In case you haven’t come across Motorail before, it’s a service which enables you to put your car on a train so that you can take a sleeper carriage and arrive the next morning at your chosen destination. It’s generally cheaper, easier and less stressful than driving all the way.
There are two services that can be used by UK travellers:
1. The Autotrain from Paris
2. The DB Autozug from Germany
1. The Autotrain from Paris.
Autotrain Services from Paris
A Motorail service that runs all year round
If you want to take your car to the south of France without driving all the way, you can use the Autotrain. The car is put on a train to travel overnight, while you travel on high-speed TGV trains from Paris to any one of these destinations…
Avignon, Bordeaux, Brive, Fréjus/St Raphaël, Lyon, Marseille, Narbonne, Nice, Toulon, Toulouse
NB. This service needs to be booked at least 5 days before departure, and can only be booked by calling Rail Europe on 0844 848 4050
2. The DB Autozug Service from Germany
The DB Autozug service is a great way to get to those further-away places in Europe by car. You can reach Avignon and Narbonne in France, in Italy there are terminals in Alessandria, Bolzano and Verona, and finally in Austria, there are the Innsbruck, Salzburg, Schwarzach and Villach terminals.
Many travellers now use the Autozug to get to Croatia, Slovenia and beyond. With prices starting at just 99 Euro’s it’s easy to see the advantages, especially when taking a group or a family.
How to book the Autozug. The Autozug “price finder” allows you to check availability and dates, book, pay, and print your tickets online. Take your time though…
Big savings can be made if you book within 6 days of departure, but you need to be easy about when and where you go. Note that some of the more popular destinations can sell out months before departure, so don’t leave it to chance.
Get a general view of the connections offered by the Autozug and how they might work for you. The Autozug works very well with the P&O North Sea ferries from Hull to Zeebrugge and the Newcastle to Amsterdam routes. Search for possible routes using our ferry search tool.
Save 40% with a “Saturday Special”
There are big savings to be made by travelling on off-peak trains for which there is normally less demand in Germany. This option usually works out just fine for us Brits.