Car rental in France
Rent a car in France

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Renting a car in France is a superb way to see the breadth of this stunning, varied country. Experience everything from majestic Alpine vistas to the chic beaches of the south and rugged green countryside in the north. Cultural sightseeing in France is also excellent, with historic cities throughout, including Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Arles, and Nice. A car rental in France will let you see the best of the country at your own pace.

It’s your choice: Where to go in France?

There are many options for destinations in France, and with a car you can easily reach your chosen city or perhaps see several of them on a more extended French road trip. Paris is ever popular, with the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and an amazing selection of shopping, dining, and cultural opportunities. Farther south is Lyon, the French capital of cuisine that boasts an amazing array of Michelin-starred restaurants. Its fascinating Old Town is one of the most splendid in the country. Nice is the gem of the French Riviera, and here you can spend time at the beach or go for day trips to nearby Monaco and Ventimiglia, an Italian market town. Bordeaux is a wine lover's paradise in western France. Tour the vineyards and drive or cycle around the beautiful local forests and countryside.

Things to do in France

Sightseeing is a clear choice in this deeply historic country. You can marvel at the historic architecture of Paris, take romantic walks along the Seine River, and then simply hop in the car to head to the nearby Palace of Versailles. Driving is also a real pleasure in the south of the country, with perhaps the most beautiful stretch of Mediterranean coast you'll find. A great destination near Nice is Cannes, known for its spring film festival and summer party scene. If your heart beats for skiing, head to Chamonix, close to the Swiss border. Here you'll find some of the most eye-popping landscapes in Europe. Touring the vineyards and lavender fields of Provence, or perhaps taking a historic tour of the beaches of Normandy, are other great ideas when you rent a car in France.

Important Info about France

When you rent a car in France, you can best experience its many gorgeous landscapes. Generally speaking, the weather is temperate and fairly comparable to the UK in the north. Towards the south, especially around the Côte d'Azur, temperatures remain warmer throughout the year and make for ideal beach hopping weather from late spring through early fall. Just north of here, however, you approach the bracing Alpine climes of the best ski resorts. French food is as varied as its geography, although there are some favourites you can find practically anywhere. The country does fabulous game meats, such as rabbit, deer, and wild boar. For a lighter meal, head to a bistro or café and order a sweet or savoury crêpe. Of course, France is also one of the finest places in the world for wine, with Champagne, Burgundy, and Bordeaux creating some of the best internationally known varieties.

Weather in Paris, France
Country France
Language French
Currency Euro
Time-Zones CET
Capital Paris

Key things to remember

Broadly speaking, French roads both in and outside of the towns are superb. There are, however, a few particularities that you should know about to make your driving holiday in France as pleasant as possible. In an emergency, call 112. In the event of a breakdown, you can make use of the orange telephones posted approximately 2km apart on the motorways, or call the emergency services if you're not close to one. Also remember that in France you'll drive on the right-hand side of the road. The country takes pollution seriously, and in certain big towns you'll need to get a clean air sticker that identifies how green your car is. Search 'Crit'Air' online and you can buy an inexpensive sticker that identifies your vehicle appropriately. In terms of documents, be sure to always have your driving licence, passport, car registration, and insurance forms on you.

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Our tour suggestion for France

There are a multitude of possible tours by car in France, but a few routes stand out as particularly special. The south coast, home to many of France's most beloved holiday destinations, is undeniably pleasant at any time of year. Starting at pretty Montpellier and ending up at the beaches of Nice is a great idea. Alternatively, take the well-established and historic 'Napoléon Route', with golden eagle markers signposting the path from Grenoble in the Alps and finishing at Nice. This will bring you through many fantastic hidden gems including La Mure, Sisteron, and Castellane, with the mighty mountains providing an inspiring backdrop along the way. A trip taking in the sights of Paris and its gorgeous suburbs like Versailles, adding on a few days or a week to tour the charming châteaux of the nearby Loire region, is another enjoyable option.

What to bring to your friends from France

Shopping is one of the most pleasurable pastimes in France, from the designer shops of the Champs-Elysées in Paris to the multitude of boutiques and markets you'll find in any town. It will be easy to come across great quality wines, and you can seek out local varieties wherever you are as a particularly enjoyable gift. In terms of food, you can find cheeses, cured saucissons (sausages), and sweet treats like macaroons which often keep well, to take home as gifts. France is also famous for its fantastic beauty and luxury products, from handcrafted soaps and lotions to designer handbags. Many beloved French beauty brands can be found in pharmacies in every city and town, while you can head to the 'grands magasins' (department stores) for all the high-end fashion your friends desire. Antiques found at local markets also make for delightful, high-end gifts. And don't forget to pick up a bottle of wine for yourself, to remember your French car holiday when you return home.