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We are a family of 4, two adults + 5 years old + 8 months old. We are traveling to The Hague, Holland from Genoa, Italy. We decided to go by car, and we are trying to calculate costs. So here it goes:

  • Is it difficult to find LPG in France or Germany?
  • Through which country is it cheaper to drive?
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Check www.viamichelin.com for the alternative routes and their costs. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Nov 10 '13 at 16:46
I removed the subjective portion of your question; whether it's "best" to take one route or another depends entirely on your objectives (cost? time? scenery? etc). I think you're only asking for the cheapest route, and you asked that separately, so I think the question's intent is still fully in tact. –  Flimzy Nov 10 '13 at 22:25
Here's a map of LPG stations in Germany and in France –  Bart Arondson Nov 10 '13 at 23:15
@Flimzy But people could provide an overview of the relevant trade-offs (as indeed one comment does below) or mention some issues the OP did not envision. As long as the question is answerable, I don't think we need to react so negatively to any use of the word "best". –  Relaxed Nov 11 '13 at 11:08
@Annoyed: I don't think you need to continue to post so negatively on the policies of Stack Exchange which are not ours to change. They've given us a site specifically for objectively answerable questions only and we could've used an existing travel forum instead of accepting their terms. –  hippietrail Dec 1 '13 at 13:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Germany would seem a bit cheaper as, unlike France, there is no toll (for cars) on the main motorway network. As pointed out by @user3470, you could use ViaMichelin to figure out how much a specific route would cost you. Any reasonable route also seems to go through Switzerland and you would have to pay for the motorway there as well but this would not depend on the route as it is a yearly vignette.

For the rest, I think fuel costs would be roughly equal. However, if you do let yourself drive faster in Germany where it is allowed (you don't have to, obviously), it might reduce mileage/increase costs noticeably. If you have a lot of time, you could also stay away from the motorways and avoid tolls. It's also often nicer landscape-wise and possibly cheaper in terms of fuel cost as well but I don't think this would be practical on such a long journey, especially with kids. Comparing food between countries is difficult but if you are on a budget, you should definitely take your lunch with you anyway.

On the other hand, the most direct route through France would also go through Luxembourg, where petrol is still cheaper than in all neighboring countries (albeit perhaps not as much as some years ago). Now, all this is valid for unleaded fuel, I never drove an LPG car. I did notice that it is available (certainly in Luxembourg, generally also in France, Belgium, the Netherlands…) but never paid much attention if it was available everywhere, how much it cost, etc. A quick web search suggests LPG might be 25% cheaper in Luxembourg compared to France.

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If you're in it for the drive and willing to take the time you could consider driving through Austria. The autobahnvignette for Switzerland costs €34,- while Austria has a 10 day vignette at €8,30. It adds nearly 200km (and nearly 4 hours) to the trip, but you'll still save a bit. For me the main reason to consider this route would not be to save a few euro's, but because it gives you a chance to drive the Stelvio pass which is a pretty stunning drive (though it might be closed in winter). –  AVee Nov 11 '13 at 10:48
@AVee If you take fuel costs into account, it would be roughly the same I think. –  Relaxed Nov 11 '13 at 11:10
Toll along that route is all a trade-off between money and time by the way. You can save €10,- between Genoa and Milan, but that will slow you down a lot. You can however easily avoid the Austria vignette by taking the 171 instead of the A12. But avoiding toll in Switzerland is barely possible, and avoiding Switzerland altogether will add a few hours to the trip. –  AVee Nov 11 '13 at 11:17
Yes, that's true as well. Incidentally, avoiding the toll in Switzerland is not too difficult. Just get on the motorway after the border. I did it once, did not feel good about it and have paid every time since but in practice it was very easy. I am told they do checks from time to time but it doesn't seem very common. –  Relaxed Nov 11 '13 at 11:24
@Annoyed 200km at 1:10 will be around €16,- for LPG (LPG costs around 80 cents a liter) and the Austria vignette is avoidable on top of that. But it will add a few hours to the trip. (The Stelvio is worth it though ;) ) –  AVee Nov 11 '13 at 11:32

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