When embarking on your journey to purchase property with the assistance of your South of France surveyor, you’ll no doubt need some way of getting around when you visit the region to view locations or enter into negotiations.


Of course, thanks to the excellent ferry and Channel Tunnel services, it’s easy to take your own vehicle to the continent. However, the drive from the UK to the South of France is a lengthy and arduous one and you may want to consider alternatives such as taking a flight or a train.


This will mean that, once you arrive at your destination, you’ll probably want to rent a vehicle to help you tour the various locations on your itinerary. Bearing this in mind here are ten tips for renting a car in the South of France.

1. Brexit

At time of writing, the UK is due to complete the Brexit process and leave the EU at the end of January 2020.


However, if you are planning on driving in the South of France post Brexit, you may need an International Driving Permit before setting off.

2. Book in Advance

While you may think car rental is something you can leave until you’ve arrived in the country, this attitude could wind up costing you a pretty penny.


You will get a far better deal on your car rental if your book it in advance and you can often get an excellent price by booking as part of a package with the rest of your travel arrangements.

3. Age

While you can drive in France if you are over the age of 18, you need to be 21 in order to rent a car in the country. This requirement raises to 25 for many agencies and you will also need a major credit card to access these services.

4. Driving Licence

Along the same lines, many car rental companies in France will require customers to have held a full driving licence for at least a year.

5. Transmission

Like in the UK, most cars in France have manual transmission and you’ll normally need to pay extra for an automatic. If you are only licensed to drive an automatic therefore, you’ll need to check this when booking.

6. Luggage

A lot of French cars are very small and don’t have much room in the boot. If you plan on taking lots of luggage with you, you may have to pay a little more to access a larger vehicle.

7. Insurance

Insurance coverage and collision damage waivers vary widely among rental companies. If you’re planning on using your own insurance coverage, reconfirm it before setting off.

8. Cancellation

Almost all French car rentals can be modified and cancelled after booking. If you find a better deal after you’ve booked, don’t be afraid to switch.

9. Free Upgrades

Rental firms will often hit customers with something along the lines of, “we’ve given you a free upgrade to a larger and/or more luxurious vehicle.”


However, you should be wary of accepting a larger car than you need, as fuel is expensive, streets can be narrow, and parking spaces can be small.

10. City Driving

Be wary of taking your rental into cities. Not only could you become confused by unfamiliar road rules and narrow labyrinthine streets, but your chances of an accident increase significantly.


Even if you’ve purchased the collision-damage waiver that supposedly protects you, you will still have to pay a sizable deductibleif the car gets damaged – unless you’ve paid the extra daily fee for a “super CDW” or “zero-deductible.

Final Thoughts

There you have our top ten tips for renting a car in France. If you’re ready to start your property buying journey get in touch with experienced South of France surveyor, Charles Mackintosh today.