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x Jun 28th, 2002 10:17 AM

car rentals in france
first, and most important, is it expensive to rent a car in france? particularly, provence? and second, are all the cars stick-shifts? thanks.

Tammy Jun 28th, 2002 10:35 AM

Check out for some of the best rates. I've never rented a car in Provence, but if you only rent for 1 or 2 days it will be expensive. Also, you can request an automatic for an additional charge.

bonnie Jun 28th, 2002 10:44 AM

Automatic cars are more expensive to rent, are available - but not many. Unfortunately that seems to put you in a "Class A" car & you may end up with a Mercedes. We were with another couple so to split the cost was not too bad. Overnight parking can be a problem & is expensive if you need to use a lot as we did in Nice. Our reservation was with Auto Europe & no one at Nice airport knew what that was even thou there was a "Europa Car." Took an hour for them to realize they were it!

Mary Anne Cook Jun 28th, 2002 11:43 AM

Got the France Drive and Rail Pass which gives you 2 days of car rental and 3 days of rail travel. You can get extra car days and rail days if needed. We got car from Avis at the Avignon Train Station. They do have automatic cars as well as stick shift.<BR>We found the car to be very economical on gas. Our entire package for 4 rail days and 3 car days for something over 500.00 for the 2 of us. We got this before leaving the U.S. Will be happy to share any other info regarding this.

mpprh Jun 28th, 2002 12:21 PM

Hi<BR><BR>short term&ugrave; rents are pricy.<BR><BR>Try and get a diesel because diesel is cheap and gives up to 60 miles per gallon.<BR><BR>Peter<BR>The Languedoc page<BR>

Paula Jun 28th, 2002 12:33 PM

Whatever you do, don't, and I repeat DON'T rent from Hertz! We did in France and are still fighting with them over the problems they caused us! Have a great trip. (go with either AutoEurope or Avis)

John Burkus Jun 28th, 2002 12:33 PM

If you are from North America it's cheaper to arrange the rental over the net. Not many automatics. I agree with the suggestion to go diesel they are peppy and quiet in Europe. Make sure you fill up at the right pump---gasol not essense.

Capo Jun 28th, 2002 12:34 PM

Depends on what you mean by expensive. As I recall, our economy car (a Renault Clio) was about $180 (excluding insurance which was covered by our Visa gold card, used for the rental), for a 5-7 day rental out of Nice through Kemwel/Europcar this past May. Autoeurope's rate was about the same.

Coco Jun 28th, 2002 12:42 PM

DH and I rented a car from Nice Airport from the U.S. It was a beautiful brand new dark green Peougot, automatic. (No stick-shift, please). :-) Since this was in 1995 can't remember exactly what the expense was. We rented the car for 15 days as we were staying in the small medieval village of Bonnieux (Provence)on a "food vacation." The larger car was great as we had a lot of suitcases and the trunk served us well. No problems driving car through smaller towns. The only thing was, that when we opened up the car door to get inside, a computerized voice always spoke to us in French, and the car door locks were a bit tricky. Had to have help with that on occasion until we got the hang of it.<BR>Coco

jmetric Jun 28th, 2002 12:51 PM

What is the matter with the French when even the car voice speaks in French in France? This would never happen in North America!

wendy Jun 28th, 2002 06:00 PM

We rented from Autoeurope last year in Nice airport and returned in Avignon. Prices were the best, and when you call their 800 number, there are always specials and you can always negotiate.

rand Jun 28th, 2002 07:24 PM

Paula.<BR>If you revisit this thread can you let us know what your problem with Hertz is?<BR>We used Hertz out of Chartres last year for a 14 day rental. The clerk (or agent) was the most officious person we have ever met.<BR>We attributed this at the time of rental to the fact that our transaction was completed in 50/50 english and french and we were both struggling.<BR>On return, however, we have never seen such tut'tutting combined with pouting over agreeing to the price.<BR><BR>I am just wondering if this is now current practice.<BR><BR>Last year we rented from Alamo/National and previously from Avis, with much more relaxed attitude.

sherrye willis Jun 28th, 2002 11:16 PM

We rented from Hertz (a reservation made in the US prior to leaving)May 27 at Charles de Gaulle and June 2 in Geneva.<BR>No problems getting the cars; service was quite helpful, etc.

julie Jun 29th, 2002 06:27 AM

Whatever you do do not rent from Alamo in Nice. We had a confirmed reservation with them this Feb. Our plane was delayed and when we got to the counter (this was late on a Friday night) we were told that they had given the car away and that they would not have any cars until Monday. We were forced to take a very expensive cab ride to our hotel and arrange a new rental in the morning (at twice the price). The Budget rental location in the harbour saved us. They also told us that over-booking was a very common problem at the Alamo location. In fact, Alamo had overbooked by 80 cars that week-end. We were lucky that the agency we had gone through (Nova in Ireland) backed us up 100% and everything was quickly resolved so that Alamo refunded us the taxi price and the difference in rental rate. However, we did lose a half a day of our trip due to this fiasco.

Rita Jul 1st, 2002 07:41 AM

We rented a Ford Mondeo (hatch-back type) which held 2 adults, 2 kids & 4 huge suitcases plus assorted smaller carry-on type bags) for 10 days. It was a stick shift diesel. Total cost was $608 USD. Unlimited mileage. We picked it up at the Hertz counter at Disneyland and dropped it off at Hertz/CDG. The car only had 56km on it when we got it, so it was virtually new - no smoky smell, etc. It was a great car & a decent deal overall (at least I think so).

Rita Jul 1st, 2002 07:45 AM

Forgot to mention - I wouldn't dream of renting a car to take into Paris! Talk about crazy drivers! It's almost as bad as Boston (where we were on a 1-way street & saw cars driving on the sidewalk going in the opposite direction!) We rented the car AFTER visiting Paris. Took the car from Disneyland to Rothenburg/Black Forest, then into Switzerland & inaly back to Paris via Montlucon/Vichy.

Paula Jul 1st, 2002 08:40 PM

Rand, Our situation with Hertz was basically like julie's with Alamo, except we knew we would be late, they said in their contract they would stay open to accommodate us, but they didn't. I'm glad some people haven't had problems with them, and it seems that the concept of service is different if France than in the U.S., but we're still arguing with them 2 months after the trip. (Good thing we put it on American Express, which is something for everyone to keep in mind--if it's on a credit card, at least you have some recourse.)

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