transportation in Normandy France

Should we rent a car in Bayeux, France to go to the beaches? Are there places to rent or should we do this before we leave the US?

Posted by George
Independence, KS, USA
687 posts

We use Auto Europe, based in Maine, so they are easy to call and converse with. We prefer to pick up our reserved rental car in Caen, taking the train there from Paris. There are three rental car agencies right across the street from the Caen railroad station and they are open late on Saturdays. There is only one agency in Bayeux, on the edge of town, and not open past noon, if at all, on Saturday. It's about 12-15 miles to the D Day beaches from Bayeux. By all means reserve your car prior to leaving the US. You do realize that most rental cars in Europe are stick shift? Having a car gives you the freedom to go when and where you want and to sample the treats and drinks in all the little villages across Normandy. You will have a great time.

Posted by Adam
2923 posts

A car is handy on Normandy. It will be cheaper to rent before you go versus after you arrive. Plus, you can shop around.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21491 posts

Mary, As I recall, there's a Hertz agency in Bayeux, so you should be able to rent a car there. It might be a good idea to set that up before you leave the U.S. as the rental staff didn't speak much/any English when I rented there. The guy at my Hotel made all the arrangements for me, so all I had to do was sign on the dotted line. Rather than rent a car, you might also consider taking one of the excellent local tours, as they take care of all the transportation. They know where all the main sights are located, so can get to them quickly and efficiently. If you want the names of some good tour firms, post another note. Happy travels!

Posted by T.
Seattle, WA, US
321 posts

Rent the car before your leave, It's MUCH easier to pick up a rental car in CAEN. There are four agencies right across the street from the train station. However, please be aware that you can't do all the sights justice in one day. I'd set aside at least two days if you want to do it right.

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
1187 posts

I always argue for a guided tour of the beaches. Yes, you can get around by yourself and read the historical plaques. What you pay for on a tour is not the transportation but rather the wisdom of the guide, who can fill in the context and textures of what you are seeing. The invasion is 70 years old and some of what you will look at today will not be the same as in those harrowing days.

Posted by Sharon
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
1058 posts

We rented from Hertz in Bayeux - arranged this before we left the U.S. It was within walking distance from our hotel. We had taken the guided tour to the beaches and then got the car the next day so we could explore on our own.

Posted by Sharon
Byron Center, MI, USA
58 posts

We just got back from France and stayed in Bayeux for 5 days. We did the same as Sharon from CA. Made our Reservation with Hertz before we left and picked up our car in Bayeux the day after our guided tour of the D-Day sites. The gal at the Total gas station where we picked up our car spoke English well and the car was great. No problems! Sharon