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City To Pick-Up Rental Car In Normandy Area

We will be in France in early October. Starting trip with a few days in Paris and then heading to Normandy before we embark on a driving tour of several of the French wine regions. A friend who has been to France a number of times suggested we take a train from Paris to Caen, and pick up our rental car there. Would this be the best spot in the Normandy area to get the car, or is there a better option for a City in which to pick the car up. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

Posted by
4158 posts

Picking up the car in Caen is best , the rental agencies are across the street from the train station . I did this a little differently - Leaving Paris early AM , we picked up the car in Rouen and spent some time there , then drove on to Honfleur and wound up at our hotel in Bayeux at the end of the day . Something to consider .

Posted by
7708 posts

Unfortunately, I never actually took the trip, but based on my looking, I was going to pick up the car in Caen. But I was also going to do the museum there, then proceed to Bayeux. I also was looking at heading as far east as Honfleur on the return, so Caen made sense.

Posted by
7063 posts

It depends where you are planning to go first in Normandy.
For D-Day sites, then Caen is the best place; Bayeux has limited options too.
For Honfleur or Etretat, Le Havre is better.
For Rouen and the Seine Valley, Rouen itself is convenient (and a quick train ride from Paris too)
For Giverny, renting in Paris itself works, or you can head to Mantes La Jolie where there are a few options too.

Posted by
1170 posts

What balso said. I'd just add if you are looking primarily at Mont-Saint-Michel and/or points south of there, Rennes would be an excellent place to take a train and pick up a rental car. But when going to Bayeux of the D-day sights, Caen is an excellent and convenient place.

Posted by
7063 posts

I almost mentioned Mont Saint Michel, but didn't want to spark the debate on whether Mont Saint Michel is in Normandy or in Brittany (a hot topic for inhabitants of both regions). Thank you for the addition!