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Help with where to hire car outside Paris

Help with where to hire car outside Paris

Old Jul 6th, 2024, 09:04 PM
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Help with where to hire car outside Paris

Hi all

First post on this very informative forum. Hoping someone can help with this

We will be in Paris for a few days before heading to Normandy. Would like to hire a car and visit Monet’s Gardens then overnight in Rouen before continuing on to Bayeux. My partner is not a confident driver or navigator so we would like to find a convenient place to pickup a hire car out of Paris. Will most likely drop the car in Tours and then catch the train back to Paris so will need to be able to drop the car off in a different location.

I was wondering if La Defence or Mantes La Jolie would be convenient places to hire the car from or if there is a better location? The other thought, was to do Monet’s Garden as a half day trip from Paris (although this is a bit messy) and then just take the train from Paris to Rouen and pick up the hire car from Rouen when we leave.

Would appreciate any advice on this.
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Old Jul 6th, 2024, 10:50 PM
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Check autoeurope.com or kemwel.com. Leaving from la Défense makes sense. Even from l'Étoile is relatively easy as it is a straight shot to la Défense and A14. Google "Place Charles de Gaulle to la Défense" to see the map.



Last edited by Michael; Jul 6th, 2024 at 10:53 PM.
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Old Jul 7th, 2024, 08:01 AM
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On our trip to Normandy, we had similar trepidations. We wound up renting a car (thru gemut.com, a US-based but very Euro-knowledgeable tour agency and broker) which we picked up a a multi-story (most below ground) rental company that seemed just east of the Chanps du Mars. I just now google-mapped "paris car rental", and several agencies showed up, but none where my recollection was.

I think we picked up the car after breakfast, maybe 11AM. I had great misgivings about driving thru mid-day Paris traffic, but their directions got us on a straight shot to the Arc de Triumphe traffic circle, (at a 6:00 on the circle, no traffic constipation, and out at 9:00 on the circle), easy driving to the Peripherique, and a quick exit onto the road west. Outa town like prunes thru a duck.

The gemut people are very wise and accomodating, and could be helpful in your search.
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Old Jul 7th, 2024, 09:39 AM
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tomboy, your prune reference made me laugh out loud!
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Old Jul 7th, 2024, 02:30 PM
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If you can drive a manual transmission and can walk 6 blocks or so or take a taxi - I would.

- Take the 50 min train from Gare St Lazare to Vernon
- Walk/taxi to the Hertz office & rent a car
- Shirt drive to Giverny

Attached is my Normandy & Brittany itinerary

Stu Dudley

Attached Files
File Type: doc
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Old Jul 7th, 2024, 02:54 PM
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Thanks very much for those helpful replies. I too loved the prune reference tomboy!

I didn’t realise there was car hire near Vernon, so that may also be an option. Been looking at Autoeurope and there doesn’t appear to be many options with pickup and drop off in different locations picking up in La Defense or Mans La Jolie. I’ve not heard of gamut.com but will also have a look at them.

Stu….thanks also for your great trip report, lots of good ideas and info there.
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Old Jul 7th, 2024, 04:31 PM
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I've rented perhaps 50 cars through AutoEurope. Most have been pick-up in one location & drop off in another. One this year & one last year. There is, however, a drop-off off fee for doing so. There hasn't been in the past. If you go to Autoeurope.com you'll find a pickup in Vernon & drop off in Tours/St Pierre de Corps. There is a drop off fee.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jul 7th, 2024, 05:09 PM
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gemut.com
https://gemut.com/car-rentals/car-rental-france

As I said, they're a broker. As such, they apparently have contracts with most of the car rental companies (at least, from my personal experience renting cars from them for France, Germany, Czechia, Poland, Austria, and slovakia) you'd be interested in using. For example, while my contract was with Gemut, the auto pickup was varied: AutoEurope; Avis; Hertz, another I can't remember. What amazed me on those various rentals was that I wound up paying less than I would have if I had used the internet site of whichever outfit my car came from. In other words, my Gemut price for an AutoEurope car was less than the exact same car/date/days price from AutoEurope's website. Must be a volume discount at play. Who knows? Who cares? Less is less.

As a side point, I had an accident in Slovakia (local woman passing me on a two-lane, no-passing mountain road sideswiped me to avoid a head-on with on-coming cars) which resulted in $5,000 damage to my Gemut car. I expected thw worst. Eventually she pulled over 3 miles up the road (after my honking and gesturing), we filed police report, she got ticket, I called Gemut immediately. I sent accident report to Gemut. The $5K charges went on my credit card, but were rescinded immediately upon receipt of police report.....but i got to keep the 5,000 miles on my credit card. (helped pay for my next flight). My point being, while Gemut may be less well-known than AutoEurope, they're highly professional.
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Old Jul 8th, 2024, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by StuDudley
I've rented perhaps 50 cars through AutoEurope. Most have been pick-up in one location & drop off in another. One this year & one last year. There is, however, a drop-off off fee for doing so. There hasn't been in the past. If you go to Autoeurope.com you'll find a pickup in Vernon & drop off in Tours/St Pierre de Corps. There is a drop off fee.

Stu Dudley
Previously that depended on the actual rental agency; fee for Hertz, none for Europcar. Has that changed?
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Old Jul 8th, 2024, 10:08 AM
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Tomboy, your comment about the below ground rental agency cars reminded me of a car pick-up I did at the Nice-Ville train station. We'd hired a compact car, and they had me go down the street and into the bowels of this car park. The car they gave me was not a compact, but a Dodge Ram SUV. I don't drive SUVs, and I wouldn't drive an SUV on a French road! It was HELL getting out of the tiny packed garage and up the circular exit. Got the car, finally, out of the car park, drove it gingerly to the station, where my mom was waiting, got out of the car, went into the rental office and yelled at them to get me a compact, bring it to the station, and take back that large piece of junk. My French speaking mad is a lot stronger than my English speaking mad, lots of slang used.
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Old Jul 8th, 2024, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael
Previously that depended on the actual rental agency; fee for Hertz, none for Europcar. Has that changed?
Nope. We always rented an Europcar - so no fee. Fees now with Avis & Hertz. Autoeurope does not seem to "feature" Europcar now.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jul 8th, 2024, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by StuDudley
Nope. We always rented an Europcar - so no fee. Fees now with Avis & Hertz. Autoeurope does not seem to "feature" Europcar now.

Stu Dudley
I just checked by picking up a car at Charles de Gaulle and returning it in Marseille. Even Europcar has a one way fee and is not the cheapest rental available, but it is the cheapest rental available if the car is returned to the same location. Is the drive back worth $121? Things have changed.
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Old Jul 9th, 2024, 09:04 AM
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Maybe, but maybe it's because those two cities are so far apart. It could also be because one is CDG, who knows. I've done that numerous times and never had a fee from Europcar but I was picking up and returning within a region.

I just did one test check MRS-Avignon TGV gare versus R/T MRS and the rental fee was exactly the same (on Europcar). There was no added fee to return in Avignon, not MRS.

In fact, I checked the same thing for CDG and MRS and still see no extra fee added. Where did you see this fee on the item total breakdown, Michael? I used the French Europcar site. There are some line items for the environmental surcharge, plus 20 pct VAT , of course, and then a minor charge for something they call "licenses and fees" but it was only US$28 over a week.
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