Please sign in to post.

Where to pick up rental car in Paris

Hi,

I plan to stay in Paris for a few days, then pick up a rental car and head south. I need to choose a pickup location in Paris. I figure since I plan to reserve a car with automatic transmission, I may want to choose a larger office to reduce the chance of hearing "we do not carry an automatic here". So Gare de Lyon seems to be a reasonable choice. Does this logic sound right?

Thanks in advance

Posted by
3313 posts

Gare de Lyon is a reasonable choice. As long as you're spending the extra money for an automatic, picking up at Orly Airport would be better. More cars, easier to leave from.

Posted by
2980 posts

Hi Chister,
Picking up or dropping off a rental car in Paris can be a challenge but Gare de Lyon seems like a reasonable choice since it's easy to locate--seems like some car rental agencies in large European cities are hidden away and hard to find.

Where are you heading from Paris--is it possible that you could take a train to another smaller city and pick up the car there?

Posted by
49 posts

Doug,
It's not clear to me which one is more of a hassle- getting to Orly airport from Paris and potentially paying for the extra airport pickup fee, or getting the car from Gare de Lyon and drive it away from Paris. Seems like a toss-up.

Sharon,
My next major stop will be Dijon. It does save me a few hours driving if I pick it up there. I assume Dijon train station is large enough to have some automatic transmission cars there.

Thanks for the advice.

Posted by
1352 posts

Chister,

We've rented cars from Paris Gare du Nord, and from Dijon. Our experience at Gare du Nord was a nightmare. I would choose Dijon in a heart beat! There are several rental companies in Dijon and I would be very surprised if they did not have some automatics. If at all possible I would rent outside of Paris.

Posted by
49 posts

Sounds like Dijon maybe a better choice.

BTW, can you elaborate on "Gare du Nord was a nightmare"?

Thanks

Posted by
711 posts

We always pick up our rental car at Orly .. we have never paid much in the way of airport fee. At Orly they have a huge choice of car places.. Hertz, Sixt, Avis, Europcar, and I think there are others.It is so easy to get there ,take a cab, and very easy to get on the A6 if that is the way you are going.Make sure you reserve from home and I would take my own GPS because now they charge for them. We always rent from Hertz and get a Prius.. that is in their green line... the rental is automatic, alittle more money, but we always save a lot on gas. If you are not used to driving in Paris, I really would pick up the car ar Orly.It is so easy.. the A6 will take you everywhere in the south.

Posted by
4125 posts

I don't know about the inventory of automatics in Dijon, but the train station is at the edge of town and should make for a quicker drive-away than from Paris.

If you are spending time in Dijon, though, you could wait until you are ready to leave before you pick up your car, and save a day or two of rental and bother.

Posted by
49 posts

After looking up the size of Dijon, I worry if there are enough automatic in the inventory. Even though it seems like a major TGV transit station, it's only the size of Grenoble in population. And I have been to Grenoble...

Orly airport, on the other hand, seems like a good solution. Is there a difference whether I pick up the car from the West or South terminal?

Thanks

Posted by
10344 posts

Orly or Dijon, there are advantages and disadvantages either way. But my personal experience on trying to increase the odds that you actually get an automatic, is not to simply do what you'd do here and check the online box and figure that's all you need to do. uh-uh, it's not like here. Check the online box (of course), and then a few days before your arrival, call the company, get a human on the line, and explain that you really, really need an automatic. You still may not get one, but you have a better chance.

Posted by
136 posts

When we were in Paris a few years ago, we took the train to Versailles (only a short ride) and rented a car there to drive through the French countryside to the area around Macon and Lyon. We drove the car to Aix-en-Provence and returned it there. I think we used Eurocar and it was a smooth transaction. I did not want to drive in Paris proper so Versailles was a good place to rent the car.

Posted by
283 posts

You don't say where in the south, but we have successfully taken the TGV from Paris to Avignon. Much faster than driving. We pick up a rental from AutoEurope at the TGV and getting out of there is so much easier than driving in Paris.

At the Auto Europe website, you can choose the type of vehicle from what is available at the pick up site. So the automatic shouldn't be a problem.

Posted by
12040 posts

Just a word about driving in Dijon- not a car-friendly city, even by European standards. It's full of very narrow, winding one-way streets. Get a good map and don't try drive and navigate at the same time. But at least traffic is light in the city's inner core. There's one large underground parking lot. Depending on your hotel, they might offer a discount.