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I will be driving through Provence for a couple of days and am leaning towards renting a GPS with the car. Does anyone have any experience with renting a GPS in France? It is about 13 euros a day . Would a good map suffice or is the GPS worth the expense?

Posted by
1748 posts

Hi Alan,

We bought a Garmin and brought it with us as we were driving around for 2 weeks. It was totally worth it. I don't know how we lived without it before. It helps you get where you are going in the towns and villages but you don't really need it for the highways where maps suffice. As you are only going to be there for a couple of days, renting one would be your best option unless you plan on using a gps for future trips.


Posted by
8293 posts

Alan, of course a good map will suffice. Been travelling in Europe for years with just maps, but no doubt a GPS would be easier, and certainly trendier. But 13 euro per day is an awful lot for the convenience.

Posted by
332 posts

I echo the advice about bringing your own. That way you get to practice using it at home, and over a few trips it will more than pay for itself. I bring maps and use them to get a sense of the route to take, but a gps is very handy in case you miss a turn (happens going thru small towns with lots of roundabouts) and for general peace of mind. This past summer I was going to the car dropoff place in a city with a lot of oneway streets and it took a few passes (of about 1 mile loops) by the train station to find the poorly marked entrance for rental car return. It would have been almost impossible to navigate this on the fly even if someone had a map open in their lap; but the gps kept showing all the turns to get to the station.

And lest I sound like I'm saying tech is wonderful, ditch the maps, the GPS did give what seemed like lousy routes in rural areas. It had me going down small roads when there was a larger road nearby; maybe by its calculations it found a shorter/quicker route, but it would have been easier to stay on more main routes even if it took another 5-10 minutes.

Posted by
139 posts

I brought an atlas, printed directions, our GPS and the rental car had a built in GPS. Ended up mainly using the iphone. Gave the GPS and atlas to some other Americans halfway thru the trip.

Data not issue because of T-mobile. The car's GPS kept wanting us to get off highways (maybe it was set to 'avoid tolls' but we couldn't figure out how to change that because we didn't really need to bother) but it did helps us get around a traffic jam.