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The best car hire at Nice airport

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Derby, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 19
The best car hire at Nice airport

We are a family of 4 travelling to Nice on 4th August and I am wanting to book a hire car for two weeks. I appreciate that it will be busy in August so trying to arrange travel to go as smoothly as possible by doing my research first.

Any experience of car hire in Nice airport as to which companies are reliable or which to avoid with massive queues and poor customer service? There seems many varied reports and so I would appreciate any tips from anyone who can advise accordingly on the good and the not so good.

Thank you for your help

Finland
posts: 798
reviews: 141
1. Re: The best car hire at Nice airport

I suggest you consider taking a taxi to downtown Nice and receive your car from an office there. Maybe even if you would be heading somewhere west from the airport you could think about taking a taxi towards Antibes to the nearest car rental station...

At Nice airport, the rental car stations are outside T1. In case you arrive at T2, you have to go to T1 by the often extremely packed shuttle bus from T2. The rental queues are often long in summer time, and as people have learnt to book beforehand, even the pre-booked lines would not be that short. The same goes for dropping the car at Nice, you would have to move from T1 to T2 again so it may be wise to drop the car and take a taxi or bus to the airport.

I think none of the big rental companies are really better than the others. Just to note, have concentrated our rentals on Europcar as we have had consistent success with them. Some people have not, though.

Do book the car beforehand, makes things easier & cheaper. You could compare 2-3 of them and decide then. E.g. Europcar, AVIS and Sixt could be a good trio to choose from.

I have Europcar "privilege card" and honestly have never spent more than 5-10 minutes queuing at either Nice or Marseille. But I cannot guarantee this would happen to you, maybe I've just been lucky the 10+ times :-) usually in either June, July or Oct. Once, I think it was June 2010, I was literally shocked by the long queue at Europcar on a Saturday morning some 11AM, but to my big relief I soon found myself behind just one customer at the dedicated desk. - The fact that there are gazebos and drinking water dispensers for the people queuing there speaks for itself?

Derby, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 19
2. Re: The best car hire at Nice airport

Thank you Finland Timo for your quick and detailed reply to my post.

We are staying at Antibes so if the queues, etc are a big hassle at the airport I could have a look at the option of collecting the hire care from else where. I guess I was thinking that it would be less hassle to get the car from the airport and get on our way but realise now that this may not be the case.

Any ideas what a taxi fare maybe to Antibes?

Many thanks for your help - much appreciated.

Finland
posts: 798
reviews: 141
3. Re: The best car hire at Nice airport

About 50 euros I should think (= not cheap), depending on your exact location.But, nothing is cheap at Cote d Azur, see:

…aeroport.fr/Passagers/…Taxis-nicois = they at least try to be transparent

Ask for an estimate as you enter the car. We've never been had, though. But there are different stories also.

In case you decide to do the car rental adventure at NCE, do leave your family waiting at T2 and pick them up from the short time parking lot there, by driving from T1 to T2 with the rental car, once got the hold of it. They can keep the luggage at T2, stay indoors = air-conditioned, have some snack/drink, powder their nose etc. while you scout for the rental. - You will then be able to load the car at T2. - Much more convenient than having the whole family & luggage transported to T1 on that shuttle. We have done this several times, and have a very clear picture how to do it. - Some people tell me that have received their rental car at T2 but so far I have not figured out how this is done in practice... The most recent times visited the coast, we have landed at MRS, which is a Very easy airport to arrive at and depart from. I would not fly to MRS for a vacation at Antibes, though.

Destination Expert
for Cannes
posts: 3,134
reviews: 13
4. Re: The best car hire at Nice airport

In our experience all the car hire firms at Nice Airport will be busy in August.

Pre-paid voucher queues are always the worst , but you can lessen the pain by avoiding whichever car rental firm your airline is promoting, sending the driver ahead when you land whilst the rest of the family collects luggage, and steering clear of Europcar who always seem to worst in high season even if they are cheapest.

Perhaps also consider joining the Avis Preferred Scheme and putting their 3 minute promise to the test

https:/…default.aspx

--- or another privilege scheme to beat the voucher holder queues.

The car rental centre at Nice Airport is a few minutes walk from T2 arrivals, not T1.

…aeroport.fr/Passengers/…Car-Rental-Center

If you want to avoid the Nice airport car rental centre altogether , perhaps consider taking the airport express coach #250 to Antibes from outside the terminal building at either T1 orT2

There are car rental firms based at Antibes railway station which is directly opposite the Vautrin bus stop.

Hope this helps

Finland
posts: 798
reviews: 141
5. Re: The best car hire at Nice airport

It looks like I mixed up T1 and T2 there, sorry for that. In my message above I referred T2 as the eastern one, the one closer to Nice. It is the other way around: the car hire companies are at T2 (west) and most of the foreign flights land at T1 (east).

Derby, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 19
6. Re: The best car hire at Nice airport

Finland Timo and Soooz - many thanks for your replies.

Great to get first hand information so that I stand the best chance getting our holiday off to a good start asap.

I will have a look at the different options that you have suggested and work out my plan for where/when to collect the hire car.

Thanks again for your input - really appreciated.

Andrésy, France
posts: 2,172
reviews: 89
7. Re: The best car hire at Nice airport

I always had good fast service from Sixt. Once I had the misfortune to use Europcar whose office has all the charm of a refugee camp. The cherry on the cake was my friend having his bag stolen inside their office while turning round for 30 seconds!

Derby, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 19
8. Re: The best car hire at Nice airport

Thank you tradeform for you reply. I think I will avoid using Europcar on this occasion!

I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

Finland
posts: 798
reviews: 141
9. Re: The best car hire at Nice airport

As I said, the opinions vary regarding Europcar and any of the rental companies. I have no association with them, but have simply a zero failure experience with them from many rentals + a generally positive note on their service personnel. As said, this is not the case for everyone.

Sixt seems have a smaller market share and this may be an asset at Nice airport in the summer. Based on experience, Sixt is an excellent choice especially in Germany, where they come from and have a very good market position + seemingly good co-operation with the local car manufacturers. I have not noted the length of their queue at Nice AP, but seen both Hertz and Europcar having massive crowds at times.

The even better choice may really be to avoid the airport rental offices, and go to an office downtown by taxi. A well invested 30-50 euros, I think. Nothing's cheap on CdA, so this just rounds up the red figure you make there :-)

Derby, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 19
10. Re: The best car hire at Nice airport

Thank Finland Timo for the information. I appreciate you all taking the time to reply and letting me know first hand information which is a great help to plan our trip.

Thanks once again.