Tips for renting a car in France
PUBLISHED: 10:33 01 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:33 01 June 2017
One of the best ways to explore France is by car, and if you’re planning to rent a car for your upcoming business trip or vacation, the experts at Auto Europe are offering 5 tips to make sure you enjoy a smooth rental experience and get the best available deal.
1. Pick the right car for your drive
It may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important to consider all of your options and choose the right car for your specific trip. Consider the number of people travelling, what you will need for luggage space, and the types of roads you will be driving on. Who will be driving is important as well when selecting the transmission type and looking for potential fees based on the number of drivers or age of the driver. To guide you to the perfect vehicle, Auto Europe provides detailed information about car rental types, so you can decide which car will offer the right mix of fuel economy, legroom and luggage capacity for you and your passengers.
2. Think about rental car coverage and arrange it when you book
Nobody plans on a fender-bender while travelling abroad, but if the unthinkable happens, the peace of mind which comes with purchasing refundable deductible or no deductible coverage is well worth the price. A tip to save money if you are planning to purchase a car rental protection plan for CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) or Theft Protection: arrange this in advance (when you book your car). It can be cheaper to pay for this extra coverage in advance instead of adding it on locally at the counter. Also, be mindful that depending upon the vehicle you rent in France, your personal auto or credit card may not fully cover you. Be sure to check to ensure that you’re protected!
3. Understand fees incurred for one way itineraries
If you’re planning to rent a car in one destination and dropping it off in another (often called a one way car rental), then you should pay close attention to your itinerary. Often one-way rentals require a “recovery or drop fee” (the cost of getting the vehicle back to the office you rented it from), but this can be much lower if your itinerary takes you between locations within France (versus travelling internationally from Paris to Munich, for example). Most online agencies will book your rate without including this fee (it will be paid locally when you pick up your car), but the best rental car companies disclose this fee while you’re booking your car online, so you can know exactly what you’ll be asked to pay.
Tip: If your itinerary is flexible, call a company that specializes in the European market – Auto Europe’s experienced reservation team often saves clients significant amounts of money on complicated itineraries which leave others scratching their heads.
4. Consider add-on accessories in advance
Will you need GPS for your trip? Snow tires or a ski rack for your winter getaway to the French Alps? A car seat for your child? These are all add-ons which you can book in advance to make your arrival hassle-free. Anything you can do to eliminate stress and hit the road in France as quickly as possible is worth it!
5. Book your rental car in advance & reconsider different durations
There are a few tried-and-tested ways to save money on your rental. These include booking well in advance (to secure the best rate), and travelling to France outside of the peak tourist season (the summer). What you may not know, however, is that if you extend your trip a day or two you might be able to save money on a rental. Most car rental companies price their vehicles based on the duration of your rental, so if you’re planning to rent a car for a day, consider extending your rental to 3 days to see if the quoted rate may be lower. Sometimes taking this approach and dropping the car off early can save you money.
There are also special products available in France in addition to traditional long-term rentals. For example if you’re planning a stay of 3 weeks or longer the Short-Term Lease from Peugeot Open Europe is a great option to save big on your vehicle while enjoying a factory-new car, right off the lot during your trip!