Cheapest way to get home

I've just bought a car in the UK and I'll need to get it back here soon, I'm looking into having it shipped but the quotes I have so far are much higher than it would cost to go and fetch it myself.

I live in the South West near the Spanish border and I am looking for suggestions as to the best route to take to get home for the least expenditure possible including tolls, diesel, channel ferry or tunnel crossing etc

What do you recommend?



Portsmouth - St. Malo overnight Friday was the final decision, thanks to everyone for your advice.


Portsmouth to Caen for 79 sounds like a bargain to me, I would use that if driving.

Brum to Tamworth train is 25 mins

I lived in Tamworth until an adult. Trains to Brum from London are very frequent and from Brum to Tamworth are every hour during the day.but I don't know prices.. Trains from Bordeaux to London are about 120 euro if you book in advance.Birminham Internation Airport is the closest. One train to New Street, then train to Tamworth. Avoid using East Midlands Airport for Tamworth. 5 hours by public transport. You are welcome to stop over free of course, with us en route home. we are 25k east of Poitiers.

We use the Newhaven Dieppe route, LD Lines or Transmanch ferry.NOT DOVER CALAIS, because the extra drive and peage and time and fuel cost the same as the extra ferry fare and you get to sleep for four hours in the lounge of the LD ferry. The seat cushions pull off and you can lie on the floor!

After 20 years of hurtling up and down the lenght of France we found that off Auto route cost very little extra time and saved a considerable amount in tolls especially if you are driving a large vehicle and towing a trailer restricted as we were to speeds of 60 ish mph the high speed Toll roads were of no benefit choosing your times of travel also gave a better choice of routes Paris in the early hours of the morning was no better than a Saturday afternoon having spent 3 hours without turning a wheels in a Paris jam but new years day was deserted the detour through Rouen was time saving most days the A75 although its a free and superb road put us on the wrong side where the A20 free most of the way is good for Toulouse and Spain

Getting lots of quotes coming in from cheapest being under 600 quid, I have to say I have no faith in this approach at the moment as there are scant details about the companies quoting.

Viamichelin says 130€ round trip to get to Carcassonne, that's also 8 hours of driving from us, not convenient as I would have to get a lift.

Flight to Stansted was based upon the one I took a week ago, although I could probably manage without a bag, saving 15 I think.

Train price came from

Portsmouth Caen is 79 quid according to BF website

The rest is from viamichelin for a thirsty car.

Am I way off do you think John?

James where do you get your prices from and what dates P&O 50€ Dover Calais for car January, how far to Carcassonne then to east Mid is 15€ pretty much walk to Tamworth from there

The Spanish ferry route is too expensive I think. I don't relish the long drive but I will do it if it's the most cost effective.

Just working out the approximate costs now (in Euros);

Diesel/Peage to Biarritz airport 10

Flight to Stansted 80

Airport to Tamworth via Train 125!

Crossing 100 (assuming a Land Rover Defender (no roof rack) is classed as a car height wise?

Diesel/Peage return 250

I would need UK road tax too which I wouldn't using the transporter, any ideas how much this is for one month?

Total €565

The best price I have had for transporter shipping so far is €860

You arent a fan of long drives then its narrowed down to Portsmouth Santander or transporter, doubt the RAF will parachute it in for you, have seen it done with a Landrover but it did need a rebuild

Flight over Shirley....France to UK...cant you do the drive back with the family...or with Catharine and do a pleasant drive back with a stop over....Formule 1 for value....we regularly used to drive from Newbury to Dover....around 2.5 hours...Dover to Calais 1.30 hours...then a 15 hour drive...which we broke half way. We did that two or three times a year...but now we have a house in the Dordogne...its 10 hours from Dover. The Dover Calais crossing much cheaper...Ive had 60quid returns last year, in the winter.

Well James you have really opened up a discussion on this one do you like driving then drive down not a problem, hate driving how much are you prepared to pay.

Drive from Calais with the cost of ferry and fuel 179€

Ferry from Portsmouth to Santander 214€ then to home unknown

all prices based on January sailing RyanAir Carcassonne to East Midlands ideal for Tamworth 15€

Yer pays yer money and takes yer choice

Hi Michael

Do you mean why did I buy the car in the UK? If so, because it was cheaper than buying it in France.

Yes I am aware of the rough costs of bringing it back, I'm just looking for options I may have missed, plenty provided already.

I am not a big fan of long solo drives so the holiday doesn't grab me. I'm sure it appeals to many though.



Hi Helen, please can you post the details here? Or email me at if you prefer.



There is a haulier coming to Limoux/Quillan in Mid January with a load for us. They specialise in moving vehicles from UK to France & back and their rates are very reasonable. Definatley cheaper than the driving/Tolls

email me if you would like their contact info.

LD Lines Portsmouth to Le Havre or Newhaven-Dieppe but take a picnic! The "Restaurant" is a sort of greasy spoon look/taste alike. Fly to the UK, Ryanair are usually the cheapest if you can put up with their faintly hostile nature. I been crossing the Channel very frequently for upwards of 40 years and I have done it every which way. The worst ever was train from Clapham Junction to Southampton Airport delayed by ice so missed the flight, no more flights for three days, train to Soutahmpton Central, train to Portsmouth, taxi to docks, ferry to Caen (Ouistreham), taxi to Caen, overnight in Caen hotel, train to Le Mans delayed by more ice, trian to Rennes, taxi to airport, drove from airport to home through snowstorm just avoiding some crazy Frenchman spinning down the road, got home after 36 hours. My wife was very ill at the time so I was desperate and very pleased to be back! I've been stuck in numerous blockades, seen innumerable accidents, one year made 40 aller/retour flights! Life has thanfully calmed down but my carbon profile must have been horrendous!

here more en detail checked because I have to pick up a Discovery TDi in January from Warwickshire and costs are based on such 4X4, So with a normal car it can cost arround 300£ max. MOT etc is still on the vehicle. Then Portsmouth to Caen, it takes some hours and you're fit when you arrive at the Caen port in France. Don't board for Saint Malo, is more expensive! Dover Calais is such hassle on the highway in UK. From Caen via Orleans, Clermont Ferrand, Milau don't forget to have "avoid tolls" checked... ;-)

Hi James. not read through all of the replies. Why not put an add on for a lift back to the uk and also see if anyone is wanting to return with you too share costs. This has worked for us. Of course you could see if anyone could collect the car for you? Best of luck Richard

It would certainly be a cheap flight over Carol, nothing beats the value for money of the budget airlines.

Just getting back, the cheapest quote so far for transport delivery is 700 quid. Not bad I thought but still quite a bit more than fetching it myself.