France to Germany

Should I do a combination of train/car rental? We land in Paris on a Saturday morning. We need to be in Neuvilly en Argonne Sunday morning for Mass. We are returning a crucifix to the church there, brought home from WWI by my grandfather. We then are traveling on to a festival in Germany,a small village outside of Dusseldorf. Recommendations,please. How does it work to take a rental car out of one country into another. We also are flying home out of Dusseldorf. Thanks so much.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8700 posts

You will pay a stiff fee for picking up a car in one country and dropping it off in another. Consider doing this: Rent a car in Paris and drop it off in Metz. Take the train from Metz to Saarbruecken. Pick up a new car in Saarbruecken and drive to the village near Duesseldorf. I checked the Auto Europe site and found that the airport office in Metz is only open 21:00-22:30 on Sunday, but there is a drop box you can use. Both the city office and the train station office are closed all day on Sunday and they do not have drop boxes. The Auto Europe Saarbruecken train station office is closed on Sunday. The downtown office is open 09:00-16:00. The airport office is open 17:00-22:00. Or if you have discovered how to get from Duesseldorf to the village by some means of public transportation (perhaps a bus), you could take the train all the way from Metz to Duesseldorf.

Posted by Tom
Suffolk, UK; formerly St. Louis, MO, USA
172 posts

I'll second what Tim just said - picking up a car in one country and dropping it in a second will cost. If its me, I pick up the car in Paris, head to Neuvilly en Argonne, then drop the car in Metz (2 changes to Dusseldorf, per DB website) - or to avoid one change if that bothers you, Strasbourg - and take the train from there. You can certainly get to Dusseldorf, its just a matter of getting to your village from there. Public transport in Germany is generally pretty good.

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8700 posts

As you can see from my first post, picking up or dropping off a car on a Sunday makes things more complicated. For the sake of both convenience and saving time, it may be worth it to you to rent only one car, have it at your disposal when you're at the festival, and pay the international drop off fee. I suggest that you call Auto Europe's US toll-free number and talk to an agent.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
11632 posts

I regularly advocate train travel in Europe even though I often drive - but I'm driving my own car. In this circumstance - and I most positively take my hat off to you Patricia for what will undoubtedly be a very emotional experience - I advocate car. How long is the total trip? You're not landing, driving, delivering, festivalling and flying back all in a couple of days, are you? If you have time to explore the WW one places that your Grandfather was I am sure that it would be very rewarding. Easiest done by car. There's the Champagne area right there, the Ardenne, Luxembourg, the beautiful Mosel (Moselle in French), and all up through the Eiffel in Germany towards Dusseldorf. Before Dusseldorf you have Aachen and Koeln. I'd say, unless it winds up so huge as to break the bank, that holding on to the car for much of the part after the Service would be worth it. You say, "we" but don't say how big "we" is.

Posted by Patricia
Willow Springs,, Missouri, USA
2 posts

Thank you all so much. And thank you for noting the emotionality of my trip. The Mayor of Neuvilly has arranged a ceremony of. sorts after Mass for us to present the crucifix. I think we will keep the car. There are 3 of us so the train becomes as expensive as the fee between countries. Thank you so much.