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Driving In Paris

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seremban, malaysia
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Driving In Paris

Dear Community

Just to get some idea and experience, how about driving in town for foreigners...is it advisable. I know the roads are very small expecially those out of the between buildings as we see in the movies.

Any experience from foreign visitors / Thanks.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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1. Re: Driving In Paris

If you are staying in Paris, forget about renting a car. On-street parking is impossible to find, and car parks are very expensive. Paris has excellent public transport, and a car would be only an expensive nuisance.

If you are staying outside Paris and want to pick up or drop off a rental car, my experience is that Paris traffic is not difficult, provided you avoid really busy and complex intersections such as Arc de Triomphe or Place de la Concorde.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Driving In Paris

We are "foreigners" and have driven in Paris out of necessity (return the rental car) but we would not advice it. If you are coming from some other place in a rental car best thing to do is drop it off at the entrance to Paris proper and take a taxi or better yet the subway (depending on the luggage you are carting with you) into your hotel.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Driving In Paris

Not advisable for a few reasons. Undo stress being number one.

The transportation system is marvelous. The bus system is fantastic - one right after the other. And the Metro is fast. Absolutely no need for a car in Paris.

los angeles
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4. Re: Driving In Paris

>>Just to get some idea and experience, how about driving in town for foreigners...is it advisable. <<

Unlike Malaysia, France is right-hand-side of the road drive. Not an issue for me 'coz U.S. of A is the same thing.

>>I know the roads are very small expecially those out of the between buildings as we see in the movies.<<

Some roads are narrow one way streets. But the main avenues and freeways are much more wider and has more lanes than your typical Asian freeways.

>>Any experience from foreign visitors / Thanks.<<

The Good - I find that French are defensive, safe and courteous (compared here in L.A.) drivers.

The Bad - Parking.

The Ugly - The round-about. (It's like a giant cobweb).Confusing even with a good GPS.

You're welcome !

Hong Kong, China
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5. Re: Driving In Paris

I don't think French drivers are that defensive. They can be quite aggressive. On a whole though, they seem to have a better understanding of spacing vs American drivers, possibly due to tighter streets.

Roundabouts are much more efficient than the stop sign system. Somebody once explained to me that roundabouts are based on rhythm and I think that is a good way of putting it. Just understand which direction to yield if you arrive at the same time and you should be fine.

Still, driving in Paris the city itself is not recommended nor necessary. Public transport will be much cheaper, more efficient, and cost you less headache overall.

6. Re: Driving In Paris

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Tampa, Florida
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7. Re: Driving In Paris

There are quite a few posters who live in Paris -- none of them own cars.

Of all of my friends in Paris, I know *one* who owns a car.

That should be a major clue -- if the people who live in the city find it unnecessary to have a car, there really isn't much reason for a tourist to have one.

Driving in Paris as a tourist (other than to pick up or drop off a rental car) is completely unnecessary, and completely not recommended. Traffic is heavy, parking is rare and expensive, and having a car will not gain you time, money, or peace of mind.

Victoria, Canada
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8. Re: Driving In Paris

Walk down the street and look at the cars in Paris, , seems like at least 70-80 % have "dings" scrapes and dents.. not huge, so likely most locals just ignore that , but with a rental car, every single little ding will cost you money!

Parking ranges about 25 euros a day, and this assumes you find a car park and leave it there for the day, so really , what is the point of having a car in Paris, no point at all.

Leave car outside Paris, cheap car parks, and less chance of having to pay hundreds if not thousands when you return your rental car to agency for a small little scrape.

Andrésy, France
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9. Re: Driving In Paris

I live 30 km outside of Paris. Usually I take the train to go there, but on occasions I go by car - and then say to myself "Why did you do that? Didn't you remember last time?" as I drive round blocks for nearly 1 hour looking for a parking space, getting stuck in one-way systems, waiting at red traffic lights and in stationary traffic. The problem is a lot of locals are snobs who don't want to mix with the plebians on the public transport system. The only reasons I can see to justify a car in Paris are 1. Disabled person in car. 2. Needing to get to or out of Paris during the few hours when transport stops running (the middle of the night). 3. Delivering something large & bulky to an address (or collecting it from that address). 4. Taking the car to the Autotrain at Gare de Bercy.

Victoria, Canada
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10. Re: Driving In Paris

My cousin has a car and lives in Paris, but the car actually lives in a sort of long term storage garage, it gets taken out once a year at the end of May, it comes down on its own little elevator, where it is driven to their apartment, loaded with their luggage, then driven south to Anduze to remain there until the end of September, when it returns to Paris and goes back into storage. My cousin and her husband are in their seventies and they still use buses and taxis to get around the city,, they used metro until health issues made the stairs and walking too much for them.

If people who have lived in the city all their lives don't bother to drive in the city, then why would someone who is completely unfamiliar with the city do so. Obviously some do drive in the city, there are thousands of cars on the road, but you really have to wonder "why' ?