trailer or caravan?

Please select which type of vehicle you have

Below you will find all other vehicle types with some information around their size.
We recommend that you measure your vehicle before booking

Dangerous goods (including compressed gas etc. used for medical purposes) must be declared at least 24 hours before travel.

Camping gas canisters must be declared when you arrive at the port.

Please measure your motorcycle from your front wheel to the rear of your bike, including any extras which make the vehicle longer or taller such as a bike rack, towbar or roof box, but excluding a trailer or caravan.
Please measure your vehicle from your front bumper to the rear of your car, and from the bottom of your tyres to the roof of your car, including any extras which make the vehicle longer or taller such as a bike rack, towbar or roof box, but excluding a trailer or caravan.

What is the length and height of the vehicle?

Does your vehicle have a trailer or caravan?

This information will be added to your booking