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Best Way to Travel from Cologne to Normandy area

We will be in Germany for two weeks with a car ending near Cologne. It has been our experience that one can't rent a car in one European country and drop in another. From Germany, we head to the Normandy area for a week where we'll need a car. Does anyone have a suggestion for making the transition between Cologne and Normandy? We assumed we would be taking the train from Cologne to Paris (Rouen also works) and picking up another rental car. Any thoughts and/or advice? Danke/Merci!

Posted by
4959 posts

It's not that you can't drop the car in another country, it's that there's usually a steep drop-off fee. Normally I would avoid that fee, but in your case, I'd certainly see how much extra it would cost (you don't say where you will start and end the trip). If it's $200 USD extra, that could still be worth it due to the time you save (probably have to take a train to Paris then back up to Normandy).

Perhaps you could drop the car in say Trier, train across to a French town like Metz, then pick up another car? That might be cheaper/faster than taking the train back to Paris etc.

Posted by
701 posts

Thanks for the idea, Andrew. We're taking a look at that, as well as going from Aachen, Cologne or Bonn. (BTW, the location we're headed to in Normandy is about an hour NE of Paris on the way to Rouen.)

Posted by
16941 posts

Your best bet is to take the Thalys to Lille. I know there is a Sixt location at Lille-Europe station and probably others as well.