Top tips for planning a cheap road trip in the UK

Ready to hit the road and explore the UK? 🛣️

The nation loves a good road trip, but we also love saving money! So we’ve put together the ultimate travel planning guide for a budget-friendly road trip. Join us as we run through the essential road trip tips, ensuring an unforgettable family adventure without the hefty price tag.

1. Avoid travelling at peak times/seasons

Road tripTravelling late at night or early in the morning has its benefits, from the kids still being filled with sleep and snoozing in the car, to ensuring a full first day is spent at your destination. It can be wise to take a trip away outside of public holidays and busy weekends, as prices for everything seem to go up. Avoiding travelling during rush hour will also get you to your destination quicker which will please all passengers.

2. Be smart with your fuel

Fuel up beforehand for a cheap road trip

There are many ways you can maximise your fuel consumption on a long car journey:

1. Ensure your tyre pressures are correct – Under-inflated tyres can decrease your MPG by as much as 2.5%.
2. Don’t use services along the motorway – Fuel stations on the motorway can be ridiculously expensive, as they know that you are caught out on your journey in need of it. Be sure to fill up before your road trip, and if you must re-fuel, use a price comparison app such as PetrolPrices.
3. Remove excess weight from your car – Use your boot as a storage facility? Unessacarily storing items you don’t need in your car will increase the weight and fuel consumption.
4. Plan your routes – Planning your journey in advance will ensure you only spend the necessary time on the road.

3. Visit landmarks and free activities along the way


To make the most of your road trip, be sure to explore landmarks and attractions along the way, especially if they’re free. Many iconic landmarks across the UK can be appreciated up close in person, at no extra cost. For instance, at Stonehenge, the paths for free viewing and paid viewing are within only a few meters of each other, so be sure to bear this in mind before you pay for an experience you could get for free. Check out our British landmark bucket list for some inspiration on where to stop.

4. Plan your trip

UK road trip

Deciding where to go and which roads to take beforehand will guarantee that you maximise the amount of time spent enjoying your trip. You don’t want any time wasted driving around lost! This will only irritate everyone in the car and set a bad tone for your getaway. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to get the most out of your road trip, check out our guide to Britain’s 10 best road trips.

5. Avoid toll roads

Toll station

Nobody likes to be caught off guard by an unexpected charge. And with some toll roads in the UK costing almost £7 it’s especially important to consider these obstacles. As previously mentioned, this is where planning in advance will be your best friend. Ensure your route doesn’t cross a toll road or, if you are in a rush, you can simply set your Sat-nav to the ‘avoid toll roads’ setting. It’s also worth remembering to avoid congestion charges too, especially when travelling within London where they can cost as much as £14!

6. Stock up on car snacks beforehand

Kids on a road trip

We know that long car journeys make everyone peckish, especially if you have young children. Often if we are bored we want to eat simply for something to do. Preparing your car snacks in advance can save you money and time! With no need to take shopping detours – which are probably more pricey out on the road – you can make the most of your trip and cherish the journey.