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Top Car Choices for Road Trips on the Continent

Austria Roadtrip Map

It's no secret that using a left hand drive car on roads where you have to drive on the right is safer and easier than doing so in a British motor. Many routes on the Continent have challenging driving conditions, which make foreign roads feel even more foreign if you don't have the right type of car.

Around two-thirds of countries worldwide drive on the right hand side of the road. Whether you're going to be adventuring up in the snowy mountains, crossing a desert, or travelling across dirt track roads, you're going to appreciate the extra control and confidence you have from a car that's well suited to the trip. Let's take a look at some of our favourite vehicles for some common trips across the Continent.

Audi Q7 - Skiing in Austria

Route: Folkestone - Reims, France - Stuttgart, Germany - Götzens, Austria 
798 miles, 11 hours of driving

Breakdown of costs:

  • Car - from around £30,000
  • Fuel - £146.52
  • Winter sports travel insurance - £26.46

So you've decided to catch the end of the winter snow in Austria. The first stop is at the Eurotunnel, then venture through the north of France, around Stuttgart in Germany, finally reaching your destination not too far inside of the Austrian border - Götzens, Austria.

Not many vehicles would tackle this trip any better than the Audi Q7 3.0l V6. Not only will you have the power to overtake easily (and safely) on the German autobahns, but you and your passengers will spend the entire journey in complete comfort.

Audi's top of the line Q7 comes with leather heated seats, climate control, in-car entertainment and more room than anyone would ever need. Most important of all, this 4-wheel drive beast will easily tackle the rough terrain when you finally reach Austria. Being almost 2 metres wide and over 5 metres long, the Audi Q7 is the largest European SUV money can buy.

Tips: 

  • It's strongly recommended to fit winter tyres or snow chains if you're travelling during winter months.

France Roadtrip Map

Volvo XC70 - Camping trip through France

Route: Folkestone - Le Crotoy - Le Havre - Granville - Pornic
505 miles, 9 hours and 8 minutes of driving

Breakdown of costs: 

  • Car - from around £25,000
  • Fuel cost - £62.40
  • Travel insurance - £12.34

When you're searching for a towing vehicle to take your caravan and family on a camping holiday, it's difficult to find a vehicle that gives you the best of both worlds - a car that has the power and size for towing, but also be a good fit for your day-to-day life outside of the campsites.

The Volvo XC70 2.4D is probably your best bet if this is the case Volvo's estate-jeep hybrid is a spacious, wonderfully powerful and extremely reliable towing machine that will get you from A-B in style with up to 62.8 MPG.

Now you've got your car sorted, where are you planning on going? One of the most accessible and beautiful places to go camping in Europe (and possibly the world) is in France. A stone's throw away from home, you can board with your car and caravan en-tow in Dover, England, and be in Calais, France in less than 40 minutes.

Tips:

  • Always practice pitching your tent and removing your roof box before embarking on your trip.
  • Bring a few bottles of water with you. Sometimes you can drive a great distance through France without passing any shops, especially through the countryside.

Morocco Roadtrip Map

Toyota Land Cruiser - Driving to Morocco

Route: Folkestone - Biarritz, France - Madrid, Spain - Málaga, Spain - Tangier, Morocco
1,480 miles, 23 hours and 45 minutes of driving

Breakdown of costs: 

  • Car - from around £27,000
  • Fuel cost - £274.33
  • Travel insurance: £12.34

If you fancy something a bit more out there and adventurous, then Morocco is the destination you're looking for. Morocco guarantees to add excitement to your road-trip, and you'll come back with some truly unique stories to tell.

The Toyota Land Cruiser 3.0D, preferably in white, to keep you as cool as possible (like the locals) is the ideal choice if you're driving through a desert; there is no better vehicle for such harsh terrain.

With plenty of room for 7, a fridge to keep your snacks and drinks cool (selected models), air conditioning, and an in-car entertainment system to keep the kids happy, the reliable and affordable Land and is the perfect vehicle for a trip like this.

The drive is long; it will take around 2 days to drive from Calais to Algeciras where you will get your ferry to take you to mainland Morocco. There will be plenty of places to stop along the way and it will definitely be worth the journey when you get to explore the beautiful sandy mountain ranges, sandy deserts, and un-touched seaside coasts of Morocco.

Tips:

  • Getting a car into Morocco can be a hassle and time-consuming, so make sure you have your paperwork ready and prepared for some impatient queuing.
  • Spring and autumn are the best times to visit when there's plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures reaching around 23-28°C during the hottest part of the day.

This article was written by Diana Zagorodnya who writes for travel insurance comparison site Confused.com. One day she's hoping to embark the adventure and hit the long and winding roads.

*Small print: The prices are correct as of 16/09/2013 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 5 travelling one way through the listed countries for 2 weeks. Car journeys are calculated based on different models and their engine sizes leaving from Folkestone and travelling to the listed destinations. The fuel cost is calculated using the fuel cost calculator and is based on £1.28/litre.