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Rent car in Paris or take train? Also, money exchange?

Rent car in Paris or take train? Also, money exchange?

Mar 1st, 2014, 06:24 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 364
Rent car in Paris or take train? Also, money exchange?

I think this is my final question hopefully!

We are going from Paris to Levernois. Initially, I planned to take the train to Dijon and pick up a car there. Someone suggested we just drive from Paris. I googled the distance & it said about a 3 hour drive. Our time is limited in Levernois and I want to make the most of it. So, what do you think would be the quickest way to go? We are staying in the 6th, so we would need to get back to CDG (I assume) as I can't imagine driving in Paris and then leave from the car rental.

The other question I have is about getting the best exchange rate. Where should we go? Banks, ATMs?

Thanks for all your help.
topeater is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 06:27 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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1) Train
2) Use ATMs
bilboburgler is online now  
Mar 1st, 2014, 06:54 AM
  #3  
 
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You should never exchange any money (and you would find it quite difficult to do so). Typically banks in europe provide this service only to their own customers. And Bureaux de change are rare and charge huge commissions.

To save most money you should pay for as much as possible with your CCs and then get walking around money from your checking account at an ATM. Preferable a band ATM since, unlike commercial ATMS, they don;t charge a fee - although your bank may well do so.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 07:21 AM
  #4  
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Band ATM? I don't know what that means.

Bilboburgler, why do you think the train would be quicker?
topeater is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 07:37 AM
  #5  
 
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Train, train, train.

You are close to the Gare de Lyon - where the TGV to Dijon leaves from. It couldn't take a taxi more than 20 mins to get to the gare. You should get to the train station 30-40 mins before departure. There are hourly departures to Dijon, and the TGV takes 1 1/2 hrs to get to the Dijon Ville station. There are several rental offices at the Dijon station. The train is quite relaxing and the scenery out the window is enjoyable.

I think the person suggesting that you pick up a car in Paris was considering the 40E or so add-on charge for picking up a car at a train station or airport. It makes no sense for you to go to CDG to pick up a car. There "may" be a pick-up location near you in the 6th that is not a train station. But you probably would still need to take a taxi there.

Also, I think you might be a little intimidated by this trip. We spend 2 months vacationing in France almost every year - and I would not want to pick up a car in downtown Paris and navigate out of Paris to Burgundy. I suspect you would be more "scared" of this than I would. Also - you would have a manual sift (from your other post) which might be a nightmare for you in "re-acquainting" yourself with it on the streets of Paris in perhaps heavy traffic.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 07:37 AM
  #6  
 
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band ATM? Perhaps Bank ATM
Carlux is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 07:49 AM
  #7  
 
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Bank ATM, for sure. Totally agree with NYtraveller. I live in Paris and there are VERY few banks if any that exchange money. And, yes, the exchange bureaus are a huge rip-off. Use your credit cards and ATM card. In Paris, most places take a credit card for purchases from 3 euros. Some less than that.
pariskid678 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 10:27 AM
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Take the train and you will get the best exchange rate using ATMs.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 10:35 AM
  #9  
 
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It's a very easy drive. If you enjoy driving, there is certainly no problem driving out of Paris to go there.
kerouac is online now  
Mar 1st, 2014, 10:58 AM
  #10  
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Ok, train it is. Thanks for the info on where to catch it. How far in advance do I need to buy tickets?
topeater is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 11:12 AM
  #11  
 
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Super cheap PREM fares are first available 3 months ahead of your trip. iDTGV trains sooner than that. So if you travel on June 10, purchase them at 6:15 Eastern US time March 9 (which in just past midnight in France on March 10). Here is a relatively new site that's more "American friendly" than the French site - although I have not used it yet. First class seats are really nice.

https://www.capitainetrain.com/


>>there is certainly no problem driving out of Paris to go there.<<
kerouac - put your "first timer" hat on.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 12:06 PM
  #12  
 
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That's funny, some people are terrible drivers and terrible with city traffic or directions, so it easily could be a problem for many. Some can't even drive on country roads with little traffic without problems, I've seen them.

My cousin couldn't drive in a big city she had never been it, it freaked her out once just driving in a medium size city that was fairly simple.
Christina is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 12:17 PM
  #13  
 
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Well I don;t think driving in Paris is difficult at all - but I've been known to scare cab drivers here.

Presumably one knows if:

1) one if a confident or timid driver
2) one has or has not driven a lot in large cities with significant traffic

Nothing really unusual about driving in Paris (even I hesitate in Cairo - all those little donkeys make me nervous)- unless you never drive except on open highways and to malls with pull in parking in spaces twice the size of the car.

However I have seen out of state drivers just pull over in confusion a couple of times in Manhattan - one when he was being converged on by a cement mixer on one side and a double section bus on the other - both of whom wanted his lane.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 01:23 PM
  #14  
 
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kerouac - put your "first timer" hat on.
Stu Dudley


Mr. Dudley I notice that you make uniform admonishments, to anyone who asks about driving out of Paris, that they not attempt it and that a train to some other location to pickup a car rental is the only solution. Just curious but how often have you actually driven out of Paris yourself?

I assume that you are making these recommendations knowing first hand how simple it is to exit Paris by car, that taking a train to some distant location will mean needlessly paying a 40€ location surcharge on a rental, and that the train tickets alone will probably cost far more than the additional gas or tolls one will pay when driving themselves. Anyone qualified to drive on French highways is qualified to drive out of Paris, first timer or otherwise.

There are some who believe that the best travel advice is to present a balanced summary of all options allowing travelers to chose the solution that best fits his or her overall needs.
Sarastro is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 02:37 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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1. Train
2. ATM but not at airport-- bring euros from home to cover first couple days! It might cost you $20 but so stress-freeing to have w/ you. Get at least 100 to cover you. Use ATMs attached to banks that are open so machine doesnt swallow card, yes, this happened to us in Rome. Use CC for all possible purchases, but some villages/towns do not accept CCs at small places.

We rented car twice from Paris, once from somewhere in the 14th arr. where we were NOT staying; think we stayed in the 6th or 7th. Time before, DH went to pick up on his own and gave him up for lost before he picked me up.
aliced is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 02:56 PM
  #16  
 
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Hey! Dh and I took a taxi to rental agency near the periphique and drove to Beaune. Loved that drive, seeing the countryside, and getting out of Paris was easy! Not sure I would want to do it with the stress of time limitations though. Mary
MarySteveChicago is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 03:05 PM
  #17  
 
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>> Just curious but how often have you actually driven out of Paris yourself?<<

I've driven into our apt or hotel in the middle of Paris about 4-5 times. Out of Paris only twice.

>>that taking a train to some distant location will mean needlessly paying a 40€ location surcharge on a rental, and that the train tickets alone will probably cost far more than the additional gas or tolls one will pay when driving<<<

- PREM TGV tickets to Dijon are 15E X 2 = 30E. The trip takes 1 hr 40 mins
- According to Viamichelin the gas/tolls are 53E and the trip takes 3 1/2 hours.

IMO, taking a train is more relaxing than driving.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 03:08 PM
  #18  
 
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>> and getting out of Paris was easy!>>>

because the taxi driver did all the driving in your case.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 1st, 2014, 03:27 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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PS

Dijon has a downtown office where topeater can pick up a car and thus avoid the 40E train station fee.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Mar 1st, 2014, 03:39 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Why not use the ATMs at the airport? I've done it lots of times at different European airports.
Mimar is offline  

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