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We have already reserved a fast train to Caen . It arrives at 11:59am. We had planned to rent a car and be on our way. However when I look at the car rentals it says they are closed from noon to 2pm. Why is that???? So are the expenses to get the car right away very high? Also which car company is better here? Europcar, Avis, Hertz? We have always used Sixt in Germany, but not available here. Suggestions???

Also we could not find any hotel reservations in Bayeux city, so we have rented at Chateau de Bellefontaine. Has anyone stayed there? Comments? Good or bad???

Posted by
9110 posts

There are no tgv trains to Caen, you reserved something else.

You could have driven up from Paris faster than the train could make it.

They are closed for lunch.

Use whichever agency is less expensive.

You've found out that it's generally best not to make reservations for anything until you have the complete picture.


Posted by
8 posts

Actually, we were able to get a train from Paris to Caen that arrived in only 1 hour. We thought that was much better time than the slow train of 2 hours or the option of getting out of town by rental car and driving from Paris. The question is: there is something on the website of each rental that says something about special rates if the car is picked up during lunch hours. Do you or anyone have any question about the reliability of this lunch time pick up?

Any one experienced with any of the car rental places here?

Posted by
8269 posts

My suggestion: have a nice lunch in Caen and then get the car at 14:00 when they open. I've never picked up during lunch. You might want to call to see if one of the agencies will work with your schedule and then balance the costs. Or, as Ed said, go with the best rate, and as I say, enjoy lunch. We usually rent from Europcar.

Posted by
158 posts

We took the train from Paris to Bayeux and walked to our B & B fit was about a 20 minutes or so puling our luggage. We stayed at a wonderful B &B in Bayeux called le Petit Matin, it was beautiful and our host, Pascal was most gracious. We loved staying in the village because we could walk to dinner each night rather than having to drive. Have you checked out any places to stay in the country side outside of Bayeux? Maybe you can find something there. We also took a private tour of Normandy with Dale Booth, he was amazing, I highly recommend him. We split the tour with some friends since it was pricey but well worth every penny.
We rented our car from Auto Europe which was a very long walk from the B & B. The rental office was located in a gas station a little ways out of town a bit of a hike but doable. You'll think your heading out of town and when you are ready to turn back you'll see the station.

FYI: We bring our own GPS since it's cheaper than renting one. Always check the hours at the car rental place before you make the reservations, you can see them on the website. Most places close for lunch for 2 hours in the middle of the day so be prepared for that all over France.
Have fun!

Posted by
27431 posts

they are closed from noon to 2pm. Why is that????

Because French workers like to have a lunch break. Quality of life is important. It may well be a one person organization and they deserve a break.

Posted by
61 posts

On another post here on the forums I learned about the folks at for European car rentals. After reading many positive reviews about people using them for car rentals I recently booked our car rental for Spain with them; at a substantial savings over any other price I was finding. They work with all the major rental companies in Europe, and the customer service and benefits of using them for car rentals is worth looking into.

Posted by
8269 posts

Note that in the provinces a lot of people go home for lunch. So the person behind the counter may be running home to get a complete meal on the table for spouse and children, eating, and cleaning up before running back to work to open the car rental place. Not unusual outside Paris in any type of business.