Renting a car at the Avignon TGV station

Old May 1st, 2021, 08:38 AM
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Renting a car at the Avignon TGV station

Has anyone rented a car at the Avignon TGV station? Is it fairly easy? Is it easy to find your way out of there? I have never rented a car in Europe before, and I will be solo, so I am a bit nervous. And I am directionally challenged, although I will have my GPS with me.

Also, what about SixT? I have never heard of them, but a quick look at Auto Europe shows Budget, Avis and SixT.

Anything I need to know about renting a car in Europe?

This will be in May 2022, by the way.
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Old May 1st, 2021, 09:01 AM
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1) Don't rent from your usual US names, the name may be the same but the companies are often independant
2) Use a Broker like AutoEurope, they will offer you all the names you want but the deal and your money will be managed by AE
3) Avignon has two stations, the TGV and the normal one. Both are easy to get in and out of.
4) If you have concern use tools like Google Maps to visit the station before you go and get to understand it. If you don't have roundabouts where you live, look at French ones on YouTube. French towns and their speed limits .... again YouTube should explain it. French Motorways really do have speed limits that change with the weather. Don't hog the middle or outer lane. This is for Brits but might help https://www.theaa.com/european-break...ving-in-france
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Old May 1st, 2021, 09:02 AM
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Sixt is fine through AE, however I would not use it direct as some of the south west France offices have had some dodgy reports
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Old May 1st, 2021, 09:14 AM
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I always rent at Avignon TGV, almost always from Europcar, but I seem to recall once from Hertz. At Avignon TGV, there is a big cluster of rental agencies out in the parking lot in an area which they all share, so the logistics of every place are identical. You only need to concentrate on the rates.
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Old May 1st, 2021, 09:48 AM
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We are with kerouac-we always rent from the Avignon TGV station (the station BTW is a beautiful modern piece of architecture and worth seeing all on its own). It is set out almost in a field with big car rental lots, so that means you have more choice of cars and it is easy to get out. Much easier than the city station IMO.
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Old May 1st, 2021, 09:56 AM
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I have rented cars at the Avignon TGV station many times. Europcar (through AutoEurope) always had the best prices. All the car rentals are in the same location. Use the exit in the middle of the station, walk out and down, you'll see all the rentals to your left. Very easy to find.

I hope you drive stick shift. If not, you may have trouble reserving an automatic plus it will be quite a bit more expensive.

All my Provence trips except one have been solo. I too was so nervous the first time. But after two or three days, that initial fear was gone. I'd recommend you initially stay away from cities until you feel more confident. I use Google Maps and it's never steered me wrong. Traffic circles will initially be your biggest challenge, they're everywhere! Just go around a second time if you're unsure if you have the right exit. The pleasurable part of driving in Provence is the lack of traffic lights!

BTW, I always carry a fully charged portable charger too. That way I always have my phone fully charged while walking around. If you have an Android phone, you might want to consider changing your carrier to Google Fi. It automatically just changes to whatever country I am in at the same rates I pay in the US. The most I've ever paid for a month in Europe is $55.
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Old May 1st, 2021, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pgtraveler View Post
Has anyone rented a car at the Avignon TGV station? Is it fairly easy? Is it easy to find your way out of there? I have never rented a car in Europe before, and I will be solo, so I am a bit nervous. And I am directionally challenged, although I will have my GPS with me.
Also, what about SixT? I have never heard of them, but a quick look at Auto Europe shows Budget, Avis and SixT.
Anything I need to know about renting a car in Europe?
This will be in May 2022, by the way.
Pgtraveler: it's remarkably easy; after you get in the car, you'll wonder why you were apprehensive at all.
Once you get off the train, you simply follow the passengers into the terminal; once you acquire the car, you walk out the other door, down the stairs to the parking lots, go to the lot of your rental company, and they tell you the spot you'll find the car. and, awaaaaay you go. It's just about the smoothest, simplest, and swiftest rental process in my memory.
Here's a link to a video of the station: it doesn't show, however, the rental car lot.
FWIW, I've always rented cars in France and Germany thru gemut.com They're a travel company based in Oregon, but specializing in Euro travel. They basically are a broker for the big rental names, so whereas an Avis might charge you 100, Gemut will get you the same car, maybe from the Avis lot and you getting the carkeys from the Avis counter, for 90. Plus Gemut helps with problems; accidents, billing errors, damage disputes, etc. Plus it's easier dealing with someone whose first language is the same as yours.

Remember: make sure you credit card covers the liability on car insurance; ALWAYS decline the liability coverage on a car rental contract.

Use your GPS; the TGV station is outside the city, basically it's countryside. So you're not immediately swamped with driving decisions as you would be in the city. My recollection is that one drove for about a KM from the lot before you had to make any turns/decisions.

Bien tour, or however you say that in French!
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Old May 1st, 2021, 11:21 PM
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Note that using GPS on your phone is free at the point of use (yep socialist mapping) and if you download your maps before you don't need to pay anyone for the service
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Old May 4th, 2021, 06:43 AM
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If you plan to spend time in Avignon, even over night (which you should), consider taking the easy shuttle into the city and leave any vehicle safely on the rental lot. Parking inside the walled city, or even on the periphery outside, can be aggravating. It won't take much longer to return to the TGV station to get a car only when you need it.
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Old May 4th, 2021, 06:32 PM
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Thanks for all of your tips, and for the video. All very helpful. Sounds like it should be reasonably easy.
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