Driving To Bulgaria; What Does It Cost?

Driving to bulgaria? What does it cost? We’ve done it three times now and every time I say never again! We’ve had many questions about the cost and how effective it was to drive in comparison to flying. This post explores the different routes we’ve taken and how much it cost.


Veliko Tarnovo

What do we drive?

We’re currently driving a 2002 Lexus RX300, 4×4 with two adults, three kids and a roof box.

It has a 75 litre fuel tank and for motorway driving we generally sit on 80mph/130kmh.


What our car looked like when it was new

2018 Route Via Liechtenstein

We drove from West Sussex to Mezdra in Bulgaria and took a holiday for a week in Liechtenstein. We chose to take a holiday because Rich was working overseas in China and I didn’t want to do the drive alone with the kids and animals so I dropped him off at Zurich airport and then drove into Liechtenstein where we spent a week.


  1. This is not the most direct or the cheapest route.
  2. This route avoids Serbia – read below as to why.


Our route to Bulgaria
2018: Our route to Bulgaria

Travelling Through Serbia

There is a newly built motorway that enables you to travel from Hungary to Bulgaria through Serbia (thus eliminating Romania) BUT and this is a big, however, Serbia is not in the EU….

Some people have told me that if you travel through a non-EU country with an EU pet passport that this voids the EU passport. This is not true and I can find no official vet to confirm this however I have heard horror stories of bribery & corruption at the Serbian border involving a pet and some people have told me that British vets will not sign the Serbian health certificate because it isn’t a DEFRA form…

DISCLAIMER: All third-hand stories not verified!

Supposedly, f you’re travelling with a pet there is an additional requirement of a health certificate, translated into Serbian, and a vet checking the pet at the border and a subsequent fee.

DISCLAIMER: We have travelled through Serbia four times since with our dog and three cats, border officials have seen them and we’ve not been questioned or asked for further documentation.

So for this reason we did not drive through Serbia in 2018 – although we have done three or four times since.

2018 Costs Through Liechtenstein

Eurotunnel – £102

Petrol in the UK – £93.73

French Peage – €6.10. 3.60. 22.80€

F1 hotel – €75

Petrol in France – €95.01

Swiss Vignette – CHF 40

Petrol in Switzerland – CHF 108.75

One week’s accommodation in Liechtenstein £537 / €608.50

Austrian vignette – €26.20

German Toll – €0.70

Petrol in Germany – €89.09

Meal at a service station: 58.86€

We stopped off for the night in Hungary at the Nimrod Hotel 

Hungarian Vignette – 2975 / €10 – 10 days

Hotel – 35325

Petrol in Hungary – 20,740

Tesco shopping for lunch and dinner – 7,437

Breakfast at McDonalds (yes terrible!) – 6,750

Romanian Hotel – 403.19 ron

Meal out – 116 ron

Carrefour shopping – 92 ron

Petrol in Romania- 349.20

Bulgarian toll – €6

54 lev – vignette 3 months

I haven’t included the week in Liechtenstein in this total. If you want a week in Liechtenstein, obviously add on the difference from above.

Grand Total £1,053.52

Driving to bulgaria

Driving to Bulgaria; our route 2018

2019 Route Through EuroTunnel

In September 2019 we undertook the drive again but this time from Norwich. We left at 10am on Friday and arrived on Sunday at 3pm! It is a long, boring and hard slog and each time we do it we say ‘never again’.

This time we decided to drive as long as possible for as cheaply as possible. This is because we were towing a high sided trailer, plus had the car and a roof box full of stuff and we weighed approximately 3.5 tonnes! We were forced to drive much slower than we normally would.

The only difference with this route is that we no longer have our dog (but do have 3 cats) and thus didn’t need to stop for pee breaks with him.

Because of the trailer, the crossing fee was significantly more than we usually pay. Had we not had the trailer we could have saved up to £270 on this crossing fee.

2019 Costs From Norwich

£2.50 Dartford crossing

£68 petrol in the UK

Eurotunnel – £371

Petrol in Belgium €80.58 /£ 71.67

Food in Belgium: €25.90 / £ 23.03

Toilet in Belgium: €0.70 / £ 0.63

Food in Amsterdam: €20.40 / £ 18.17

Petrol in Germany: €100.01 / £ 89.08

Petrol in Germany: €77.73 / £ 69.58

Food in Germany €15.46 / £ 13.84

Austrian Petrol & Vignette: €108.50 /£99.27

Petrol in Austrian: €92.16 / £ 82.50

Food in Austria €16.84 / £ 15.08

Hungary e-Vignette: 3500 / £9.10

McDonald’s: 6220 / £ 16.17

Hungarian Toll: 22308 / £ 59.88

Serbian Petrol: 8732.86 / £ 66.94

Grand Total £1,076.44

DISCLAIMER: If you have no trailer you can save up to £270 on the crossing and of course you wouldn’t require as much fuel.


Driving to Bulgaria map route
The route we took to Bulgaria

I Use My Revolut Card To Pay For Everything

Revolut is our top international card to use. It’s simple to use, it’s topped up within the app, I can see everything I spend in real time, I get notifications when a payment has gone out and I can add multiple currencies. For us, it’s a win win, I have ultimate control over the card and not the bank! They also give us free cash withdrawals overseas.

2019 Bulgaria to East Anglia Via Hook of Holland

In December 2019 we decided to hop-foot it from Sofia back to East Anglia via the Hook of Holland using the ferry. We did not reserve hotel rooms and instead slept in the car and on the ferry.

This is the easiest and quickest route we have taken so far.

€52.66 petrol Sofia

€2 toll Serbia

€9 toll Beograd Serbia

€74 petrol in Serbia

€5.50 toll Serbia

€15 Hungary vignette

€53.74 Hungary petrol

€9 Austrian vignette

€180 Hook of Holland Ferry

€47 cabin on the ferry

€63 cat fee

€87 Austrian petrol

0.50c toilet

€43 Mcdonalds

€99.01 petrol in Germany

€0.70 toilet

€60 food on the ferry

Grand Total for 2019 route via Hook of Holland €801.11 / £676.21

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Do you want to know some of the costs associated with driving from England to Bulgaria? Here's our cost list for 3 children and a dog.

Don’t Leave Us Just Yet. See what Else We’ve Been Up To In Bulgaria

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As a small child my favourite book was 'People of the World' which featured Inuits from Alaska, children from China and farmers from Peru. It was a glimpse into another world that would inspire me to wander the globe in search of something special.


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