I am planning to arrive at London Heathrow on May 16 at 8 am and tour Cotswolds & Bath region until May 23rd. I was planning to take the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Caen, France. I am planning to tour Normandy, Loire Valley, Alsace, Luxembourg and depart Charles de Gaulle airport on June 3rd at 2 pm. I'm pretty sure I can't rent a car in London and drop it in Paris. At this point I am planning on a rental car from LHR and drop in Southhampton; and renting a car in Caen and dropping it at CDG. Car rentals are about $80 per day and ferry is around $200. Can anyone provide any alternative options. Help!
Drop car in Bath or Bristol
Train to London
Eurostar London to Paris
Either hire car in Paris or train to Normandy and hire a car.
Then do that in reverse.
I think your plan sounds good. The overnight ferry is a good use of time as you don’t waste a day travelling. I’ve only done it once and it was great. Finish work, drive to Portsmouth. Quick pizza for dinner then onto the ferry. You arrive nice and early the next morning and you’re at your destination by lunchtime or sooner. It will take a long time to get from Bath to Normandy via London and the Eurostar and I highly doubt it will be cheaper.
Surely theres somewhere in Portsmouth you could drop the car. You'd only have to catch a train from Southampton to Portsmouth then get from the station to the port.
The old port building certainly had car hire. Not sure about the new building. The one time I've been there I shot through in 10 minutes flat onto my ship, so wasn't really looking too much at what was there.
I think your plan sounds good. The overnight ferry is a good use of
time as you don’t waste a day travelling. I’ve only done it once and
it was great. Finish work, drive to Portsmouth. Quick pizza for dinner
then onto the ferry.
I don't disagree - except that the OP will have rented a car at Heathrow and may not be able to drop it off in Paris. That issue is being discussed in this parallel topic here: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/england/rental-car-in-england-france
I got the impression she wants to do 2 separate car rentals and take the ferry as a foot passenger. It’s a lot more than £200 to take a car on the ferry so it will be more economical that way.