Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Renting a car for Paris to Normandy
Notices

Renting a car for Paris to Normandy

Reply

Dec 11th, 2014, 07:33 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 299
Renting a car for Paris to Normandy

Our trip in the spring will require renting a car and driving from Paris to Normandy (and then eventually back to CDG).

Can someone recommend a sensible/convenient location for us to rent a car on our way out of Paris. I know that picking up the car in central Paris would be a mistake - but I am otherwise clueless.

Thanks,

Rick
rholt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 07:47 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,812
I know that picking up the car in central Paris would be a mistake

Why would it be a mistake? That´s exactly what I would do, pick up a rental in Paris. Driving out of Paris is not the same as driving around in Paris. Choose a rental office convenient for you, somewhere preferable near the périphérique, plan your exit in advance and execute.

For Normandy, and assuming you are planning on using A13, there are many locations in the Southwestern part of the city which have very easy access to the périphérique and onward to A13. You could pickup at Gare Montparnasse but using one of the many offices near les Invalides or Porte Maillot for example could save you as much as 45€ in location surcharges (paid for train station/airport pickups). You´ll also save on the needless expense of train tickets.
Sarastro is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 07:53 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 12,820
Take the metro to an outer station that has car rentals then drive to Normany. Driving AWAY from Paris is a lot easier than driving towards Paris. Its easy to get confused, or stuck in the wrong lane returning
FrankS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 08:04 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 299
Thanks - great input. It looks like there is a Hertz close to Porte de St Cloud with easy access to the A13. Probably go with that.
rholt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 08:46 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19,726
Pick an agency near the Porte Maillot, which is on the western edge of Paris. Autoeurope lists an agency at the Porte Maillot train station.
Michael is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 08:55 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,644
It depends where you are, why go across Paris to get a car? I'd go somewhere convenient to where I was in the outer area, such as Gare Montparnasse, for example. But St Cloud is a good choice if you don't mind going there to get it.
Christina is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 09:00 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 13,979
What is your first destination in Normandy?? If it has a train station, I would train there to pick up a car.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 09:05 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,568
We like to do our out of Paris trips first and end up in Paris for departure.
If you just reverse your trip, rent the car at CDG and head on out--you are more or less on the "right" side.
We returned the car to Orly, after a stop in Chartres on the way back from Normandy. It is an easy return and the taxi to our Paris hotel was not very expensive.
Then when leaving Paris, it is easy to get the cab to CDG from your hotel. I think it consolidates "moves". Just a thought.
Gretchen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 09:12 AM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 299
Stu -

We are staying in Bayeux - but we were thinking of making a stop in Rouen.

Gretchen -

Interesting suggestion - but our location/dates are fixed at this point.

Rick
rholt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 09:47 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 13,979
Then pick up the car in Rouen. We actually drove into & out of Rouen 2 1/2 years ago with no problems at all (we always have problems in & out of Paris). Leave your bags in the rental office, or trunk of your car while still parked under "guard" of the office. Then walk into Rouen to explore. Fantastic city.

Do you have my Normandy & Brittany itinerary??? Lots of suggestions about visiting Rouen. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail. I've sent my various itineraries to over 5,000 people on Fodors.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 09:51 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,436
I also trained from Paris to Normandy and picked my car there - in Caen (better rental car options) and stayed in Bayeux. That trip was focused on the D-Day sites; I also spent a few days in Paris. I visited Rouen on another trip (by train).
Andrew is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 10:20 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 23
We rented from Hertz at 27 Rue St. Ferdinand. It was an easy pickup and quick route to get on the highway to Bayeux. We actually drove to Mont St Michel first.
philly54 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 10:28 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 730
In 2011, on our way to Etretat we made an adventure of it with our granddaughter and did exactly what Stu describes. It worked very well for us. However, I think it would not be hard to drive from central Paris if that is what you decide to do. Below is an excerpt from my trip report.

Thur (Day 8 – Train to Rouen, Drive to Etretat)

The taxi showed up right on time and it took us all of 10 minutes to get to St Lazare. We found a café just outside the train station and had breakfast. We went inside and they finally put our track number on the screen. We boarded the train, found seats, put up our luggage and sat facing each other across a little table. Easy to get off the train in Rouen and went in search of the Avis office which is inside the train station.

Almost walked past it but luckily B spotted it and we went in to find a very nice and helpful person at the desk. My plan was to store our luggage in the trunk of our car which was parked in the Avis secure garage and come back for the car when we had finished touring Rouen. The train station is close enough to walk to the sites of Rouen and leaving the car at Avis would eliminate having to try to find parking.

We really enjoyed walking around Rouen. We toured the cathedral, many Joan of Arc sites, many other Rouen sites, had lunch at a neat timbered-ceiling restaurant, walked back to our car and left for Etretat.
john183 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 10:34 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,189
Using www.autoeurope.com I would get a car out of one of the principal train station to leave Paris. I like the train stations because they have the largest selection of cars and you almost have a choice of 2 or 3 models when you pick up the car.

However, unless you are a driving fanatic, it does make sense to just get the car in a place like Rouen. This depends on how many of you there are. If there are just 2 people, the train makes sense. If there are 4 of you, driving from Paris makes more sense, at least financially.
kerouac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 12:26 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19,726
Financially it makes more sense to pick up a car which is not in a train station rental agency to avoid the extra fee (more than a day's rental when choosing a sub-compact) attached to such pickups.
Michael is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 01:01 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 13,979
This year we rented a car in Nice that was not at an office near the train station. They tacked on some other type of pick-up fee - maybe a "downtown" fee.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 01:31 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,189
I seem to be exempt from these fees, but enough people claim they exist for me to believe it.

I tend to rent from AutoEurope sites in various European countries even though I live in France because the 'national' site of a rental is always more expensive than the foreign sites. In France, I can find cheaper rates by using AutoEurope .de, .be, or .es

Anybody worried about this being "illegal" or "forbidden" need not freak out because the rules of the European Union unified market allow you to select the cheapest rate that you find for something anywhere in the EU. In fact, it was the employees at my local Europcar agency who first let me in on the secret, because that is what they do to rent cars from their own company, since the AutoEurope rates are cheaper than their own employee discounts.
kerouac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 02:03 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,812
Renters from North America who rent from Autoeurope are those who pay up to a 45€ location surcharge for a pickup at either a train station or airport. I have never heard of nor have I ever been charged a downtown fee. This fee is not part of the quote but is charged when the car is returned along with other fees such as road taxes, additional driver fees, automatic transmission fees, and young driver fees.

The advantage of renting with www.autoeurope.com is that there are no foreign transaction fees on one´s credit card charge and all dealings with AE will be in English with personnel in their US offices. These rentals will also always include unlimited mileage at no additional cost and most will not have a one way, in France, drop off fee.
Sarastro is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 02:05 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 12,820
I seem to be exempt from these fees, but enough people claim they exist for me to believe it.

The handful of times Ive rented in France, the fee gremlin has left me alone too
FrankS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 11th, 2014, 02:16 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,812
I don´t pay the fees either (except the road tax) because I don´t pickup rentals at airports or train stations and I would never request a car with automatic transmission.
Sarastro is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:52 PM.