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Best place to pick up rental car as leave Paris for south of France

Best place to pick up rental car as leave Paris for south of France

Jun 28th, 2015, 11:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 3
Best place to pick up rental car as leave Paris for south of France

We rented an apartment in St. Germain de Pres area of Paris for a week and thought we would rent car for close to two weeks as we leave Paris on Sunday, Sept 13, as we head down to Djon, Beaune, Provence and Antibes before flying back to the states from Nice. Was advised by several people that we could get rental car at Gare de Lyon, in Paris dropping it off at Nice airport. before flying back to Paris and then to NY. Others advised that we pick up the car at Orly Airport but would have extra airport fees attached to that and really didn't want to go to the airport to get the car.

We were originally going to take the TGV train to Djon and get the car there but didn't realize that car rental places are closed on Sundays there so that doesn't seem to work. We can handle a manual car and my husband is a fabulous driver and can negotiate almost anything but don't want this to be a nightmare.. this is a first time to France and even Europe for him and want to make sure he loves it as much as I do. I traveled a great deal before we married almost 30 years ago but we did not do this kind of trip together till now. Suggestions regarding the auto rental would be appreciated.
DeannaAlbert is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 12:53 PM
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Airport. Easier driving conditions in which to familiarize with the car. The extra fees, if any, are not a big deal,

cdnyul is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 02:06 PM
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Gare de Lyon works well. There are a few companies (incl Budget) and it is only one block off the Seine where there is a direct parkway out to the Périphérique (beltway).
tom_mn is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 04:09 PM
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Take the TGV to Dijon and stay overnight. Get the car the next day.
Lot of driving.
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 05:51 PM
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I have lived in Paris part time many years and my favorite in-town places to rent are probably at the train stations. You almost always get a better choice of cars there than at the "neighborhood" rental offices. The Gare Montparnasse is easy and not far from you or also Gare de Lyon is pretty easy to go out that direction. There is also a really nice Hertz underground at the Carrousel du Louvre that I have used a lot

99 Rue de Rivoli Musée du Louvre Paris , 75001

jpie is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 06:01 PM
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We have twice picked up a car at the Hertz Louvre location that jpie mentions above. It is very quick, easy and convenient. This past March we stayed in St. Germaine and took a cab there on a Sunday morning to pick up the car. No line and good, attentive service. It was a quick exit out of the city, too.

We bring our GPS from home that came loaded with European maps which is very helpful!
tracilee is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 06:24 PM
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The airport fee is about equal to a day's rental or more for a compact car (35€ if memory serves me right); but the same fee might be applied to a rental picked up at the train station. The cost of going to the train station is lower than going to the airport.
Michael is offline  
Jun 28th, 2015, 07:09 PM
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I like the advice to spend a night before picking up the car. It is one heck of a lot of driving; we did it last September.

Beaune was our favorite stop on the road and I wish we had stayed longer. The Hospice d'Beaune was a highlight of our trip.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jun 29th, 2015, 03:25 AM
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The location surcharge for pickups in or around Paris at a train station or airport is now 45€. You'll pay the surcharge whether you pickup at Gare de Lyon or Orly. Consider picking up at a in town office, perhaps near Place d'Italie from where you can easily reach the périphérique and on to A6 for Dijon.
Sarastro is offline  
Jun 29th, 2015, 06:01 AM
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If you have been a driver in most large American cities, or more particularly one that has lots of streets laid out before the advent of automobiles, such as Boston, you are already competent to drive in Paris. The only difference is that many intersections are laid out with traffic lights on the side of the road only, not overhead as is common in most of the US.

That said, it could take you some time to get out of the city and you might find yourselves driving for four hours to get to Dijon. Gretchen's suggestion is,I think, far better. The trip to Dijon is brief via TGV, and you will arrive in time to enjoy this interesting city.
Jeff801 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 04:16 PM
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Thanks for all the wonderful, but mixed replies. Really did not get consensus on this as more confused than before...

Unfortunately, don't have an extra night to stay in Djon as thought we were going to be able to get rental car on the day we would arrive which is a Sunday, see the town and move on with the car to Beaune where we have two nights booked already at a lovely B & B. So, I guess our choices are either to get the car at Orly, get the car at Gare montparnasse, or Gare de lyon, or now the new ideas of Carousel de Louvre or Place d'Itlalie.. whichever of these we would do would require we take a cab to it so that fare has to be considered as well. The cab fare to Orly will be upwards 50+ Euros which is alot and will take longer to get to from St. Germain. We would be leaving early on Sunday morning around 9:30am from the apartment we rented which is near Rue Jacob and St. Germain so will have to see the whole picture. In speaking with a friend who is a travel agent, she recommends Orly airport as being easy but we are savvy New Yorkers used to driving in big cities so we are not fearful of roads, but don't want to lose so much time. Too bad the TGV in Djon has the car rental companies closed on Sunday or we wouldn't have this problem. Now, that you understand that we don't have an extra day to stay in Djon as our stays are already accounted for, what is your best suggestion as need to think of reserving the car at this point. Thank you.
DeannaAlbert is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 04:41 PM
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Montparnasse would be the closest location for you.
Michael is offline  
Jul 10th, 2015, 01:22 PM
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Sounds like a fun trip and you will be doing plenty of driving. We just got back from a Paris-Avignon-Nice trip. Driving in Paris is no fun and the TGV is fast and economical. Why not take the TGV from Paris to Avignon to pick up the car. The Avignon TGV station has all the major car rental companies Europecar, Hertz, Avis, Budget. Lots of trains, probably cheaper than driving and easier to navigate.
mjperry is offline  
Jul 10th, 2015, 01:43 PM
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Place d'Italie is also a snap on a Sunday to drive out of - pracitcally at the Peripherique and on Sunday anywhere in Paris is a snap to drive in - get at an in-town office and save the 45 euros - really Sunday, especially the earlier sees IME very little traffic

Weekdays it is a different story
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 10th, 2015, 01:46 PM
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get at an in-town office and save the 45 euros

Not very likely on a Sunday.
Michael is offline  
Jul 10th, 2015, 01:49 PM
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Oh - I missed that in the above advice to do so - changes things greatly of course (maybe they could pick up the car on Saturday and park it somewhere and really get an early start on Sunday) - Gare du Lyon is as good as any then for the reasons some say above - again on a Sunday no need to go to a remote airport - the time and cost of getting there - finding the car rentals, etc.
PalenQ is online now  
Jul 11th, 2015, 02:15 PM
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We have picked up cars at Gare Montparnesse and another time near Les Invalides when heading to Beaune. It wasn't difficult to leave Paris and we didn't find the drive difficult or terribly long.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Jul 11th, 2015, 03:30 PM
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If you decide to pick up a car at Orly, are there no trains to go there and avoid the expensive taxi ride?

Since you are bringing your own GPS, be aware that it may take awhile to sync before it will work. In May we took the RER B to CDG to pick up a rental car as we didn't want to drive in Paris on a Friday morning, and we were well along on our way to Honfleur before the GPS started working. (I have read that others had the same problem.) Fortunately I had downloaded directions from CDG to Honfleur and saved them on my iPhone and iPad so we were able to get away from the airport OK. I would also suggest that you have a paper map as our Garmin France maps sometimes told us to take back roads or go the wrong way on one way streets. We. used the Garmin maps when the directions made sense but also used Google maps live (I bought a SIM card and data plan in France) and the directions I downloaded from via Michelin, which showed the amount of tolls and when you had to pay them. Have lots of 1 and 2 euro coins and smaller change handy if you drive the autoroutes!

We also loved Beaune. The drive through the nearby towns and orchards was one of our favorite days. If you are there on a Saturday or Sunday, try to make a reservation at Ferme de la Bache on Rd 970, just outside of Beaune. You'll get a delicious 4 course meal for 20 euros, with more food than you can eat! Check Tripadvisor for phone number and map.

We stayed in Juan les Pins, on the western side of Antibes, and it had nice sandy beaches. Many in Antibes and elsewhere were rocky beaches. While driving in France was delightful, my husband thought the drivers in that area were crazy, so we just parked the car and took the train to Nice and Monaco.

Have a wonderful time n France!
drchris is offline  
Jul 12th, 2015, 10:20 PM
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Thanks so much for the wonderful replies. Think we might review Gare Montparnasse for picking up a car or possibly check on distance from our apartment to get to Place D'Italie since I now hear that is close to the autoroute heading south.

All the other tips on the trip are helpful and so we should get it together shortly.

Any other tips on the drive south out of Paris on the way to Beaune or possibly with stop at Djon first would be appreciated. Was just stuck on where to pick up car when leaving our rental apartment in St. Germain de Pres area and Sunday morning seems to not be as difficult driving.

Have any of you rented a VW Passat? Was there enough space in the trunk for two large pieces and two small pieces?

Again, thanks..
DeannaAlbert is offline  
Jul 13th, 2015, 12:32 AM
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I have rented a VW Passat, I found it to be a delightful car and very comfortable. As for luggage space, large pieces of luggage is a relative term. If your luggage is larger than the 21" or 22" rollaboards, you might have difficulty with any car fitting everything in the trunk. The VW Passat will easily fit up to 4 22" bags.

Several autoroute driving rules that I seldom see mentioned here:

1. Be very careful about speed, there are speed cameras everywhere.

2. It is illegal in France to drive and talk on the telephone.

3. Never pass a car on the right. Overtaking any vehicle must be done on its left side.

4. You should always move to the far most right lane available. (Do not cruise in the middle lane.)
Sarastro is offline  

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