Families could save as much as £2,200 by choosing a driving holiday over fly-drive breaks.
The team at Motors.co.uk has been busy comparing the cost of travelling abroad by plane, versus the automobile, to some of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations such as Cannes, Tuscany, Marbella and the Algarve. The 1,968mile round trip from London, England to Tuscany, Italy showed the biggest price difference, with drivers of the journey saving a staggering £2,200 over those choosing to fly. The used car listings website based the cost of flying on a family of four: two adults and two children, departing on a flight from London to Florence – priced at £2097.
Additional expenses for fuel to the airport, one week’s worth of parking onsite at the airport at £170, rental of a Nissan Micra with just one car seat for the week at £667 and the potential cost of toll roads were added to the flight, bringing the total to just under £2,960. In comparison, taking your own car will cost you a fraction of flying at £730, based on the same size family travelling to and from the same destination in a Nissan Micra – which includes a ferry crossing from Dover at just £120. Motors.co.uk also compared journeys from Nottingham to Marbella, Manchester to Cannes and Birmingham to the Algarve; all of which financially favoured the family who would choose to drive instead of fly.
But there are obvious considerations when making your own way to your holiday destination. The drive from London to Tuscany will take approximately 14 hours, not including the time spent on the ferry. On journeys as long as this, an overnight stay at one of the picturesque mountain towns along the way, such as Chamonix, is not only a must to rest-up and take in the scenery, but also an added benefit that those choosing to fly would not have the opportunity to enjoy. In addition to the monetary savings, the stresses and strains of travel are dramatically reduced. Whilst you can’t take advantage of the hold of an aircraft, a family road trip will allow you to keep track of your luggage and access items much more frequently – perfect for those traveling with babies or young children.
There is also no weight restriction, and a lesser onus on the type of luggage allowed. All locations included in this research are accessible by ferry, which gives driver flexibility over crossing times. Airlines are much stricter however, and it’s often the case that should you miss your check-in slot, you miss your flight and ultimately any connections.
Phil Jones, Commercial Director of Motors.co.uk, commented: “The beauty of taking your car is that it’s likely already set up with car seats and all the equipment a family needs, saving you money not only on hidden flight costs but also on hire charges, which can often be extortionate. Driving abroad can be a pleasure, and judging by the research it’s also a much cheaper choice of travel.”
Motors.co.uk advocates using your car to explore your resort, and also to take advantage of scenery on the way that you would otherwise miss during a flight. For instance, en route to Tuscany, it’s only a short detour to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. One thing which is advised, however, is to check that you have all the legal requirements for driving once you get there.
Other countries often require you to carry items in case of breakdown which are not compulsory in the UK. You can reduce any stress thought to be associated with driving abroad by preparing your vehicle and its contents based on your chosen destination.
In Italy for example, it is compulsory to display a GB sticker on the car, and to carry a warning triangle and high-visibility jacket at all times – and when passing through France, drivers should be aware that they must carry a breathalyser inside the car, while radar speed camera detectors (including those built into satnavs) are illegal.