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Where to drop off rental? Headed to Paris from Bayeux.

We will be driving all over France for a month. Our last stop is Paris. We will be coming from Bayeux in our rental car. We'd like to drop off the rental outside of Paris and take the train into the city. Any suggestions on a good spot to drop it off?

Posted by
8293 posts

Rouen would work for you and you could visit the Cathedral before you catch your train.

Posted by
386 posts

a vote for not dropping off in Rouen.

It is a medium-sized city with lots of one-way streets and so not the easiest to navigate around in. I dropped a car off at the train station in Rouen, so if you have your heart set on Rouen to drop off the car I strongly suggest picking a dropoff other than the train station!

You know the big sign in front of a large parking structure festooned with signs for car rental companies? Rouen isn't like that at all. The train station drop-off garage is one of several underground garages in the station area and isn't actually marked as the dropoff until you turn down the ramp and can see the small sign. You really ought to have a GPS to get to the station in a car; as I circled the station a few times trying to drop off the car it was about a mile every pass due to the one-way streets and I couldn't have found my way back w/o the GPS.

If I was in your shoes I'd pick a smaller town. For example Caen. You can get to Paris by train from there, even visit Rouen if you want on the way (although it may not be that convenient since you'll have your luggage with you and I don't believe that station has lockers). Or look for dropoff locations in other towns closer to Paris if you want to do more sightseeing before dropping the car.

Posted by
1 posts

We had success picking up and dropping off the car from Orly when we did a trip through Normandy several years ago. Easy to get to Orly from central Paris and far enough out that the pick up and drop off was easy. We are planning to do the same thing when we return with our kids this summer.

Posted by
7209 posts

Just drop that darned boat anchor off in Caen and jump on the train and have a relaxing entry into Paris.

Posted by
6583 posts

Caen would be an easy choice if you don't want to stop in Rouen. Car rentals are close to the train station and it's an easy train to Gare St-Lazare.

There are also car rental offices around La Defense in the western outskirts of Paris, and Porte Maillot on the western part of the Peripherique.

A lot will depend on which company you're renting from -- they may or may not have an office in the best location for you. But if you're choosing a company, this could be a consideration.

Posted by
100 posts

I agree with Tim. We dropped our car off in Caen right at the train station and it couldn't have been easier.

Posted by
32228 posts


I'd also suggest Caen, as it's a larger location and should have an office for the rental firm you'lll be using.

Posted by
8115 posts

Note that the Caen rental offices close for a long lunch; we like to have a receipt that the car is undamaged and gassed and were not able to get that in Caen and make our train. they do allow passive drops which we resorted to without penalty but we have had bogus charges in the past so try to make sure we are receipted when possible. I'd probably drop at CDG and take the RER into Paris.

It is also not that bad to just drop in central Paris but if you do that be sure you have very detailed drop instructions as drops are hidden in underground garages and not well signed. Easy if you know exactly where and have a navigator who can spot while you drive; hard if you just have the address.

If you use Caen, tickets into Paris are 15 Euro bought 3 mos in advance. Prems that you print at home.

Posted by
1014 posts

My last car rental I dropped it off at CDG. Never again during the early morning through 2:00pm. I was in central Paris, in the 9th and it took 2.5 hours to get to CDG. I was late dropping the car off and got fined an extra day. It should have been a 45 minute drive, but with road construction, and general congestion, it was horrible. I tried to drop it off in downtown, but Sixt would not let me. I rented it at CDG, so I had to drop it off there. Do yourself a favor, drop it off outside of the city and then take a bus or train into the city.

Posted by
271 posts

I would echo Bill G's reply about Rouen. It is very difficult finding the train station to drop off a car. Due to the time I wasted circling the one way streets and being misled by several signs, I was late returning the car and arrived during the lunch hour. Although I could drop off the keys, I didn't get a receipt.

Rouen is a wonderful city to visit, and the cathedral and other sites are in walking distance of the train station, but trying to drive to the station is frustrating.

Posted by
4570 posts

Gare de Lyon is an easy drop off point in Paris. Just take the Périphérique around the south side of town, then when you hit the Seine exit and follow the river a short distance to Gare de Lyon. Easy, esp if like us your lodging is just a 10 minute walk.

Posted by
3696 posts

If you are driving in from Bayeux just go straight to CDG...
Or if you want to visit Reims that is also a nice train ride in to the city.

Posted by
12172 posts

I've been looking at the opposite, picking up in Rouen. I would walk to the rental place from the train station (I'll only have a carry on). As I recall it's about four blocks. My plan was to train to Rouen early, rent the car, put my stuff in it, then walk the center and get lunch before heading toward Normandy.

Posted by
842 posts

Another vote for dropping the car off in Caen and then taking the train to Paris. Super easy and you avoid the hassle of driving in Paris.

Posted by
386 posts

I've been looking at the opposite, picking up in Rouen. I would walk to the rental place from the train station (I'll only have a carry on). As I recall it's about four blocks.

Unless its changed in the last few months, the car rental offices are right in the main hall of the train station. If you're looking at google maps it does show car rental offices a few blocks from Gare de Rouen Orléans but that is not a passenger rail station, its just for freight. Passengers arrive at Gare de Rouen-Rive-Droite