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Rent car outside Paris for drive to Normandy?

Rent car outside Paris for drive to Normandy?

Old Oct 1st, 2022, 03:09 PM
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Rent car outside Paris for drive to Normandy?

Hi, To avoid driving in Paris, can you suggest an area to rent a car for the drive to Normandy/Brittany (with a stop at Giverny)? I appreciate you advice.
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 06:06 PM
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About 10 years ago, we were staying near the Louvre. Took a taxi to the car rental place which was near the Eiffel Tower, Napoleon's Tomb about 10 AM. Got in, drove sort of east to Arc du Triumphe sp entering at 9 o'clock, drove around the circle, left at 12 o-clock, headed to Normandy.
Precious little traffic, took about 20-30 minutes to be on the road to Normandy. Trip took maybe 2 hours to Honfluer area, total ???? Easy.
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 06:18 PM
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We rented a car at the train station that was near the direction we needed to drive out of the city.
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 08:17 PM
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Now that the speed limit in most of the streets of Paris is 30 km/h, there is little about which to feel nervous (especially since the average speed of cars in the city is 18 km/h).
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Old Oct 2nd, 2022, 06:56 AM
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Thanks all for the great suggestions. I may go back to original plan and rent car at CDG and start drive from there.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2022, 07:54 AM
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If you really don't want to pick up the car in Paris, consider Versailles. Fewer companies to choose from, but per AutoEurope the rates are lower.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2022, 09:26 AM
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Do you really think it is reasonable to pay the price to go to a suburban location to pick up a car when you are going to be driving in France? The airports are the absolute worst places because the roads are super confusing and mostly want to send you in the direction of Paris which is kind of normal for a Paris airport. As for the other suburbs, the agencies usually have about 3 cars on hand which might not be at all what you want. Meanwhile, the agencies at the big train stations in Paris have at least 50 cars in stock and have very extensive hours 7 days a week. Good luck.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2022, 03:48 PM
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Two ways to avoid driving in Paris: Either 1) rent at the airport or 2) take the train somewhere else and rent there. In 2018 we rented a car (Hertz) near our Paris hotel in the 5th district and dropped it at CDG after 2 weeks. It worked out pretty well, although there aren't many hotel options near CDG if you want to arrive the night before departure.
In 2006 we rented a car (Hertz again) at the Gare du Nord station because we were staying nearby in the 10th. Dropped that at CDG as well with no trouble. The nice thing about renting at a train station is that you can take the RER train from CDG to that station. I hope you do not plan to arrive in Paris and drive immediately to Normandy. Might be cheaper too.
Another idea, that we were going to use before we canceled our trip for 2020, is to rent a car in Rouen. You'll have to take a train to get there but there's a car rental agency near the train station in Rouen and you'd be well positioned for the rest of your trip. To get to Rouen I think you depart from Gare St. Lazare in Paris and it's a 2 hour train ride.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2022, 09:14 AM
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There are worse cities to drive in than Paris, but I understand the desire to avoid it. We picked up a rental car at CDG then spent the night in Senlis to avoid any significant driving on arrival day (flying in from DFW). Then, when we headed to Normandy, we drove a little bit off the beaten path and went through La Roche-Guyon (the chateau here was Rommel's headquarters during the D-Day invasion, and rather close to Giverny) so as to avoid driving into Paris. Depending on the time of day and traffic, Google may route you that way if you input CDG to Giverny.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2022, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
Now that the speed limit in most of the streets of Paris is 30 km/h, there is little about which to feel nervous (especially since the average speed of cars in the city is 18 km/h).
Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
Do you really think it is reasonable to pay the price to go to a suburban location to pick up a car when you are going to be driving in France? The airports are the absolute worst places because the roads are super confusing and mostly want to send you in the direction of Paris which is kind of normal for a Paris airport. As for the other suburbs, the agencies usually have about 3 cars on hand which might not be at all what you want. Meanwhile, the agencies at the big train stations in Paris have at least 50 cars in stock and have very extensive hours 7 days a week. Good luck.
Are you saying that the airport is worse to drive than Paris city? The zones known as LEZ or ZTL; the pedestrian only streets which need to be avoided. The bus lanes which you must not enter. Be where of the cyclist and eclectic scooters. Parking restrictions maybe.
Paris does not want cars in it's city. https://www.theverge.com/2022/2/18/2...ling-pollution
https://www.autoevolution.com/news/t...ck-171872.html
The choice of using the airport is a better one.
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Old Oct 4th, 2022, 03:15 AM
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<< Are you saying that the airport is worse to drive than Paris city? >>

Yes, I am. The OP only wants to get out of Paris and drive to Normandy, not wander through residential and tourist districts with special rules (none of which are complicated in any case). But I guess we all need to make our own mistakes. I have never owned a car in my life but have rented them from time to time in my 50 years in Paris, always to leave the city, which remains easy.
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Old Oct 4th, 2022, 04:50 AM
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So many good ideas…thank you! And yes, if I can avoid driving in a city I will.
I’ve found a completely different approach to getting to Normandy,
We’re taking a cruise that ends in Dover, England…rent a car …take the 1 1/2 hour ferry to Calais and then drive less than 2 hours to Honfleur. Or, go north to Bruges. When done exploring, ferry back to Dover and visit London at the end instead of Paris. Voila!
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Old Oct 4th, 2022, 06:01 AM
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I don't think you can take a rental car from the UK to the continent (insurance!) due to where the steering wheel is.
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Old Oct 4th, 2022, 07:24 AM
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barefootbeach, rent the car in Calais.
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Old Oct 4th, 2022, 07:36 AM
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Kerouac and Jean….you are ruining my plans! I’ll check with the car rental agency about that and Jean, you have to have a car to get on that ferry to Calais. No walk on passengers!
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Old Oct 4th, 2022, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
I don't think you can take a rental car from the UK to the continent (insurance!) due to where the steering wheel is.
Incorrect information.
https://www.enterprise.co.uk/en/car-...eanTravel.html

https://www.vroomvroomvroom.co.uk/re...ean-countries/
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Old Oct 4th, 2022, 07:56 AM
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Make sure any car you rent in the UK has a UK sticker on the back (or on the number plate) of it if you are taking it to France. French police are saying they will crack down on British cars without one, or with only a GB sticker. Check on Low Emssion Zones too, you may need a Critair sticker, which a UK rental won't have, and you can't get for it.

You can also get a ferry to Dieppe from further along the coast at Newhaven. Depending on when you are going that may be easier given the mess Dover (and Eurotunnel as well) can get into when it is busy thanks to Brexit. You will need to book a ferry (or train) in advance - often you can't just turn up and buy a ticket, though it is in theory possible and it is expensive and may not be at sailing time you would like.
Travel back along the coast and ferry back to Dover if you like. The coast is lovely right up to Calais.

If you decide on Paris then take a train to Rouen, or Rennes if you want Brittany, then hire the car. Do Giverny as a day trip from Paris.
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Old Oct 4th, 2022, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
<< Are you saying that the airport is worse to drive than Paris city? >>

Yes, I am. The OP only wants to get out of Paris and drive to Normandy, not wander through residential and tourist districts with special rules (none of which are complicated in any case). But I guess we all need to make our own mistakes. I have never owned a car in my life but have rented them from time to time in my 50 years in Paris, always to leave the city, which remains easy.
I haven't tried to drive out of Paris, but I can say that leaving the car rental facility at CDG Terminal 2 is a very circular affair. You turn so abruptly that it can be difficult for the GPS to keep up. If anyone is going to pick up a rental at CDG, I highly advise getting on Google maps before your trip and trying to virtually drive through the process of leaving the airport before doing it for real. Otherwise, you may find yourself very disoriented.
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Old Oct 4th, 2022, 05:17 PM
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Hetisimj2, very helpful info, thanks much!
tmk, CDG sounds challenging as well. Hope I can avoid Paris thus trip completely.
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Old Oct 5th, 2022, 07:40 AM
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I always train it to a stop outside the city that I want to visit such as Versailles. Pick your car up in small town of Versailles and drive on from there. Avoid headache of driving in circles just to get out of Paris.
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