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Time from arriving at CDG to driving out with a rent ca

In mid May we will be arriving at CDG at 9:30am. Our plan is to pick up our rent car and drive to Giverny to tour Monet's home & Gardens. We will then be off to Honfleur for the night. I'd like to purchase museum tickets in advance but am concerned about arriving on time.
1. What amount of time should we allow from landing to getting our rental car?

  1. If we arrive a bit late for our scheduled entrance time, will we still be able to enter Monet's Home & Gardens without buying more tckets? I asked thids question on the museum web site but did not receive an answer.


Posted by
5756 posts

FWIW. it is not unusual for picking up a rental car to take a couple of hours in France -- certainly one hour would be unremarkable. Immigration averages about an hour for us, but sometimes it is 15 minutes and there have been reports here of it taking 2 hours; it is not predictable. There is no grab and go at the car rentals -- it is in our experience long and tedious. We have also had to wait for cars to be returned because they didn't have the car we booked (this at FCO however ). I think you can use your Giverny ticket any time that day, but haven't tested it.

It is extraordinarily unwise to do an overnight flight from the US and then extensive driving in a foreign country -- it puts every one on the road with you as well as your own car at risk.

Posted by
21 posts

We arrived on Sunday at 11:15am and had a rental car booked for 12:30pm. It took maybe five minutes to get through the border check. I bought my Paris Museum Pass at the TI on the way to the rental car agency. We also stopped in the bathroom to change clothes. We arrived at the rental counter a little before 12:30. There was no one in line ahead of us. It took 10 minutes or so before we had our keys. I showed my passport, my drivers license, and my international drivers permit. This was with Sixt at CDG just this week.

It’s possible that we were very lucky with the airport just not being busy right at that moment.

Posted by
6669 posts

Veritaserum27 --- you wasted all that good luck on a car rental?--- that was when you should have bought a lotto ticket!

Posted by
768 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,

I agree with the, caution of driving in a strange pa=;lace with a strange car so soon after an 8+ hour flight. I have done it, I don't do it any more. It is asking for grief.

I would think 2 hours to get your car. By that time it is time to eat, so another hour or more. Then finding your way to Monet's home. That will take some time. I think you get on the A13 but off at Bennetton and then back roads to Giverny.

And getting from Giverny to Honfleur that is drive in itself. In total it will require a lot of adrenaline.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
1142 posts

In the strongest terms possible, I would discourage your attempting to drive this far after an all night transatlantic flight. Fatigue is the #1 killer on the autoroutes of France. Either stay one night in Paris or take the train to Caen and visit Giverney on your return.

Posted by
18 posts

Tjhank you all for the replies. With your advice in mind, we will spend the first night in Giverney. Gratefully we will be flying Business Class. From past experiences, we are very good sleepers and arrive refreshed. With that being said...y'all are right about shortening that 1st day drive. Thank you!

Posted by
52 posts

Check into staying nearby in Vernon, rather than Giverny, more options and some very good restaurants. If you sleep on the plane, that will help, but you have a long drive ahead. We had that straight from the airport to the road trip experience years ago and oh my gosh, we got lost so many times. We still talk about being trapped in the Vernon Vortex. Enjoy Giverny! One of the most picturesque spots in la belle France...excuse the pun.
We find that from deplaning to trudging through immigration and customs to getting to whatever mode of transport we have planned takes a good hour at CDG. Car rental can be quick or slow depending on your rental company helps if you are a Gold customer!