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Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

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Reykjavik
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Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

We will be driving from a week’s stay in Burgundy into Paris at about 14:00 on a Saturday in Sept. Two cars with ten people. I have heard stories about how hard it is to drive in the city but we need to return the rental car.

Would you recommend that we return the cars to CDG airport and take the train downtown (staying in the Latin district) or does it make sense to return the cars to the rental’s branch at the Gare de Lyon?

We have GPS and are reasonably experienced drivers. We have no intention of keeping the cars once we get to Paris.

Paris, France
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1. Re: Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

Gare de Lyon is a good spot and not difficult to drive to when coming from Burgundy, particularly if you have a GPS; it's not more difficult than to find your way around CDG and much more efficient.

Leiden, The...
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2. Re: Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

I've only ever driven on the Peripherique on a motor bike which wasn't a problem. I assume you'll have luggage, so it might be an idea to drop that off at your accommodation first then return the car to Gare de Lyon. If GdL is the original pick-up point of hire car, you will probably be charged extra for dropping it off at CDG, then you'll have the extra costs and hassle of getting to your accommodation. If you're experienced drivers and have GPS then I'm sure you'll be fine.

Reykjavik
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3. Re: Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

Original pickup CDG but I think I'll change the drop off to Gdl.

If nothing else then getting lost in Paris will be a new experience!

Thanks for the help.

Palo Alto...
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4. Re: Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

You are not likely to get lost getting to GdL if you have a GPS. It is really easy. I have done it coming from Chalon-sur-Saone. Also, unless you rented from Hertz, you may not have a drop-off fee. Enjoy the trip.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

I would certainly return to GdL as well -- but just know that depending on your rental company, signage for the return can be difficult to find. (This is not special to GdL however -- return signage is often lacking/ not very obvious at most of the other gares as well.) And I doubt you will be charged extra to drop off there, we never have with rentals starting at CDG. Have a great trip, sounds very nice. -- Jake

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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6. Re: Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

Make sure you know exactly where to return the car: it will almost certainly be a commercial car park, but not necessarily the one associated with the station.

New Hampshire
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for Paris
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21,045 posts
25 reviews
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7. Re: Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

syndeynick mentions a critical point.

Agree with the advice to drop the others and the bags off at the hotel first, but recommend a driver plus navigator to return the car. And, figure out ahead of time where you'll fill the tank if you need to do that.

As always, it's essential to be patient with the return...clerical people in France tend to seem slow (they're extremely detail oriented, and you should be too). Don't rush, make sure everything is in order, to avoid unwanted charges to dispute later.

Reykjavik
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8. Re: Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

Quick update:

Driving with GPS in Paris was easy. Dropped our passengers and bags off at the hotel in the Latin Quarters and then off to GDL. Previewed the drop-off point using Street View / GoogleMaps.

There was a long queue at the rental but keep in mind that drop-off can cut the queue and go to the front.

Reykjavik
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1,481 posts
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9. Re: Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

Small update and warning:

About 2 weeks after returning home my card was charged for damage to one of the rental cars. I countered and my card provider put the charge on hold. I then contacted the rental company and asked what damage was being claimed. I have yet to get an answer but it seems the charge has been dropped (I have yet to get that confirmed).

Fortunately I had the sense to take photos of the cars from all angles after I parked them that clearly show there is no damage. This was what convinced the card provider to counter the charge. So let this be a warning: even when dealing with the big, internationally recognized companies ALWAYS photograph the cars when returning them.

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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10. Re: Returning rental cars - CDG or should we enter Paris?

No harm in taking a few photos but the tough part will be convincing a court, if it comes to that, that you took the photos at drop off rather than pick up. Photos may not be bad to have but they will not prove definitively any type of time line in reference to car rental damage. These cases always have the potential of being a "you said" vs. "they said" situation and with you now being in a different country, 2 weeks is not really sufficient time to know if a resolution has occurred or is imminent.

Normally, when damage claims occur, your credit card is charged for the damage, Visa or MC will put the charge on hold allowing the rental company to respond. The claim can either be continued by the rental company or dropped. If it is continued, and the rental company''s position is compelling, the hold on your damage claim is released and the charge is reinstated. You pay the damage amount but Visa/MC has automatic collision insurance as part of the rental payment and they will reimburse you for a damage amount they feel is adequate.

I would give this a little more time to be sure and hopefully with the rental company takes a closer look at the local rental office''s damage claim, they will find an error on their part and you'll hear nothing else.