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Car return information in Paris

Morning all new to this looking for easiest place to drop off vehicle in Paris I am renting thru Auto Europe and as of this posting I have picked to drop-off at Montpanasse rail station parking indigo. ANT AND ALL comments and suggestions are welcome, this is for a trip in Apr. Thanks mile-high traveler oops I forgot to mention that we will be coming into Paris from Giverny, so what suggestions you have to offer I welcome. Len

Posted by
4281 posts

I've driven to Gare Montparnasse from the south, it isn't fun but it's doable. However, you could avoid most city driving by picking a dropoff point like Port Maillot on the Peripherique, La Defense further out, or Gare de Lyon which is close in but with a good highway. Look for a location with a Metro or RER connection into the city, in the general direction from which you'll be driving. I think the Auto Europe website provides a map showing locations.

Posted by
7187 posts

Where are you coming from? You need to get rid of the car before you get to Paris if at all possible.

Posted by
6907 posts

Where are you coming from?
Last time we dropped at Montparnasse was The Last Time, and we know the neighborhood and Paris well. My husband learned to drive in Paris and I drive there, too. But we hit jams, as usual, and in addition, it was dark and there are about five different garages, several Indigo, at the Montparnasse Station. We circled and circled in the dark until I got out of the car to get close enough to see the tiny unlit rental company sign. We kicked ourselves as we were coming from the in-laws’ village in Burgundy and could have easily dropped at Orly and let a taxi deal with the jams and dark. The next year, coming from Brittany, we dropped at Orly and took a cab into town. A good deal for 30€. My 2centimes.

Posted by
355 posts

We chose to drop off the car at Orly and take a taxi into the city for 30€. Well worth it! We hit heavy traffic on the freeway leading to the airport around 3:45 on a Friday afternoon. But signage was good, the return was easy, and getting a cab was easy. I’ll take that over city traffic anytime.

Posted by
5605 posts

Anywhere in Paris is a pain, but Montparnasse would be my personal hell.

Listen to Bets, who knows Paris well and has tried this very thing and advises strongly against it!!

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all for your suggestions however I did forget to mention that we will be coming from Gerviny , what say you thanks again. Len

Posted by
4701 posts

Nothing bad happened, after all. But I was nervous about the fact that my downtown Paris return required me to drive the car down a small-diameter circular ramp to the fifth underground level, and back it into a (typical of Europe) miniscule stall, without the return agent looking at or photographing the car. I thought it was a recipe for spurious charges, and AFAIR, I didn't have "walk-away" collision coverage. But it was fine.

When I came out, a dumpster-transfer truck had just blocked the entire side street I had just driven on, while he maneuvered a long dumpster into its city-demolition position by the curb. This is par for the course in NY City, but I shouldn't have been surprised it happened in Paris!

Posted by
6907 posts

Geez Tim, that's what happened to us the Last Time we dropped at Montparnasse. After dropping my SIL in a western suburb, we got stuck behind the garbage truck on the narrow main road under the 6 metro. Meters from the station, it took forever to get around it.

Though La Defense or Avenue de la Grande Armée would be a straight shot to drop the car coming from Giverny, personally I'd still choose to go south a bit and leave it at Orly as long as I avoid going via the périphérique; got to go south near Versaille. It's all freeway driving; it's very well marked; the garages are easy access and parking; for a fixed-price 30€ the taxi will take me to the door of my next stop left bank or 35€ right bank. But that's my choice as I've gotten older and avoid frustrating situations. OTOH, I have no problem picking up and driving out of Paris. Go figure.

Posted by
726 posts

I would not consider driving in central Paris, that, what airports and the RER are for. As an observer, I have watched the traffic in Paris steadily get worse over the last 15 years and I just would not go through it unless somebody paid me a loy more money than the cost of a cab or the RER.

Posted by
1653 posts

Coming in from Giverny, have a look at Porte Maillot drop-off options. Hertz and Avis are there, possibly others. Some here recommend la Défense but I no longer do, it is very confusing to drive around there - no better than Montparnasse for sure!

Posted by
590 posts

Are you by chance booking Europcar through AutoEurope? You could drop at the Porte Saint Cloud location if yes. The entrance is a bit tricky - on the corner of a curved building without clear signage. If you can manage to turn in on your first attempt, it’s incredibly easy, right off the highway. Use google maps to scope it out in advance.