As there is frequent interest in routes / costs, thought I would add an update as we have just driven the route.
We took the default ViaMichelin route this year via Switzerland and France (previously we did the Austria / Germany route). As we normally take this as a leisurely run (3 nights in hotels on the continent so that we have a clear run once in the UK up to Manchester), we guessed that the extra costs of the tolls, etc., would be offset by only staying in hotels for 2 nights.
We travelled on Anek to Venice (docks earlier than Minoan & gives discounts for over 55's rather than Minoan's over 60's!) and booked a hotel on the Swiss / France border and another about 150Km short of Calais, plus a 10:20 Euro Tunnel crossing.
Toll and Swiss vignette came out at a fraction under EUR 100 (individual costs shown on ViaMichelin were correct in all cases). Given we normally reckon on a bit more than this for a hotel and two evening meals per night, we actually cut our costs (petrol was less as well as we sliced around Km 250 off the journey).
The extra bonus from my perspective (I was the only driver) was driving on near empty toll roads in France - absolute bliss when compared with Germany!!.
Message posted by Graham T-A on 25 November 2010 at 4:21pm - IP Logged
You should try driving through Germany on a Sunday when lorries are not allowed on the roads. We did it last weekend and it was a real pleasure to drive on near empty roads with little or no speed limits. I'm supprised you cut so many Kms off the journey as it's only 810 miles from Venice to Calais with the German route so you must have done it in less than 660 miles. We drove untill about 6PM on the first day, setting off on the second day at around 9am in snow, we reached Calais at 5PM, got the 5.25 boat, landing in the UK at 6pm (you get your hour back) and reached home in Nottingham around 9.30PM. Total tolls Italian motorway €6.70 Swiss Vignette €7.60 and Brenner pass €8, so €22 approx. We filled up with petrol in Italy at €1.37 a litre, then Austria at €1.20 a litre and again in Luxemburg at €1.14 a litre, finally filling up at Sainsburys in Dover at £1.19 a litre. We did have coffee and lunch stops so total driving time about 15 hours to Calais, total fuel costs to Calais €175 for a 2L 4X4.
Message posted by janmanessi on 25 November 2010 at 10:47pm - IP Logged
I found the "drive time" estimates to be pretty accurate once you take out the coffee stops, etc.
Route via France is KM1285 and the one via Austria that we normally use (via Salzburg as we found that to be the less busy route) is KM1325. Our total spend on petrol was around EUR190 for a (oldish) Suzuki Vitara 1.6 4x4.
It's also worth checking the AA website as it publishes a monthly "Petrol Costs by Country" review - at the beginning of the year we made sure we filled up in Austria as it was quite a bit cheaper than Germany / Italy.
Message posted by MartynG on 05 December 2010 at 11:49am - IP Logged
Your comments accord withour own experience (although we usually travel via Ancona. If we get the timings right, on the way down to Ancona we usually stop somewhere around Milan and on the way back, either Basel or Colmar.
The overall cost used to work out quite a bit cheaper than 4 air fares and two weeks car hire. This may not, of course be the case noe with Easyjet.
Message posted by Bob and Wendy (Uncle Bob) on 05 December 2010 at 12:48pm - IP Logged
Bob and Wendy
Martyn, do you use two drivers? (Just at the end of Luton airport runway!!!) to Milan in one go is a bit of a slog. As is Colmar or Basle back home to a lesser extent.
We much prefer the French motorway system, quite a few are no cost.(No more boring than driving anywhere at a steady 70 to 80mph for hour after hour) If you go into any of the route planners, they give the average costings including tolls and fuel, this will also include things like the Swiss motorway permit if applicable.
Something that seldom is mentioned when this subject is raised, is the journey from home to Calais, add that together with waiting for tunnel trains or ferrys, to a full days continental driving, you could easily over-stretch yourself. I would advise someone doing the trip for the first time to allow an extra day to the journey to be on the safe side. Once you've done it, you can make your own decisions in future.
Message posted by BBB on 05 December 2010 at 2:44pm - IP Logged
We're about to do the trip again, UK to Corfu so thanks to all for the petrol prices etc. This time we are taking it slowly with stopover nights in Luxembourg, Stuttgart, Castelrotta in the Dolomites and the last night in Venice. As the Anek day is Tuesday we shall benefit from the weekend roads and have time in each destination to see a little of our surroundings and rest up.
Message posted by MartynG on 05 December 2010 at 3:12pm - IP Logged
Yes, you're right, it is a bit of a slog! Only one driver though (me). Even Lynn says it's the only way to keep up the average speed - she says she can't concentrate at speed for long periods. This is, in fact, an important factor - drive within your own limits; many people need a break after a couple of hours (as recommended) whereas, I'm OK for 6 or 7 hours. However, I'm rarely allowed to exploit the full range of the car, which is just over 600 miles!
One thing we have discovered over the years is that, when we do stop, we have a proper break of about half an hour; refuel, loo, coffee/food, loo again before setting off.
If you remember the bike trip I did, I started from home late in the day and made it to Reims on day 1. Day 2 was all the way to Forli (via friends close to Geneva and then over the Petit St Bernard and then on to Aosta. It was then a short hop to Ancona on day 3, although the bike wasn't well.
The return journey (from Ancona, where the ferry docked at 2pm?) involved one overnight stop at Colmar and then on to Boulogne and home the following day. The first leg to Colmar was made much slower by the fact that the Gottard Tunnel was closed so I had to go over the pass and through Andermatt - the snow on the top made it so much fun!
Message posted by janmanessi on 05 December 2010 at 9:00pm - IP Logged
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