Driving through Europe


Jun 17th, 2013, 10:26 PM
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Driving through Europe

Does anyone have advice on driving in Europe, most specifically the situation with toll roads. We are hiring a car in Germany and then across to Salzburg down through Austria to Northern Italy, up into Switzerland and then across France to Paris.
Jezzie is offline  
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Jun 17th, 2013, 10:31 PM
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Plug in your routes into It gives you the toll estimates.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 12:06 AM
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Germany - no tolls
Austria - you need a sticker, different prices and lenghts, automated checks on highways, steep fines if you forget - some highways have additional tools at booths
Switzerland - you need a sticker, only year long stickers available
Italy - tolls on almost all highways, you take a receipt entering an highway and pay as you exit
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Jun 18th, 2013, 12:09 AM
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Make sure you have enough cash for paying tolls - particularly in France foreign credit/debit cards are often not usable at the toll booths.
There have been a number of threads on this topic; it would be worth your time to check the details they tell. Di
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Jun 18th, 2013, 02:56 AM
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France has a combination of toll and free motorways, but the ordinary national and departmental highways are all free and generally of excellent quality, so you really only have to use toll roads in you are in a great hurry and don't want to stop and see things along the way.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 06:53 AM
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Tolls will be minor compared to your drop charge in Paris which could be 300E or more.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 07:30 AM
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In Germany on the autobahn, stay in the far right lane unless you are passing. Once you've passed someone, return to the right. Cars will flash their lights to remind you to move over.

Once you cross into Austria, stop at the first gas station and buy a road tax Vignette. I think they cost about 8 Euro for 10 days. They are required if you use the "freeways". Better to buy one then risk an expensive ticket if pulled over.

I always found driving the autostrada Northern Italy to be exciting. Prepare for tunnels and quickly pulling off your sunglasses turning on your headlights. I don't remember any issues driving through Switzerland. The Gotthard tunnel always freaked me out a little.

In France, keep cash to pay the tolls. You'll require a chip and pin credit card and even then it may not work if it is not a French card. I've gone through three cards and not one worked. Watch your speed in France, they use speed cameras and will send you a ticket when you return home.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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Here is an illustrated introduction to driving in Europe, A second to bobthenavigator's comment on your drop off charge. Could you get back to Germany for the drop off and return flight? Looks like a nice trip for a few weeks.
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Jun 20th, 2013, 01:48 AM
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Thanks for all the help. The drop off charge is already within our price and is about 150 euros which is quite reasonable I think. I'll check out the links
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