France car rental

Nov 21st, 2004, 02:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 44
France car rental

I am currently planning a family trip (4 adults & 2 teenagers (18 & 19)) for France in May/June 2005 for my nephew's high school graduation gift. My plan is to arrive in Paris & take the train to Caen or Rouen, spend 3 days in that area (he is very interested in WWII sights), travel to Belgium/Luxembourg (Battle of the Bulge sights here) for another couple of days & finish in Paris for the remainder of our stay.

What are your thoughts regarding finding a rental vehicle large enough for the 6 of us & our luggage (hopefully no more than 1 decent sized piece per person, larger than carry on size)? We would prefer not to rent 2 vehicles if at all possible. Thank you for any information you may have here.
wlcjr is offline  
Nov 21st, 2004, 03:12 PM
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Nine-passenger vans should be readily available (though I have never personally picked up a vehicle in Caen or Rouen). I have to question why even bother with taking the train out of Paris - - it will just be an added expense.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Nov 21st, 2004, 07:08 PM
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Might I suggest picking up the car/van at the airport and driving to Caen since it is your first destination.
It is an easy drive. I think the best choice of vehicles will be at CDG. Then you could decide the best place to drop it off.
Sher is offline  
Nov 21st, 2004, 07:36 PM
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I called and emailed about a dozen car rental companies and finally ended up with a deal for and upcoming trip with Gemutlichkeit I told them the deals I had gotten with the other companies and they beat the price. In France there is @ a $35 charge to pick up the car at the airport but that isn't bad because in Germany it adds about 21% to the cost of the car. If you pick it up somewhere else you save that fee. Also, As long as you pick up and drop off the car in the same country you can save on a very expensive "drop" fee. Most credit cards include the CDW insurance on the car if you charge the rental. Call the 800 number on the back of your card to make sure.
AisleSeat is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 12:26 AM
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Just about the best deal in France is the lease plan with Peugeot-Sodexa.

You can pick up and drop off at either Paris airport no fees charged.

They have a seven-seater diesel model which costs something like $US2750 for 17 days with seven further days free. All CDW included.

Check out their site at:


harzer is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 02:32 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 480
Hello wlc: Having recently rented a car from Hertz in Caen (see my recent trip report on this forum for some details), I do believe that the selection there is limited. Gradyghost
gradyghost is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 03:54 AM
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Thanks to all for your comments.

My original thoughts were that it would be easier to take the train out of Paris. I will reconsider this.

We have never rented a vehicle this size before in Europe, will it be too large to maneuver around & park in the majority of cities & sights?

Thanks again,
wlcjr is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 05:18 AM
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You need to think through the entire process--touching on several things people have already suggested. If you train to Caen or Rouen you must go all the way into Paris--an added expense. Rent at CDG and head north--the airport is on that side of Paris.
Try AutoEurope for your rental. They will provide whatever size vehicle you need.
Return the vehicle to the airport and finish in Paris.
For a lease you would need to be there for 3 weeks (or maybe 17 days).
You may want to allow a bit more time for Normandy--do you have a great yearning to do the Belgium/Lux leg of the trip? There is a lot to do in just Normandy--the area, not just the beaches.
Gretchen is online now  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 05:50 AM
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Posts: 44
The trip is a high school graduation present for our nephew & those are the areas he would like to visit.

We are most likely limited to 7 or 8 days total (I know, not enough time to truely appreciate the areas we will visit & not how we normally travel).

From the comments above we will most definitely pick up the vehicle at CDG.
wlcjr is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2004, 06:05 AM
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Rouen is lovely, and well worth a stop en route, but it's not a WWII mecca, so given your short time to devote to the area, I wouldn't dwell on it - maybe a nice lunch stop on your way out of Paris.

I'd base yourself in Bayeux instead of Caen. The Mémorial museum in Caen is a must for WWII buffs, but the city itself isn't all that appealing. Bayeux IS appealing.

For any rental 17 days or more, a lease is your best bet.

You won't get six people and luggage into a 7-person van. Trust me. You'll need the 9-person van. It will not be easy to navigate it in small lanes and alleys, but I don't think of Normandy as a place where the main sites will involve such intricate navigation. Certainly you can visit the WWII sites easily with a large van, and cities like Rouen and Caen and Bayeux as well.
StCirq is online now  
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