My Husband and I are travelling to Europe from about June 2007 for 4 months. We are thinking of starting in England and buying a van, putting a mattress and gas stove in the back and heading off.
Our rough list of countries to visit include France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Prague, Austria and Amsterdam. And any small places we come accross on the way. We hope to spend between 1 and 2 weeks in each country as a rough guide.
Any suggestions or tips about driving through Europe would be very much appreciated. Petrol prices and tolls are some things we really can't find out much about online.
Thanks for your help.
Hi! This sounds exciting!
I just wanted to say; when you go to Denmark, be sure to drive along the coast line, and you'll find some of europe's most beutiful beaches. So quiet and not much people to be bothered by. When you go to France, you should definately visit Bretagne (Brittanny in English..?), head for the small towns, don't go for the big cities, they are very touristificated, if you know what I mean!
have a nice trip
Just a word on driving in Switzerland:
"In order to use the highways in Switzerland, a toll has to be paid. But there are no toll booth, instead a special sticker - known as the "Autobahn Vignette" - is required. The sticker is valid for one calendar year (January until December), there is nothing like a one day or one week pass. It costs CHF 40.00 and is available at the customs at the borders and at all gas stations and post offices throughout the country. The sticker must be fixed to the windshield on cars and trucks, there are particular rules for where it has to be placed on motorbikes."
If you don't want to spend that money you would have to stick to the normal roads. Also, to add to the confusion, the signs for the Highways in Switzerland are green and the main roads are blue whereas in neighbouring countries it's the other way round.
Switzerland is quite compact and you can be almost anywhere within 3 hours of driving.
The same for the Czech Republic (7 euros, 15 days) and Austria (8 euros, 10 days) applies to the Highway Vignet, payable at the borders.
Prices for 95 lead free, 98 lead free and diesel are (week 46 in 2006, in euro):
Austria 1.033 1.086 0.991
Belgium 1.272 1.291 1.035
France 1.153 1.188 1.036
Germany 1.213 1.291 1.091
Italy 1.221 1.308 1.166
Netherlands 1.327 1.379 1.031
Spain 0.900 1.015 0.858
Denmark 9.25 9.54 8.49 (in danish crowns)
Switzerland 1.58 1.62 1.70 (in swiss francs)
Czech Republic28.50 30.70 28.30 (in czech crowns)
United Kingdom0.862 0.917 (british pounds)
Penalties for speeding are especially high in Belgium and France. In the Netherlands there are lots of speeding traps.
The toll for the Great Belt bridge in Denmark is 28 euros one way.
The toll price for the Liefkenshoektunnel near Antwerp is 5 euros one way.
In Italy, France and Spain you pay for stretches on the highway. Using the highways much will cost you a lot, it adds up prettig quickly.
Have fun! Michael.
Thanks Guys... All your suggestions are really great!
Another thing I've been told is that it's cheaper to buy a car in Holland and sell it at Australia House in London. Has anyone had any experience buying and selling cars/vans?
If I remember right, tolls in Italy took a good chunk out of the budget. Plus gas prices were a bit of a surprise, but I think that's because it's so much cheper in NA. I'd suggest sticking to the smaller roads, if you can - I assume they must have much nicer views, too!
Some beautiful places to see, off the top of my head:
Italy: the Amalfi coast, Venice
France: Normandy and the beaches