I’m a big fan of the European train network and its speed and efficiency but with a husband who is more t,han happy to drive in Europe and our desire to visit out of the way places, I tend to find that the majority of our travels around Europe are by car. I’m often asked what added expenses should be allowed for when undertaking a self-drive holiday so on my most recent trip I recorded all the vital statistics related to our travels by car to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.
For the majority of our trip we had a Peugeot 208 diesel which we had leased through globalCARS under the tax-free vehicle leasing program (which I’ve written more about here). We collected the car in Perpignan, France and dropped it off in Strasbourg (France) 39 days later.
After catching a train from Strasbourg to Paris, where we spent a few days, we then collected a hire car, a VW Golf (petrol model) in Paris and drove to Normandy. We returned the car to the same depot five days later.
As well as driving from A to B, having a car was also handy for sightseeing trips to nearby (and sometimes not-so-near) places we wanted to visit. Following is our itinerary and what vehicle costs were involved.
Vehicle 1 - Peugeot 208 1.6L manual, diesel with GPS – 39 days
Perpignan to Olonzac in Languedoc region of France
Day trips included Millau Viaduct and St. Guilhelm-le-Desert, Narbonne twice, Beziers
Olonzac to Avignon (France) via Sete and Pont du Gard
Day trip to Gordes and Abbey de Senanque
Avignon to Annecy (France)
Annecy to Varenna (Lake Como, Italy) via Mont Blanc tunnel
Varenna to Chur (Switzerland) via St. Moritz
Chur to Fussen (Germany)
Day trips to Oberammergau/Linderhof Palace (twice)
Fussen to Zell am See (Austria)
Day trip to Seisberger Gorge
Zell am See to Bled (Slovenia)
Day trips to Ljubljana and Bohinj/Slap Savica Falls
Bled to Vienna (Austria)
Vienna to Niederranna (Austria) via Melk
Day trips to Passau and Cesky Krumlov
Niederranna to Rothenburg (Germany)
Rothenburg to Riquewihr (France)
Day trips to Colmar and other towns within 20 km
Riquewihr to Strasbourg (France) - dropped off car
- Total distance travelled - 5098 kilometres
- Total fuel cost (diesel) - €321.10 + CHF45.40 - costs ranged from €1.255/litre in France to €1.429/litre in Germany
- Total cost of tolls - €155.55
- Total cost of vignettes - €40.80 + CHF40 (plus fine €120 - read about it here)
- Total cost of leased Peugeot for 39 days - A$1918.82 (Earlybird rate, also included 3 days free as we are previous clients of Peugeot leasing). Full insurance included with no excess.
- Vehicle leased through globalCARS.
French tolls accounted for 64% of the total, Italy 20% and Austria 16%.
Vehicle 2 - VW Golf, automatic, petrol - 5 days (we had booked a manual but at collection time were offered an automatic for no additional charge)
Paris to Honfleur via Giverny
Day trips to Bayeux, Mont St Michel and Deauville
Honfleur to Paris
- Total distance travelled - 1200 kilometres
- Total fuel cost (unleaded petrol) €117.50
- Total cost of tolls - €43.50
- Total cost of hire car for 5 days - A$318.05 plus excess reduction insurance paid on collection of car which was €22/day (converted to A$157).
- Vehicle hired through DriveAway Holidays
If you are planning a self-driving holiday in Europe, I hope you have found this article useful. Please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.
For more useful information about self-drive holidays in Europe, grab a copy of my eBook which includes seven self-drive Europe itineraries as well as driving tips and much more.
All prices above applied to our trip in June and July 2014.