Low price car rentals in France

General Car Hire Advice and warnings

If you have never driven a car in France see driving in France for local rules and guidance. The comments below apply to anyone hiring and driving a car abroad, whichever country it is:

- Cheap is good, but cheapest is not always best! car hire companies vary in what is included in the price and have a tendency to try and add costs when you collect the car (e.g. overpriced children car seats, extra insurance) that you might not have needed with a different company. try and be clear what the price includes

- beware of petrol policy. Some car hire companies now supply a car on the basis that it is given you with a full tank of petrol but should be returned with an empty tank, and they will charge you for one tank of petrol as well as the rental cost. apart from the fact their petrol is unlikely to be competitively priced, if you don't drive much and only use half the tank of petrol you have still paid for a whole tank

- Size is important. We have hired a 'seats 4' car ourselves only to find it had literally no boot space at all. Changing to a larger car at the time of collection is a good way to ensure you are paying the highest possible price for your car rental! Much better to make sure the vehicle is big enough to travel around in comfort in the first place!

Extra rental costs

Additional charges are often levied by car rental companies for:

  • additional drivers
  • extra insurance such as collision damage waiver - you can typically buy a separate policy from insurance companies to cover this at much less cost
  • GPS systems are often available at an extra cost. Before you pay, make sure yours can be used in English if you don't speak French...
  • child seats can cost 10 euros a day each, roof racks a similar amount
  • air conditioning, which is usually a necessity in the south of France
  • most companies will charge for cleaning if you bring the car back in a poor state at the end of your stay. No eating in the car is a good rule!
  • hire cars typically have quite a generous milage allowance, but one might still apply. If it dies don't exceed it or the cost will likely by excessively expensive

Other information and suggestions

Check that you know where the petrol cap is and how to open it! Also be sure you know what kind of fuel (petrol or diesel) it uses - I was called over by a desperate driver in the motorway services recently, who had hired a car and had no idea whether it took diesel or petrol, and as far as we could see it didn't say anywhere at all in the documents...

In France your car will include an accident report form which must be filled in correctly in case of an incident

When you arrive to pick up your France rental car be sure you have checked it for every little dent, scratch or missing hubcap so that there is no dispute when you return the vehicle.