The economic downturn has affected many parts of people’s lives in Britain, with personal finances being the main area to experience changes. Various areas have seen price increases and one particularly noticeable rise has been in the cost of petrol.

For motorists, this means a more expensive experience on the road – but how does it affect travel plans?


The cost of driving abroad

Research by The Post Office claims that UK motorists driving in Europe this summer can expect to pay considerably more. According to the report, 47 per cent of the UK adult population have driven abroad, with 97 per cent driving to France or Spain.

France’s pump prices for unleaded fuel have increased year-on-year by 7p per litre, while Spain has undergone a 9p increase, meaning motorists could be expected to pay considerably more. While these increases will have affected all forms of transport, it is personal vehicles, such as cars and vans, where the increases will be most acutely felt.

For those navigating a country using its own public transport network, following a flight or other international transfer, prices may be a little higher, but could still be cheaper than taking your own vehicle.

Holiday solutions

For those who don’t want to let rising fuel costs get in the way of their holiday plans, there are solutions. With cheap city breaks, for example, you can travel the world without having to worry about the cost of petrol. Numerous travel firms offer a range of deals to nearby European destinations and this keeps core holiday costs low.

Once arrived, you’ll find that a large number of these destinations support an extensive public transport network which makes navigating your destination easy. Countries such as France rely on the Metro underground system for a lot of their domestic travel and this means services operate regularly, at affordable prices.

Selecting the right destination

To determine which destinations offer the best value for money, you need to consider the travel costs. The internet is a wealth of information when it comes to holiday bookings, so you should be able to find out estimated costs for public transport and private cars in your chosen destinations. Travel agents may also be able to help with this.

Once you’ve looked at this factor, you should also consider how much other facilities and everyday essentials cost in Europe.

The Post Office release an annual travel costs barometer, which compares the average price of key items, such as a 1.5 litre bottle or mineral water, or a three-course meal for two, so it’s worth taking a look at this to evaluate how economical your chosen destination really is.