Where to pick up a car near Paris

Old Feb 22nd, 2002, 04:05 PM
pat klontz
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Where to pick up a car near Paris

Where is the best place to pick up a rental car near Paris that would keep me out of the worst of the city traffic? Versailles maybe? I am willing to take a train out a ways. I tried to search since I am sure this questions has come up, but nothing would load. We want to meander toward Provence, but I want to deal with as little of the traffic near Paris as possible. Thanks for any help. Pat
Old Feb 22nd, 2002, 04:25 PM
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Pat, you're asking the very question I
was about to pose - we're staying in the
7 eme and need to pick up a car for the
trip to Provence. We will be carrying
(or at least one of us will <eg>) a
very large bike box plus luggage so the
easiest route would be the best!

Old Feb 22nd, 2002, 04:31 PM
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We dropped off our car in Versailles to take the train into Paris. There were 3 of us, we dropped off our luggage and a girl at the train station, returned the car not too far from the station. You could do the whole thing in reverse. I don't remember which rental we used - Hertz maybe? Anyway, Versailles worked out great.
Old Feb 22nd, 2002, 05:53 PM
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Since you will be heading south, how about picking it up at Orly? On my map it looks like it would be pretty easy to get to the A6 and you're home free. If you want to get a bit further out you could see if you could pick it up in Melun or Fontainebleau. Not sure about train to Fontainebleau, but the RER line D2 goes to Melun.
Old Feb 22nd, 2002, 06:01 PM
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we always taxi to either airport and pick the car up there..depending if we are going North or south...You can train to the first stop on your itinerary, but that will cost as much as taxi fare...and you'll miss some sights along the way.. we also always try to leave Paris on a sat or sunday!
Not hard to plan if you fly in on Thus or Friday and want to rest up..and it's cheaper flying too!
Old Feb 23rd, 2002, 05:02 AM
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We did exactly that two years ago. Took the RER to Versailles to pick up rental car. It works but isn't necessarily that easy. I guess it depends on which rental car company you use. I'm sorry I don't remember which one we used but it was about a 15-20 minute walk from the train. Now terrible but with luggage and all it could be tiring. Also, remember there are two RER stations in Versailles so make sure you know which one is closer to your car company. Probably not the one near palace. Just do your research ahead of time - we arranged our rentals from a AAA travel agent here and he assured us the car rental agency was right near the train. When we got to Paris and called the guy at the rental agency said they were no where near the train. I guess it depends on if you consider a 15-20 minute walk "near". I'm planning on using Orly next time.
Old Feb 23rd, 2002, 06:32 AM
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When we rented a car just for a day, we picked it up at Avis right in the big underground garage at St. Sulpice. From there it is a really short and easy route to the river to follow the major street and then everything is well marked to the autoroutes. It was just as easy we felt as doing transport clear out of the city. If we had been leaving with luggage and had been staying in one of our usual places in the 6th, we probably would have even swung by the hotel after getting the car to get our luggage -- but admittedly that could be a little more hassle than you want to deal with. In any case, a taxi to St. Sulpice from most left bank locations is a pretty easy and cheap deal (assuming you need a taxi with your luggage).
Incidentally, that one day rental was a great deal when we spent a day going out to Giverny and Honfleur. The garage is open all night and we could return the car and leave it even after Avis was closed.
Old Feb 23rd, 2002, 07:30 AM
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I would opt for pickup at Orly. If you are staying in the 7eme,you could pick up the Air France Bus at their Aerogard des Invalides station (probably walkable from your hotel)which then makes a stop at Montparnasse and then on to Orly. This rids you of the luggage problem if you are staying near one of these stops.
Old Feb 23rd, 2002, 07:42 AM
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Pat, there are several rental agencies right at Invalides in the 7th. We drove into Paris (at rush hour!) and dropped off our car there. We were renting from Auto Europe. If you time your pickup not to coincide with morning or evening rush hour you should be OK. You drive a short distance out to the peripherique and you're on your way. Get a good map. Doing this would save schlepping your luggage onto the metro. Hope this helps.
Old Feb 23rd, 2002, 08:49 AM
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A couple of years ago we took the train to Fountainblue and got a car there to go to Lyon and then up the Loire Valley. It was easy and we used AutoEurope.
Old Feb 23rd, 2002, 09:14 AM
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I agree with Patrick and Betsy. We rent from Europcar and leave from the city, preferably on a weekend, using the most direct route to the Peripherique. Michelin puts out a pocket-sized, spiral bound Atlas Routier you can get over there. This is handy for the major routes. We also carry the giant version and also use mappy and viamichelin.

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