We'll be traveling from Normandy to Paris and are trying to figure out where in Paris to drop our rental car before we head to our hotel close to the Tuileries Gardens for a few days in Paris. My first idea was to drop it at Orly and take a taxi to our hotel but there has to be a better way. Can someone recommend a convenient suburban (west) location for a rental car drop that is either right off the autoroute, at a RER or or other station or a quick taxi ride into town. I other words I'd prefer not to navigate through Paris traffic just to drop off a car. I'm not tied to any particular rental agency, aside from the fact that we'll probably be using one of the majors (Hertz, EuropaCar, Avis, etc)
In 2012, we came from the west and dropped our car at Orly airport...very easy, good access to Paris. This trip we are leaving Paris and heading west, so we are picking up the car in Versailles. Versailles is only open until 6:30 pm, but Orly is open until midnight. There is no surcharge to drop a car at the airport (at least in 2012 there wasn't), but there is a surcharge to pick up a car. (which is why we are using Versailles). We did stop in Versailles to visit the Palace before dropping the car. I found the airport easier to get to (cities, even smaller ones like Versailles can have confusing street patterns, one way streets, etc. A good GPS would be handy). The airport was well signed and a piece of cake.
For the 2011 trip, I also made the decision to drop off our rental car at Orly, coming in from the west. It was a piece of cake following the signage from the highway... I would do it again.
Just best to death right here:
I'll pick up on what Ed wrote in the link he gave you. If you drop your car at Porte Maillot, you can take Metro line 1 directly to Tuileries. It's a nine-minute ride.
What I didn't elaborate on in the other thread about La Defense (I just said it was hard to hit the car places) is that it's essentially bordered on both the northwest and southeast by the big loop in the Seine. As soon as you cross the river the first time coming in from Basse-Normandie on the A-14 you dive into a tunnel that doesn't end until you're about to cross the river again (and I think you're still channelized and forced onto the bridge). You've got two choices: hop off as soon as you first cross the river (the signs might say Saint Denise or Nanterre) and start wiggling like heck to get inside the Bd Circulaire or try to be in the right lane in the stinking dark and take the one exit that exists. I think it might dump you on Aime Cesaire but with about a ten percent success rate I might be all wrong. I've never been in that hole with a gps so I don't know if it would still be providing some kind of estimated position as it does in a short tunnel.