Rental car question for Loire Valley

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Apr 22nd, 2003, 07:07 PM
  #1
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Rental car question for Loire Valley

Three of us will be leaving Paris on a Monday morning, heading first to Chartres, then on to Amboise. We would like to rent a car, but are unsure whether to rent in Paris, or to train to Chartres and rent there.

We'll spend Monday and Tuesday touring the Amboise area, then head back to Paris on Wednesday morning where we'll take the Eurostar to London.

Any thoughts and advice on car rental will be appreciated. I've driven in Paris before and am a little nervous that early Monday traffic out of the city might be a nightmare. In Paris, we are staying in the 16th, near the Passy metro station, and of course, will be leaving from Gare du Nord for London.
Barb_in_Ga is offline  
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Apr 22nd, 2003, 07:33 PM
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The Hertz outlet in Chartes is walkable from both the Hotel Poste and the Ibis.

Worked well for us despite the snippy attitude of the clerk.

Go for it.
icithecat is offline  
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Apr 22nd, 2003, 11:52 PM
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If you rent a car in Paris you may save the cost of the train fares. The traffic out of the city in the morning will be light, it's the opposite of rush hour traffic.
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Apr 23rd, 2003, 02:41 AM
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We are doing just this trip...but not heading back to Paris. After reading the advice on this site, we decided to pick up a car in Chartres, not Paris. We are renting from Autoeurope. When I looked up the train fare, it was quite low...like around $15 E one way.
wren is offline  
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Apr 23rd, 2003, 08:26 AM
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Hi Barb,
We just did this exact trip. Four nights in Paris, 2 in Amboise and 3 in Burgundy. In Paris, we stayed in the 6th at Hotel de Danube in a family room that was quite nice. Anyway, we rented the car near Invalides from AutoEurope and drove to Chartres. We did not get out of the city until 10:30 so traffic was fine. We had plenty of time to make the 2:45 tour by Malcolm Miller, but unfortunately, there were services going on and no tour that day (despite my e-mailing Mr. Miller and confirming that there would be a tour - no hard feelings though! I probably e-mailed him too far in advance). We were first-timers to Europe and did not realize that you need your passport to get the car so my husband spent an hour or so at AutoEurope while I tried faxing copies of his passport. Maybe they felt sorry for him becasue eventually we got a very nice Renault Val...(something), an automatic with a navigation system. Boy, was that nice to have!
Frankly, without the tour, I could have skipped Charteres. The cathedral was beautiful, but I had just seen both Notre Dame and St Chapelle, and liked them just as well. The town itself was nice, but, like so many places, was overrun with tourists and shopping. I am not trying to be negative - I enjoyed it, but don't feel like I would have missed out if we had not stopped there. Who knows how I would have felt if we had been able to have a proper tour.
Amboise was really charming. We stayed at Manoir les Minimes in two traditional rooms. They were lovely and the views were spectacular.
We opted to drive out of Paris so that we did not have to deal with our luggage on the train. If that is not an issue for you, I would take the train. But, if like us, you did not want to haul your luggage around, get the car in Paris. It was not much trouble to drive out. Have fun!
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Apr 23rd, 2003, 08:37 AM
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We have done similar to this--took train (TGV) to Tours then rented a car, drove around several days in Loire Valley, then drove back to Chartres, then to Versailles for a day, then to Paris. The reason I chose to take the train to Tours was 1)avoid driving out of Paris in morning traffic 2)save time because the TGV is really fast and no chance of getting lost. It worked well for us.
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