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Car rental drop off Paris

We are renting a car in southern France and will drop it off in Paris on the day before our departure home from CDG.

We will have been in Paris on the front end of the trip but it would be nice to have one final night there for dinner and not have to worry about car drop off at CDG on the morning of our flight. Any suggestions for a town or location outside Paris where we can drop off the car the day before without a lot of hassle, something close to a train line as we will be staying in Paris on final night. I'd prefer not to have to drive in Paris if possible but maybe I'm worrying too much about that.

Thanks in advance.

Posted by
388 posts

Since you are coming from southern France, could you just drop the car down there? Maybe in Avignon or Lyon? There are high speed direct trains from both of these cities back to Paris that run regularly. You can find train schedules on Tickets can also be purchased through Rail Europe via our website.

Posted by
345 posts

We are doing the same thing in a month and after doing a bit of research on best options, I choose to just return it to CDG and then train into the city. If you have an early flight you would be better off staying in one of the hotels at the airport, and just going into the city for dinner. They are pretty inexpensive.

Posted by
2949 posts

I agree you are wise not to plan on driving in Paris; it's just not that much fun. You could drop off the car at CDG and stay in a hotel near the airport, or take the train into the city and stay in a hotel there, then return next day for your flight.

Posted by
4125 posts

That's a looong drive from "southern France" to Paris. And the trains a a lot faster.

So I'm with Abe. You should do yourself a favor—you'll have more time in Paris and be less highwayed out.

Posted by
1878 posts

I gather you are definitely going all the way back up to Paris to fly home (otherwise might suggest flying open jaw). I concur with those who said take the train back up north. If somehow you do decide to drop the car at Orly, have a good map and be aware that it may not be that well signed. Maybe we were just tired, or not observant, but we went round and round trying to drop the car at Orly. You would think that dropping a rental car at an airport would be the easiest thing in the world, but we accidentally drove into Paris twice (!).

Posted by
729 posts

I agree that taking the train from southern France would be faster and more relaxing. Avignon would be an easy drop off place. If you decide to drive back, we dropped off at Orly and didn't have any troubles. You can look up a map of Orly on the Internet and know where to go before you arrive.

Posted by
178 posts

I agree with the others about taking the train from Avignon. We took the train directly to CDG and stayed overnight at a hotel there for our morning flight home.

Posted by
430 posts

Lots of people suggest avoiding driving in Paris at all costs. I am not among them. We've driven in Paris on every trip so far, will again this summer. It's city driving but nothing all that dramatic. If you are lost, pull over and reconnoiter. If you miss a turn, take the next one. You won't end up in the desert or a narrow mountain track - it's Paris, for goodness sake. I don't go to France just so I can experience driving in Paris, but it's not horrible, either. I don't understand why there is so much opposition to it. To me it's just city driving.
As for dropping off your car, look up your car rental company and google "locations near Paris" (or "locations in Paris", if that's your intent). All the locations will pop up and you can choose which one is best for you. Most maps will show RER or metro stops, so you can see how near to one you will be. Personally, I would rather deal with returning the car to CDG than get on public transportation with all my luggage.
We've dropped off at CDG in the past and didn't find it difficult. If you miss a turn, keep driving. It seems to me that most airports expect missed turns and give you a chance to go around and try again.
I hope you have lots of fun whatever you choose.

Posted by
6725 posts

I'd just drop it at Orly and take a cab to your final night's lodging. No point adding the additional expense of a train. It is not that big a deal to drive and drop in Paris itself which we have also done, but if you do that be sure you have VERY good directions to the drop point as they are underground and not hard to spot unless you know exactly where you are going.

A cab is only 30 Euro from Orly to a hotel on the left bank and dropping at airports is easy. No point going all away around Paris to CDG coming from the south. Also on our last trip we changed the drop location 3 time from CDG, to la Defense to Orly as our plans changed without any problem. We had to scrap our Brittany leg of the trip and ultimately Orly was the most convenient drop since we didn't want to drive in Paris this time.