Buying a vehicle V Public Transport for travel through Europe!
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jul 12, 2012 1:40 PM Last Post By: ohwell
Jul 11, 2012 4:28 PM
Buying a vehicle V Public Transport for travel through Europe!Ist time poster,
My wife and I are leaving Aussieland on Saturday to start a year of backpacking through Europe, then from St.Petersgurg to Beijing and then down through Asia, India and eventually home.
Our question is whether we buy a van in either Turkey or Greece and drive ourselves through Europe or just go with the public transport that countries will provide, eg, bus, train etc..
Your replys would be much apreciated.
Jul 11, 2012 4:45 PM
1Welcome, Obviously, you've asked a subjective question so you'll get many answers and they are all just opinions.
My opinion is you're better off taking advantage of good to excellent public transportation systems throughout much of Europe. Yes, a car will offer more flexibility, but it will also cost more, perhaps much more, and the price you may have to pay for that flexibility probably won't be worth it.
Remember, it's not just the cost of the car. You also have to consider title costs, registration, insurance, parking, repairs, maintenance, potential tickets, surcharges when taking the car from one country to another, possible ferry costs (if you're going to the UK or Ireland, for instance) and finally disposing of the car when you're done in Europe. In other words there's a lot to consider when you could rely on a relatively inexpensive bus and train system that can get you throughout most of Europe. For longer trips you can even take advantage of the super discount air carriers and fly for next to nothing.
I say ditch the car and have a more relaxing trip.
Jul 11, 2012 8:20 PM
Jul 11, 2012 8:36 PM
3Except for the Balkans where bus schedules are notoriously difficult to find and vary some with the season, train and bus and budget flights are really reasonable.
It's unclear how long your plan to travel in Europe but if you aren't already aware of it, you should familiarize yourself with the Schengen zone. This is a group of countries which are considered as a unit from the point of view of when you enter and how long you are permitted to remain. Basically you can stay in the Schengen zone for 90 days in a 180 day period. That means no visa runs to restart the clock.
The zone is large. The 25 Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland plus the micro states of San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican. All these countries except Norway, Iceland and Switzerland are European Union members. Romania and Bulgaria may become part of Schengen at some point in the future.
Two other things to take into consideration are that it will be almost impossible to obtain a Russian and a Chinese visa anywhere in Europe unless you are legally residing in a country in Europe.
You really should consider doing this trip in reverse.
Jul 11, 2012 10:07 PM
4I can't speak for the other places you'll visit but here in Turkey we have a wonderful transport system-cheap plentiful domestic flights,a limited but good rail system,intercity buses which are cheap and go everywhere and finally an amazing local bus system which provides every village with at least a few buses per day.So virtually no where in the country remains inaccessible.
Fuel here is very expensive,amongst the most expensive in the world :( and in addition,if you bring a car into Turkey(for which you must have all the necessary documents,permits etc.)it must also leave with you,you are forbidden from selling it here.
I can appreciate having a car would give you a high degree of flexibility and ability to reach some very remote spots but on balance I'd still stick with public transport at least here in Turkey.
Jul 12, 2012 11:17 AM
5Having lived in Turkey for 6 years I'd go for the public transport option every time.
Edited by: KayaKoyuWalker
Jul 12, 2012 1:40 PM
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