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Our Normandy & Paris Trip; One Question: Where to Return Car??

Our Normandy & Paris Trip; One Question: Where to Return Car??

Jan 23rd, 2008, 11:54 AM
  #1  
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Our Normandy & Paris Trip; One Question: Where to Return Car??

We are firming up our plans for our visit to France in April. 3rd visit to Paris, but our first time renting a car and venturing out - we have decided on Normandy. I have checked advice on this board and it seems like Caen or Bayeux may make sense as far as returning the car, but want to make sure.

Our plans so far:
Wed, 4/16: arrive @ CDG after non-stop Air France flight #337 (from BOS)at 6:15 a.m.; pick-up rental car and drive to Les Andelys - stay at La Chaine d'Or. Explore area incl. Monet's gardens.
Thurs, 4/17: depart Les Andelys and drive to Bayeux for 4 nights at the Churchill Hotel. On the way to Bayeux, stop at Caen and Le Memorial de Caen.
Fri, 4/18: Battlebus one day American Highlights tour.
Sat & Sun, 4/19 & 4/20: free time to explore Bayeux, MSM, Hornfleur, d-day sites as we wish.

Mon-Sat: 4/21-4/26 PARIS, Hotel Millesime.

I see two options for returning the car so far:

Option A:
Drop off Hertz car in Bayeux Sunday evening. On Monday morning take the 9:04 train from Bayux to Paris.

Option B:
Return car to Caen train station (various rental companies). Various trains on the hour to Paris.

Am I missing another option which might be easier. Thanks for your assistance.
Bette is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 12:54 PM
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We did a similar itinerary flying in and out of Paris and renting a car to see Normandy. What we did is take the train from Paris to Rouen and rented the car there. We backtracked a little to Giverny, then went up to Deauville for the night before visiting the D-day beaches. We then stayed in Bayeux for a couple of days. We used that as a base for visiting some chateaux and Mont St. Michel. Our last day we drove the Route du Abbayes on the way back to Rouen. We dropped the car off there and took the train back to Paris the next day. It worked out really well. I think Rouen has much easier train connections than Bayeux so it may be easier. Have fun, Bayeux is a fantastic small town!
jcoz23 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 08:02 AM
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jcox23 - thanks for the info on your trip. I'll look into returning the car to Rouen. Any other ideas out there?
Bette is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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mms
 
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Either plan A or B would work. I would check the price of the car against the price of the train tickets, both from Bayeux and from Caen. That might answer the question for you if there is a huge difference. If all is about the same, I personally would return the car in Bayeux and take the train from there. Only because that train station is so small, that it is easier to navigate.

Last summer we were in Paris and took the train to Bayeux. We did the museum in Caen, stayed at the Churchill, and did the one day tour with Battlebus. So if you need any help with those things, just ask.
mms is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 08:28 AM
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mms-
Is it possible to walk from the Churchill to the train station with rolling luggage or is it too far?
Bette is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 08:54 AM
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mms
 
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Bette--Yes, very easy to walk. We didn't realize that when we arrived, so we took a cab. We felt silly when we saw how close it was. Many people were rolling their luggage along, so you will not feel out of place at all. If it is raining hard, then maybe take a cab. I am guessing it took us 5 to 10 minutes to walk between the train station and the hotel.
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Jan 24th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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mms-
Great, thanks for your help.
Bette is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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We are planning a very similar trip next October. I was planning to get the car at CDG upon arrival then drive to MSM, Bayeux and Chartres for about 4-5 days (haven't firmed up the details yet) then driving from Chartres back to CDG, dropping off the car there and continuing on our trip. Am I missing something? Is there an easier way? Originally we were going to do the Normandy part at the end and we had an early flight home but I guess if we do it at the beginning, it wouldn't really matter. Can we pick up the car at CDG and drop it off at Chartres? If we did that, I imagine we could take the train from Chartres into Paris, then transfer to a different train that could take up to our hotel. You've given me something to think about, that's for sure!
cat111719 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 07:40 PM
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We're going to Normandy for 3 days from Paris; we like to take the train as much as possible so we will probably take the train from Paris to Rennes, then get a car, drive to Mont St. Michel (overnight there), then drive to Bayeux (overnight), then drive to Honfleur (overnight), then drive to Rouen, drop the car, and take a train back to Paris (overnight before taking a train to Milan).
annw is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 07:45 PM
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You might want to check on Sunday pick-ups and returns - lots of places are closed.
Iwan2go is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 07:08 AM
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As our trip is planned now, we would arrive at CDG on a Thursday morning, and would be leaving Chartres on a Thursday at whatever time seems right. It lookes as though it is about 13 euros for a train ticket from Chartres to Montparnasse, and a 10 minute taxi to our hotel. Is there a huge premium for picking up a car at CDG and returning it to Chartres? Is it difficult getting out of CDG? We've driven in France before but would prefer to stay away from huge cities. Is it difficult getting a t car at CDG and getting out or is there somewhere that we could get to easily by train from CDG that wouldn't be too out of the way coming and going into Normandy?

Thanks!
cat111719 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 06:57 PM
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Bette,

We did a Normandy trip last summer. Like you, we had been to Paris several times, but had never rented a car and ventured out either! We got the car at CDG, went to Les Andelys for 2 nights, Honfleur for 2 nights. outside of Bayeux for 2 nights, near MSM for 2 nights, then drove 3+ hours to Chartres. Toured the Cathedral. Then drove to Orly and returned the car there. It was an inexpensive cab ride into Paris from there. As I recall, there was no surcharge whatsoever for renting the car at CDG and returning it to Orly.

If you click on my name, my trip report should come up. Have a wonderful time. You will love Normandy.
kansas is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Thanks for the info.
Ronda is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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Kansas-
the trip we are planning looks very similar to yours. I will have to read your report. The only difference is we are going to do Paris after we do Normandy. Originally I had thought to return our car to CDG but since our last night before Paris is in Chartres, I think we will return the car there, take the train to Montparnasse and then taxi to our hotel in the Latin Quarter. I was surprised to see that it was actually cheaper to return the car at Chartres rather than at CDG by a significant amount. Can't say why but it was true on more than one rental place.

Bette-
I will be anxious to hear how things went for you!
cat111719 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 09:47 AM
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cat,

We did do Paris after we returned our car. We spent the last five days of our trip in Paris. I look forward to hearing about your trip when you get back!
kansas is offline  
Jan 27th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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It is so far away (October!!!) but I have just found this site (addicting) so I feel like I have lots of time to learn from all of your experiences.
cat111719 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 05:53 AM
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Thanks to everyone for your ideas and tips. I have been away for a few days visiting the Big Apple and it was nice to come home and see additional responses.

RE: Sunday openings. The Hertz website does indicate the Bayeux office is opened until 10:00 p.m. on Sundays.
Bette is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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Sounds like you have a number of options. We returned our car to Caen and took the train to Paris. It worked well.
mamc is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 07:37 AM
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We were in Paris this past October. We rented our car at a Hotel at CDG and drove to Normandy. We returned the car to the same place. We were glad we did not take the train because there was a transit strike and we would not have been able to get back to Paris. You might want to check to make certain the Transit situation has been settled.
tyedye33 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 09:26 AM
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That's a good point. I think we could change at the last minute if needed. What surprised me was it was cheaper to return the car at Chartres rather than CDG. We'll see....
cat111719 is offline  

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