Most countries in Europe offer diesel at lower prices than in the UK. We are pretty savvy when it comes to the hard-earned cash. Consequently, we control our fuel costs by filling up with low priced diesel in Europe . This may sound common sense, but you would be amazed how many people we see filling up on the M20 en route to the Channel Tunnel or filling up at the first fuel station just after leaving the Channel Tunnel. So, this is our guide for getting to Lake Garda “on the cheap”.
When leaving Yorkshire, the first thing to do is glance at the fuel gauge. It’s also worth a glance at the fuel computer. It’s roughly 275 miles to Dover and a bit less to Folkestone. Based on the Kon-tiki doing 25 mpg, then 11 gallons are needed. I would however like a few gallons in reserve and leave Yorkshire with just under 3/4 of a tank. This is preplanned from any previous trip. When on a UK trip that ends prior to a foreign trip, we only refuel to three-quarters.
On arrival in France, we will add more fuel. However, this is only a top up rather than a fill up. It is about 250 miles to Luxembourg from Calais. Given that approximately 11 gallons will have been used to get this far, we add another 11 gallons. We vary this though according to how the fuel gauge looks and if the low fuel light is on or not!
Once in Luxembourg, we fill the fuel tank to the absolute maximum due to fuel being about ten pence per litre cheaper in Luxembourg than in France!
Back on the journey through France, we fill to the brim again in Cernay, meaning that no fuel is required in Switzerland, and only a top up required in Italy. The top up in Italy is enough to get back to French fuel.
The above is the theory, and below is the “actual”.
We left York with about three-quarters of a tank of fuel.
At Calais, we added 45 litres, about 10 gallons.
At Luxembourg, we added just over 73 litres, about 16 gallons. The tank has a capacity for 20 gallons. This means that there were roughly four gallons were slopping about in the tank.
At Cernay, we added just over 29 litres, about 6 1/2 gallons. As a result, the tank was full to the rafters once more!
In Italy we added 23 litres, so about five gallons – just a little top up at these prices!
Back in France, after using the Simplon pass to get to Switzerland, and detouring via Camping Attermenzen, we added 45 litres, so another ten gallons – “just enough” to get to Luxembourg.
Once in Luxembourg, another 72 litres so taking the tank to capacity once more.
On the A25 motorway, north of Lille leave at junction 9 and full up at the E Leclerc supermarket. Again to the brim – this is enough to see us to Yorkshire!
It is very difficult to calculate the savings we make by operating on a “top up” or “brim it” system, but using Luxembourg as the example, then we had about 145 litres here in total – ten pence per litre less than French supermarkets (£17 saving) but about twenty-five pence per litre less than French motorway prices (about a £40 saving). On a 2200 mile trip like our last one, we think we save about £100 on the trip. This is not to be sniffed at. A fiver here and tenner there may not seem that much, but “every little helps”
Low priced diesel in Europe – how to find it.
When looking for cheap fuel, you may like to read the following sites.
It must be added that we have never found fuel in Luxembourg to be cheaper off the motorway than on it.