Champions League Travel Advice

2 May 2008

Fans of Chelsea and Manchester United who are unable to get a flight to Moscow for the Champions League final on 21 May 2008 are advised to go by boat and/or train, rather than attempt to drive, says the AA.

Costly option

The UK's biggest motoring organisation estimates that the cost of driving there and back would be more than £2,000 for two fans and would involve a minimum of 30 hours actual driving time, and could well be dangerous due to the high accident rates on Russian roads*. For most fans driving is not a practical option.

One way, Moscow is approximately 2,000 miles from Manchester and 1,800 miles from London, which, unless fans share the driving, would realistically take at least four days to cover.


Edmund King, President of the AA, says: "It looks as if most flights to Moscow or to other cities in the region are already fully booked, so some fans will seriously consider clubbing together to drive to Moscow.

"However, they shouldn't underestimate just how much planning and preparation would be required, and the costs too. There would be a lot of paperwork to sort out including extending your car insurance to cover Russia and Belarus, obtaining visas, and breakdown cover for that region is limited. You'll also be driving on very unfamiliar roads with different motoring regulations, as well as the difficulty of the language barrier.

"Driving to Moscow may be tempting – but it could tempt fate as well, especially if you are poorly prepared. It's not something that can be accomplished easily – attempting a mad dash to Moscow would, quite honestly, be madness."

Notes to editors


Fuel for thought

Fuel costs for the drive alone could top at least £600 for the round-trip.

  • London to Moscow
    • = 1,771 miles
    • = 268 litres of petrol
    • = £295 petrol
  • Manchester to Moscow
    • = 1,979 miles
    • = 300 litres of petrol
    • = £330 petrol

Fuel costs are based on UK pump prices (average 110p/litre for unleaded), so does not allow for possibly cheaper fuel outside the UK. The calculation is also based on an average family car with driver, passenger and luggage, returning an average 30mpg.

(for an average family car with driver, passenger and luggage, returning an average 30mpg

Other costs

Return travel costs for two fans driving together from Manchester to Moscow – all figures approximate:

Costs of travelling to Moscow
Costs incurred Approx charge
(or £1,082 per fan)
Servicing, wear and tear on car including tyres (excludes depreciation) £244
Toll charges £14
Additional insurance premium to extend cover to Russia
(AA Insurance premium – other insurers may vary or decline to cover outside EU)
European breakdown cover (excludes Russia and Belarus) £54
Travel insurance £42
Visa £130 (£65 each)
International Driving Permit (IDP) – available from the AA £15 (£7.50 each)
Ferry crossing Dover-Calais £95
Overnight budget accommodation £480
Sustenance £400
SUB-TOTAL £1,504
Including petrol £660

Routing for you

For those fans who are serious about driving, the AA recommends the following route (suggested overnight stops in bold):

To Calais

  • From Manchester take the M6, M1, M25 and M20 to Dover/Channel Tunnel and cross to Calais
  • From London take A20 and M20 to Dover/Channel Tunnel and cross to Calais.

Calais to Moscow

  • From Calais take the E40, crossing into Belgium, then via Gent to Antwerp (400 miles from Manchester, 200 miles from London)
  • From Antwerp follow E34 via Eindhoven in The Netherlands, then crossing the German border near Venlo and on to Essen/Dortmund (560 miles from Manchester, 360 miles from London)
  • From Essen take the E34 to Hannover and the E30 via Magdeburg to Berlin (820 miles from Manchester, 620 miles from London)
  • From Berlin stay on the E30 crossing the Polish border near Frankfurt (Oder) then via Poznan to Warsaw (1,190 miles from Manchester, 990 miles from London)
  • From Warsaw take the E30 crossing into Belarus at Brest, then onto Minsk (1,530 miles from Manchester, 1,330 miles from London)
  • Finally cross the Russian border near Smolensk and on up to Moscow.

One way, the journey would take 30 hours from London (1,771 miles) and 33 hours from Manchester (1,979 miles), based on an average speed of 60mph.

The AA recommends that you drive for no more than eight hours in a day (and stop every 2.5 hours for a break), so it would take around four days to reach Moscow.

However, the AA advises allowing an extra day for the time taken at border crossings (often several hours at the Russian border) and for any unexpected incidents, bringing it to five days.

Useful contacts


The Foreign & Commonwealth Office

The website has up-to-date advice for those travelling to Moscow.

The Russian Embassy

Russian visa information


* Dangerous roads 100 motorists are killed and another 800 injured each day in Russia while road accident rates are twice as high in Belarus and Poland than in Western Europe.