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Car Hire in France

The best thing to do when in France is to hire a car. Why is it convenient to hire a car in France? Cars are far the best form of transportation since they allow you to go wherever you want, at the time you want. What is more, only with a car you will be able to gain access to villages and places not accessible by train or bus. How do you hire a car? Easy, there are many car hire agencies in France who offer the best choices for car hire.

There are different possibilities for all budgets. You can hire a budget car as well as a luxurious car, depending on what you can afford and on what you find more comfortable. Budget cars are in really good conditions just as luxurious ones. There are many different agencies for car hire in France who offer all cars categories according to your preferences. Coupes, Premium cars, convertibles, 4wheel drives, luxury cars, standard cars, station, minivans, whatever you need, these car hire agencies will certainly provide it.

We highly recommend hiring a Car in France. If you hire a car, you will be able to do whatever you want whenever you want and you can stop worrying about transportation availability. Hire a car in France and feel the comfort of independence!

Useful Information

If you are to hire a car in France there are some specific aspects of French traffic norms that you must know:

In order to be able to hire a car in France you must be at least 21 you must have held your license for over a year. Controls are regular in France and your driver license, the international driving permit (IDP), insurance certificate and vehicle registration documents are frequently required. If you hire a car in France you will be provided with the necessary documentation apart from the driver license and the IDP. You must always carry your passport. Be careful with busy areas in large towns and centers, where traffic is often heavy. Remember that all passengers must travel with seat-belts. Only children over 10 can sit in the front seat and child seats are mandatory for children up to age 3 (this is an important point to consider when hiring a car). The speed limits in France are: in the city 31mph, on open roads 68mph, and on highways 81mph.

Something that you may find surprising in France is the strict parking regulations in most areas of France. There are different markings indicating different areas reserved for specific uses. You will find dotted road markings indicating parking areas. Spaces marked 'Payant' are pay-for-parking areas. Unmarked areas are free. Areas reserved for utility vehicles are marked with yellow. GIC-GIG areas are reserved for people with the relevant card. Only white areas are available for everybody to park. There are marked areas reserved for only brief stops. This is marked with dotted yellow lines. These spaces are strictly reserved for passengers to get on and off buses and for loading and unloading luggage. Buses are prohibited from stopping outside these spaces in touristy areas and the time permitted for stopping is a maximum of 15 minutes. Before stopping on the street, make sure whether there is a parking meter.

We recommend always checking information on road conditions before going out in your hired car. This way you will know whether you may encounter a traffic jam or a road is blocked.

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Regional information centers:

Ile-de-France/Centre 33 (0) 1 48 99 33 33

North 33 (0) 3 20 47 33 33

East 33 (0) 3 87 63 33 33

West 33 (0) 2 99 32 33 33

South-West 33 (0) 5 56 96 33 33

Rhone-Alpes/Auvergne 33 (0) 4 72 81 57 33

Mediterranean 33 (0) 4 91 78 78 78

For freeway conditions: Autoroute info 33 (0) 1 47 05 90 01

Public Transportation

Many towns and cities in France offer tram, metro and/or bus services. These different transportation systems are the alternative to renting a car. Tickets are generally cheap and you can also buy ticket carnets if you are going to use public transportation all the time. Buses and trains connect major cities with suburbs and small towns.

The French rail system is on of the best in Europe. The Métro de Paris network has 16 lines, identified with numbers from 1 to 14, with two minor lines (3bis and 7bis). It has 134 miles of track and 380 stations. 87 of these stations offer connections between lines, without including the RER (Réseau Express Régional orm in English, "Regional Express Network»). All trains stop at all stations. The average distance between each station is 1850 ft approximately. The Métro was expanded by the RER, reaching further suburbs. The RER serves 246 stops and has 355 miles of track. The central part of the network is mainly underground.

Buses generally operate from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Trains run from approximately 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. everyday of the year. A Métro or bus ticket costs €1.40. A Book or 10 tickets carnet costs €9.60 and for children from 4-10 years, €4.80. For children under the age of 4 journeys are free. One bus or Métro ticket is enough to cover any journey within Paris.

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