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Rental car vs other transportaion in Provence

Rental car vs other transportaion in Provence

May 14th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 27
Rental car vs other transportaion in Provence

Hello,it's me again. Thank you all(Robespierre, PalenQ, TimS and Ira) for your transportation help. I am getting it figured out.

However, considering our rental car (bus for 7) for one week will cost around $2000 for everything, I am wondering if there is a better option for touring Provence.

If we could get from the train station In Avignon to St Remy, and then Pont du Gard and Les Baux and Luberon, that would suffice. We like to enjoy our hotel quite a bit and don't try to see too much.

Then from St Remy to St Paul de Vence and once there, just Grasse.

Lastly from St Paul de Vence to Eze stopping in Villefranche-sur-Mer and visiting Monaco. Then to the Nice airport from Eze.

This is a lot to absorb and I just realized there might be a better option since we are not your typical travelers and like to stay put and walk around. I know this is still alot of moving about but not trying to see as much as most of you all do. We are going May 24 for two weeks total but only one week in the south of France and will miss the lavender blossoms. We want to all travel in the same vehicle and the best deal I could get plus GPS plus all the insurance and figuring gas and tolls will be close to the $2000. If there is no other way, then sobeit. Just want to make sure I am not wasting both families' money.
df50 is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 04:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 541
If I was planning the trip, I'd probably go with a rental...most of the places you've mentioned are fairly spread out and probably (I'm not positive on this) not all that easy to get to/between via trains.
Plus, the time you'd spend waiting in train/bus terminals when you could be on the road already seems like a huge waste IMHO...
BikerScott is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 05:21 PM
Posts: n/a
Take the car!!!

We drove a 7 passenger bus as well, it's quite a thrill getting through some of the little bitty towns, but quite doable.

You're going to have a great time, and you are going to be so happy you have a car.

Did I say.... get a car!

May 14th, 2007, 05:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,429
Take the car rental for sure - your whole vacation will change dramatically if you aren't driving. And are you sure you need to spend that kind of money? I rented a fully insured 7-passenger van from AutoEurope 2 years ago for 10 days for $700. Shopped around, and a friend with a Platinum Amex card called and got a quote for $700 and AutoEurope matched it (their initial quote to me was $1400, which just about squares with your quote for 2 weeks.) Get creative. Work all the angles.
StCirq is offline  
May 14th, 2007, 08:25 PM
Posts: n/a
The car is the best way to get around.
But when calculating the cost, don't forget to include parking. It takes time to find, and it is not cheap.
Once we could not find the parking space and took a chance - got a parking ticket : 36 euros.
May 15th, 2007, 03:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 666
Rent the car.... you can't take a train from Avignon to St Remy or to Les Baux, Pont du Gard and few towns in the Luberon still have train service.

As StCirq said, work all the angles and you should be able to get a good price for a rental.

PBProvence is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 03:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,755
You might also rent 2 cars- It is half the price and if allows you more flexibility if the group wants to split up one day..check autoeurope for comparison quotes. B
travelbunny is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 06:06 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 357
Last summer our group rented a 7 passenger automatic transmission van and our rate for just over 8 days was right around or just less $1,000.00. We rented from the US office of Auto Europe and paid in US dollars.

I encourage you to shop around for rates and do the van. The only time we had trouble with its size was trying to turn around in a very narrow spot in Cassis. Otherwise, no problems at all. It would be too hard and too time consuming to organize 7 people on very little public transportation. Lots of wasted time.


luvparee is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,238
I just checked Hertz for a imaginary date for 7 days in mid June and came up with 732 euros for a Renault Espace, seven passenger van.

Remember, you don't have to take a toll road all the time.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 02:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 27
Well, thank you. It's settled. We actually have a nine passenger bus because of all our luggage. The Renault wouldn't work. That is why it is so high. Everything else was more reasonable but too small.

We really want to be together, plus only one person is willing to drive. Then I kept reading about the need for a GPS and that is $243.00.

Anyway, some people will be paying that much for dinner for 2 or 3 people. I just read $1400.00 for two and they were happy to do so.

Thank you all very much.
df50 is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,228
Call me stupid but I'm going to do the same places you are without GPS. Its a tiny area with towns just a few kilometers from one another.

I'm basing in Avignon for a couple days without the car then picking it up on the way out of town.
amwosu is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 07:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 27
When are you going, amwosu? We'll be back June 8 and I'll let you know if the GPS was needed.

I have a tendency to follow advice I see several times or more.
df50 is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 07:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,228
I'm getting back July 7th so we can compare notes. Have a ball with your gang.

I've driven in France solo before and with a 14 yr old as navigator so I probably have a little less "fear of the unknown" than you do as far as no GPS. Roundabouts were my friend when I messed up.

After driving in Paris nothing seemed too difficult... Towns are easy, getting to the right parking lot in the airport might be the hardest task.
amwosu is offline  
May 16th, 2007, 07:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 64
Recently visited Nice, Grasse, St Paul de Vence, Eze, Monaco, Roquebrune, etc. I echo the thought that a rental car is best for most of those places (bus and train good (actually better, hard to find cheap parking) for Nice and Monaco, but the rest are either off the routes or have infrequent service. Buy yourself a Michelin yellow series (regional) road map at any gas station or newstand -- you may even find it at the larger US bookstores like Borders or B&N)

When shopping for a rental car, don't get pulled in by an apparently cheaper base rate -- check out the cost of the collision/theft waiver too. My shopping in March revealed vast differences on the rate per day for that coverage. Avis looked higher than Hertz, until you added on the collision (and I suggest you not go without same -- your US insurance will not cover -- and there are lots of tight spots and lots of traffic in the coastal region). Base rates include unlimited liability insurance in most cases, however.
pal440fcv is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 541
I don't think the GPS is a requirement at all - we spent a week driving around that area in September and found the signage to be excellent - the only time we got lost was trying to get back to St.Remy from Avignon.

The trick, we discovered, to driving in France, is to figure out the next biggest town on the route you want to take and aim for that - once you get close to that, aim for the next one. We called it 'leapfrogging' and it got us around Provence like a dream. Perhaps not the fastest routes, but we got to see quite a bit that we might have otherwise missed.
BikerScott is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 02:15 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,238
I can't imagine how anyone got around before gps.

Must have been pure luck, or something.

Maybe it was reading a map.
Rastaguytoday is offline  

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