Car hire in France

Do you need to hire a car during your stay in France? Then here are some links to get you started. By Lynette Eyb.

It's always worth remember what's on your roof when you go through motorway toll gates and under bridges... Photo: florriebassingbourn

It's always worth remembering what's on your roof when you go under toll gates or low bridges... Photo: florriebassingbourn

All the major international car hire firms operate in France – shop around for the best prices as hire costs and extras such as paying to reduce the collision damage waiver can vary considerably.

We've used Sixt, Europcar and Alamo at various times and found their prices competitive, while Hertz is also active in major cities and airports. You could also try a price comparison website such as Carrentals.

If you are staying in one particular area and planning on returning the car to where you pick it up, it can be useful to ask your hotel or B&B for a recommendation as they may know a small, local firm that offers competitive prices. We did this in Albert, in the Somme, and saved quite a few euro.

If you're looking to hire a campervan or large car during the summer holidays – and in particular when the Tour de France is on – then book as far ahead as possible. See motorhome-hire-france.com, francemotorhomehire.com (owned by an English couple), and cheapmotorhomesfrance.com.

Few standard car hire firms will have bike racks available for hire (but it's worth asking just in case), however you may be able to arrange this through a local bike hire shop, especially in popular road cycling areas such as the Alps and Pyrenees.

See also our page on driving in France.

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