I know people are curious sometimes about car rental expenses. I (mostly) kept track of our expenses from our trip to France.
The car rental itself was $380 (Canadian) for an automatic for 10 days (Europcar). Rented in Avignon at the train station and dropped in Nice. There are also other fees because we picked it up at a train station (?!) and daily environmental fees and I can't rem what they total - probably another 100 euro.
I feel like I maybe forgot one of the gas fill-ups as I thought we did three but I only recorded two. We drove 1730 km and gas was 73 euro. (If I forgot a fill-up, I'd add another 25-30 euro or so to the total - say 100 euro).
Roads tolls and parking fees - about 110 euro. We didn't always use the toll roads, but what a difference in time they make - sometimes up to an hour according to the in-car GPS. 70 euro of that was road tolls. The worst was when we went to Millau. We went into the viewing area, but when you leave, you can only go one way...thru the toll booth at 7.50 euro a pop...and of course we wanted to go back the way we came, so we had to go back thru the toll booth a minute later at another 7.50 euro a pop. That was a bit annoying, but I guess like anywhere, you gotta pay coming and going!
So overall for a 10 day rental it cost about $850 Canadian...$380 for the rental + 310 euro (converted to Can $ = 465 - a euro costs us about 1.50). I'm assuming another gas fill up in there. In US$ that would be about $650 with our current exchange rate.
But the bad thing is - when we were in a parking garage in Vence, it had very narrow turns. Hubby scraped the side of the car down the corner wall (as many others have done, judging from the state of the corner of the wall) and put some nice scratches on an otherwise unscratched car. We used our Amex to rent the car which offers coverage, but I'm not sure how that all works. (And it was the day before we were turning the car in - hint - park in outdoor parking lots if you can!). So we may take another hit...anyone have any experience with Amex covering rental car damage?
I'm sure it would have cost us less to use trains and buses (and who knows about the car scratching thing) but being able to set our own pace and visit places that I'm sure don't have frequent bus visits (like Les Baux and Glanum, Rousillon and Gourdon) was nice. I guess if you factor in some guided tours we may have had to use to get to some of the out of the way spots we probably broke even.
For the record, the car was a Citroen C4 Cactus with funky rubber bubble panels on the doors (unfortunately didn't help with the scraping down the wall - only if the whole car was rubber...sigh). It was an automatic with the 'engine turning off at red lights/stops' environmental thing. Comfy car. The guy at the rental office when we picked it up was also very nice. He sounded like an Aussie or Kiwi and was very polite - which was great after our TGV took an extra two hours arriving because someone decided to suicide themselves with a train (poor soul) and all the trains were delayed. I wasn't sure how they handle the whole 'not being there to pick up the car when you say you will be' - but they knew about the train delays.