Car Rental Paris to Normandy RT

Old Apr 6th, 2024, 08:57 AM
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Car Rental Paris to Normandy RT

In Oct we will stay in Paris for a few days and then rent a car to see Normandy for 4 days. We will return it to Paris in the morning hours and take a fast train from Gare du Nord to Brussels.

The question is where in Paris should we pickup and return the car, presumably the same place? Ideally it would be on the periphery to avoid a lot of the traffic. I thought one of the airports but there isn't one to the west that I know of. Ideas? Many thanks.
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by stephenjohnson5012
In Oct we will stay in Paris for a few days and then rent a car to see Normandy for 4 days. We will return it to Paris in the morning hours and take a fast train from Gare du Nord to Brussels.

The question is where in Paris should we pickup and return the car, presumably the same place? Ideally it would be on the periphery to avoid a lot of the traffic. I thought one of the airports but there isn't one to the west that I know of. Ideas? Many thanks.
throwing out an off the wall suggestion…

why not return it at Gar du Nord?
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 09:27 AM
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Thanks J62. I was hoping that there would be something away from the belly of the beast but Nord is close to the A14 and probably not all that bad. It also would make catching the train easier without a bag drag, Unless someone has a better idea I'll do Nord. Thanks.

Last edited by stephenjohnson5012; Apr 6th, 2024 at 09:28 AM. Reason: error
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 12:24 PM
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I recall when we did a similar trip we picked up the car at CDG when we landed and the car rental company had a Paris location to drop the car which we did and then spent another 4 days in Paris. Worked out well and we had stopped to drop off our bags at the hotel and then walked back which luckily wasn't all that far from our hotel.
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Old Apr 6th, 2024, 03:08 PM
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Another alternative: Train to Normandy (pick a city), rent car, tour, return car in Normandy and take trains for the rest of your journey.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 01:51 AM
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Just pick it up at Gare du Nord and return it at Gare du Nord. It's already near the edge of the city and being the biggest car rental site, it has the best selection and the best opening hours.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 05:36 AM
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Thanks all for the ideas. We'll go with Nord and enjoy the countryside drive.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 06:25 AM
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We hired from Avis at Gard du Nord pick up and return - its a solid suggestion. I will admit that we found Nord confusing to actually find Avis and then even to get out again. Don't let my foolishness deter you though. Also, we did both in peak hour traffic. The taxi ride there was slow and costly as a result. When we drove out it was on the other side of the road for us and so it was a bit hectic and at one point we were waiting at stop lights and a car in front of us (also waiting) ran into a motor bike in front of him (also waiting) so we were glad to be out of the city (we were heading to Versailles). This was our first time driving in this kind of crazy traffic - have gotten used to it now but it still keeps me on the edge of my seat. Upon drop off we missed a left turn into a narrow narrow street close to Nord and got stuck in traffic for nearly another 20 minutes.
Again not to deter you - but really just a note on timing

Is there a reason you don't want to drop off to Brussels?

Have you done research on things to see between Normandy and Paris or are you mostly just wanting to do it non stop? Do you need suggestions or info?

BTW - I always look at a range of car companies to hire from but with the right discount codes I can never find anything that gives me a reason to NOT hire from Avis.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by AJPeabody
Another alternative: Train to Normandy (pick a city), rent car, tour, return car in Normandy and take trains for the rest of your journey.
Hmmm. That is worth investigating! Thanks!
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bhuty
We hired from Avis at Gard du Nord pick up and return - its a solid suggestion. I will admit that we found Nord confusing to actually find Avis and then even to get out again. Don't let my foolishness deter you though. Also, we did both in peak hour traffic. The taxi ride there was slow and costly as a result. When we drove out it was on the other side of the road for us and so it was a bit hectic and at one point we were waiting at stop lights and a car in front of us (also waiting) ran into a motor bike in front of him (also waiting) so we were glad to be out of the city (we were heading to Versailles). This was our first time driving in this kind of crazy traffic - have gotten used to it now but it still keeps me on the edge of my seat. Upon drop off we missed a left turn into a narrow narrow street close to Nord and got stuck in traffic for nearly another 20 minutes.
Again not to deter you - but really just a note on timing

Is there a reason you don't want to drop off to Brussels?

Have you done research on things to see between Normandy and Paris or are you mostly just wanting to do it non stop? Do you need suggestions or info?

BTW - I always look at a range of car companies to hire from but with the right discount codes I can never find anything that gives me a reason to NOT hire from Avis.
Thanks! I'm familiar with Normandy area and have driven it several times. I did like your idea of driving to Brussels from Honfleur but when I looked for cars on Booking, none had availability. Interesting since they had plenty when I changed it to return to Nord. Guessing they want to keep their cars there. I will look into this more though.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 07:20 AM
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One way, cross border drop offs may not be allowed by rental car cos - that’s probably why you cant find availability.

And if they do allow it, there is likely to be a steep one way fee.



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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 07:49 AM
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I'd pick up a car in Rouen.
I'd hire from a broker, similar price as the normal companies but they sort out all the nonsense if things go wrong. Auto Europe does well by mean.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by stephenjohnson5012
Hmmm. That is worth investigating! Thanks!
Yes, it saves a lot of driving just to get there and back. Picking up and returning a car outside of Paris is easy. You may be able to use the TGV system for rapid train trips, in addition to not having to negotiate car to train in Paris at the end of this segment of your travels.
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Old Apr 8th, 2024, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by stephenjohnson5012
I did like your idea of driving to Brussels from Honfleur but when I looked for cars on Booking, none had availability. Interesting since they had plenty when I changed it to return to Nord. Guessing they want to keep their cars there. I will look into this more though.
I found a same experience trying to rent from Amsterdam and doing one way drop off at prague - when I called the company they confirmed that I was freely able to drive there - just not able to drop off there so I'm paying for parking but the website only shows that there are no cars available.

I did a search on pickup Gard Du Nord on Oct 9 and return on the 16th and for a C3 it was sub EUD300 including CDW and theft protection (excess of something like EU1500 which can be reduced to 500 or zero depending on how much extra you pay)
but then when i changed drop off at Gare du Midi which adds on more taxes and one way drop off fee it came to over EUD1000

I only tried one company so maybe some one else might be better but I'm not hopeful

Last edited by bhuty; Apr 8th, 2024 at 05:09 AM. Reason: more information
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Old Apr 12th, 2024, 10:07 AM
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You could consider Porte Maillot. It is close to the Périphérique, and few miles south, you find A13 for Normandy. Return the car to the same location and, in October, you will ride the brand new RER E from porte Maillot to Gare du Nord in less than 10 mns.
for sure, Hertz has an agency near Porte Maillot (I read somewhere it is the busiest city agency in Paris with tourists and the many Parisians that don't own a car, like me), maybe there are others.
just beware when driving on the "periph": you must yield to cars entering the Périphérique, which is an unusual rule in France for highways. So go to a middle lane asap (which is also an unusual rule: in France, you should stay on the right lane when driving on a motorway)

Last edited by rouelan; Apr 12th, 2024 at 10:18 AM.
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Old Apr 12th, 2024, 11:01 AM
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That is an unusual rule, that entering cars have right of way. I think people rent in Paris because they think might as well save the cost of the train fares both way to wherever they are going where they could rent one (like Tours or Rouen, etc).
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