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Car Rental in Paris: driving the city of romance and love
The City of Light and Fashion, Paris is also recognized around the world as a center for romance, fine cuisine, and lively cultural activities and arts. Make the most of your visit to this enormous metropolitan area by getting a feel for its surroundings as well! Book your rental car today and drive out into the Parisian countryside.
Paris witnesses four distinct though moderate seasons each year. Winters rarely freeze and summer temperatures typically linger between 16 and 25 degrees Celsius (60 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit), making summer a comfortable time to visit the city. However, if you are planning a summer visit, expect many other tourists to be there too!
French is the official language of France and attempts to speak French are appreciated throughout the country. Though many French people know a basic level of English, fluency is limited anywhere outside of the most popular tourist destinations.
Paris is located in the Central European Time Zone, UTC+1.
The currency in France is the euro, and credit cards are widely accepted throughout the country. Still, it’s advisable to visit an ATM, which can be found all over, and have some cash on hand for bakeries and other smaller shops.
Automobile hire is available in over 75 locations throughout Paris, including Charles De Gaulle, Orly, Le Bourget, and Beauvais Airports, as well as on the Champs Elysee, in Montmartre, and at all major railway stations, such as Gare du Nord.
As a member of the Schengen Agreement, 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 arrive.
Driving in Paris
Most of Paris’s roads were planned during the medieval period, making roads winding, narrow, and often counterintuitively connected to each other. Driving in the inner city can be comfortable in the evening, though even then, you are likely to find the streets quite full, traffic fast-paced when not congested, and parking spots few and far between. If you plan to rent a car for the length of your visit to the city, consider parking at a suburban train station and commuting into the city via subway.
- Traffic proceeds on the right-hand side of the road throughout continental Europe.
- In the city: 50 km/h
- Two- to three-lane highways: 90 to 110 km/h
- Rural four-lane highways: 130 km/h
- Traffic is particularly congested during morning and evening rush hours, which typically peak respectively at 8:30 am and 6:30 pm.
- Street parking is relatively inexpensive and charges typically apply from Monday through to Saturday, 7 am to 9 pm. Purchase a Paris Carte at tobacco shops to make parking meters easier to use. Parking is very difficult to find, however, so book a hotel with complementary parking or take advantage of frequent, though expensive, parking garages.
- 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 your entry onto the highway, which you will require to pay the toll when you exit the highway near your final destination.
- 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.
Cheap Car Rental in Paris
Car hire in Paris typically starts at around $15 a day, though prices are available as low as $9 depending on the season in which you visit. Here are some of the best deals in Paris:
- Fiat 500 or similar (mini class) – $15/day
- Ford Fiesta or similar (economy class) – $17/day
- Opel Mokka or similar (compact class) – $27/day
- Peugeot 2008 or similar (intermediate class) – $29/day
- Opel Insignia or similar (standard class) – $44/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 Paris
There is some seasonal variation in price for rental cars in Paris, where you’re likely to find that prices go up in the late spring and throughout the summer.
To get the best prices in Paris, rent from popular locations with significant diversity in rental car agencies, such as Gare du Nord and Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airports. At these locations, rental car agencies such as Avis and Budget offer lower prices. Keep an eye out for discounts of around 8% from these agencies. Occasionally smaller agencies such as InterRent offer even better prices, driving them down from $20 to an unbeatable $9 a day!
If you’re renting from internationally recognized agencies, you can typically save around $5 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.