Realistic Driving Costs

Overland driving routes and ferries
Joan
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:16 am
Location: Sussex and Crete

Re: Realistic Driving Costs

Postby Joan » Fri May 10, 2019 11:35 am

Re total costs...we've just tried to do a full cost-benefit analysis, because we are wondering whether to import our car. It will all hinge on the import cost, which is currently being negotiated with the powers that be at Souda.

We've driven once or twice a year for several years, via France, Switzerland and Italy. Being oldies, we have cabins on the ferries (Ancona-Patras and Piraeus-Souda), and we have found nice hotels which we use regularly (in Troyes, Aosta and Bologna).

We take five days over the basic trip, make it part of the holiday, use the Channel Tunnel, don't transport animals, and book the ferries early to get discounts.

A one-way trip costs us around £1500 - that's including all tolls, fuel, hotels, meals, ferries, tunnel etc.

One thing that's hard to account for is the benefit of being able to stop off for an extra night or two en route (eg we have explored Laon, Reims, Aosta, Bologna, and various spots on the Greek mainland).

Joan

Dinksy
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:06 am
Location: Drapanos

Re: Realistic Driving Costs

Postby Dinksy » Fri May 10, 2019 4:23 pm

I hope Ladyt25 you have residents permits as with Brexit possibly on the way you could get caught in the 90/180 day rule. This means you can only stay 90 days in any 180 day period in the EU if you do not have the necessary permit. I have heard of a few people who used to drive to Europe for the winter and return back to the UK in spring. That evenue of delight is about to be closed.
Never mind the quality, feel the width.

Tim
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:41 pm
Location: Near Sitia
Contact:

Re: Realistic Driving Costs

Postby Tim » Sat May 11, 2019 10:46 am

As a counterpoint to Joan's quite idyllic-sounding journey schedule, the times I've done the trip have worked out at approx £600 one way. That's Dover to Dunkirk, avoid French tolls so - Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany (sleep in vehicle), Switzerland (vignette required), Italy, Ancona to Patras (single inside cabin), Pireaus to Heraklion (single inside cabin). Duration is four days and three nights. Price includes ferries, fuel, food and tolls.

It certainly wouldn't be everybody's cup of tea, and I don't have any pets, but the journey can be done on a relative shoestring. It would be considerably cheaper if I didn't treat myself to cabins but, like Warwick, I've tried the alternative and a cabin is now non-negotiable. (I once mistakenly was booked into a shared cabin with three complete strangers - I can't do that, I explained to the Purser, horrified - I'm English!)

Tim

Jeffstclair
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: The centre of the universe

Re: Realistic Driving Costs

Postby Jeffstclair » Sat May 11, 2019 11:39 am

Yes,Tim that is almost the same route I used when I still lived and worked in the UK ...I would go from Harwich to The Hook and then Luxembourg, stay one night with some mates who live there ...fill up the Volvo Estate with petrol (for some odd reason Luxembourg had the cheapest fuel in Europe I don't know if that is still the case.. And then head South ...the Swiss vignette is a hit and miss thing sometimes I paid it other times I just got waved through think it was 40 euros the last one I bought....then on down to Italy via the Gotthard ?(I think)...Milano , Bologna ,Rimini, Ancona a good fast road ..much too fast for some ...doing 90mph in me Volvo ...with a wall of artics to the right of me and Lamborghinis tailgating, flashing headlights... I'm pleased to hear you can still do that for about 600 euros ...I used to do it for a bit less than 500 Euros including the drive from up north to Harwich .. I never booked ahead and never rushed just took the next ferry with space ...

Tim
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:41 pm
Location: Near Sitia
Contact:

Re: Realistic Driving Costs

Postby Tim » Sat May 11, 2019 12:51 pm

Yep, sounds about right, Jeff. Should have mentioned in my last post - filling up in Luxembourg is a must - very low rates of duty apparently ...

Tim

Maud
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:46 pm
Location: S.W. England/ S.W. Crete.

Re: Realistic Driving Costs

Postby Maud » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:52 am

Sorry Ladyt25, I must have missed your post.

Luxembourg is still the cheapest to refuel.

The St. Gotthard Tunnel is free.....but do it on a Sunday if you can,- when there are hardly any lorries on the road.

The route mentioned via Frances Belgium, Luxembourg, France again, Switzerland and finally Italy is the cheapest. (Only motorway charges in Italy.....and worth every penny! - The Autostrada is not for nervous drivers though, as the lorries are always no more than a metre away from your back bumper. When you leave a gap between yourself and the vehicle in front, someone fills it!

We do the journey four times a year. Until this year we have done it with our two dogs, but sadly we lost them both recently. Six years ago we bought a motorhome to do the travelling. Even though we have a big Land Rover 4x4 in the U.K. the journey here to Kriti is much nicer in the camper! You can do Camping on Board with ANEK from Ancona and Bari. It means you can stay in your van with your animals. You get an ehu, clean showers and loo, and a ‘key’ to the rest of the ship, so you can use all the facilities. I understand it works out cheaper than having a car and a cabin, as friends of ours who have a house on another Greek island, and live there six months of the year, have bought a small motorhome to do the journey.

They use their van to have a holiday for a couple of weeks on the way out to Greece and on their way back to the U.K. We have tended to come straight here and back in the past, (6 days each way from the south of England .....using the Channel Tunnel and spending a night on the Peloponnese each way). This year, as we only had the cat with us, so we had a brilliant holiday in France for two weeks on the way out. - Reims and the Cathedral, the old part of Troyes, Champagne, Burgundy, the Jura etc, then a week in Switzerland/Italy/San Marino, finishing off with a week in the Peloponnese.

Of course it all depends in how much time you can spend travelling, but the journey is best done as part of a ‘holiday.’ Our son is flying out from Leeds on Tuesday to see us. If you are looking for ‘cheap’ then that is the way to do it, but if you want to bring your dog, then the drive is easy. The only bit I don’t like is on the autostrada in Italy!

Finally, Camping on Board is VERY popular now. The French, Dutch, Belgians, Italians and even many Germans use Ancona if they can. (With Minoan they offer Camping in Board but don’t let you stay in your van. They give you a cabin instead.....so not so easy with animals, (especially if people have big dogs), even though it is a pet cabin. You can also only book Camping on Board with both ANEK and Minoan if you have an ‘authorised camping vehicle. - You cannot sleep in your car!

If you plan to do the trip regularly, it would be worth you considering buying a small van like a VW T5. You could then use it in the U.K. as an ‘every day vehicle’ but also have the benefit of a good vehicle to travel to and from Kriti in. We have a 7.5m motorhome and it would be more expensive on the ferries than a smaller van, but it is still cheaper than having a car and a cabin!

Warning.....there is no Camping on Board from Piraeus to Kriti, but there has never been a problem with us leaving our animals in the van for the 9 hour overnight crossing. - In fact they are usually more ‘refreshed’ the next morning than us! I am not sure if it is allowed.....but the Greeks do it all the time.

Kilkis
Posts: 10957
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Realistic Driving Costs

Postby Kilkis » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:12 pm

Maud wrote:...The only bit I don’t like is on the autostrada in Italy!...


Try it on a motorbike. Especially the tunnels on the coast road from Genoa round to Nice if you have a failing battery and you can't put your lights on. I found the Mercs, BMWs and Ferraris doing 200 kph+ more worrying than the trucks. If you are overtaking in the outside lane they appear in your rear view mirror in a fraction of a second flashing their headlights and showing no intention of slowing down. I guess if you are in a 7.5 m motorhome they might be a bit more respectful?

Warwick

Joan
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:16 am
Location: Sussex and Crete

Re: Realistic Driving Costs

Postby Joan » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:22 pm

Re the above "Milano , Bologna ,Rimini, Ancona a good fast road ..much too fast for some ...doing 90mph in me Volvo ...with a wall of artics to the right of me and Lamborghinis tailgating, flashing headlights..." we always do this stretch on a Sunday when there are very few artics.

Joan

Maud
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:46 pm
Location: S.W. England/ S.W. Crete.

Re: Realistic Driving Costs

Postby Maud » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:37 pm

I certainly don’t want to try it on a bike Warwick. It is bad enough in our ‘monster’ of a van!

Like you Joan, we try to do as much ‘motorway’ driving on a Sunday if possible. For us the St. Gotthard is always a good one to do, as being so big we get a lot of buffeting (can’t think of the right word) from lorries coming in the opposite direction.

We had an interesting chat with a couple from Devon in April at Katakalo on the Peleponesse. They have been coming to Greece for the last 5 years in their motorhome. This time, they stopped at a supermarket in Italy to stock up on some goods. They both went in the store....which the husband said he rarely does, as he is usually checking the route ahead. Anyway,when they came out and got in their van and started to drive off, they heard a ‘thump’ ..... and immediately a battered old Italian car with two chaps in it pulled across their path and forced him to stop. The men got out and accused him of hitting their car!
The U.K. chap got out of his van and looked at the side of it. There was a black mark, (rubber he thought)) about shoulder height, yet they were claiming he had hit their bumper! They were demanding 100€ off him for the damage. He told his wife to telephone the police, and as soon as she got her mobile out they raced off! The Mark came off with soap and water. It was obviously them hitting it will a piece of rubber when they heard the bang!

Italy isn’t our favourite place for travelling.....although I admit parts of the country are beautiful!


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