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Paris to Sarlat area--train or rental car

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Hi all,

I have been looking into options and wanted to get some views. After 1 week in Paris (staying in the 3rd arrondissement) we need to get to our rental property in St-Vincent-de-Cosse (near Sarlat). There are no flights from Orly as this will be a Saturday. We will be with our 2 children (ages 6 and 8).

So we can either take the train or drive. The best train option seems to be the direct train from Paris to Brive where we can pick up our rental car. Or we could somehow get to Paris outskirts and pick up a rental car to drive from there (with a lunch stop in Loire area?).

Any views on what would be better with the kids? Is driving more scenic? Or train is better because of less hassle and we can get to gare d'Austerlitz relatively easily?

Based on other posts it looks like the 10 am train to Brive is best as it will arrive when the car rental office will reopen after lunch. I saw another routing via Libourne but it seems even longer (despite part of the trip being on the TGV). Mind you maybe TGV would be most fun with kids?

Lastly any tips on finding the cheapest fares? Booking directly on SNCF 3 months out?

Merci a l'avance!

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