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Car rental at St Pierre Des Corps (from TGV station)

Car rental at St Pierre Des Corps (from TGV station)

Jan 16th, 2013, 12:15 PM
  #1  
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Car rental at St Pierre Des Corps (from TGV station)

Hi all,
It's been about 15 years since i've done this route, arriving into the St Pierre des Corps station on the TGV from Paris. I vaguely recall the car rental counter being right there in the station (we used Drawbridge to Europe so I don't know which agency counter we went to).

But... I've seen so many confusing poses here about the different car rental agencies and their various locations in and around Tours... and some are franchises and some are not... so I have to ask the following for those of you who know the options well.

1) Which agencies have a rental counter right at the TGV station?

2) If there are other agencies at other locations in Tours that might have larger selections, are they a quick (eg, less than 15 minute) shuttle ride to another lot?

I'll have our little kids with us and I'm looking for the greatest ease of use with this. I don't want to have to do any transfering or shuttling to another location (unless it's a quick ride like 5-15 minutes). Some of the posts here at Fodors have implied that getting a car in the area is really a hassle. And at least 15 years ago for us it was quite simple.

We'll be arriving on a Saturday, too... if that complicates matters much. I think mostly it means I should pick a TGV that won't arrive from noon-2:30 for the lunch hour closing times.

Thanks for your help!
skatterfly is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 12:18 PM
  #2  
 
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Just rent from AutoEurope. They'll connect you with a rental agency right at the station and give you an address and directions. You don't really even need to know which rental companies are there at this point.
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Jan 16th, 2013, 12:48 PM
  #3  
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Great! Thanks. That's what I thought, but the many posts here about the many little independent franchise offices all around Tours had me wondering.
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Jan 16th, 2013, 12:56 PM
  #4  
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Yes, this is where it got confusing.

On AutoEurope, when you type in Tours, you get multiple pick up locations and none state the TGV stations.

The choices are:
Tours Airport
Tours Rail Station LCK north (which is not the TBV station)
and it lists 2 different Tours City offices, of which, one is listed as "City office St Pierre des Corps" (but that doesn't say the TGV station.

Arrrgh.
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Jan 16th, 2013, 01:06 PM
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Call them: 1-800-223-5555.
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Jan 16th, 2013, 01:20 PM
  #6  
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I'll try it. Sometimes I think you get these 800# call centers in some remote part of the US, and half the time they have never heard of these towns. I called yesterday and the agent offered me a "pooooh-got" car. (Peugot.) The car rental agent had never heard of Peugot even though the entire fleet was "pooooh-gots."

Thanks, though. It's worth a shot.
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Jan 16th, 2013, 01:24 PM
  #7  
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Ooops... errr... Peugeot.
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Jan 16th, 2013, 01:55 PM
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They show you the address when they ask you to choose the location. I believe the one called Tours Rail Station IKC North is the Europcar station at the TGV rail station, as the full address is Tours IKC NOrth 2 pl de la Gare.

In fact, if you choose that location, when the options come up with your car choices, it lists the full address as the TGV station. Did you go that far as to see the car choices, that's when it lists the full address.
Christina is online now  
Jan 16th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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When you call AutoEurope, you get right to their headquarters in Maine. Their agents are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable.
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Jan 16th, 2013, 02:45 PM
  #10  
 
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In the summer of 2011 we booked well in advance of our trip online directly with Avis, picking our car up at the Rouen train station and dropping it off at St Pierre des Corps to catch the TGV to CDG. I was satisfied with the price and the Avis office was right at each train station - it could not have been easier. I do not have experience with AutoEurope but I have heard good things about them. I think no matter how you do it, it should be very easy to get a car rental at the St Pierre des Corps station.
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Jan 18th, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #11  
 
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We booked online with the French Avis website - the prices were much cheaper including insurance than was the US website with no insurance.
The office is attached to the train station but out the front of it. Go out the front entrance and look to your right.
We had no problems using them. (this was 2004)
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Jan 18th, 2013, 10:53 AM
  #12  
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Thanks all. I got everything squared away through AutoEurope.
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Jan 18th, 2013, 11:21 AM
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Well despite the plugs above for AutoEurope be sure to check other companies - AVIS always has been right inside most French train stations and was last time I was at S-P-Corps and there were several others right opposite - do comparison shop and if AutoEurope is the best of course go for it.



Well traditionally the rap on this is that you are better off in Europe if you rent from the company that is providing the car to you yourself and not some third-party agent - simply because if something is amiss you are dealing with the company you contracted with - not some entity in the U.S. Well that is my advice anyway - a company that actually has their own offices throughout France or wherever you're going so if something goes wrong you can bop into that company's office and take care of things.
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Jan 18th, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Thanks PalenQ... I'm arriving on a Saturday, which complicates the matter quite a bit because not everyone has open hours on Saturday at the Gare (like Hertz), and some companies (like Avis) have no more cars left in my desired size on my arrival date. Europcar actually has the most cars and broadest options, and the pricing I got from them direct on their website (with a non-refundable booking at that) is actually much higher than the completely refundable Europcar pricing I got through AutoEurope. So in this case I feel like it worked.

But your advice is good to always check out the options. Which is why I asked here for those options.

I suppose another viable (and more affordable) option for many people is to just rent through any of the myriad choices at CDG and drive from Paris directly to Tours... but I can think of several other forms of torture that are less excruciating than sitting in a car for 4+ hours with my children while on vacation. Each way. Plus, I really want them to experience the joy of the TGV, and the best part is it's only an hour train ride. They say, "train 'em young." I guess I'm literally "training 'em young." ;-)
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Jan 18th, 2013, 11:50 AM
  #15  
 
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skatterfly - http://www.independenttraveler.com/t...ntal-companies is a list of auto renting companies - I think ones with offices actually in Europe are Europecar (like you say and it is always, if price is not a great difference3, to rent DIRECT from the company and not use a middleman - unless of course you can save significant money - Avis, Budget, Hertz and National - I believe those are all companies with offices throughout most of Europe.

The thing about the refundability is one reason not to use AutoEurope but book directly with actual in-Europe car rentals they are simply booking agents for - but again if you can save significant money then I would put up with that.

and I think the average person after an all-night flight may want to just hop a train direct from the airport to St-Pierre-des-Corps - since French autoroutes charge what to me is an obscenely high toll plus $4-5/gal gas the train may not cost that much more and you don't have to worry about falling asleep. If one wanted to go to say nearby Amboise that day and stay there for a day or two then rent a car they may even save two days of a car rental.

Amboise is my favored Loire base - smallish town with its own great chateau and situated on a very very pretty part of the Loire - a base favored by many.
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Jan 18th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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There is zero issue of refundability with AutoEurope. You'd have a far more difficult time getting any sort of reimbursement from a European car rental outfit, and in most places you'd need to be fairly fluent in the local language to conduct any negotiations. I have had a number of rental car issues over several decades and there is no substitute for AutoEurope's customer service, the toll-free number you can use to contact them any time, the road service, the replacement cars if anything goes wrong, the quick reimbursements when their local affiliate messes up the charges on your cc, etc.
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Jan 18th, 2013, 12:08 PM
  #17  
 
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Europcar actually has the most cars and broadest options, and the pricing I got from them direct on their website (with a non-refundable booking at that) is actually much higher than the completely refundable Europcar pricing I got through AutoEurope.>

I misread the statement above - seems that only AutoEurope offers a refund and not the actual company, Europcar, if you book directly - seem to be non-refundable and AutoEurope is cheaper to boot - sorry about the mistake. Seems a no-brainer then to use AutoEurope though the old advice is still to try to avoid middlemen in favor of agencies with their own offices in Europe - but it seems in this case AutoEurope is a good deal.
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Jan 18th, 2013, 12:09 PM
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and I would take St Cirq's take on this seriously - he/she has been for years not one of Fodor's really experts on all things French, except French bread!
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Jan 18th, 2013, 12:30 PM
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When we rented a car in France last September, the bill arrived with an extra 38 euro charge that wasn't explicable (all the other charges were). I called AutoEurope, they responded immediately that they'd get in touch with EuropCar (the affiliate) in La Rochelle for an explanation, and two weeks later they sent me an email saying EuropCar wasn't responding to them so they'd send me back the money. And they did. I've had other instances with them where their affiliate messed up a bill - AE always took care of it.
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Jan 18th, 2013, 12:32 PM
  #20  
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The over the phone service and full-refund-ability (like that's a word) presented by AutoEurope cinched the deal for me. Since we only have 16 days, and a very specific arrival date on a Saturday with specific homes booked in both Paris and Chinon, our itinerary has little wiggle room for rearranging our schedule to accommodate different agencies. But since I have the kids, anything can happen, and knowing I can call AutoEurope 5 minutes from my arrival time for a refund is a nice feature.

And thanks to you all for your help. I remember you both from years and years ago when I was a more regular poster here... but then life and motherhood took over. I'm so delighted to finally go back this Spring with the kids, and so glad there are still such helpful people here who contribute the kind of specific experience and first-hand information you can't always get from Google. Even when it isn't always unanimous. It enables one to make an informed choice.

PalenQ... I'll have to drive through Amboise. I don't remember going through there the last time. We are using the area around Chinon as a home base but with 7 days there we'll be doing lots of exploring.
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