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Car rental return logistics in Nice

I will be renting a car one way from Annecy to Nice. Will be returning the car on Saturday May 30. We are staying in Villefranche Sur Mer. So I’m wondering if we should drive to VSM, drop off our luggage, then drive to Nice to return the car, then take the train back to VSM? Or would it be easier to just go straight to Nice with our luggage, drop off the car and then take the train...or would Uber be a better option if we have luggage? I’m not sure how crazy traffic will be in Saturday afternoon? Or how crazy the trains will be.

Also where should I choose to return the car in Nice? At the airport? Or would Nice Gare be any less complicated? I’ll be renting through Autoeurope, probably Europcar, so just wondering what location is the least hassle. Maybe there are other locations?


Posted by
351 posts

Well, I can tell you where NOT to return it. Downtown. We had a heck of a time getting to it. Lots of one-way streets as I recall. Maybe others will have more suggestions.

Posted by
641 posts

I returned it at the Nice train station. Did not find the driving to the station, or finding the station was at all difficult. What WAS difficult was finding the Europe car return spot. It turns out that Europe (and most other rental companies) have their return on about the 6th floor of the parking garage. The sign stating that is about 2 inches tall. If you know where to go then returning at the train station would be best because then you'd just take the train, whereas from the airport you'd have to get to the train station.

Posted by
6752 posts

That’s a tricky one, Ellen. Saturday afternoon is shopping heavy in Nice, and on a holiday weekend.
I’d park it in Villefranche on Saturday but drive into Nice Sunday morning to return it. Driving to either the train station or airport will be easy (airport return there is easy fyi). Parking in Villefranche is tight, but you’ll be a lot more relaxed both Saturday and Sunday taking care of that task without traffic jams or suitcases. Then you can do Sunday markets and sightseeing in Nice.