car rental in Nice, France

We are going to be spending one night in Monaco. Then the next morning take a train or bus into Nice. We have the day in Nice, are going to pick up a rental car there, drive to Aix-en-Provence for a few days, and drive onto Chamonix where we will turn in the rental car. We have to go through Europcar as they have a drop off in Chamonix. We would like to know where the best place to pick up the rental car in Nice is located. They have an office at the Nice Railway Station, Nice Promenade Des Anglais, or airport. I was thinking the railway station might be best as we could store our luggage there for the day, come back and pick it up and the car. My friend thought maybe the airport to make sure someone spoke English. Has any one had any experience with this rental place?
Thank you, Debbie

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

I'm betting that somebody in each place will speak English - - they exist to serve the traveling public. But you don't need to talk to get a car - - all you need is a reservation number and a driver's license. If you've lost the reservation stuff, they can look it up from your name on the driver's license. I don't know if the Nice station has luggage lockers, but you could always pick up the car first and chunk your stuff in it. Probably even leave it right on the lot - - I've done that a couple of times (elsewhere). The Nice airport is way the hell and gone from the city center, but it's an easy hop onto the A8 to head for Aix. What it's probably going to boil down to (if you need an automatic transmission) is picking a location that will promise you one - - but the promises are sometimes empty. The trick is to go with the location that has the most cars in order to try to beat the odds. Later in the day can tend to suck. My thought is that the airport has the biggest operation and the joints on the promenade the smallest. I've never been in the Nice train station, but it might tie with the airport - - probably not from experiences in other places.

Posted by Kathy
San Carlos, CA, USA
248 posts

Don't know about the train station or airport offices but I know that when we returned our car to the Promenade office it was a nightmare to find. There is a lot of traffic and there are many one-way streets that made it difficult.

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3252 posts

I found the airport to be easy enough especially since I had a number of people to pick up on different days and head back to Provence. I did drive around in Nice when I had a hotel downtown and the other poster was correct in that it can be a bit confusing.

Posted by Lori
San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA
89 posts

I just RETURNED a car to the Nice train station last month. The train station is a mess due to the entire area in front of the station is torn up and in the middle of being completely re-done. Driving to the station involved traveling through a lot of traffic on streets that were lacking great signage. I would avoid picking up at the Promenade area as the traffic there is also heavy. Are you sure you want to spend the day in Nice? Unless you want to shop or sit on the beach for the day I would skip it and just head to Provence which you will LOVE. Nice just didn't do much for me, I much preferred Villefranche Sur Mer or Cassis....quaint and pleasant seaside villages without the massive amount of cars or people. By the way...parking in Aix can be a nightmare. As an aside... during 3.5 weeks of travel in France I never encountered any person who worked in a train station, hotel, rental car office, etc. who did not speak English. When asked, in my basic French, if they spoke English they would always say "just a little bit" and then they would converse in more than basic English with me. If I could speak French as well as they spoke English I would be thrilled!! Have a wonderful trip!!!

Posted by Bets
2796 posts

Actually Aix has many underground parking garages, clearly marked. The signs to the garages even tell you how many spaces are available in each garage.