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Need Help Driving in South of France

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I will be going with my church choir to go sing in Spain, Portugal and Lourdes in France. I will have 8 extra days (July 11-19) to spare after our choir tour ends in Barcelona. My wife and I wanted to drive to South of France. It is easier to drive than take the train? Which is more cost effective? Should I just limit the places we want to visit? If we will drive, we plan to stop to Carcasonne first and then drive to Montpellier or maybe Nimes and make it the center of our trip? should I just stay in Arles instead or a much smaller town? We also want to go to Nice to visit surrounding towns. From Nimes we want to visit Montpellier, Sete, Pont du Gard, Arles, Aix en Provence etc. Will I have enough time or am I biting more than I could chew? After the trip we fly back to San Francisco from Barcelona that is why I want to rent in Barcelona to avoid paying the expensive fee to drop it to another country. I realize that our itinerary is not train-friendly. My whole apprehension about this trip is parking and toll. Just the toll alone roundtrip is a plane ride back to the US.Any suggestions from experienced travellers? Thanks in advance and blessings to all for helping this newbie.

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