I will be renting a car when I leave Paris to venture to the southwest of France this July. In order to avoid driving in Paris traffic what would be the best location to pick up the car? One of the airports? I have no problem taking the metro or RER to get to wherever would be the best/easiest location for the pick up. I will be dropping the car off at the Bordeaux airport so a return to Paris is not an issue. I do not have any issue driving once I leave Paris as I have driven in other parts of France previously...just trying to avoid driving in Paris traffic. Thanks in advance for any input anyone can give me.
Orly is S of Paris, versus deGaulle, which is N. But I think you could find an agency that is near a southern entrance to the Peripherique in Paris and do just fine.
You could also rent a car in Verseilles. Look on a map, though to see the relationship of both Orly & Versailles to the A10, your likely route to the SW.
Another option to consider would be to take the TGV to Angouleme and rent a car there. It's probably more expensive than just driving but will save you a little time, the TGV being so fast.
Maybe not so expensive if you can bag a low fare.
I also think you should take TGV to first destination and rent a car there.
We picked up a car from Europcar at 5, Avenue d'Italie which is just a few steps from the metro at Place d'Italie. From there it was easy and quick to get to the peripherique and the autoroute heading south. Picking up the car on the outskirts of Paris saves a train trip expense. However you choose to do it, have a great trip.
Orly would be the southern airport, but you might save money by renting from another location without the hefty airport surcharge. We saved over $100 on a 10-day rental from Paris by changing the pickup from CDG to one of the train stations. Friends rented at the Porte Maillot, right on the Peripherique. Auto Europe lists a lot of pickup locations around Paris, you could search the likely ones on Google Earth or the Michelin Route Planner to find one that's easy to reach by Metro or taxi and offers an easy escape from the city on your own power.
Have a good trip!