I did the UK-Crete trip in a car back in 2013 and posted a detailed account of the journey on this forum. For ease of reference, I have copied it below. I did the journey in reverse 3 years ago with a friend who moved back to the UK with a Greek registered vehicle, he then registered it in the UK. I recall he had several visits to customs at Souda, to cut a long story short, we drove it back on Greek plates and six months later he flew back (to visit family & friends at the same time) and handed in the Greek plates and papers to say it had been permanently exported. There was a couple of hundred Euros in fees if I remember correctly but not a huge sum.
It would cost you at least £1,000 in my estimation to drive 1 way and that would be avoiding as many toll roads as possible. It may well be that it would be cheaper and a lot less hassle to hand in the plates informing the authorities that the vehicle has been permanently exported and then ship it back to the UK in the truck with Nomad, I would say that if they quote you less than around £1,300-£1,400, it's worth going down that road.
Of course, you then don't have the worry of if a "skip on wheels" would make the journey LOL. It takes around 4 days but could be 4 months in a Lada LOL.
Hope this helps.
OK, I said I would post back with the details of our journey to Crete by road so here we go:
The car was a 2.2L diesel Mercedes, fully loaded & I mean fully loaded! Time of year – November 2012.
DAY 1 (WEDNESDAY) HULL (U.K) TO ZEEBRUGGE (BELGIUM)
We booked the Hull to Zeebrugge ferry (as we live in the North West of England) on a special mini cruise offer (http://www.poferries.com/tourist/miniCr
... Minicruise) for £75 return even though we only used the outward leg, this was quite simply because of the cost, they wanted £120 single so we booked the return. TIP: Include your food at the time of booking your ticket, it is cheaper than paying on board and the food is excellent, cabins very comfortable, if you want any spirits they are cheaper than Crete to buy on board and take over with you but they do not allow you to purchase the spirits or beer and take to your cabin, they give you a ticket & you pick it up from the shop before disembarkation. Cost of a pint of lager on board was £3.50.
This ferry crossing works very well, especially if you live “North of Watford Gap” (yes, life does exist outside London!). On the deal we got above, it included the cabin, the ferry departed at 1830 and arrived in Zeebrugge at 0830, this is perfect as you have had a good nights sleep and are fresh for what is the longest day of the whole journey driving wise.
We did 138 miles today and averaged 48mpg, 2.5 hours driving time. Full tank of fuel before departure £58 for 46L.
DAY 2 (THURSDAY) ZEEBRUGGE (BELGIUM) TO INNSBRUCK (AUSTRIA)
DISEMBARK FERRY & GO SOUTH ON KIELBANKSTRAAT TOWARDS KUSTLAAN/N34a
TURN ONTO KUSTLAAN N34a/N34
MERGE ONTO BARON de MAERELAAN E403/N31 & FOLLOW E403 TOWARDS BRUGGE/BRUSSELS/GENT
AT INTERCHANGE BRUGGE, KEEP RIGHT & FOLLOW SIGNS FOR E40 TOWARDS BRUSSELS/GENT
AT INTERCHANGE 11-17-GROOT-BIJGAARDEN, KEEP RIGHT & FOLLOW SIGNS FOR E40/E19 TOWARDS E411/NAMEN/LUIK/ANTWERPEN/LUCHTHAVEN ZAVENTEM.
MERGE ONTO THE E19
CONTINUE ONTO THE E40
SLIGHT LEFT TO STAY ON THE E40
CONTINUE ONTO R0
AT THE INTERCHANGE LEONARD-LEONARD, KEEP RIGHT AND FOLLOW SIGNS FOR E411 TOWARDS NAMEN/LUXEMBOURG
CONTINUE ONTO THE E25, ENTERING LUXEMBOURG, STAY ON E25 (SIGNS FOR E29/METZ/SAARBRUCKEN/LIVANGE/A3)
TIP: Fill up with fuel in Luxembourg, diesel was 1.276€ per litre, if you smoke, buy hand rolling tobacco here but not cigarettes.
199 MILES SO FAR TODAY TO HERE, 3.5 HOURS DRIVE FROM ZEEBRUGGE, AVERAGE 45MPG, 41 LITRES OF DIESEL 52€
AT THE INTERCHANGE CROIX DE BETTEMBOURG, KEEP RIGHT AND FOLLOW SIGNS FOR A13 TOWARDS E29/SAARBRUCKEN/REMICH/HELLANGE
AT THE ROUNDABOUT, TAKE THE 1st EXIT AND STAY ON THE A13 HEADING TOWARDS REMICH/MONDORF-LES-BAINS/SAARBRUCKEN
CONTINUE ONTO THE A8
AT THE INTERCHANGE (JNCT 9) DREIECK SAARIOUIS, KEEP RIGHT & FOLLOW THE SIGNS FOR THE A8 TOWARDS KARISRUHE/MANNHEIM/NEUNKIRCHEN/DILLINGEN-SUD/HAFEN
TAKE EXIT JNCT 15 – PIRMASENS TO MERGE ONTO THE B10 TOWARDS LANDAU
KEEP RIGHT AT THE FORK & FOLLOW SIGNS FOR A65/KARLSRUHE/STRASBURG AND MERGE ONTO THE A65
CONTINUE ONTO THE B10
CONTINUE ONTO THE K9657 AND THEN ONTO THE K9652
TAKE THE EXIT ONTO THE A5 TOWARDS BASEL/ETTLINGEN/A8/STUTTGART
AT THE INTERCHANGE, JNCT 46-DREIECK KARLSRUHE, KEEP RIGHT AND FOLLOW SIGNS FOR THE A8 TOWARDS MUNCHEN/STUTTGART/PFORZHEIM
TAKE EXIT JNCT 62-ULM-WEST TO MERGE ONTO THE B10 TOWARDS ULM/FRIEDRICHSHAFEN
TAKE A SLIGHT LEFT ONTO THE B28
MERGE ONTO THE A7
CONTINUE STRAIGHT TO STAY ON THE A7
TIP: Try to avoid eating at the motorway services in Germany quite pricey & have some spare change handy 50cent & 1+2€ coins as you have to pay to use the toilets in Luxembourg and Germany but you get your money back via a ticket if you purchase a certain amount in the shops or on a meal.
It may be wiser to fill up at Ulm (or just after it) in Germany before you enter Austria, fuel is a bit cheaper in Germany at the time of our journey.
CONTINUE ONTO FERNPASSSTRABE/GRENZTUNNEL FUSSEN/B179 & CONTINUE TO FOLLOW FERNPASSSTRABE/B179.
KEEP RIGHT AT THE FORK & CONTINUE TO FOLLOW FERNPASSSTRABE/B179
CONTINUE ONTO MIEMINGER STR/B189
TURN RIGHT ONTO MIEMINGER STR/WEIBENBACHG/B189 THEN TAKE THE FIRST LEFT ONTO MAX-FOGER-WEG/MIEMINGER STR/B179
AT THE ROUNDABOUT, TAKE THE 3rd EXIT ONTO ANTON-AUER-STABE/MIEMINGER STR/TIROLER STR/B171/B189 & CONTINUE TO FOLLOW TIROLER STR/B171 GOING THROUGH 2 ROUNDABOUTS
TURN RIGHT TO STAY ON TIROLER STR/B171 & TAKE THE 1st LEFT ONTO B171 & CONTINUE TO FOLLOW TIROLER STR/B171 GOING THROUGH 1 ROUNDABOUT
TURN RIGHT ONTO BACHIECHNER STR/INNSBRUCKER STR/B174 & CONTINUE TO FOLLOW INNSBRUCKER STR/B174 GOING THROUGH 1 ROUNDABOUT
TURN RIGHT ONTO AMRASER STR
CAUTION AT THIS JNCT, TRAMS ETC TURN LEFT ONTO PHILIPPINE-WEISER-STRABE
TIP: We stayed at the hotel Kapeller in Innsbruck http://www.stadthotel-kapeller.at/en/ho
... innsbruck/ it cost 94€ for the 1 night including breakfast for a double room, however, we had to leave the hotel at 0500hrs so no staff were around to make a breakfast so we arranged with the young lady on reception to leave us a cold breakfast, tea, coffee, cereal etc which was no problem. We can highly recommend this hotel, it is only 2km from the motorway for the next morning which takes you straight onto the Brenner Pass, the rooms were brilliant, very modern & clean, free wi-fi & nothing was any bother, we would definitely stay at this hotel again. If you think on, take a travel kettle & your own tea/coffee/UHT milk & sugar, this is very useful on the various ferries & in the hotel.
DO NOT buy the Vingette to use the Austrian motorway, this costs 8€ & we bought it at a petrol station thinking it would save messing about at the toll booths at the Brenner Pass, this was a mistake as you have to pay 8€ again for the Austrian section of the Brenner Pass, if you follow this route, the Brenner Pass is the first road toll you will have to pay.
Fill up BEFORE you get on the Austrian motorway and definitely BEFORE the Brenner Pass as fuel prices over the Brenner Pass are expensive.
We filled up not far from the Hotel in Innsbruck so we were all set for the following day, 57€ for 38.54L & all petrol stations seem to be the same price (except on the Brenner).
TOTAL MILEAGE FROM ZEEBRUGGE TO INNSBRUCK 591 MILES (951 KM), WE AVERAGED 55MPH (89KPH), 46.4 MPG & 12.5 HOURS TOTAL DRIVING FROM ZEEBRUGGE TO INNSBRUCK WITH 2 STOPS, 1 IN LUXEMBOURG FOR 45 MINUTES AND 1 JUST AFTER ULM IN GERMANY FOR 30 MINUTES.
DAY 3 (FRIDAY) INNSBRUCK (AUSTRIA) TO ANCONA FERRY TERMINAL (ITALY)
TURN RIGHT OUT OF THE HOTEL ROAD ONTO PHILIPPINE-WEISER-STABE THEN TURN LEFT ONTO GEYRSTRABE
BEAR RIGHT ONTO AMRASER-SEE-STRABE/INNSBRUCKER STR/B174 & ROAD IS GOING AROUND THE CITY CLOCKWISE.
KEEP RIGHT AT THE FORK FOLLOWING SIGNS FOR BREGENZ/BOZEN/E45/E60/A12/A13/SCHWEIZ/ITALIEN/BRENNER AND MERGE ONTO A12/E45/E60.
PARTIAL TOLL ROAD THIS IS THE BRENNER PASS ONLY PAY THIS TOLL 8€.
KEEP LEFT AT THE FORK ON A13/E45 (PASS A REST AREA ON RIGHT)
GO THROUGH BERGISEL TUNNEL & STAY ON A13/E45, GO THROUGH ANOTHER TOLL AREA
THERE IS A SERVICE AREA BEFORE ITALY WITH A BP PETROL STATION CALLED GRIES WEST & ANOTHER AFTER THIS CALLED OMV AT BRENNERSEE THEN A HUGE TOLL AREA
ENTERING ITALY.....USE DAYTIME HEADLIGHTS
TOLL ROAD AUSTRIAN BORDER TO MODENA TAKE TICKET PAY IN ANCONA
CONTINUE ON A22/E45, NOW GOING THROUGH THE TRUE ALPS WITH SKI RESORTS, PEAKS ETC, EVENTUALY GO OVER A LARGE BRIDGE AT LAKE FORTEZZA , KEEP ON, GO EVENTUALY OVER 3 OTHER BRIDGES & THEN RUN ALONGSIDE LAKE & RIVER DOWN INTO BOLZANO (BOZEN)
STAY ON A22/E45 TOWARDS TRENTO
ROAD FORKS SOMEWHERE, KEEP LEFT AT THE FORK FOLLOWING SIGNS FOR A1/BOLOGNA-ROMA/MODENA AND THEN MERGE ONTO THE A1/E45
TAKE A SLIGHT RIGHT ONTO THE A14/E45
TOLL ROAD BOLOGNA TO ANCONA, MAJOR ROAD WORKS ON THIS STRETCH BUT NO HOLD UPS, ALL SEEMS TO STILL FLOW OK
STAY ON THE A14/E45 WHICH BECOMES A14/E55 AROUND CESENA
TAKE THE EXIT “ANCONA NORD” FOR SS76
AT THE ROUNDABOUT, TAKE THE 2ND EXIT (STRAIGHT ON) ONTO THE SS76 RAMP TO AEROPORTO/FABRIANO/PESARO/ROMA
KEEP RIGHT AT THE FORK FOLLOWING SIGNS FOR PORTO ANCONA/PESARO/ADRIATICA & MERGE ONTO THE SS76
TAKE THE EXIT RIGHT TOWARDS ANCONA/CENTRO/PORTO & MERGE ONTO THE SS16
TAKE THE RAMP/EXIT TO ANCONA CENTRO/AGUGLIANO
MERGE ONTO VIA METAURO
AT THE ROUNDABOUT, TAKE THE 2nd EXIT (STRAIGHT ON) ONTO VIA CONCA, GO DOWN TO THE BOTTOM (SEA IN FRONT OF YOU) AND TURN RIGHT ONTO VIA FLAMINIA (THE SEA IS NOW ON YOUR LEFT THEN INDUSTRIAL/RAILWAY AREA.
AT THE ROUNDABOUT, TAKE THE 3rd EXIT (GOING OFF AT 11 O’CLOCK) ONTO VIA GUGLIELMO MARCONI
AT THE JUNCTION TURN LEFT ONTO MOLO SUD & THEN 1st RIGHT STAYING ON MOLO SUD (BIG HAXAGONAL BUILDING ON YOUR LEFT), STAY ON THIS ROAD AND IT BEARS RIGHT, THEN BEARS LEFT, THEN BEARS RIGHT AGAIN (SEA ALWAYS ON YOUR LEFT). GO STRAIGHT ON & TRIAL AND ERROR FROM HERE TO FIND ANEK.
ANCONA PORT (MOLO SANTA MARIA)
GPS COORDINATES: 43.623153, 13.509064
TIP: Highly recommend a cabin as lounges are noisy, this is more important if you are going from Greece to Italy & have a long drive ahead of you, it is also worth it from Ancona to Greece & you could maybe leave booking a cabin on the Pireaus to Crete leg of the journey to save some money, the cabins are not cheap but it is up to the individual but we think we wouldn’t bother with one on the Pireaus-Crete leg or vice versa as you are only in the cabin for 4-5 hours & it cost the equivalent of £120, you could get a cracking hotel for this money & the cabin was OK but not 5*.
There is supposed to be no smoking in the cabins but we saw Greeks just with the cabin doors open for all to see & smoking & nobody said a thing to them.
Take your own tins of beer/bottles of spirits & mixers if you plan on having a drink on the Ancona/Patras ferry as 3.90€ for half bottle of beer, wine around 20€, 1L of Smirnoff on board 24€, Metaxa 28€ etc in the shop, most things were expensive & you may want to have a drink on this leg of the journey as you are on the ferry for 24-26 hours so it is also a good idea to take your own entertainment as all of the TV is in Greek of course, a laptop, tablet, portable DVD player or something to pass the time. Food was acceptable.
Innsbruck to Ancona was 619km (384 miles), 6 hrs drive time, 0530hrs to 1130hrs (there is miles & miles of roadworks on the toll roads but the traffic still flowed OK), average 103kph (64mph) & average 49.1mpg. Total mileage to Ancona is 1,793km (1,114 miles), 19.5hrs driving time, average 92kph (57mph) & average 47.4mpg. Road Tolls, Brenner Pass (Austria) 8€, Brenner Pass (Italy) to Ancona 37.30€.
DAY 4 – (SATURDAY) PATRAS FERRY PORT (GREECE) TO PIRAEUS FERRY PORT (GREECE)
Not much to say here except turn left out of the ferry terminal and do your best to pick up road signs (which are few and far between) for Athena, there are 2 toll roads 3.10€ & 3.20€.
TIP: Fill up at the BP petrol station across the road at the traffic lights of exit to Patras ferry terminal, 1.38€ (£1.12) per litre, just about the cheapest, 39.49L of diesel 54.50€. Take the toll roads (which are not brilliant until outskirts of Athens which is the 2nd toll you pay, the roads are half finished & appears they have ran out of money) to Piraeus, & you do see a sign or two for the ferry terminal but then they just disappear & you just have to follow your nose, just remember that the sea should be on your right so head that way but do not go to the centre of Piraeus. If you can manage without a cabin for this section, then I would do without as by the time you get to bed, in our case gone 2300, you are up at 0430 for docking in Souda at 0530 & the cost of the cabin for 2 people is 156€ (£127 at current exchange rate), the cabins are nothing special & it would explain why people are just “crashed out” everywhere you look on the various deck levels, we said we would do without a cabin if we did this journey again as you don’t have a long journey at the end either travelling to Crete or to Piraeus.
We would recommend a meal in the a-la-carte restaurant on the Piraeus-Crete route as this was not so expensive, 41€ (£33) for large bottle of water, bread, summer salad (recommended), & we both had fish, the wife sole & I, cod, we then got the usual free sweet & raki which if you decide to go to the self service restaurant, you don’t get & we didn’t find the food in there all that appetising, worth the small amount extra to sit down & be waited upon. We would not recommend the a-la-carte on the Ancona – Patras leg, the self service was good enough.
PATRAS TO PIRAEUS, 214 KM (133 MILES), 3hrs DRIVING TIME, AVERAGE 73KPH (45MPH), AVERAGE 48.3MPG.
TOTAL FOR TRIP FROM NORTH WEST ENGLAND TO PIRAEUS FERRY TERMINAL IS:
2,008 KM (1,248 MILES), 22.5hrs DRIVING TIME, AVERAGE 89KPH (55MPH), AVERAGE 47.5MPG
TOTAL COST IF YOU STAY ONE NIGHT IN A HOTEL & HAVE A CABIN ON ALL FERRIES.......DON’T EXPECT TO GET MUCH CHANGE OUT OF £1,100, ONE WAY!!! BIGGEST COST, THE GREEK FERRIES (& WE DID IT IN LOW SEASON!), THERE IS NO COMPETITION AND PRICES ARE ALL THE SAME ALL BAR MAYBE 1€ OR 2.
BORDER/SECURITY/PASSPORT CHECKS: NONE, NOT A ONE EXCEPT NANNY STATE/SECURITY MAD UK AT HULL FERRY TERMINAL.