Please sign in to post.

Observations on car rental in France

I read somewhere that you are required to carry an emergency kit with orange triangle in the car (not even in the trunk). Our Europcar (Peugeot 2008) did not include one and I didn't realize it until we were well on our way. For now we've got our fingers crossed;)

We did think to ask how to put it into reverse (our gear shift does not have markings) and also what gas to put in.

We did get a manual which helped us sort out a few mystery buttons/lights.

My sister's Europcar (Peugeot 2008 diesel) does have markings on the gear shift; did not come with a manual, and did include the emergency kit. She did not ask about fuel and was confronted with 4 different diesel options at the station. She also needed to use the key to open the fuel cap.

Posted by
28133 posts

A triangle and a hi vis vest are required in France - in the inside of the car because you are not allowed to put on the hi-vis on the roadside and not allowed to dig in back of the car for the triangle.

Posted by
552 posts

As far as the fuel goes, go with the cheapest (black) grade. It should be fine. And anyone at the station should be able to get the cap open for you. Have fun!

Posted by
28133 posts

Be careful using a black hose or black nozzle if you want petrol. Black is usually diesel.

Posted by
215 posts

We rented from Europcar 2 weeks ago. The safety kit was in the car, right on the backseat, the gear shift had marking but they weren't lit up for night driving. One thing I wasn't expecting was the agent we got the car from said he needed an International Driving permit. France wasn't on the list of countries that you need one in so we didn't get one. I was a bit nervous she wouldn't give us the car but she did. As far as gas, we had a Fiat diesel and the gas tank door had the type of gas written right on it.

Posted by
761 posts

Sorry to hear about your experience but not surprised. I spent 37 years in the auto industry and very early in my career I came to wish that my company would stop selling cars to rental agencies because of the sad condition of many of the cars I rented on trips. The condition of the car you get from a rental company is a total crap shoot depending on what company you rent from and where you pick it up. Some are good and some are terrible. As to the absence of a manual, it may have been stolen by a previous renter or the rental company may have removed it when they first got the car to make sure they would have one to put in it when they resold it. Being retired I have the luxury of taking long enough vacations that I can lease and not have the rental car headaches.