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UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

southwest michigan
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UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

Husband and I are planning a 2 week trip to locations in the UK and Paris, and are pretty sure we want to rent a car for the duration. We start at Lumley Castle Hotel in Durham, then to Ramsgate, then ferry the car to France, stay in Paris, Dieppe ferry to Seaford, and finish with our stay at Oakley Court Hotel in Windsor. Any advise re: due to petrol prices, should we consider using the rail system, also re: taking the ferry, especially from Dieppe?

Russell, Kansas
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1. Re: UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

I don't know enough about the rail systems to really comment on whether you should consider using trains or not. However, I can say that last month my daughter and I spent 2 weeks touring west England, Wales and then we ferried to Ireland. Personally, I liked our choice for a number of reasons.

I learned that renting a car is the best way to see the neat little areas that are off the beaten path. I have no problem taking a lesser used road to see what I can find. Another reason that I chose to ferry our rental car was that I know from reading TA that renting a car in Ireland is a headache. The rental company we use had no issues with us ferrying the car and got everything in order before we arrived to collect the car. Also, for us, we liked being able to leave our luggage and other junk that we had accumulated in the same car and not have to transfer it. As for the cost, I knew from past experience that the car I rented would get good gas mileage and I budgeted for what I thought we would need based on our last trip. I try not to think of the cost per gallon, but rather, just enjoy the ride for what it was-our vacation.

Once the other side of the pond wakes up, they will be able to advise you on the rail systems. It may very well be a dollar saver and in your best interest to switch to a train.

UK
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2. Re: UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

Have you checked that your car rental company will let you take the car the France, and if so, what any extra costs will be? Are you aware how difficult it is to drive in and around Paris making a car a complete waste of time in Paris. That is what would make me use the Eurostar from London to Paris and return, especially if I was only visiting Paris and not places in between the ferry port and there.

Windsor is an easy and short trip from London by train so no car necessary to visit that, and its a short taxi ride to Heathrow should you be leaving from there afterwards.

As a side effect, you'd also gain a couple of days vacation back, 2 hours from London to Paris instead of all day by ferry/car

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

A mix of both really. The first point of Joe's is very valid: Most car rental companies won't permit you to take cars out of country and it gets to be an expensive hassle dropping one off and picking another one up

The advantage of cars (obviously) is the massive flexibility they give you and the ability to get off the beaten track. If you're confident about driving abroad and want to see the countryside, it's always the best choice - I usually drive when I'm overseas

The disadvantage can be cost and traffic/praking hassles, particularly in big cities. Both London and Paris are a massive pain to drive and, especially, park in. Since both cities have excellent public transport systems, it seems pointless

The French rail system is excellent - better than Britain's - so for that portion of the trip I'd definitely suggest using the train, since by the way it reads you're essentially going to and from Paris without much in between

As to costs, petrol is hugely expensive. In the UK petrol is about £1.20 a litre, diesel about £1.32. To fill a tank on an average car will cost you £60-£80 depending on size, and take you from 300 to 550 miles or so for that. Diesel cars do about 20% better mileage per litre than petrol (These figures aren't accurate but an OK rule of thumb)

I've just come back from France and fuel was even more expensive than here on account of the exchange rate. About E1.50-E1.60 for petrol and E1.40 for diesel

Cambridge, United...
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4. Re: UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

Hi,

firstly, great choice of hotel in Durham - I once went to a medieval-themed ball at Lumley Castle, wowee! :-) Also that is a beautiful part of the country, I spent three years at uni there and I love going back to visit!

Regarding hiring a car, it is very expensive to drive at the moment (petrol prices show no sign of letting up, currently 1.20GBP per litre unleaded, lots more if you buy it on the motorway).

Driving from Durham to Ramsgate, phew! If it were me, I would be tempted to use the train for that leg of the journey, as I assume you would be using the A1M & M25 motorways which are not exactly scenic... if however you wanted to trundle around the countryside via a longer route, a car would be better. Also, while the trains have great coverage in the south of England, it gets a little sparse in the north IMO so you would need to combine taxis and trains.

If you do decide to get the train, don't buy your ticket on the day, it can be incredibly expensive doing the GNER line. You can get advance tickets from www.thetrainline.com which are a fraction of the price.

If there are complications/extra costs for hiring a car and driving it in two countries, have you considered hiring a separate car in the UK and in France? Perhaps hiring one in the north of England, then getting the train down to your ferry, then hiring another in France when you need it.

Have you also considered using the Channel Tunnel train rather than the ferry? It is certainly faster and will get you straight into Paris.

-Zannah-

Hampshire, England.
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5. Re: UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

Also, if the hire car company did let you take the car from England to France, as they drive on the right, the steering wheel will obviously be on the wrong side of the car.

Regards.

London
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6. Re: UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

To agree with the other replies, taking a UK rental car (right hand drive) into France is not a good idea.

The money you'd pay for your ferry tickets will go quite a long way towards paying the eurostar fares - especially if you book well in advance to get the best deals.

Driving in Paris - no never. But if there are other parts of off the beaten track France that you wanted to see, why not rent a car for a couple of days over there - picking it up outside central Paris of course.

Final thought. If - despite these comments - you do decide that you really do want to take your UK rental car with you to France, the Ramsgate and Dieppe ferry crossings are not the main routes. The highest frequence and lowest fares are on the Dover Calais route.

London, England
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7. Re: UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

As ferries are expensive (100 GBP plus) fuel also (1.3 GBP per litre plus)I strongly recommend a mix of car and public transport - esp.rail (or bus).

Hertz or other big rental Co.s permit 'open jaw' (one way) rentals within a country, and you can locate their offices on their website. Find one near the Eurostar terminals at Paddington-London or the new station at Ebbsfleet (Kent- 15 miles South East of London), as fewer Eurostars stop at Ashford now.

Check www.seat61.com (the best guide to rail tarvel in UK and Europe) and www.viamichelin.com (enter up to date fuel prices and it gives you route-pland, driving times, fuel and toll costs; and locates speed cameras!

Aubrey, Texas
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8. Re: UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

Good advice about not taking a UK car to France. I've done it and right hand drive is a real pain for the driver and the passenger who has to act as lookout when passing on a two lane road. It can be nervewracking.

Hiring a car in England is a good idea. It's the ultimate in flexibility and in the grand scheme of the total budget for your trip, the cost of petrol is peanuts despite the high per gallon price.

9. Re: UK and Paris holiday- petrol prices

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