bordeaux train station car rental

Old Jun 7th, 2008, 08:35 AM
  #1  
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bordeaux train station car rental

we are wanting to go from bordeaux to sarlat. should we rent a car in bordeaux or bergerac. I am wondering is it difficult to drive out of the bordeaux train station. will there be alot of traffic. it would be a saturday. i have never driven in europe before.
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 09:11 AM
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The auto rental offices at Bordeaux St. Jean are located in the front part of the building...you exit as if you are going out to the street and then turn left.

When we rented through EuropeCar there last July we arrived on a Friday in the arly afternoon and had to wait in line to finish the paperwork, etc. The cars were actually parked in a lot on the other side of the station. Once we got the keys we had to go back inside and then underneath the platforms to get to the lot where the cars were parked.

We were headed to the northeast of the city and had absolutely no trouble at all driving out. However, we were using a GPS for diecrtions which made things a bit easier.

No problems with language at the car rental/hire desk or at the lot.

As I often advise others, whatever you do, especially if you are renting a stick, make CERTAIN you know how to put the vehicle into REVERSE BEFORE you drive away and also whether you are renting a diesel or regular gasoline vehicle.
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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thanks. i am thinking of taking the train into sarlat and renting from there.
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 11:57 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi M,

If you are taking the train from Paris, I suggest picking up the car in Libourne instead of Bordeaux.

Much smaller town, easier to get out of.

I don't think that you can take the train to Sarlat.

You can pick up your car in Brive La Gaillarde = 29E PREMS fare at www.voyages-sncf.com

Enjoy your visit.



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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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I have picked up and returned my rental car at the Bordeaux St. Jean train station. Other than walking through tunnels and under station platforms, it was pretty painless. I have driven from Bordeux to Sarlat, about a 2 hr drive. Once you reach Bergerac, Perigord really comes into its' own...truly lovely area..

Have no fear, use maps or a GPS and you will love the drive to Sarlat. I am an old school kind of guy: I still use my Michelin road atlas for France rather than GPS. Either way, enjoy the drive...
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 08:26 PM
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I would avoid renting the car at the Bordeaux train station. We rented our car there abou a month ago, and the train station area had a lot of road work going on.

Picking up the car was not a problem although the Avis office had been moved to an alley nearby (because of renovations to part of the train station). However, returning the car was not fun. With all the road construction and closed streets, we had a heck of a time getting the car back to the Avis office.
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 08:42 PM
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It is NOT that easy to pick up a car rental in Bordeaux, depending on the car rental company. It can be painless, or it can be an exercise in total frustration - trust me, I've done it more than 30 times.

Yes, the "car rental agencies" are all located in the front part of the building - BUT where you pick up the car can range from somewhere on a street nearby - good luck - to somewhere underground in a lot where you have to go above ground, walk along sidewalks to above-ground elevators hidden between buildings, take the elevator down, and then figure out how to get out of the automated lot.

And once in the car you need to navigate your way from the train station out onto the main thoroughfare of Bordeaux along the river Garonne in multi-lane traffic, heading for Florac (you're going to the Dordogne, right?), and over the main bridge. The directions are printed on the lanes, but it's all too easy to be in the far right or far left lane and not be able to maneuver your way over to the correct lane, if you even know to look for the Florac sign on the pavement in front of you. I had to do this about 5 times before I got it down, and I'd been driving in Europe and France for decades.

Take the train to Libourne, as ira recommends. MUCH easier. Or Bergerac...even easier.
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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thanks will do that
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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I would STILL recommend using a GPS!!!!!
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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If you are renting a car in France, you MUST face the fact of having to drive in a city. So you might as well learn at your starting point. It will make all of the rest seem so much easier.
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:22 PM
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I disagree, kerouac. I've rented dozens of cars in France that I never drove into or out of a city. What kind of logic is that?

Mind you, I have no problem driving in cities, including Paris, in France. Doesn't faze me a bit. But it's not NECESSARY.
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:31 PM
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Whatever you say. Drive only on completely empty roads if you prefer.
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 02:40 PM
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Driving on completely empty roads is rarely an option, though in early spring in the Dordogne it's possible. And as I said I drive into and out of big cities in France and other countries all the time - doesn't bother me at all, but you don't have to plan a trip that requires that.
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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My point is just that anybody who drives in normal traffic conditions in their own country has no reason to worry about driving anywhere in France. It's not Beirut, it's not Madras and it's not Jakarta. It's normal people driving normally on normal streets. It is much more difficult to pass a driving test in France than in most parts of the U.S.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 09:59 AM
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I honestly don't know why some people are so worried about driving in France. The roads are generally in better condition than back in the States, most crossroads are very well-marked...and just getting slightly offtrack now and again does not constitute getting lost. It's just an "alternate route!"
However, I would suggest just looking into taking the train from Bordeaux OR Libourne to Sarlat, and picking up the rental car just down the hill from the train station there. The drive and the train take roughly the same amount of time, and I don't find it to be a particularly scenic drive.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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thanks that is what we have decided to do. we will take the train from bordeuax to sarlat. from sarlat we will rent a car. and drop if off at bergerac airport for our flight to brussels.
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