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where to pick up a rental car in Paris?

Hello - after spending a week in the heart of Paris (first time visitors to France), we will be traveling to a remote destination in a small village in western Loire for a week. (Then returning to Paris at the end of the 2nd week to fly home.) Thoughts on best location to pick up & drop-off a rental car in Paris? Where I live, picking up a rental at the airport is far more expensive (due to taxes, airport fees, etc). Thank you!

Posted by
2560 posts

It is also generally more expensive to pickup (drop off, doesn’t matter) at the airport or train station.

If you are going south, I would pick up near Porte d´Orléans, from where you can directly connect to A6. Just south of Paris, from A6 you will join A10 to the Loire Valley.

Returning, some people drop off at ORY which is along A6, just before entering Paris.

Posted by
6470 posts

Loire is a river. Am I right in assuming you mean western Pays de la Loire? In that case I would start by taking the train to e.g. Nantes and pick up the car there.

Posted by
32964 posts

have you considered taking a train from Paris to the nearest major city to your destination village (maybe Tours (main TGV station is called Saint-Pierre-des-Corps) or Nantes or St Nazaire) and renting there? Saves on expensive fuel, almost certainly faster, and probably cheaper (how many is "we" ?? Kids??).

Don't forget those expensive Autoroute tolls too. To say noting of the hassle of driving in and around Paris.

By the way, the French law requires a French language translation and certification of your home driving license. The easiest way is an IDP - International Driving Permit - from AAA/CAA if you are from Canada or the US.

Posted by
10248 posts

We lived near the Porte d'Orléans and are familiar with it, but I wouldn't recommend picking up at the Porte d'Orléans. Traffic there can be a bear. A few times we threw in the towel, drove south on the N20, and got on ina suburb, Arcueil. Consequently, now, if we need a car going south, we take a taxi to Orly to pick up. It's worth the slight fee, nothing drastic.

Posted by
545 posts

I have picked up cars at CDG and also in the street near Gare de Lyon etc. I think I just googled the car rental places and found one convenient and took the metro over. There are places all over Paris - or as other people have mentioned - in other cities as well.

I have driven from Paris to Troyes, to Orleans, to Auxerre, to Strasbourg, and to Bourges. None of those roads is super remarkable that makes them worth a drive over a train trip.

One time - during a rail strike - I was in Avignon and had to pick someone up in Paris. Pre-pandemic I later estimated that it cost me almost 200eu to go up and come back with fuel and tolls to replace a 87eu train ticked that was cancelled because of the strike. And it was a lot of driving - compared to a 1 hour TGV trip. But I am happy to report that my great expense and inconvenience successfully pressured the French government to give in to the SCNF employees demands (not - thats sarcasm).

Posted by
1153 posts

Last June I picked up a car at Hertz - Paris Porte Maillot. This location was very close to the periphery, and I took a bus from my hotel near the Madeleine. Porte Maillot is WNW of Paris central, and I was heading to Normandy. So it worked fine for me and meant I didn't have to drive too much in downtown Paris proper.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hertz+-+Paris+Porte+Maillot/@48.8780738,2.2866487,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x47e66f8d305254ef:0xef1e9178177c5bc8!8m2!3d48.8780703!4d2.2888427

Posted by
6576 posts

Porte Maillot would be a good place to pick up a car. So would La Defense. So would Orly (but you're right, it will cost more at an airport). But the best idea would be a train to a city closer to your destination, like Tours, and get the car there.

Posted by
2749 posts

So I’ve rented a car several times in France and what I do is take a train to a city near where I’m planning to go and pick up the car at that train station. That avoids having to drive in Paris. I have had to drive in Paris, and I plan never to do it again. Traffic is horrible.

Posted by
18 posts

Last May we picked up a rental car at the train station closest to our Paris hotel in order to do a Brittany road trip. At the end, we spent our last night in Giverny and dropped the car off at the airport without a penalty for not dropping it off where we rented it.

Posted by
163 posts

We once rented a car in Versailles. It was very easy to take the train from Paris to Versailles. Then, we just walked a short distance to find the car rental office. I thought it would be easier to do that than to try to fight the Paris traffic not knowing where to go.