Cars on the motorail train above to leave s'Hertogenbosch for Italy.

Take your car by train... Italy with Urlaubs Express Spain with Brittany Ferries.


Motorail: Trains that carry cars

On this page you'll find a beginner's guide to the few remaining European motorail services of interest to UK travellers.  First up, here's a reality check...

Interactive motorail mapClick a route

Map of motorail train routes of use to UK travellers Auto Express Italia Car ferries to Greece Stena Line car ferry to Hoek van Holland Auto Train car-carrying service DFDS Seaways car ferries to Denmark & Holland Britanny Ferries car ferry to Spain

How do I get my car from the UK to..?

Click your destination to find out how to get you & your car to these countries by motorail train or ferry:

France     Italy     Spain & Portugal     Switzerland     Germany & Austria   Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg   Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland     Eastern Europe, Turkey, Greece   North Africa, Cyprus, Malta    Motorail trains in the UK

Motorail routes, prices & information

On this page you'll find information on each motorail operator, with a summary of prices, routes, on-board accommodation & how to buy tickets:

French Auto-Train  Austrian motorail (ÖBB)      Optima Tours      Other motorail trains

How do I get my car from the UK to...?


Who uses motorail?


Families and couples for a start.  The door-to-door convenience of taking your own car makes the logistics of a family holiday to Italy or Austria easy.

  A classic Jaguar takes the train to Italy...

Classic cars:  Classic car owners who'd rather drive their vintage Jaguar than a characterless hire car take it with them on motorail. Classic cars are usually allocated a place on the lower deck.

  Motorbikes on the Dutch Motorail train to Italy...

Bikers:  Motorail is a bikers' favourite too...




Spain & Portugal

Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg


Germany & Austria

Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland

Eastern Europe including Turkey & Greece

North Africa, Cyprus, Malta, Egypt, Israel

Within the UK, to Scotland & Cornwall...

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Urlaubs Express Düsseldorf - Verona

Düsseldorf in Germany to Verona in Italy

IMPORTANT UPDATE 2024:  The Düsseldorf-Verona motorail didn't run in 2020-2022, it was supposed to run in 2023 May to September, most Fridays southbound, Saturdays northbound.  However, problems with staffing in Italy meant they cancelled it.  It won't run in 2024 either.

The original and popular Autoslaaptrein company threw in the towel in April 2015, and another Dutch company, Treinreiswinkel, started its own Motorail train branded Auto Express Italia for summer 2016 & 2017.  They too threw in the towel, but German charter company, Urlaubs-Express (urlaubs is German for holiday) stepped in and ran a Düsseldorf-Verona motorail train weekly in summer 2018 & 2019, with sleepers, couchettes, restaurant car and car transporters.  Suspended during the pandemic, the Düsseldorf-Verona didn't resume in 2022 or 2023.


Online booking:  

Yes, click Tickets then Book here then click the UK flag for English.


See website.


Trains depart from Düsseldorf, a 3 hour 45 minute (245 mile) drive from Calais, 3 hours 20 minutes from Dunquerque, or 2 hour 30 minutes from Hook of Holland (157 miles), Rotterdam or IJmuiden (Amsterdam).  The motorail terminal is in the city centre next to Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof.

Note:  The city of Düsseldorf is a low-emission zone, but if you hold a valid motorail ticket you are allowed to access the motorail terminal regardless of your vehicle.


Düsseldorf to Verona in Italy

Dates & times:

Check times & dates on their website.  ***CANCELLED IN 2023***

The Düsseldorf-Verona motorail service runs once a week on most Fridays from 19 May to 29 September 2023, leaving Dusseldorf 18:35, arriving Verona Porta Nuova 09:55 Saturday morning.

The Verona-Düsseldorf motorail service runs on most Saturdays 20 May to 30 September 2023, leaving Verona Porta Nuova at 18:00 and arriving Dusseldorf at 08:37 Sunday morning.

How much does it cost?   

Prices vary significantly, but 2 passengers in shared couchettes with a car might pay €280 each way in low season.  With a private 2-bed sleeper, that might rise to €500 each way.  A family of 2 adults, 2 children, car & dog with a whole 4-berth couchette to themselves might pay €469 each way.  This can rise to over €950 in high summer.

The online booking system at will give you a price for you date.

Max vehicle dimensions:

Max height: 1.95m, max length 5.30m (with trailer max 10m), max width 1.95m measured with wing mirrors folded in.  See

Sleepers & couchettes:

4-berth couchettes. 

Sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin.

Junior suites = two adjacent 1/2/3-berth sleeper compartments so one can be used as beds, the other as a sitting room.


Yes, dogs and other pets can be carried.

Suggested ferry connections

The cheapest option is to use the short sea routes, Dover-Calais or Dover-Dunkirk, see & www.dfds.comTop tip Dover-Dunkirk (formerly Norfolkline) always seem by far the cheapest operator, typically charging £45-£70 return for a car and occupants when Dover-Calais operators persist in charging over £100 return. 

The more direct option from East Anglia or the North of England is to use (Harwich-Hoek van Holland), (Newcastle-IJmuiden overnight cruise ferry), or (Hull-Rotterdam overnight cruise ferry).

Restaurant car on the Autoslaaptrein Italia   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper, in day mode

Restaurant car on the Autoslaaptrein version of the train...


1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper...

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ÖBB Austrian Railways motorail

Düsseldorf in Germany to Innsbruck in Austria:  Discontinued in 2021

OBB Motorail car transporters   OBB motorail train at Dusseldorf

Car transporters at the front of the Innsbruck-Dusseldorf ÖBB Nightjet motorail train, arrived at Dusseldorf Hbf platform 19.


The Innsbruck-Dusseldorf Nightjet train, arrived at Dusseldorf Hbf platform 19.  See interior photos.

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Auto-Train in France

Paris to Avignon, Marseille, Toulon, St Raphael, Nice:  Discontinued December 2019

Auto Train at Narbonne

The SNCF Auto Train for Paris, loading at Narbonne (a terminal discontinued from late 2017).  It just carries your car - you travel separately, on any normal passenger train you like.  Courtesy of Scottish Golf by Train.

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Optima Express

Villach in Austria to Edirne in Turkey:

Loading the Optima Tours motorail train to Turkey   Couchette compartment on Optima Tours motorail train set up as 2-berth

Loading the Optima Tours motorail train to Turkey...


Couchette compartment on the Optima Tours train set up for 2-person occupancy.

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Other motorail services

Austria:  Vienna to/from Innsbruck, Feldkirch, Villach (Austrian domestic), Vienna-Hamburg, Vienna-Florence


Czech Republic:  Prague-Poprad Tatry, Prague-Kosice

See  Cheap overnight Motorail services between Prague & Slovakia.

Croatia:  Zagreb-Split

The daily summer-only Zagreb-Split overnight sleeper train also has a car-carrying wagon.  Information about this isn't readily available online, ask at the station when you get there.

Finland:  Various domestic routes


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