Car Hire in Nantes
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Nantes is the sixth-largest city in France and is located in Loire-Atlantique on the Loire River in the Pays de la Loire region of western France. Nantes has a very rich and turbulent past, with many wars, but also many periods of growth culturally, financially, and architecturally.
Today, Nantes is considered a city with many opportunities. Many large French companies have their offices here. The city is very lively and constantly evolving. In 2004, Time Magazine named Nantes the 'most liveable city in Europe', and in 2013 it was awarded the title of European Green Capital.
Nantes has an excellent public transport network. There are many ways to get around the city. You can use electric trams, bicycles or busses. There is also a taxi service, but the city centre is closed to cars.
Also, Nantes has a rich royal history that is reflected in the architecture, especially along the river where you can admire castles and other medieval remains. The art scene is also worth a visit. You can also visit many museums and exhibitions, so you certainly will not get bored in Nantes.
Basic info and car hire in Nantes
- Location: Pays de la Loire Region, France
- Population: 314,138
- Official language: French
- Currency: Euro
- Weather: Nantes has an oceanic climate
- Holidays in Nantes: For public holidays in Nantes follow this link
- Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
- Road conditions: Most roads in Nantes are in good condition.
- Car hire in Nantes: The most common pick-up point for vehicles in Nantes is at Nantes airport and Nantes 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 Nantes!
Driving in Nantes
If you are taking a road trip through France and have decided to visit Nantes, it's best to park your car in one of the city's many car parks and use public transport. You should not drive into the city centre, as it is pedestrian-only and there are many attractions in the centre. But if you want to explore the surroundings of Nantes, the car is a good solution. The roads here are in very good condition and you will enjoy the drive through this wonderful country with its breathtaking views.
If you are driving into the city, make sure that you follow the signs on the road carefully. The police here are very strict and if you break the rules, you will hardly avoid punishment.
- 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 Nantes
Most popular car hire at Nantes
The most selected hire car in Nantes is Ford Fiesta, with Renault Clio and Seat Ibiza also being a popular option. The most popular car types in Nantes are mini, economy, and compact.
Popular Driving Routes
Popular One-Way car hire from Nantes
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 Nantes. 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.
Nantes-Clisson (36km with approximately 30 minutes of drive)
Nantes-Pornic (50km with approximately 50 minutes of drive)
Nantes-Angers (90km with approximately 1 hour of drive)
Nantes-Rennes (113km with approximately 1,5 hours of drive)
What to see in Nantes
Les Machines de l'Ile
This is the result of an artistic project in which two artists, François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice, collected objects in the area to create large machine-like sculptures. Today there is a park with these works of art and is one of the places you should not miss when visiting Nantes.
Jardin des Plantes
This large botanical garden has been in existence for more than 300 years. Walking through this garden, you can relax and admire more than 500 species of flowers.
Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne
This magnificent chateau stands in the middle of the city and represents the splendour and power of the French aristocracy in the past. Today, this monumental building houses the Nantes History Museum with a large collection of works of art from the region. It is also a special experience to visit the castle in the evening when the lights around it highlight the power of this architectural masterpiece.
Cathedral of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul
This large cathedral stands in the centre of the city. It has a very turbulent past, having been damaged several times. The last two were during the bombing in World War II and when it was devastated by fire in the 1970s. However, today you can visit this cathedral and explore its interesting interior.
This famous Italian-style opera house is one of the best opera houses in the area. It is also very popular with the locals and there are some performances for which you can hardly get a ticket.
Drive your rental car beyond Nantes
If you are driving through France, you will probably stop in Nantes. And after exploring this charming city, you should know that there is plenty to see and do around Nantes as well. There are many villages and small towns that you can visit. You can also visit some great castles, which are not that rare here. It is entirely up to you what you prefer. You can visit different towns and villages, meet the locals and taste traditional dishes. For those who prefer an active vacation, there are also many opportunities to exercise in beautiful nature. You can go kayaking, swimming, cycling, horseback riding, etc.
Very close to Nantes is the charming little village of Clisson, which in many ways reminds you of Tuscany. Especially with its architecture and the countryside that surrounds it. Another charming village to visit is Guerande. It is known for its salt, but when you discover the streets and squares of this village, you will fall in love with it. If you want to visit a beach, then you should go to La Baule. It is also known as the Nantes beach because it is one of the best and most popular beaches for Nantes residents. You can also do many sports activities in the small town of Pornic, which is also very nice to discover. By the way, it is known for its excellent cuisine. And this region is also home to a village that many say is the most beautiful village in France, Rochefort-en-Terre. You should visit it and decide if that is true or not. Then there are towns, all unique and worth visiting: Serrant, Brissac, Saumur, Montsoreu, Rennes, Le Mans, Angers, La Rochelle, Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile...
So if you are planning to explore the Nantes area, make a good plan because there's a lot to see. Buckle up and drive safely.
Enjoy the culture in Nantes
Where to eat, drink, and party in Nantes
In Nantes, as in the whole of France, culinary matters play an important part in daily life. People here know how to enjoy food and you can join them and taste the delicious gastronomy of Nantes. The culinary here moves between the land and the sea. There are many dishes prepared from fish, but also a lot of meat like beef, white meat, pork... There are also many local ingredients here in Nantes and the surrounding area, as many people here grow vegetables and other crops. So if you mix everything and add a little experimental spirit, you will get the cuisine of Nantes. You will enjoy it. And on top of that, there are many great wines here in Nantes. So you have practically everything you need for a successful gastronomic holiday. Enjoy!
Best restaurants in Nantes
Le Bistro des Enfants Nantais
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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