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Car Rental - Flying into Charles de Gaulle Airport

My family and I are flying into Charles de Gaulle and would like to rent a car somewhere (airport or nearby town) and head towards Normandy area.
I am looking for suggestions on whether it would be best to do it right at the airport, where we eventually return for our flight back to the States (and instructions on where and how)
Or whether it's better to take a train to a nearby city/town and do it there (Again, where and how, please)
I appreciate the feedback!

Posted by
2954 posts

Very simple to rent a car at the airport. The rental facilities (pick up and return) are in the large area between the terminals, an easy walk from the arrivals area. As mentioned, traveling part way by train is expensive and inconvenient for a family - hauling luggage, changing trains, finding a rental car office in the next town.

Check the rentals offered by AutoEurope, highly recommended on this website. Great selection, price and customer service.

Posted by
3052 posts

Depending where in Normandy you want to go, you could take the train and wait until the next day to rent a car. This would avoid having you drive while jetlagged. You'd want to choose a sizeable city, not just for train convenience but also so that you can have a fair choice of rental cars.

The train from CDG to Caen, for example, takes about 3.5 hours. See

Posted by
818 posts

Rented our car at CDG for our trip to Normandy.......very easy and nice to have it. We drove from CDG to Gerberoy and then on to Giverny the first night to see Monet’s home and gardens. Loved the drive through the French countryside!

Posted by
4829 posts

I love driving through the French countryside especially Normandy (and Brittany, too). But we have never picked up a car at CDG and driven immediately after a flight. We usually start with a short train ride (for you perhaps Vernon or Rouen?) and then pick up a car, often the morning after our flight. We've driven in most major U.S. cities, but in a place with a different language, different signs, on top of being tired and jet lagged seems like a bad idea, and we are folks that typically go "full steam ahead" right upon arrival.My only caveat is that both my husband and I can drive a manual transmission car. If you need an automatic you need to specifically request or pick up from a major location.