car hire in avignon to visit provence

Mar 13th, 2013, 02:33 AM
  #1  
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car hire in avignon to visit provence

We are arriving on tvg at avignon in mid June. We want to hire a car. Ithink I read you can do this at the train station. Has anyone done this and can recommend a well priced company. There are 5 of us plus luggage. We will be driving to St Remy which will be our base for 4 nights. I think this takes about 30 mins from Avignon. Is this correct and is it an easy drive in terms of easy straight forward directions and signs to follow?
caroline65 is offline  
Mar 13th, 2013, 03:24 AM
  #2  
 
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We booked our car through Autoeurope. The car rental is right at the station and the process was very simple. Getting out of Avignon was a little tricky but it was our first time driving in France, we had just done an overnight flight, then a three hour wait for our train, then the train ride...ya...NEVER AGAIN. We were exhausted and shouldn't have been driving at all! Once out of Avignon it is an easy 20-30 minute drive to St. Remy. It remains my favourite trip ever.
Forestland is offline  
Mar 13th, 2013, 03:36 AM
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The TGV station is separate from the main rail station and is outside the town, easy, well-posted drive to St. Remy. Be sure to specify pick up at the TGV station.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Mar 13th, 2013, 05:05 AM
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Book your (large) car before arriving. AutoEurope is good.
Gretchen is offline  
Mar 13th, 2013, 07:07 AM
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Agree with all the above. Did what you're doing 2 years ago. We reserved a mid-size car with manual shift and no GPS through AutoEurope. At the TGV station in Avignon, there is also Hertz, Avis, and others. In retrospect, should have leased a car with automatic and GPS. Found the hills, especially in the Luberon region, tricky to negotiate as I had not driven a car with a stick shift since high school. Also, GPS would have helped me several times. To begin with, had a hard time getting out of Avignon. And, most memorably, when in a roundabout, took the wrong exit when returning from the Luberon region and ended up having to go through Avignon to get back to St. Remy. Not cool!
billandcindy is offline  
Mar 13th, 2013, 07:28 AM
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YOu can rent cars at any major train station in France, that's very typical. I think I rented out of Europcar at that station, but I use Autoeurope for booking.

I don't think it should be hard if you can read a map and pay attention to signs, it is right on a major highway, and St Remy is on a major route, also, but there are several ways you could choose to get there. The TGV station isn't in Avignon, it's outside it and right on a major highway so I don't understand how one could have had trouble getting out of it, just exit the main station/car rental area and take a right onto the big main highway (rocade CDG). There are various ways you could get to St Remy from there, the most direction would involve various smaller roads and changes. It's not that far, you could just take the rocade CDG to major route N7, then go SE to major road D99 which goes directly SW into St Remy. It's longer but pretty straightforward on major roads. Or just take D570 SW from the rocade CDG (a bit before you get to N7) until it hits D99 and go to St Remy from the west instead of east.

I don't use GPS, just maps myself.
Christina is online now  
Mar 13th, 2013, 07:58 AM
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You need to book your car well ahead of time. It would be folly to think you could do a walk-in rental. Use www.autoeurope.com or www.kemwel.com. They will pair you up with the best company/car available. You'll get off the train, walk out of the station, find that company's lot (they're all right there), do the paperwork, and off you go. The TGV station is outside the city, so it's not as though you have to "get out of Avignon." You get right on the road to St-Rémy (yes, you'll need a map and to be able to follow signs, but it's not hard) and, depending on traffic will be there in about 25 minutes.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 13th, 2013, 08:25 AM
  #8  
 
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There is also a railway station in the city, so you should not necessarily presume that the OP is arriving on the TGV. We didn't.

You do need to specify which station you mean. There is a shuttle (Navette) between the town and the TGV station if you are at one and want to be at the other.
Ackislander is offline  
Mar 13th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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TGVs operate from both stations so know which station, Avignon TGV or Avignon Centre, you are using.

You may avoid the rail station pickup surcharge, typically 35€, if you pickup a car at the Europcar main office at 672 Rue de l'Aulanière. While this may sound complicated, it is actually very easy because the shuttle bus between Avignon Centre and Avignon TGV makes only one stop and this one stop is just across the street from this Europcar office. No matter at which station you arrive, the Europcar office is but a short bus ride away. The shuttle costs about 1.30€.

Another point people sometimes have difficulty with is a request for a car equipped with an automatic transmission. Automatics are not popular in France. Rentals of this type will cost more, are taxed higher (called an environmental fee), and their availability can be extremely limited, even if you have a reservation for one.
Sarastro is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 04:55 PM
  #10  
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Thank you everyone for your advice. We are travelling on the tvg from Paris and are getting off at Avignon tvg station.We are arriving at 11.51 according to tickets.I am now looking to book a car StCirq as I would never just roll up thinking I could do it on the spot.Would feel very stressed trying to do that!Should we be ok to pick up the car at that time or will things be closing for lunch? Should we head straight to St remy or have a look at Avignon while we are there or will everthing be closed for 2 hours over lunch?
caroline65 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 06:24 PM
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If you are renting from AutoEurope, their website shows the times that the various car rental agencies are openin each town and city. If you find multiple agencies on the same street, which you do in Florence on Borgo Ognissanti, and you are unsure from which one you'll be picking up a car,call their 800- number. They'll be able to tell you.

I would not plan to do any sightseeing with luggage unless your luggage is totally out of view, which likely won't be the case with luggage for five people.
IdyllicItaly is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 06:36 PM
  #12  
 
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Did this trip in September. The car rental place is perhaps 300 feet downhill from the TGV station, past the parking lot for the station...3 minutes walk.

If you google Avignon, you'll find there are several free parking lots ringing the city, and maybe a quarter mile walk from them to the central part of the city. We toured it for perhaps two hours, found that enough.
tomboy is offline  
Mar 17th, 2013, 03:38 AM
  #13  
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Thank you both! good point about the luggage on view, hadn't thought of that!
caroline65 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2013, 04:09 AM
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The car hire agencies at Avignon TGV are open 7 days a week for very long hours.
kerouac is offline  
Mar 17th, 2013, 07:47 AM
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Get a diesel fueled car. Much better mileage AND gazole (diesel fuel) is less expensive to buy. We used. Kemwel ( a broker) and ended up with a car from Europcar.
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 17th, 2013, 11:01 PM
  #16  
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Thank you kerouac, was a bit worried about returning car on a mon morn! Wasn't sure if they would be open!DebitNM- Will pass on that info about diesel car to my hubby!
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