Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Driving To Croatia–How Much Does It Cost?

Croatia Online - Service Station

In the excitement of arriving in Croatia, in my last posting, I forgot to tell you all the costs of Day 4 so here they are:

I topped up the tank in Liezen at €1.179 per litre (Ultimate rather than the  standard Diesel I usually have, just as a little treat for the campervan!) and there was another Austrian “Tunnell Toll” @ €8.50. I’d already paid for my Austrian and Slovenian Vignettes (see the earlier posting Croatia Online - Driving To Croatia Day 3) so there were no more tolls until I crossed the Slovenian border into Croatia.

In Croatia there was a toll for the first motorway, from the Slovenian border to Trakoscan, of 72 Kunas which I paid with Euros at an exchange rate detailed on the receipt of  €1 = 7.46 kn, and another one to Karlovac of 34 kn. Incidentally, looking at the receipts, I see they include VAT (PDV in Croatian) at a whopping 25%.

I was charged as a Category 2 vehicle, being over 1.9 metres in height but less than 3.5 tons in weight. Most cars without trailers would fall into the first category which would be cheaper. For full details on categories and pricing, go to Croatian Autoroutes - Toll Rates

In total, totting up all the receipts for the journey and using  rather arbitrary and perhaps unduly punitive sterling exchange rates of 1.2 for Euros and 8 for kunas, to take into account all the fees, etc, total costs were as follows:

Diesel £194, Food & Drink £46, Campsites £41, Motorway Tolls and Vignettes £58. I calculated average miles per gallon at 28 on the way over, which is not bad for a long wheelbase van full of water and diesel most of the time,  probably averaging 60 to 70 miles an hour on mostly motorways, and also full of living and work clobber!

That makes a total of  £339 to which I need to add half  the cost of my Eurotunnel ticket. The full return price was £220 which gives me a space for high vehicles and includes the cost of the dog at €36 return. By the time my Tesco Club Card vouchers had been tripled up and deducted  (see Croatia Online - Driving To Croatia - Day 1) I actually paid £85.

I can’t think of many other additional costs as I already had most of what I needed for the campervan and  the dog had his three year rabies injection a year or so ago.

So lets call it, worst case and ignoring the “Tesco Discount”, £550 which is probably quite a lot more than a single flight, or even two single flights. If the costs back were similar then that’s a total return cost of £1,100. Flying was not an option for me because of the dog but I like to think of the cost as spread over the whole trip. I had 42 days in total in which I was able to find accomodation at an average of probably £10 a night rather than the £30 to £50 pounds it might have cost me in a hotel so that’s already a saving of £840 to £1,680. And of course I would have had to eat and drink at home….

If you were making the trip by car, rather than campervan, and assuming you booked Eurotunnel or a ferry well in advance, the crossing would probably be much cheaper. You’d also get a lot more miles per gallon and probably get to Croatia a bit quicker so you could set that saving against the extra cost of  hotels on the trip.

HOWEVER, as I’ve said before, particularly if you are taking a campervan, motorhome,  caravan, or even a tent, the journey is part of the holiday and needs a change of mindset from the one that wants you to get from a to b as fast as possible. The cost is secondary to stress free travel for your dog, the dramatic and varied scenery, the delights of the unexpected, being able to stop when and where you want and having all your little luxuries and many necessities around you. It’s one of the most liberating and enjoyable ways of travelling once you get that into your head, assuming, of course, that you have the flexibility to take a few weeks off at the right time!

In the end, I returned home more or less the same way as I went, though stopping off in different places. It will be interesting to see if the costs were about the same but I am afraid you will have to be patient to find out. We had such a jam packed few weeks in Croatia, staying in a different place nearly every night and exploring all day, that there is a lot to report before the journey home.



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