My husband, daughter and I are flying into CDG airport mid-June. We are driving to Brussels, then onto Germany. We've been to Paris before and remember the driving being very busy. We are worried with lack of France language knowledge, we will have a difficult time driving from the airport to our destination. Thoughts?
So, you're staying in the Montmartre area of Paris before continuing to Brussels? Drive with stops along the way? And then would you drop the car back in France or in Germany? Please give us the whole plan. It's usually cheaper to pick up and drop off a car within one country. I'd be thinking about taking the direct Thalys train from Paris to Brussels, and then probably also a train to Cologne or other German destination, before switching to car. Or at the least, don't pick up a car until you're ready to depart Paris.
I'd strongly advise that you take a regular taxi from CDG, get to your lodging in Montmartre, then pre-book a car at Gare Saint Lazare when you are ready to leave Montmartre.
There are flat fees going to and from the airport, either 50 or 55 EU, depending on your destination. You would pay 50 EU for up to 4 passengers and their luggage.
It's a good idea to print the complete address of your destination, including the Postal Code, and hand it to the driver, so there won't be any confusion.
Parking garages are very scarce and expensive in Montmartre, parking is severely limited on the streets, and since you will be renting a car, you will be responsible to pay all parking tickets.
I have my car rental for the day we depart from Paris to Brussels. I want to take public transportation while in Paris for 2 days, then drive to Brussels. I have an apartment in Brussels for one night that has a garage for parking included. Then we will be driving to a small town (Rees, Nordrhein-Westfalen) in Germany to meet up with some friends for two nights. Then we will be driving to Berlin from there for 5 nights, then back to Paris for one final night (dropping off the rental car at CDG). I am starting to get nervous about driving in and out of Paris (CDG airport).
So if I understand correctly, you are going out to the airport to get the car and will leave from there. If you have a GPS, it will make it a lot easier for you to find the correct roads and turns leaving the airport for Brussels, as well as returning the car.
I would say if you are driving into '75', don't. If you can get a train or a taxi, get it. Would you drive in Manhatten or downtown Toronto if you lived in rural Iowa or Ontario? This is Paris.
Take the train or taxi if you can. You will be more comfortable.
So, if I understand your second post, you won't be driving from CDG to Montmartre as the thread title implies, but rather from Paris (CDG? Elsewhere?) to Brussels and back to CDG. If that's correct, you shouldn't have much trouble. CDG has heavy traffic but no more so than many big-city airports. Don't know about Brussels but evidently you have parking there. No reason to drive into or out of central Paris. And you should plan to return the car to the country where you got it (but doesn't have to be the same location). GPS would be worthwhile, especially if you don't know enough French for road signs and such.
Here on this website is a lot of good info re driving in Europe, if that helps.
Why is the thread title "Driving a rental car from CDG to Montmartre"??
You still haven't shared the full itinerary (fear of hackers?), but I would suggest that there is no benefit to having a car while visiting Brussels. It's a stretch, but sometimes car rental companies don't approve of taking a car into a non-contiguous country from the country of rental. You have to give them a list of countries before they print the contract, or you could be in violation of the contract. See if you need an Umweltplakette for any of your German stops.
Brussels is pretty well connected with Paris by train, so you might as well go that way. I would add that I once rented a car at the Cologne railroad station when ready to leave Cologne, if that happens to be your first stop in Germany. You also don't want a car in a big city in Germany.
I agree that if your drive away from Paris begins at CDG, you don't have to worry about the Parisian traffic. You are right that you (and I) don't want to drive inside the city of Paris. And I drive in New York City three times a week or so.
Thank you all for your replies. Yes, you are correct, I titled my question incorrectly, I apologize for the confusion. We will have Google Maps to use as a GPS on our iPhone, so that should help.
One point to keep in mind is that for driving in France, each driver listed on the rental form will require either the compulsory International Driver's Permit, which is used in conjunction with your home D.L. or a certified translation of the terms of your home D.L in French. You can easily obtain an I.D.P. at any AAA/CAA office for a small fee, and the Permit is valid for one year.
I'd plan to return the rental car at the nearest train station when you arrive back from Brussels. You should be able to arrange this.
Then, I'd take a taxi to the airport. You'll probably live longer...
Thanks for all the great advice! So glad I happened upon this forum.
tfeiten, you can edit the title.