Rental car pick up outside of Paris

We plan to pick up a rental car as we leave Paris and head to Omaha Beach (Formigny). From there we begin our two week trip (Paris-Normandy-Reims-Colmar-Burgundy area-Annecy-Avignon) and drop the car in Aix (flying home from Marseille).
I was going to pick up the car in Caen but the rail for 2 is about $70USD. Do you have a suggestion for picking the car up on the outskirts of Paris that would be accessible by metro (be mostly out of Paris traffic but not incur extra rail costs). We have traveled through Italy, Spain and Portugal but this will be our first time renting a car in Europe. We have always traveled by public transportation. Also if anyone has any favorite small towns or places to stay along our route we are just beginning our planning and would appreciate your suggestions. This trip is in September 2015.

Posted by Carol
Martinez, CA, USA
768 posts

In 2010 we rented a car from Budget/Alamo rental car and picked it up and returned it at this address: Neuilly Sur Seine, 99 Av Charles De Gaulle,Paris. It is across the street from the Les Sablons metro. We took the metro from our hotel to get the car. Easy access to the freeway to head to Honfleur and Bayaux, and on. Easy to return also, but if you use this location add at least an extra hour to your drive time. We were stuck in traffic around 10am and just barely returned the car in time, even though we allowed extra time to the driving time our hotel told us to expect. Upon return we took the metro to our connection to the train the the airport.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
9110 posts

Carol's way has merit in that de Gaulle is the N13 (your initial road which will become the A14 right after you surface from the La Defense tunnel and eventually becomes the A13 the rest of the way) but, it's on the pesky side street that goes the wrong way and you might have to go way the heck back toward town before you can find a traffic signal or work up the gumption to slip across congested oncoming traffic and get headed the right way.

If you get a car at Nord, all you have to do is hook a left out of the garage, a right at the first intersection, then another right at the first fat street. You will have driven about three blocks and never made a cross-traffic turn. Now you're on Barbes, a fairly calm four-laner which you have to endure for a whole mile and a half until you pass under the peripherique and hop on it headed counter-clockwise. Get off when you see signs toward Rouen and stick with them until you're well-established on the A13 in about twenty minutes.

I don't have much truck with Budget/Avis. Nord has Europcar and I'm sure Aix would (actually, they may be the one that's on the first right off of the Mandela circle before you get to the circle at the bottom of the Cours), so there won't be a compatibility problem.