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Rennes is the capital of the Ille-et-Vilaine department in the Brittany region of western France. It is located at the confluence of the Ille and Vilaine rivers.
The city has a rich and turbulent past with many devastations and attacks throughout history. But after each and every attack on the city, Rennes has risen again and recovered from the destruction. A special rivalry has always existed between Nantes and Rennes. Historically, these two cities have always fought for supremacy. Rennes reached its peak during the French Revolution when it became the headquarters of the Republican army.
The city has been hit by many fires, the most devastating occurring in 1720 when the city was almost completely burned down. The last major fire occurred in 1994, and after each disaster that struck the city, the citizens, with the help of the government, renovated and rebuilt the city. It is a shame that many important historical buildings were lost in the past due to the many tragedies that struck the city, but today some of them have been renovated and can be visited by tourists. There is also a newer part of the city that has a well-developed industry that has grown steadily over the past few decades.
Rennes is also known for its high quality and prestigious university. The city is also a center for technology and science, as many scientific projects are carried out in Rennes. In general, the city is very advanced in the fields of astronomy, science, and technology.
Rennes really has everything you want in a modern city. Lots of green spaces, well-developed industry and university, a vibrant nightlife, rich history with many places to visit, lots of people living here and of course an excellent cuisine that is a trademark for the whole of France. So if you are taking a road trip through France, be sure to put Rennes on your bucket list. It's a city you are sure to love!
Basic info and car hire in Rennes
- Location: Britany region, western France
- Population: 217,728
- Official language: French
- Currency: Euro
- Weather: Rennes has an oceanic climate.
- Holidays in Rennes: For public holidays in Rennes follow this link
- Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
- Road conditions: Most roads in Rennes are in good condition.
- Car hire in Rennes: The most common pick-up point for vehicles in Rennes is at Rennes airport. 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 Rennes!
Driving in Rennes
If you want to take a road trip through France and visit Rennes, you can of course use your car to do it. But it might be better to park your car in one of the many parking lots in the city and use the very well organized public transportation. When driving in the city, make sure that you respect all the signs on the side of the road, because there are some rules here that do not apply in every French city. The most important rule is that of low emission zones.
From the 1st day (in the case of rapid pollution) or the 2nd day (in the case of progressive pollution) of high pollution, the maximum speed is reduced by 20 km/h on roads with a speed limit of 110 - 130 km/h and tickets for public transport throughout the network of STAR are reduced to €1.50/day.
From the 4th day, vehicles must be at least Crit'Air 5 to drive within the Rennes motorway ring road from 07:00-20:00.
From the 6th day onwards, vehicles must be at least Crit'Air 3 to drive within the Rennes motorway ring road from 07:00-20:00.
There are stickers called "air quality certificates" (Certificats qualité de l'air), which are compulsory for French and foreign vehicles. The stickers for foreign vehicles can be purchased in English, French, German, or Spanish. These stickers can also be purchased by people outside France.
Rennes is just over five hours from our Eurotunnel terminal in Calais, but note that some of these roads (A16 and E402) are toll roads. Take the A16/E402 to the A28, continue to Rue Saint-Malo, and then on to Rennes.
- 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 Rennes
Most popular car hire at Rennes
The most selected hire car in Rennes is Ford Fiesta, with Renault Clio and Seat Ibiza also being a popular option. The most popular car types in Rennes are mini, economy, and compact.
Popular Driving Routes
Popular One-Way car hire from Rennes
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 Rennes. 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.
Rennes-Dinan (52km with approximately 45 minutes of drive)
Rennes-Saint-Malo (70km with approximately 1 hour of drive)
Rennes-Saint Lunaire (76km with approximately 1 hour of drive)
Rennes-Cap Frehel (110km with approximately 1,5 hours of drive)
What to see in Rennes
Parc du Thabor
This beautiful park is the perfect place to escape the crowded streets of Nantes and enjoy the green surroundings with its many different types of plants. It is a unique experience when you visit this park during the Tombées de la Nuit, an annual outdoor summer festival celebrating art and culture. During this festival, many events take place here and it is really worth attending one of them.
This tower was built in the 15th century and was used to protect the city from invaders. It was rebuilt several times during its existence and is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
Parlement de Bretagne
This fabulous 7th-century architecture was built for the needs of the Breton Court. The building is still in use today and houses the Rennes Court of Appeal. Guided tours are available for those who wish to discover the interior of this majestic building.
La Place des Lices
This is the second-largest eco-market in France. Every Saturday morning, there are a large number of stalls here selling all kinds of goods. From fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, flowers to artwork, books, tolls, etc. So if you want to buy something traditional from this area, you should definitely come here on Saturday morning.
Drive your rental car beyond Rennes
If you are planning a road trip through Brittany, you'll definitely enjoy the drive. There are so many beautiful places to visit that you will simply fall in love with this beautiful country. There is something for everyone to do. If you are looking for an active vacation, then this is the place for you because there are so many activities that you can do in nature that you will have a hard time choosing. There are also many wonderful places to visit for those who like to explore urban areas, museums, art galleries, etc. And of course, there is excellent gastronomy here, so you can enjoy a quality vacation in every way. You just need to plan well, because there are so many things to see and do that you need to make a list of preferences if you do not want to miss anything.
You can visit the town of Dinan. This small town is located on a hill above the river and is full of historic buildings that you can visit. The main attraction is perhaps the beautiful castle that is open to tourists. Another place you can visit is Saint-Malo. Many would say that this is the most beautiful port in the south of France. It is definitely beautiful and you should visit it and have lunch at one of the local restaurants. The seafood here is delicious. In Rothéneuf there are mystical and unique stone heads called Les Rochers Sculptés, which is definitely worth a visit. You will also love the beautiful sandy beaches of the small coastal village of Saint Lunaire. This is a great place to visit as it is not so crowded with tourists and you can still get good spots on the beach, especially in high summer. So, put this place on your list and enjoy it. Cap Frehel is considered one of the most famous places in Brittany. With its breathtaking views from the high cliffs and rocks, it is truly special.
There are also other places worth visiting such as: Cancale, Côte de Granit Rose, Paimpol, Point de l'Arouest, Chateau Vitré, Mont Saint Michel...
Enjoy the culture in Rennes
Where to eat, drink, and party in Rennes
In Rennes, as everywhere in the French region, there is first-class gastronomy that you can enjoy. You can enjoy gastronomy influenced by Spanish cuisine here. There are many traditional specialties in Rennes that you simply must try: Sausage galettes, traditional crepes, and galettes pancakes, cider, fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood and shellfish, and fish from the nearby coast.
There are so many wonderful places to eat in Rennes that you'll have a hard time deciding where to sit down and sample the local dishes. Rest assured that there are really many good restaurants in the city, and everywhere you go you will get something really delicious and special on your plate.
There is also a well-developed production of craft beers and ciders here and of course one of the French points of pride, wine. You can enjoy many great wines here from the region and from all over France.
Le 2 rue des Dames
Les P'tits Potes
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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