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Car Hire in France

Finding Car Hire in France has never been simpler with DriveNow's selection of the best French car rental companies in Europe. Our booking system finds the cheapest and lates French car rental deals available.

Our French car rental partners are all familiar and trusted brands including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt. Once your booking is made a confirmation email will be delivered with all the details required for when you pick up your car.

Home to some of the world's finest countryside, architecture, cuisine and not forgetting wine, France is a wonderful country full of contrasts and best explored on 4 wheels. With an extensive network of free and toll highways navigating around France is quick and simple and yet at the same time it is all too easy to slip off the beaten track and step back in time with quiet villages, empty roads and stunning scenery.

For visitors the most flexible travel option remains the car and subsequently car rental in France continues to be a popular choice. There's no shortage of pick up points in cities and towns right across France and from one of the many French Airport car rental locations. With DriveNow you can compare pricing and vehicles from leading French rental companies and booking is quick and easy with no need to provide credit card details or pay a deposit. Simply pay for the car and any optional extras you require when you pick up the vehicle.

If you travel plans include renting a car in France in August remember this is the month when France essentially shuts down and everyone goes on Holiday! As a result accommodation is at a premium, the roads in many areas will be busier than usual and French rental cars are in greatest demand, making it even more important to book early and stay ahead of the crowd.

Search, Compare and Save on Car Hire in France

Why use DriveNow to Book your French Car Rental?

  • Price - Always checking for the cheapest available French rental rates and deals
  • Simplicity - Quick and Easy rental rate and vehicle comparisons
  • Free Service - who likes fees? - we charge no booking, admin or other agency fees
  • Trusted Suppliers - Familiar and Trusted French Car Rental companies
  • In many instances there is no deposit or credit card details required when booking
  • Immediate booking confirmation
  • Drive-away prices include all taxes and levies (excludes young driver surcharge, any credit card fees and optional extras)
  • Booking Assistance Our local Reservations team are there to help by phone, online chat and email
  • Trust and Experience - DriveNow has been comparing rental pricing since 2003

At DriveNow we pride ourselves in customer service and understand that it's not just about finding the best online deal. Our reservations team are just a phone call away to help and answer any questions. We actively seek your feedback to continuously improve the level of service and support we eliver.

How to get the best deal on Car Hire in France

The secret to finding the best in French car hire is simple .... Book Early.

The earlier you book the cheaper the rate. Hiring a car is just like buying an airline ticket. If you book during peak periods such as August, French School Holidays, Christmas or Easter, the prices will be higher. Summer months are the peak season to visit France and this is reflected in pricing and availability of vehicles. By planning and booking ahead you are able to lock in your rental price and will have the best choice of vehicles. The fact that you pay nothing when making the booking makes this simple, cost free and will save you more than a few Euros.

Frequently asked questions on car hire in France

How old must I be to rent a car in France?

You need to be over 21. However drivers in the 21 to 25 bracket will often be required to pay a young Drivers' surcharge fee. There is no upper age limit to hiring a car in France. Driver licenses must be full and unrestricted and been held for at least 12 months. Ensure that you have your Passport with you when collecting the vehicle as many French Car Rental suppliers require this in addition to your license to confirm identity and age.

What driving license do I require to rent a car in France?

You can hire a car in France using your own driving license as long as based on the Latin Alphabet (English, French, Italian, German etc). You may also be also be asked to present your passport. If you driving license is based on a non-Latin based character set you will need to obtain an International Driving Permit. Note that all designated drivers need to have their driving license details recorded when picking the vehicle up.

Driving in France

In France driving is on the right and all measurements are in metric (France being home of the metric system). Fuel is delivered in litres and petrol stations will accept all major credit cards. Many stations allow you to fill up when they are closed using automatic credit card systems. In the past there have been reports of overseas credit cards not being accepted by automated payment systems, whilst these are few and far between today good advice is to fill up during working hours when stations are open.

What are the speed limits in France?

In France Highways and freeways are limited to 130kmh, rural expressways 110kmh and urban traffic to 50kmh. During rain speed limits are reduced on express and highways.

What happens regarding Speed Cameras and fines?

The hirer is liable for all speed and traffic infringements incurred during the hiring period. Rental companies will charge your credit card for any infringements received and may include an administration fee - this often occurs after the hiring period.

Car Hire - Automatic or Manual Transmission?

The majority of French Car Rental vehicles are manual transmission.

Car Hire payment

You will be required to pay for your vehicle on pick up using a credit card. Excess Insurance reduction and other options can also be purchased when picking up your vehicle.

How can I reduce my insurance liability when hiring a car in France?

All French rental cars come with full insurance cover, however in the event of an accident or damage to the vehicle the hirer is liable for an initial amount which can be several thousand euros. You can reduce your exposure to this liability through several methods.

  • Take out excess insurance (Collision Damage Waiver) with the car rental company when you collect your vehicle. This is a daily fee payable to the rental company to eliminate or reduce the amount you are liable for.
  • Many travel insurance and Credit card organisations provide car hire excess cover. Check the detail on this to ensure it includes and covers incidents such as single vehicle accidents, windscreen or wheel damage. Ensure you retain all paperwork and take photos if possible to support your claim. In the event of a damaged vehicle the rental company will still charge you the excess amount and then refund any funds that are not required to pay for repairs. You are then required to submit a claim to your insurance or credit card company. The claim process can mean you are out of pocket for a period of time.
  • For those travelling with Australian driving licenses we offer pre-purchased rental vehicle insurance for France through our partner Hiccup Insurance who specialise in car rental insurance and whose rates are often cheaper than those offered by the rental companies. More information can be found on our rental insurance page.

Whichever option you choose, remember that in the event of an accident secure copies of all documentation, police reports and take photos.

Is it compulsory to wear a seatbelt in France?

Yes, in both front and rear seats. Driver is responsible for passengers under 13, over that age the passenger accepts responsibility for any fine.

Child Booster and Baby Seats

Any child under the age of 10 are not allowed to travel in the front seat of a car. In the rear seats all children under 10 must be in a child seat (where child weighs 9-15kg) or booster seat for children over 15kg. Booster and child seats are available for hire from the rental company, please include in your initial car rental booking.

Mandatory Breathalysers

In 2012 the French Government introduced legislation making it compulsory for all vehicles to carry a breathalyser whilst travelling in France. A fine for non-compliance was due to be introduced in 2013 however this was postponed indefinitely by the French Government. It is still recommended to travel with one. Breathalysers must conform to French standards denoted by a 'NF" number. A French rental car should come equipped with all required safety equipment including the breathalyser but check this before leaving the rental location. If you need to ask for a breathalyser, you're after "un éthylotest", pronounced eh-teel-oh-test.

General French Driving Tips

  • In urban areas give way to traffic coming from the right "priorité a droite".
  • Where roundabouts are signposted as "vous n'avez pas la priorité" or "cédez le passage" then traffic on the roundabout has priority.  Where no sign exists traffic entering the roundabout has priority.
  • Overtaking stationary trams is prohibited when passengers are boarding / alighting.
  • Parking discs for ‘blue zone’ parking areas can be obtained from the police, tourist centres and some shops
  • Speed Cameras operate throughout France
  • It is not uncommon for there to be no speed reduction signs when approaching urban areas - particularly in rural areas