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Car Hire in France
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Car Rental in France: discover a land of diversity
While public transportation is excellent in the majority of France’s cities, you won’t want to stay put in the inner city for long; instead, rent a car today and make the most of your visit to France by discovering its regional diversity! A trip to Paris or Bordeaux is incomplete without a drive through the surrounding countryside.
France is an ideal country to visit year round, with warmer temperatures in the south and cooler, more temperate temperatures in the north. Given the huge landmass of the country, outdoor experiences are widely ranging, from the alpine to the coastal and all the joys of wine-country in between.
French is the official language of France and attempts to speak French are appreciated throughout the country; though many French people have learned some English, fluency is limited anywhere outside of the most popular tourist destinations.
The currency in France is the Euro, and credit cards are widely accepted throughout the country. Still, it’s advisable to visit the ubiquitous ATMs and have some cash on hand for bakeries and other smaller shops.
France is located in the Central Time Zone, UTC+1.
The largest country in Western Europe by area, France is best discovered via road trip. Nantes is located 385 km (240 mi) southwest of Paris, and Bordeaux is located another 350 km (217 mi) south from Nantes along the coastline. The 500 kilometers (310 mi) of highway between Toulouse and Cannes in the south make for a particularly beautiful drive.
Cheap car hire in France is available in the vast majority of cities and towns, though you’ll likely be able to rent at the most competitive price in larger cities, such as:
- Paris in the north
- Nice and Marseille in the south
- Lyon and Grenoble in the east
- and Bordeaux and Nantes in the west.
As a Schengen country, France accepts visitors from many countries around the world visa-free for up to 90 days. Double check entry requirements for your nationality before you depart, as you may be required to apply for a visa in advance of your departure to France or register your arrival at a police or border control station once you do arrive.
Driving in France
With excellent highway infrastructure and well-maintained roads, France is best discovered via rental car. Don’t make the mistake of sticking to the country’s phenomenal inner cities, but be sure to visit the French countryside, whether you meander through the vineyards outside Bordeaux or hop from coastal village to coastal village. Treat yourself to a visit away from the bustle of the cities by booking your rental car today.
- Traffic proceeds on the right-hand side of the road.
- In cities and towns: 50 km/h (31 mph)
- Two- to three-lane highways: 90 to 110 km/h (55 mph to 68 mph)
- Rural four-lane highways: 130 km/h (80 mph)
- Parking is regulated by time and fee in France; take advantage of parking garages in city centers to avoid time limits on the crowded streets.
- Your domestic driver’s license is sufficient for driving and renting in France, provided it is valid for the length of your rental contract.
- Many of France’s motorways are tolled; you’ll pick up a ticket marking you entry onto the highway, which you will require for the calculation of your toll when you ultimately exit the highway near your final destination.
- Particularly in Paris, you can be fined for honking your horn for no urgent reason.
- The minimum driving age in France is 18 years old. You will likely have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car and will face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
- Most rentals will only be available with a standard transmission.
Cheap Car Rental in France
Car hire in France typically starts as low as $10 a day, depending on the region in which you rent. Here are some of the best deals in France:
- Peugeot 108 or similar (mini class) – $14/day
- Renault Clio or similar (economy class) – $16/day
- Citroen C3 or similar (economy class) – $19/day
- Dacia Duster or similar (intermediate class) – $24/day
- Opel Meriva or similar (compact class) – $29/day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in France
As is expected, renting a car in Paris, particularly at one of the many airports, is the cheapest option for automobile hire in France. Car rental in Nice and Marseilles is also typically less than $23 a day, whereas rental in Bordeaux or Lyon typically runs around $35 a day. If you’re planning on flying into Paris and travelling south, consider renting a car as soon as you land to take the most advantage of the area’s inexpensive pricing!
AutoClick is by far the cheapest rental agency in France, though Keddy by Europсar is also an inexpensive option. You may want to run the risk of waiting to rent until shortly before your departure, as these companies tend not to offer cars far in advance.