Renting or buying a car in France

Hiring a car in France is expensive – at least when compared to hiring in Spain or the US – particularly for short periods, although prices have come down recently. To hire a car you must be at least 18 years old, although most companies have increased this to 21 or even 25, and most also have an upper age limit of 60 or 65. You must have held a full licence for at least a year and present your original licence (not a photocopy) – non-EU licence holders require an international driving permit – and usually personal identification as well. Payment must usually be made by credit card.
When choosing a hire car, bear in mind the summer heat (air-conditioning is a must in the south) and the high accident rate on French roads due to often appalling driving standards – try to protect yourself by hiring a robust car rather than one of the cheaper models.

Buying a Car

You must own or rent property in France to buy a car. The process is generally straightforward, although (not surprisingly) it involves a certain amount of paperwork. There are incentives for buying environmentally-friendly cars – or converting a petrol or diesel car to run on gas (LPG).

Whether you buy from a dealer or privately, however, used car prices are high (particularly compared with those in the UK) and you’re often better off buying new.

Excerpted from  “Culture Wise France ” which can be purchased from Survival Books