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Renting or leasing 2 cars or 1 van in Provence for 6 adults

Renting or leasing 2 cars or 1 van in Provence for 6 adults

Jan 30th, 2009, 01:13 PM
  #1  
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Renting or leasing 2 cars or 1 van in Provence for 6 adults

We are 3 couples wanting to lease or rent a van which will fit 6 adults or is it better to get 2 smaller cars.

With a van we are worried our luggage will not fit in (this will only be for 2 days of use - as the rest of the time we will be in one location). We are also concerned that a van will be too large for travelling around smaller roads.

However having two cars is more expensive but may be easier to sightsee and carry luggage.

Any experiences or recommendations are appreciated.
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 01:32 PM
  #2  
 
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The van rentals I'm familiar with are either 7-passenger or 9-passenger. The 7-passenger van will not hold 6 people plus luggage unless you're each traveling with just a handbag. The 9-passenger van is really unwieldy for getting through narrow passages and for parking.

I'd rent two cars.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 01:41 PM
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Thank you StCirq for your imput - I was worried about that, as we will each have a fair sized suitcase. Yes a 9 passenger van does sound too large for happy touring.

We will require a car (or 2) for 22 days. Do you recommend leasing or hiring. We will start on Provence and finish in Dordogne. So there will be different pickup (Avignon) and drop off.

BTW I have read many of your most helpful posts and information thank you!
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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Hi, aussie.

For anything longer than 17 days, I think you'll get a better deal with a lease. Whether a lease or a rental, though, there shouldn't be any extra costs associated with picking up in one place and dropping off in another (unless you drop off in a different country).

In case in makes a difference to you, all the vans I've seen in France are stick shifts.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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I've found that getting a weekly rate is the most economical, thus renting for exactly 21 days.

Without a doubt, you'd be better off with the two cars, given the tighter roads there. Another advantage is the flexibility you'd have in case interests and timing diverge amongst yourselves.
TuckH is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 03:38 PM
  #6  
ira
 
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Hi A,

Very good advice above.

Go with 2 cars.

Check rates with www.kemwel.com, www.autoeurope.com and www.novacarhire.com.

The first two will usually better any other price.

>We will start in Provence and finish in Dordogne.<

What's your itinerary?


ira is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 08:04 PM
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Thank you all for your replys

We are very familiar with stick shifts as we all own one so that won't be too much a problem, not as much as driving on the other side of the road!

I have talked to one of the couples and mentioned everyones recommendation of 2 cars, so I think that will be the way to go. Especially with flexibility. We have been looking at sites in Aussie dollars but I have read a lot of people mentioning Kemwel. So we will look at them too.

Yes Ira our itinery is as follows:

Leave Australia late September

- 2 couples flying to Paris first we have 5 nights Looking at Paris apartments at the moment mainly the 3rd, 4th & 5th areas. Other couple to Strasbourg to visit friends.

- We will be catching the TGV train to Avignon on a saturday morning and picking the cars up there hopefully.

- 13 nights based in a gite near Buoux which we have just booked. Will do day trips from there.

- Drive to Dordogne staying in Sarlat 1 week. Have just booked there also, day trips from there.

- 2 couples are going back to Paris to fly home. Probably flying from Bordeaux. 1 couple flying to London probably from Bergerac

We have all been to Paris 25 years ago for a quick trip but none of us to the south of France so we are very excited to immerse ourselves in the French culture




aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 09:29 PM
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aussie10, when you are looking for a car rental also look at www.economycarrentals.com it has been mentioned recently by people who have been pleased with both the price and their service.

We often use Autoeurope for our rentals in France. The last time I rented thru the French Autoeurope site, www.autoeurope.fr and got better rates and better car selections than on the USA site.

For our 2 week rental in May it looks like the Economy car rental site will be even less expensive than French Autoeurope and they do not charge extra for the 2nd driver for the compact size car we would rent.

Have a great trip with your friends. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 03:37 AM
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Your itinerary sounds lovely, I'm an Aussie, can I come too??

We had a trip like yours a few years ago where 9 of us met up in London and spent a week together. Then the girls went to Paris and the men went to Ireland for a golfing week. After that, 2 came home and the remaining 7 headed to Italy and stayed in a villa in Tuscany for a week. It was heavenly!!
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Jan 31st, 2009, 05:30 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Au,

> 2 couples are going back to Paris to fly home. Probably flying from Bordeaux.

You might find it more pleasant to drive to Libourn, drop the car (Europcar has an office just across from the train station) and take the TGV into Paris.

You can stop at Chateau Monbazillac for a wine tasting.

ira is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 08:41 AM
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I wonder if you can swing a few extra days? If you are staying in France from 3 wks to 6 mos., we find it far cheaper to go the hire/purchase route with Renault or Peugot. You get a brand new car which can be picked up at any major airport or railway station. FYI, Automatic shifts are available for a slightly higher price. We usually hire a Renault Espace but it's true they are awkward in narrow streets or low-ceilinged parking garages,nor is there much in the way of luggage space!

Incidentally, it's a good idea to keep a basket or some carrier bags in the car for grocery shopping; environment-conscious supermarkets expect clients to bring their own bags!
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Jan 31st, 2009, 11:56 AM
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Heloo there thank you for all your help and suggestions

DeborahAnn, I have looked at your rental suppliers they look good. I have spoken with the other couples now and it is all agreed that we will rent or lease 2 cars. From Australia we seem to get some good rates with Citroen (although our Aussie dollar rate has gone down)

Cathies, I didn't know you were an Aussie, I have read many of your posts. My husband calls me Mrs Fodors, I love this site!

Ira, thanks for the advice about Libourn I have looked it up on a map and it looks better than going into Bordeaux. Do you know how long the train takes from there? Someone mentioned catching a train from Brive but I think it takes about 5 hours. Thats why we thought a (cheap if they can get it) plane trip would be better. My husband and I are the couple going on to London for for another 9 days. I have done most of the planning and information gathering and it is a big responsibilty to get it all right for others. It is a long way from Australia and we want to make the most of it.

Phinn, yes we will try to do the leasing it looks the best option and so many people on this forum recommend it. We thought the van would not be the best option (although cheaper) as we want to be comfortable and hassel free. That is a good suggestion about the bags I didn't think about that.



aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 12:26 PM
  #13  
ira
 
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Hi Au,

>Do you know how long the train takes from [Libourn]?

About the same time as from Bordeaux.

See www.voyages-sncf.com

ira is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 12:27 PM
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ira
 
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PS,

If you are flying out of Bergerac, do stop by the Chateau Monbazillac.

The Sauternes is wonderful.

ira is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 12:31 PM
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Libourne is about a 15-minute train ride from Bordeaux, so the time to get to Paris from Libourne is still about 3 hours on the TGV.

I've never taken the train from Brive, but if it's a TGV it couldn't take 5 hours - more like 2.5-3. The regular train from Brive (or Périgueux, which would be closer to you) takes about 5 hours.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 01:52 PM
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Thank you for your replies

Yes Ira My DH and I will put Chateau Monbazillac on our itinery as we have a 4pm flight it would fit in nicely. I will look it up.

StCirq thank you for the info on train times I think it must have been the regular service from Brive fro the 5hr trip. I didn't look it up one of the other couples did. But I will check it again.

Has anyone done the drive from The luberon to Sarlat? We did a trip search and the suggested route is a longer distance (more motorways?) but quicker than the original route we thought we would take. Although shorter it takes longer so they say (maybe over mountains) We are having trouble getting Michelin maps. We have one for the Dordogne, sold out of Provence. But we will look further afield.
Would the trip take us about 6 hours?
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 02:57 PM
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Oh sorry another question, Diesel or petrol?

Which is best.
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Diesel is better - slightly cheaper and you'll get very much better mileage - but it's unlikely to be an issue because unless you rent a toy car it's going to be a diesel anyway.

I've driven between the Dordogne and the Luberon many times and it always takes me 5-6 hours (but I'm a bit of a wuss on that autoroute - I hate all the trucks and the parts where it's 6 lanes wide. Even though the A20's been extended in recent years north of Toulouse it still might take you that long, as they are strictly enforcing the 130 km per hour speed limit on that route.
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Jan 31st, 2009, 03:47 PM
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6 lanes wide we will be "wusses" as well. Not to mention driving on the other side of the road and not knowing where we are going. That may be a stressful day. I am usually the navigator in our family. We are hoping to get cars with GPS in them (I have not used one before).

Are there may tolls? Are there toll booths, do we need correct money?

We definitely wont be going over 130km. We only have 110km zones in Australia
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2009, 07:32 PM
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Stay in the right lane, aussie! Yes, there are tolls...you'll get plenty of advance notice that they are coming up. I always go in the pay-as-you-go lanes at the tolls because I don't have a card (you won't either). You can pay with cash.

I am not a GPS fan - but you may be. I find them a real impediment to just having a good map and knowing where I'm going (and normally having a really good navigator with me). Maybe a GPS will work well for you. I'm old-fashioned that way - I love maps and have a kind of "internal compass" that always steers me to where I'm going. My traveling-by-car fears don't involve getting lost; they involve having to drive faster than I am comfortable with on 6-lane highways with trucks, especially in inclement weather. I really would rather chew my arm off than drive the Autoroute du Sud in inclement weather alone.
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