Renting a car vs Train trip

Mar 5th, 2002, 12:56 PM
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Renting a car vs Train trip

There are 4 of us going to Paris for a week but we want to take and excursion to Amsterdam. The train tickets are about 200.00 per person for 2.5 days and will take 5 hours each way. Renting a car is about 140.00 total without gas. Has anyone done this and is it worth driving to save some cash? Thanks, Tove
Mar 5th, 2002, 01:52 PM
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Sounds like with $600 or so in your pockets it might be worth the extra hassle of driving (not a lot slower, though.) Pick up the car at CDG (more or less on your route) and avoid driving out of Paris; this will save time and nerves. Be sure your destination in Amsterdam has parking close by.
Mar 5th, 2002, 01:54 PM
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I'm not entirely sure what the advance purchase requirements are, but on, I plugged in roundtrip travel for March 15/15, and found a "loisir" (i.e., excursion fare) for only 76 euros per person, in first-class. Oddly enough I couldn't find a fare quite that low when I selcted second class.

The website 144 USD per person in SECOND class, so this is clearly a promotional fare.

It's a bit of a flip of the coin. The car WILL save you money - - and it's good idea to see OTHER stuff - - along the way, coming or going. For a $140 rental (is this 24 hrs? or a standard 3 day advanced reservation rental?), I fear that the car you get at that price may be more cramped than you might wish. But perhaps you have thought through whether you are okay with the car offered at this price.

Besides gas ($40?), you have to weigh in tolls ($20?) - - and biggest of all parking; overnight (2 nights? 3?) in either city could easily add up to $25-30 per night.

All of this balances against personal freedom and flexibility. Many will argue that the train is actually MORE comfortable.

Neither is a bad choice; neither is perfect.

Best wishes,

Mar 5th, 2002, 08:19 PM
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to the top, for Tove...
Mar 5th, 2002, 10:34 PM
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Although I love the bullet trains and have used them, I enjoy the freedom of a car. No rigid time tables to worry about, being able to stop wherever you find something interesting etc. I've driven in most countries in Europe and the only pointer I would make is to observe how other people drive and vary your driving habits to match.

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