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So what does it actually cost to rent a car and go on a 4 day road trip in Germany?
Unlike France, Germany has no toll roads whatsoever so our car costs came down to the car rental (including insurance), parking and gas.
Car Rental – $209 (including fee for returning car to a different location)
Parking – $31
Gas – $125
Over the course of 4 days we covered 950 km and spent a total of $364 on car related costs.
That comes out to $45 per person per day (though if we had 4 people in the car that would only be $23 per person per day). If you’re fortunate enough to know how to drive a manual (we don’t) you can shave even more off the car rental costs since automatic cars are significantly more expensive to rent.
What about the rest of the costs on our driving tour though?
In order to keep costs low, since we already added to the daily average with the car rental, we chose to couchsurf for all 4 days of our driving tour.
This allowed us to save on accommodation and at times even meals (as some of our hosts cooked for us).
The free accommodation cancelled out the extra car costs so that on average we each spent $73 a day total during our driving tour.
Before our driving tour we were spending an average of $67 per day each in Germany, so the driving tour led each of us to spend only $6 more. A small price to pay for everything we got to see and experience over those 4 days.
I hope to show you that even on a backpackers budget it is possible to rent a car in Western Europe and not blow your budget.
By couchsurfing during our driving tour we were able to significantly reduce our costs while also enjoying the company of some great people and learning more about the region. A win win if you ask me.