Paris Rental car Pick-up Query

Mar 5th, 2011, 08:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 551
Paris Rental car Pick-up Query

Please bear with me - I've read so many threads I've gone and got myself all confused. I'm staying in the 5th near Gare St Michel and will be heading to Giverny and onwards to Honfleur. None of the airport pick up locations seem to be in that direction and I'm wondering if any station or city office area would be best for the easiest, most stress-free trip out of Paris, without being too difficult to get to from my hotel in the 5th. Naturally I'm nervous of driving in Paris (heck, I'm nervous about driving in France)

Any suggestions welcome. This will be June. I need to get this sorted and booked soon. Does Giverny close down over lunch,?

eigasuki is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi eig,

A: Driving in Paris is a bit of a hassle. Get in the right lane and go slowly. Ignore the honking horns, the screams of the other drivers, the sneering bicyclists, etc.

B: Outside the big cities, driving in France is quite easy. has good maps.

C: Check with, for where best to pickup your car.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Place St Michel?

I know several people here have picked up/dropped off their car at CDG. Which is on RER line with stop at St Michel

Does it have a GPS?
Michel_Paris is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 10:28 AM
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You are right eigasuki, none of the airports is on your way out of Paris. Pickup your rental in town at a convenient location near the périphérique or loop road around Paris. Avoid a train station pickup as the rental cost will include a nearly 40€ location surcharge. There should be plenty of offices near major roads to the périphérique. Once on the périphérique, orbit to the Porte d´Auteuil and on to A13.

That´s really all there is to it. Just have an exit route in mind before you depart.
Sarastro is online now  
Mar 6th, 2011, 10:32 AM
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From whom are you renting? AutoEurope and Kemwel use an agency which is near the Porte Maillot on the west side of Paris.
Michael is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Driving in Paris is easier than in the countryside, because Paris drivers are extremely patient with clueless drivers -- I defy anybody to prove the contrary.

Out in the provinces, you will encounter madmen with road rage if you do things wrong -- the flashing headlights and honking horns will indicate that trouble is on the way.
kerouac is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 11:03 AM
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CDG is at least on the same side of Paris as Honfleur, etc. We rented at CDG and went on to Giverney and Rouen and then Honfleur. It is one reason I prefer to do the "driving" portion of our trips first--rent at the airport and head out. Return to the airport.
I must be an exceptional driver because I experienced NONE of what Kerouac described in the countryside,and consider his comment ridiculous.
Gretchen is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 11:06 AM
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No more ridiculous than the people who say that it is difficult to drive in Paris which is blessed with countless signs and all of the red lights that you could hope for to give you a chance to read them. I think that people who lug all of their baggage to the airport just to put it in a car are punishing themselves for no valid reason. However, all of you who want to contribute to the economy with extra and useless expenses like that are welcome to do so, but then don't DARE say that France is more expensive than you expected.
kerouac is offline  
Mar 6th, 2011, 11:09 AM
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You could this an look at the roads you'll be following. Cross check the options for renting with that website. It's a little work but it's easy to do.

The key to driving in a big city or any where is knowing the rules of the road. For instance, in California you can make a right turn on a red light. It would save a lot of honking and tourists nerves if they would do a little research.

It will be a less daunting to drive in France if you find out the rules of the road. Also, you'll know what signs mean or why you may be getting a ticket. Best to avoid that

You could consider taking the train out of the city and renting in a small town.

People spend endless hours researching what they'll eat or what they'll wear and forget about this most important thing. Good for you that you're ahead of this.
LSky is offline  
Mar 7th, 2011, 03:29 AM
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Posts: 551
Thanks folks, some great advice and excellent links. Ive checked both AutoEurope and Kemwel - their prices seem to vary somewhat - same site, same info and there's a $200 price difference since this afternoon.There's no difference in the quote if I choose an airport and no mention of a surcharge - would that be added on-site?

You're right, LSky about familiarising yourself with local rules. Along with using Google Earth to "pre-drive" this was part of my rep when I visited the US. It still didn't stop the ingrained habit of giving way to the right. I'm sure I annoyed many of the folks giving way to me as I attempted to give way to them!

Seems where ever I collect the car I'd have to lug luggage somewhat - unless I choose a place close enough for a cab Porte D'Orleans?
eigasuki is offline  
Mar 7th, 2011, 07:25 AM
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Airport fees are add-ons. The contract does warn you about it.
Michael is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 11:21 PM
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I'm returned from my trip and I just wanted to update for those who have similar queries.

I picked up my car at Porte Maillot and it was a straight shot out of Paris once you negotiate the huge roundabout at Porte Maillot itself. The office is in Avenue Malakoff and it's about 100 metres to the roundabout, which is controlled with traffic lights, and round to Ave Charles de Gaulle and onwards. Close to RER and Metro with direct link to station closest to my hotel so it worked well for me.

Super easy if you don't stall at the roundabout like I did!
eigasuki is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 06:01 AM
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Hi ei,

Thanks for the update.

From whom did you rent?

ira is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 06:17 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 551
Oops - my bad Seems I didn't mention that one little detail. It was Europcar , which I organised through

All went well until I had a flat tyre in Villefranche-de- Rouergue - an episode which is still in progress as I discovered on my return home that they have debited my Visa card $400. Seems a bit excessive so I am 'investigating". Will post when it's resolved.
eigasuki is offline  

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