I drove down two weeks ago. Filled the car up once at Calais and once in Germany, and reached Venice with some still in the tank.
Lunched in Kent pub at Lenham, then left mid afternoon on Saturday(got ferry thanks to Airmiles for £3- son said he could have got me a better deal but did not have Tesco vouchers). Drove on good roads but not motorway to Charleville Meziers where we found a hotel for night, it was late so just grabbed the first cheapish one we saw. 60 Euros for two of us which was good. Got up in the morning to find my old reliable Premier Classe only one hundred metres down the road!
Drove onto Metz and then did a bit of motorway to Strasbourg. Crossed into Germany and headed for Lake Constance. Only slow bit of driving was round the lake. Lunched in Germany- huge lunch with 'new wine' which tasted more like fizzy grape juice, for 39 Euros.
Into Austria where unseasonable heavy fall of snow so stuck ot motorway. Went off road just before Innsbruck for five minutes into a delightful village where we found a gasthof which gave us a room, private facilities and an excellent breakfast of ham cheese, eggs fresh rolls etc. for 50 Euros.
Drove under the Brenner and turned left to Dobbiaco, then down to Venice, again avoiding tolls, and got to Venice in plenty of time for the 5pm boat.
Altogether a good, and economical trip.
I think Premier Classe are preferable to Formula One, purely for the private shower, but both are excellent value for night stops. A longer stay and the Ibis is probably more comfortable (and pricier).
I was the only driver, but did not feel at all tired during the trip.
Incidentally miles from Oxford to Venice were just over 1000
I am afraid that i ignored most of the 'essential tips' for driving, but did make sure I had a triangle and spare fuse and bulb sets, first aid, but that is all!
For anyone interested costs for two people from Calais to Venice were as follows:
all prices in Euros
Calais diesel 35.82
hotel France 60.00
Diesel Germany 44.30 (it was a bit more expensive there)
Lunch Germnany 39.00
hotel Austria 50.00
Lunch Venice 52.00 (we did go a bit mad there!)
Motorway toll 4.00
" " 6.00
" " 8.00
Arlberg Tunnel 11.00
That got us from Calais to Venice. If you go over Brenner Pass add another 8 Euros