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We have rented automobiles several times in France (and elsewhere) for periods less than the minimum required to "lease" a car (our preferred option). see tip above.
A quarter of a century ago we were happy to forgo taking out "extra insurance" to limit the excess liability in the case of an accident or damage to the car....with age comes wisdom!!??
We no longer take that approach - preferring to limit our liability. I suggest you do too!
The usual deal when picking up a hire car is to present a credit card which leaves the hirer open to having arbitrary amounts charged to that credit card account if the car company deems it necessary because of damage.
Read most contracts & you will find an "excess clause". You could be liable for several thousand Euro. Most companies offer insurance to reduce the excess - charging a daily rate which, in some cases, nearly doubles the cost of the hire.
We usually hire through an Australian broker, paying Australian dollars and pay an upfront amount (approx. $60) to remove the excess.
I was very glad to have done so with a week's hire of a people-mover in France in 2008. The van was in less than pristine condition and had a crease in the bodywork in front of the driver's door below the left hand windscreen pillar plus damage to wing mirror and numerous scratches to body work elsewhere. Pick-up point, Never, had no alternative vehicle available so we were stuck with it.
As I usually do, I used my digital camera to photo graph every damaged area. Yes!I also ensured the contract had the damaged areas marked as well.
On day 6 of an 8 day hire, a crack developed in the windscreen bottom centre. After returning the vehicle, my credit card was charged over 800 Australian dollars to cover the damage to the windscreen.
I was able to recoup this excess in total via the Australian broker. I sent photos of the prior damage to the vehicle with the proposition that lateral pressure from that damage could well have caused the windscreen crack & to fix the damage to the car body the windscreen would have had to be removed any way.
Lessons to learn:
Take out the extra insurance
Take photos of any damage to vehicle before you drive away
check out this VT discussion on Hire Company hitting credit cards for huge amounts
Updated Feb 13, 2013
Lille is a major city of France and commanding city of the north. I have family nearby so have visited the city several times, just now come to write about its transportation.
There is Lille Flanders and Lille Europe train stations.
Lille Flandres is the main French railroad station here coming from Paris Nord, it is at the center of Lille and 21 meters high in altitude. The facade of this station was the one at Paris gare du nord that was transported to Lille by the architect of the paris nord in 1867.
It is connected to the city by metro lines 1 and 2, tramways R and T, plus bus lines C1, C2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 13, 86, 88, L91, and the bus Navette Airport.
The gare can handle the TGV coming from Gare du Nord Paris but also those coming from Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon . Also ,the TER Nord-Pas-de-Calais coming from Rouen,Amiens, Saint-Quentin, and its region of Arras, Douai, Lens, Valenciennes, Jeumont, Hirson, Béthune, Hazebrouck, Dunkerque, Boulogne, Calais, and Tourcoing . It ,also, receives regional trains from Belgium SNCB, such as Courtrai, Ostende, Anvers, Tournai, Namur , Liège-Guillemins.
information site from the SNCF, http://www.gares-en-mouvement.com/en/fradj/votre-gare/
Then you have the Lille Europe train station, just about 500 meters away and acts as the second station. Coming in 1994 due to the LGV service. You can reach the city of LIlle on metro lines 1,and 2, tramway R and T, and buses C1, C2, 12, 18, 35, 36, Flibco ( Lille / Brussels airport ).
Information site for the Lille Europe from the SNCF, is at http://www.gares-en-mouvement.com/en/frlle/votre-gare/
Some of the connections here are even thus is not a terminus station but a passing station only are Brussels, London, and Paris, the TGV links the connections to Boulogne, Calais or Dunkerque to Paris-Nord via Lille, the TERGV, regional TGV serving Arras, Dunkerque, Calais and Boulogne, the TGV avoiding Paris by the south east, west and east with destination or coming from Saint-Malo, Brest, Quimper, Rennes, Nantes, Le Croisic, Tours (St Pierre des Corps), Poitiers, Angoulême, Bordeaux, Hendaye, Irun, Toulouse, Perpignan, Montpellier, Marseille, Nice, Lyon, Grenoble, Besançon, Brive la Gaillarde, Strasbourg , and several others.
The train station schedules can be found here http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/nord_pas_de_calais/Fr/Default.aspx
with the France overall site at www.voyages-sncf.com
It is possible with metro line 2 to connect the train stations of Flandres and Europe. It has the longest track of automated metro in Europe, 45 kms of it. no conductor. You have two metro lines, with Line 1 : Villeneuve d'Ascq 4 districts of it - CHR B Calmette, and Line 2 : Lomme Saint Philibert - Tourcoing CH Dron; also, two lines of tramways linking the nearby cities of Tourcoing and Roubaix with more than 35 stations. all in transpole below.cost metro 1,30€ now
The wonderful public transport service in the city is handle by Transpole, http://uk.transpole.fr/ here in Englishh or in French http://www.transpole.fr/
single ticket is 1,40€ and the always economical for long stays of carnet of 10 for 11,40€, on the buses the price is 2€ for single tickets.
how to arrive by air, train, or road in English is here , http://uk.transpole.fr/upon-your-arrival/upon-your-arrival/sommaire-305.aspx
For driving, its easy , print this map from the city of Lille on the center area of the city,
when i go into the city I park at the centre commercial Eurolille shopping center and its easy to walk or take tram to the center sightseeing area. or you can park and with the parking ticket had free access to the citadines bus that goes to all these parking areas and take you to city center. Champ de Mars, Porte de Valenciennes and Norexpo. The navette bus La Citadine. A 3D map showing all the city parking and bus stops etc, is here, from city of Lille, http://cartographie.mairie-lille.fr/transport/flash/
The vélo or bike rides, increase each year with a plan to 2014 to open more lanes, right now you have stations for pickup and returns at Port de Lille, Cormontaigne,Marbrerie,Tanneurs,Théâtre Sébastopol,Places des Buisses, Université Catholique, Mairie de Lille, Parvis Lille Métropole, and Roger Salengro. You need credit.debit card for a 200€ security deposit, more info in French here ,http://www.vlille.fr/
The airport is Lille-Lesquin, first there is a bus navette to city with 19 R/T per day from 5h to 22h30 ,and from Mondays to Fridays, the weekend depending on the schedule of flights. The trajects are about 20 minutes. more info here http://lille.aeroport.fr/gb/acces/navette.asp
The airport itself I have done meetings there and flown by it. Very nice medium size airport i would say. Here is the site in english with the travelers guide section, http://lille.aeroport.fr/gb/guide/guide.asp
Hope it helps your coming to this wonderful Flemish city of the Nord of France
Written Feb 9, 2013
from Spain on the A62 you can easily go into Bordeaux with a car, done it zillion times, my summer vacation area here.
alternatively you can stop at Cenon. Train station with parking
bus and tram A takes you to central Bordeaux in 15 minutes,
hope it helps
Written Feb 5, 2013
well in that area I use the car, so best is to ask the tourist office in Le Crotoy for that information at
other than that I see you can have a train by getting by taxi to Noyelles sur Mer taxi mob tel +33 (0) 6 16 66 01 93. then take the train to Paris gare du Nord: then take the RER E1 to Val de Fontenay and then the RER A to disneyland, better than going to inner paris on Chatelet.
train schedules at http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/Picardie/fr/Default.aspx
you can do it by bus from Le Crotoy to Noyelles sur Mer on line 9 , this is the bus of the region and go to line 9 for the schedule
about 3€ ride. then the same above by train to Paris gare du nord and disneyland
from beauvais to disneyland there is VEA bus service to the parks
by taxi from Le Crotoy to Beauvais should be available but do not know the prices.The above number or the tourist office can tell you some estimates.
hope it helps
Written Jan 20, 2013
done it many times one of my routes from to France/Spain all my life. The roads today are very good thanks to the EU, you are use to driving,you should not have any problems.
the easist way is to go out of Tolouse towards Muret on the A64, then here you have a choice if you go straight down you will go to community or county roads and indeed very scenic over mountains passes. HOwever will not see much than natural beauty.
Instead continue on A64 to Pau, and there take the N134 ,you will see signs for Zaragoza (thats the good signs to follow) go over Oloron Sainte-MArie then ,the pass de Somport into Spain you will pass Jaca and then Huesca. Both Pau and Jaca are nice town to visit too. takes over 5h drive, you can do better using
www.viamichelin.com than google and in Spain use guiarepsol
hooe it helps, beautiful country ,happy motoring
Written Jan 17, 2013
you take the local public transport depending where your property is located.
the train and bus station are next to each other at Avenue de Sospel.
here is the link for the local and suburbs public bus transport
hope it helps
Written Jan 17, 2013
yes you can possibly walk to city vieux port area very nice too. you have the info in French from official transport site of Marseille
they expect the bus service to be back running by march 2013. so depends now you walk or if after that date you take the navette bus
now here is a map that shows the numbers are the bus numbers that goes by there, when I am there is by car in the city so can only point you to these sites
hope it helps
Written Nov 30, 2012
Paris Orly Airport handles mainly domestic and intra-Europe flights, but some international carriers fly into Paris Orly as well. Paris Orly Airport is nine miles (14 kilometers) southeast of Paris, and there is convenient public transportation into the city.
Airlines serving Paris Orly Airport: Aigle Azur, Air Algerie, Air Berlin, Air Burkina, Air Caraibes Atlantique, Air Europa, Air France, Air Ivoire, Air Mali, Air Malta, Air Nostrum, Airlinair, Alitalia, Atlas Blue, Brit Air, CCM Airlines, CityJet, Corsairfly, Cubana Airlines, easyJet, easyJet Switzerland, Hex'Air, Iberia, Iran Air, Jet4you, Mauritanian Airways, Norwegian Air, OpenSkies, Pegasus Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Syrian Arab Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Transaero Airlines, Transavia, Transavia France, Tunisair, Twin Jet, and Vueling Airlines.
Updated Nov 22, 2012
Buy the 10 ticket booklet for getting around Paris. You can save some money and you can use the same ticket for bus and metro. For going out of Paris buy separate ticket, and for that you will not have to use the regular ticket.
Written Nov 6, 2012
Timetables - Non TGV trains - Transport Express Régional
Timetables for regional trains are available for down loading as PDF’s. check instructions in the paragraph below before clicking the link.......
Example for Paris to Amiens
In the “Fiches horaires
Choisissez un trajet dont vous souhaitez obtenir la fiche horaire” grey box
Use the drop down menu to find the line that interests you. In this case “01: (Paris)Amiens Lille”. Clicking on the “choisir la fiches horaires” will place (at the bottom of the box) “01: (Paris)Amiens Lille” underlided as a clikable link to down load the time table.
Here is the link to the Paris/Amiens/Lille pdf without doing the above
I am indebted to vt member "cubsur" for this decode of French Regional Timetables:-
“Sorry but the downloadable TER timetables are only in French. They are exact reproductions of the leaflets you get in the stations, which are again only in French. 99% of the information you will see and hear is only in French.
Dictionary time I guess, but just quickly what you will see most often on the timetable:
Tous Les Jours - train runs every day, (holidays included)
Lun a Sam - Monday to Saturday, (does not run Sundays or holidays)
Lun a Ven - Monday to Friday, (does not run Saturdays, Sundays or Holidays)
Sam Dim Fetes - Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays only
Dim et Fetes - Sundays and Holidays only
Sauf Sam - not on Saturdays (but runs every other day)
Periode Scolaire - schooldays only
Mer Per Scol - school Wednesdays only (many schools in France have a half day Wednesday but finish at 5pm or later on other days!)
Circule jusqu'au - runs until...(date)
Circule a partir de - runs from... (date)
Ne circule pas - does not run...(dates)
Circule aussi - also runs on the...(dates)
Sauf - except...
You will not be surprised to know that the printed French railway timetables are considered to be among the most complicated in the world!”
Updated Nov 6, 2012
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