driving to finland

The Real Cost of Driving To Finland | Van Life

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You may be wondering why we chose to drive 1,800 miles in 6 days to reach Finland, and the answer is; it wasn’t our original plan! We ended up saving over £400, so read more to find out how we did it.

Back in 2014 we drove up through Denmark, Sweden and then Norway to reach the arctic Circle. It was a fantastic experience crossing over from Denmark along their massive bridges (which were pretty pricey!) to get into Sweden, and later in the year in November we left Sweden on a ferry to Rostock in Germany. So we have already driven a couple of different routes in Scandinavia.

Once we put all our details in for a cost we got a quote of €750

This year we are in our bigger van, and knew that with a bigger van comes bigger costs. We also have our cat Ginjey Bear with us, which can affect the price you pay on ferries/channel tunnel, as well as whether you can cross that particular way at all.

We’d heard of a ferry from Tarvemunde to Helsinki, taking 30 hours it cuts out over 1,000 miles from your journey and gets you there without even having to think about it.

We kept tabs on everything we spent money on (tolls, ferries, fuel) and tallied it all up to make a nice clear picture at the end

Once we put all our details in for a cost we got a quote of €750, without a cabin and with no space for Ginjey. So that was immediately a no. It was going to blow our monthly budget in a day so we came up with a solution...drive to Tallinn and catch the much cheaper ferry instead!

Some rough calculations showed us it should work out cheaper, and we’d also have the benefit of getting to visit countries we’d never been to before. But that’s all for another blog post...

So how much did it cost?

We kept tabs on everything we spent money on (tolls, ferries, fuel) and tallied it all up to make a nice clear picture at the end. And here’s the results:

Fuel:

  • 15/07 UK (65.41 litre @ 1.259) £82.35

  • 16/07 UK (43 litre @ 1.339) £57.58

  • 17/07 Germany (68.8 litre @ 1.249) €85.92 (£77.22)

  • 19/07 Poland (67.1 litre @ 5,14 zł) zł345.00 (£72.88)

  • 20/07 Lithuania (61.2 litre @ 1.070) €65.54 (£58.89)


By far the cheapest country to refuel in was Lithuania, with the most expensive being the UK.

Total amount of fuel:

£348.92 = 1,800 miles | 305.51 litres = 17p per mile | 44hours driving spread out over 6 days.

Ok, but what about the channel tunnel and the ferry over the Gulf of Finland?

Ocean crossings:

  • 16/07 Chunnel £155

  • 22/07 Tallinn - Helsinki ferry €129 (£115.94)

Ocean crossings total: £270.94

So, adding it all together the overall cost to drive from Nottingham, UK, to Helsinki, Finland, was:

Total driving costs came to £619.86

It’s worth noting that we travel in our van, so we free camp as we already have somewhere to stay! This also helps keep costs down, paying for accommodation every night would drastically increase our expenditure.

And just for a comparison, if we’d driven through Germany to catch the ferry to Helsinki from there, it would have cost:

  • 775 miles from Nottingham to Travemünde: £164.68 fuel

  • Chunnel from Folkestone to Calais: £155

  • Ferry from Travemünde to Helsinki: €791.30/£759.64 without Ginjey and without a bed/cabin (we couldn’t even book one with Ginjey!)

Total: £1079.32

Total saved: £459.40 and we got to see cool stuff!


Another alternative route:

  • Nottingham to Stockholm: 1,400 miles (estimated £85 per tank) £297.50

  • Channel Tunnel from Folkestone to Calais: £155

  • Toll in Denmark Storebælt and Øresund Bridges: (€52 + €124 = €176) £168.96

  • Stockholm to Helsink ferry: £182.37 (not with Ginjey as there were none available!)

Total: £803.83

There are many alterntive routes to get there, and these are just a few examples that we’ve calculated. That being said, we’re happy with the outcome as we got to drive through a number of different countries we’d never visited before, stay in gorgeous places, swim in rivers, explore historic places and get back into the swing of a long roadtrip.

Would you do this route?