By car through europe

Still at the end of the 20. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the combination of a driver’s license and the first car of one’s own promised great freedom. With the gray rag in your pocket, you set off on a tour of europe in a used car. driving bans? Overpriced gasoline? parking problems? No topic. But who still travels by car today cross through europe from city to city? We have a few ideas.

They still exist, the automotive explorers who would rather sweat behind their own steering wheel than buy an interrail ticket and sit relaxed on the train. And it’s not a difficult decision to make: the car is still the most popular means of transport for Germans. Before starting a car trip through europe, you should think carefully about the advantages and disadvantages of this form of travel. What speaks for a trip by car? What against?

Advantages of traveling by car

  • You can take as much luggage as your trunk will hold.
  • You only sit in the car with the people you want to be with.
  • you are flexible – when you want to go, you go.
  • You stop exactly where you want to go. And not where the train or bus stops.
  • You save money – if you share the costs.
  • You decide where to go.

Disadvantages of traveling by car

  • You have to take care of everything yourself – navigation, travel and route planning. And of course driving.
  • The car is one of the slowest means of transport, especially for connections between European metropolises. thanks to traffic jams and congestion.
  • It will be expensive when you are on your own – gas, tolls, parking.
  • Car breakdowns are extremely annoying, cost time. And money.

Your own car

With friends the trip through europe becomes a real experience.

If you decide to travel to europe by car, you have many more options today than you did 30 or 40 years ago. For most people traveling through europe by car, their own car is still the first choice. No wonder. You know your car through and through and usually feel comfortable and safe in it. A piece of home in a foreign country, according to the motto "my car is my castle".

And there are no unpleasant surprises in terms of insurance – because you have taken out the insurance when you bought the car. a careful technical check-up before you set off on the long journey is a matter of course. What you should check in any case, we show you in the video "car check before your vacation". You want to save your own vehicle in terms of mileage or maybe you are afraid of higher risks of theft in some countries? Then you have the following options.

Car rental

A rental car can be a good alternative to your own car, especially if you can get good deals. And maybe by plane or train to the starting point of your journey by car through europe. When renting a car abroad, there are a few important rules you should be aware of. We have compiled them for you in our checklist "car rental in germany and abroad".

Of course you can rent a car in germany for the whole period of time. Be sure to compare several offers and don’t be tempted by the one that seems to be the cheapest at first glance. Often additional costs for essential insurances, extra drivers or equipment are hidden in the small print.

Car sharing

carsharing offers a certain charm of the new. Especially in larger cities or metropolises in europe you can quickly find interesting offers for part-time use of one of many shared cars. And if you assume that a car is going to be sitting around in an urban environment for most of the day anyway, you’ll quickly realize how many advantages there are to paying for a car only for the time it’s in use.

example? In amsterdam, for example, you can use car2go. Register, validate, drive – this is the simple three step process. You register online or via a free app, scan your driver’s license, find a free car via the app, start the rental via app and drive off. The highlight – the first trip is free of charge. Like parking by the way. Otherwise you can pay per minute, hour or day. If you like to improvise and try out new things, you can experience the European capitals in a completely different way.


Hitchhiking is another way to get around europe by car. And you get to know a lot of people in the process.

Who says that you have to drive the car yourself on the way through europe?? How about hitchhiking, old-fashionedly called hitchhiking or car hitchhiking?. A form of transport that in times of increasing individual traffic has been increasingly displaced by it, but is now experiencing a small renaissance.

As a hitchhiker you should have three main requirements: be open-minded, have plenty of time and be able to say no. even if you might associate hitchhiking with cliches like romantic, adventurous and dangerous, hitchhiking is primarily one thing: different. And on every route.

A good preparation is half the battle. if you want to hitchhike longer distances, you should definitely have maps (digital or analog), a cell phone (plus powerbank), good permanent pens and of course a lot of time in your luggage.

as a rule of thumb, if you want to cover a distance of 500 kilometers, you should allow about three days for the trip. Be sure to check the laws in the countries you plan to visit, as there are different regulations for hitchhiking.

Long-distance hitchhikers have the best chance at rest areas and parking lots along the highway. Many cars are guaranteed here, and you will have the opportunity to speak directly to the drivers. you don’t just have to hold up the sign with your destination – you can go directly to the people and present yourself that way. A good portion of self-confidence will help you enormously. Always be polite and respectful. Because you expect to be treated the same way.

it’s the mix that makes it

You see, there is no one best way to travel through europe by car. Maybe you just combine the different possibilities – you take the train for the longest part to your starting point, then use a car sharing or even a bikesharing service in the city, then change to a rental car for a longer distance and hitchhike on the way home. Now you have to decide. You have the choice.

you have more questions about traveling? Then write us your questions in the comments.

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