Car Hire in Marseille
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The city of Marseilles is located on the coast of the Gulf of Lion. The city represents the prefecture of the Bouches-du-Rhône department and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. The oldest city in France was founded 600 years before Christ and is now the second-largest city in France and one of the oldest cities in Europe.
The city changed its name throughout history as it was inhabited by different cultures in different eras. But Marseille has been an important trading port from the beginning until today. The old port is located in the heart of the city and offers a great insight into the rich history of this city. Marseille experienced its heyday during the hectic times of colonization and in the 19th century when it became a thriving industrial city. With its bustling port, Marseille has a connecting point with different cultures across the sea, making it a multicultural and metropolitan city. Incidentally, Marseille has the third-largest Jewish community in Europe after London and Paris. Also, people from all over the world live and work in Marseille, so you can enjoy multiculturalism to the fullest.
At the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century, many old buildings were restored or reconstructed. In 2013, Marseille was the European Capital of Culture, and in 2017 European Capital of Sport.
Besides industry and multiculturalism, Marseille is the city with the second most museums in France, right after Paris, and has a lot to offer for every tourist. There are so many things to see and do in Marseille that you will be thrilled. If you prefer an active holiday, Marseille is the place for you, or if you prefer walking and visiting tourist attractions and museums, you will also find Marseille very interesting and we must not forget the many great beaches that offer different finishes and you will surely find one that suits you.
So do not hesitate, if you are planning or making a road trip through France, make sure to stop here and see this beautiful and unique city. You will not regret it. The city is very popular among different types of tourists. There are many young people here, also because of the good University of Marseille, but also many artists, nature lovers, sea lovers, and many different profiles of travellers who want to experience the atmosphere of Marseille.
Basic info and car hire in Marseille
- Location: South part of France
- Population: 868,277
- Official language: French
- Currency: Euro
- Weather: The city has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate
- Holidays in Marseille: For public holidays in Marseille follow this link
- Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
- Road conditions: Most roads in Marseille are in good condition.
- Car hire in Marseille: The most common pick-up point for vehicles in Marseille is at the Marseille airport and Marseille Saint-Charles Railway Station. Please note that prices vary frequently. It is best to book a car 3 to 8 weeks in advance of your desired pick-up date - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire. Find the best deal on car hire in Marseille!
Driving in Marseille
Marseille is the second-largest city in France and many French people would say that it is the capital of traffic jams. It is quite understandable that there is a lot of congestion at rush hours, as the city has many inhabitants and many jobs in the city centre, as well as many tourists throughout the year. Therefore, it might be best to drive to the area you want to explore, park your car in one of the many parking garages or underground garages (which are quite cheap and safe), and then explore the surroundings on foot or by public transport (metro, tram, bus...).
If you want to drive around the city by car, there will be few problems if you follow the rules and respect the road signs. If you avoid rush hours, you can drive around the city in a relaxed manner. Since Marseille is a city with a high crime rate, especially in the suburbs, it is advisable to use your car instead of public transport at night. Besides, driving through this city at night is a great experience. The lights of the city and of course the lights of the various ships and yachts in the port of Marseille give you a whole new perspective.
If you are starting your road trip here in Marseille or just stopping in, you should know that you have great access to the whole country outside the city. The condition of the roads is really good and you can choose between local roads and highways. It is up to you which way of travelling or driving you to prefer. If you want to get from one city to another faster, you should use the highways. However, if you prefer to explore the culture, landscapes, and people outside the cities, you should use the local roads which are also in good condition and will give you a nice road trip through this amazing country.
- Age limits: The minimum age to drive a car in France is 18 years.
- International Driving Permit: Yes, if you are a non-EU license holder.
- Additional papers: Identification(passports for all people in the car), the car's registration certificate, and your M.O.T. certificate (for cars over three years old, proving the vehicle meets environmental and road safety standards), a valid driving license, and valid proof of insurance. (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car hire agency in case your policy doesn't cover you while driving in France)
- Additional requirements: High-visibility, reflective vest for every person in the car, Warning triangle, Full set of replacement bulbs for head and taillights, Spare pair of glasses, Headlight converters (required if driving from, "Crit'Air" badge (required in central Paris), Breathalyzer.
- Children in the car: Children under 13 must be in car seats or wearing seat belts appropriate for their age and height. Babies and infants about a year old or under should always be positioned in rear-facing car seats.
- Driving side of the road: Right
- Lights: Check that all lights are working, clean, and correctly aimed.
- General speed limits: There is a variable maximum speed on French roads, depending on weather conditions. In dry weather, 2- or 3-lane rural roads are limited to 80 km/h, 4-lane expressways (in rural areas) are limited to 110 km/h, and motorways (in rural areas if classified as highways) are limited to 130 km/h. In rainy conditions, the limits are lowered to 80, 100, and 110 km/h respectively. The 50 km/h speed limit in cities is independent of weather conditions. The general speed limit is reduced to 50 km/h on all roads in fog or other poor visibility conditions when visibility is less than 50 meters.
- Parking suggestions: In the city area, you must pay for all street parking from Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am-8:00 pm, and you pay per hour. Parking is free on Sundays and holidays. Generally, you can park for up to 6 hours at a time if you do not have a resident's permit, and up to a week at a time with a permit.
Car Hire in Marseille
Most popular car hire at Marseille
The most selected hire car in Marseille is Ford Fiesta, with Renault Clio and Seat Ibiza also being a popular option. The most popular car types in Marseille are mini, economy, and compact.
Popular Driving Routes
Popular One-Way car hire from Marseille
Want to rent a car for a one-way trip? No worries! Orbit Car Hire offers a variety of one-way Car Hire options in many locations outside of Marseille. One-way car rental is ideal for cross-town or cross-country travel, saving time by not returning to your original location. Start your reservation with Orbit Car Hire and find great options on one-way car hire at locations across the France.
- Marseille-Aix-En-Provence (32km with approximately 40 minutes of drive)
Marseille-Nice (200km with approximately 2-2,5 hours of drive)
Marseille- Parc national des Calanques (15km with approximately 30 minutes of drive)
Marseille-Cassis (33km with approximately 30 minutes of drive)
What to see in Marseille
Notre Dame de la Garde
This is one of the most famous landmarks in Marseille. This stunning church is located on a hill and offers a great view of the city and the sea. When you visit, be sure to explore the area around the church and find a perfect spot from which to watch the city, the bustling harbour, or the lapping sea. Of course, you will be amazed when you enter the church. With its wonderful mosaics and other decorations, this church is truly worth a visit when you come to Marseille. You can drive to this hill or use a bus that leaves every 20 minutes from the port.
It is undoubtedly the best museum in the city. If you are interested in Mediterranean culture and history, there is no better place than this museum to explore it. In addition to exhibitions, you can also see films and presentations about the rise and development of this civilization from its beginnings until today.
The Old Town of Marseille, Le Panier
This multicultural and colourful old town is one of the most beautiful and picturesque old towns in all of France. It is also the oldest part of the city, having been inhabited by the ancient Greeks since the city's beginnings. You should experience this part of the city during the day and also in the evening when it takes on a different dimension and charm. You will undoubtedly fall in love with Le Panier and you can also take great photos here as it is known as one of the most popular places to post on social media.
The famous port was founded 600 years before Christ and is still in operation today. It has a long history with many turbulent times that have left their mark on this unique port. During the Second World War, it was heavily bombed and later renovated. Today, it is one of the most popular places for tourists and travellers from all over the world. You can simply stroll around the harbour and admire the wonderful surroundings and the many different ships and boats that are docked in the harbour. There are also many restaurants and shops here in the harbour, so you can easily spend an entire afternoon here. If you consider that there are also some historical sites here, you will definitely like Vieux Port.
This truly special and charming neighbourhood offers you a glimpse into old Marseille and its culture. In the many narrow streets with small squares, fountains, and statues you will feel the spirit of this multicultural city. There are many shops, boutiques and studios here where you can find great souvenirs and even some wonderful works of art. This is a neighbourhood you should visit.
Drive your rental car beyond Marseille
If you are taking or planning a road trip through France, Marseille is undoubtedly one of the places you should put on your priority list. But the south of France is so much more than just Marseille. There are so many wonderful places you should visit that you need to make a really good plan to see all the places you want to see. And believe me, there are many of them and each one has something special to offer. The roads here are in really good condition, so you will not have any serious problems getting around in your car. Also, there are many smaller towns than Marseille, so you will find parking much easier and faster than in a big city like Marseille.
So, once you have explored all parts of Marseille and decided to explore the surroundings of this city, just buckle up and hit the road. One of the places you should visit is Aix-en-Provence. This is one of the most famous day trips from Marseille and if you take the time to walk around this city, you will know why. The birthplace of the famous painter Paul Cézanne has a lot to offer you. From the museum dedicated to this amazing painter to a beautiful cathedral and lovely streets with lots of squares, fountains, and nice cafes, you will feel right at home here.
Another city you should visit is Nice. With many beautiful promenades, a great harbour, unique and famous beaches, and lots of historic architecture, this is a place you will fall in love with. Make sure you bring enough time because the city will amaze you and you will forget about time and just walk around and enjoy.
If you are more of a nature lover, you should visit the Calanques National Park. There are so many activities here that you will just love this place. So many hiking trails, lavender fields, beaches, caves, you get everything you need for a good active vacation here. And another bonus is that you have a breathtaking view of the beautiful Provence all the time. Do not miss out on this place!
Cassis is a destination for those looking for a quiet fishing town. This charming little town is worth a visit. Aside from the beautiful architecture, you can admire in this town, there are also some delicious restaurants serving mostly seafood that you should visit.
Then there are some really beautiful places that you should visit such as Frioul Islands, Avignon, Saint-Tropez, Monaco, Verdon Gorge, Nimes, Éze, Arles, etc.
Enjoy the culture in Marseille
Where to eat, drink, and party in Marseille
France is famous for its great cuisine. It is no different here in Marseilles. The food here is truly delicious and you can see and taste the influences from all over the world. This is because of the multiculturalism of the city and also because French gastronomy has always been open to influences from abroad. Today, you can enjoy delicious seafood here in the city, but also different cuisines from all over the world and also from all over France. Some of the most popular and traditional dishes here are: Panisse, Madeleines, Moules Marinière, Navettes, Pissaladière, Bouillabaisse, Pieds et Paquets, Aïoli...
If you are looking for nightlife in Marseille, you will find something for yourself. Marseille is known for its rich club scene with many different genres of music offered in various clubs. There are also many concerts held in the city, especially in the summer. So if you want to relax, dance or party until dawn, you will find something for you in Marseille
Best restaurants in Marseille:
Le Bistro Du Panier
Le Hippie Chic cafe
La Cantine de Lynn
La Delicatesse Restaurant
What you need to know about renting a car
What do I need to rent a car in France?
A credit card in the name of the main driver needs to be presented. A security deposit may be required while renting a car so the credit card must have sufficient funds. You can find details about the security deposit listed while booking the vehicle as well as on your voucher. It is important to have a valid driving license with the name of the main driver as well as additional drivers when it applies. An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements. You will need to have identification with you such as a passport and ID cards. When you pick up your rental car you need to have your voucher with you.
How old do I need to be to rent a car in France?
The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years old but drivers with this age can rent only Mini and Economy Car Categories. Renters aged 25 and older may rent all Car Categories. With some suppliers for people over 75 years of age. Young driver surcharges may apply to many car rental companies for people under 25 years of age.
Do I need car insurance in France?
Insurances are very important when renting a car and can be different between countries. When renting a car in France with Orbit Car Hire the prices will include mandatory insurances in the country.
Do I need a credit card to rent a car in France?
In most cases, a credit card is required to be presented in the name of the main driver. A security deposit may be required when renting a car so it is important to have sufficient funds on the credit card. When searching for a car at Orbit you can see credit card requirements from all our suppliers.
Do I need an international driving license in France?
Drivers license issued in France or within the European Union does not have to provide an international drivers license. For drivers with a license issued outside of the EU will need to have an international driving license as well as your standard driving license. You must have both licenses with you at all times while driving a car in France.
How do I find the cheapest car hire in France?
You can find cheap car hire by comparing prices with all major car rentals at Orbit. A good idea can be to book in advance as the prices can increase closer to the travel period.
What is the cheapest rental car in France?
You will find the mini car category or economy cars to be the cheapest car categories. Vehicles such as Renault Twingo and Citroen C3 often provide the best prices.
What is the best car rental company in France?
You may find excellent service provided by companies such as Europcar, Enterprise Rent a Car, Keddy by Europcar, Alamo Rent a Car, and GoldCar.
What types and makes of rental car deals can I find in France?
You will find car types such as mini, economy, compact, Full-Size, and luxury cars. Popular rental cars are Citroen C3, Renault Twingo, Peugeot 308, Toyota Yaris.
Does my rental car have unlimited mileage when I book it for France?
Most car rentals in France offer unlimited mileage in their offers.
How to hire a car in France?
You can hire a car in France with Orbit Car Hire in simple steps. First, you define where you would like to pick up and return the car, enter dates and times and you can search for your cheap France car hire.
How much is it to rent a car in France?
It will depend on where in France you would like to rent a car and at what period. The summer months can be more expensive than during the winter. You can find prices down to 12 GBP per day.
Can you rent an automatic car in France?
Yes, you can find a wide range of automatic rental cars in France. The best way to find your automatic car hire in France is to filter the "Automatic" transmission when searching for your vehicle.
Can I rent a car in France?
Yes, you can rent a car in France in simple steps with Orbit Car Hire. You just need to be over 21 years of age and have held the driving license for a minimum of one year (This can depend on the car hire companies)
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