I spent three days on the Mosel in 2008. I did it without a car and, with one exception, never felt I needed one. There is frequent rail service on one side of the river and, except for Sundays, good bus connections to surrounding times. You can find connections on the website of the local transit district, Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Mosel, VRM, www.vrm-info.de (it can display in English). I stayed in the town of Treis-Karden because I could get a single room there. I wanted to stay in Cochem because it's a bigger town, more to see there (they have a castle), and centrally located for travel to other places, but they were having a festival, Federweisfest, in Cochem and no one wanted to rent a double room to a single person. First day was wine day. I took the train/bus to Bernkastel where I had a delicious lunch with several different wines, then went to Zell for a look at the cat and dinner. The second day I went to Cochem, toured the castle and town, then tasted wines at Rademacher. Unfortunately, I left Beilstein for the last day, which was a Sunday, and they run a sparse bus schedule on Sunday. I got stuck in Beilstein for 4-5 hours. Beilstein is very small. After two hours I had seen everything. If I had had a car, I could have left. The quote for car rental only, no fuel, was €29 per day. I actually spent €29,60 total for public transportation for three days.