Check out travel costs before going on holiday

Ireland ranks in the top 10 most expensive fuel regions in Europe and internationally but many popular tourist destinations are also severely affected by rising fuel prices, according to Conor Faughnan of the AA. As people’s attention turns to holidays abroad at this time of year, the AA is consequently advising those travelling to be aware of costs.

“Motorists planning a trip to Turkey and Greece will be hardest hit but Germany, UK, Portugal, France, Madeira, and Italy also levy significantly higher fuel prices. Often the further afield you travel, the less the expense, with Mexico 59 per cent cheaper at 0.54c per litre for petrol and 0.57 for diesel. Scandinavian countries on the other hand are notably higher with the exception of Sweden. Motorists planning a trip to the UK face significant fuel hikes of 6.4 per cent higher for petrol and a 16 per cent increase on diesel,” said Mr Faughnan.

Taking their toll on your pocket

If you are planning a trip to the Continent you may be hit by toll charges that can vary substantially from country to country.

“France has the most substantial use of toll roads in Europe. The French Autoroute network is superb, with top quality motorways covering the country. The more scenic tourist routes are signposted in green or yellow and are toll free, allowing for a more leisurely and cheaper journey.

“However if you are doing a lot of driving both France and Italy carry toll charges which can be expensive, for example, a trip from Cherbourg to Bordeaux covering a total distance of 697km, will cost €113.46 including fuel costs. A trip across Italy from Milan to Naples will cost a total of €142.30 including fuel. If you are towing a caravan you can expect to add about 50 per cent to the cost.

“Paying can be tricky also because, for example, you cannot pay by cash in Turkey but must instead purchase a prepaid KGS toll card in advance. In Italy and Croatia, the toll price is proportional to the distance driven. The tolled routes in France are marked with the sign ‘Peage’ and the tolls are generally only accepted in cash”, said Mr Faughnan.

Car hire

Variations in car hire costs also make it advisable for holiday-makers to check in advance, especially considering that 12% of motorists have reported an increase in the cost of car hire to AA, with two weeks in France costing almost €800 and excess fees ranging from €600 to €2500 per week depending on car model and destination.

“Often motorists end up paying additional costs for personal accident insurance (ranging from €30 to €70 ), supplementary liability protection (€50-€80 ), super collision damage waiver (up to €100 ), super loss damage waiver (€80-€130 ), and super personal accident insurance (up to €127 ). These additions significantly drive up the cost of car rental.”

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