Car Hire in Nantes
Already been to the Tour Bretagne, Nantes Cathedral, and Machines of the Isle of Nantes? Book car hire in Nantes and get out the city. When you rent a car in Nantes you can explore the Loire Valley vineyards, Atlantic coast resorts and typical French villages. Compare car hire deals in Nantes to get the best prices (and feel smug during your road trips).
Where to Hire a Car in Nantes
Car hire in Nantes is available from numerous agencies in the city centre and dotted around the ring road in the city's retail parks. If you're picking up your car as soon as you arrive, Hertz and Avis both offer car hire from Nantes Atlantique Airport. There's a Thrifty nearby, too. It's best to compare car hire at Nantes Airport to find the cheapest options. If you'd rather hire a car in Nantes city centre, after a few days of exploring on foot, rental agencies based in the old town include Sixt, Hertz, Thrifty and Europcar.
Tips for Driving in Nantes
Driving in downtown Nantes is just like driving in any big city, with rush hours from 7am to 9am and again from 5pm to 7pm. It costs money to park on street, if you're lucky enough to find a space. It's better to leave your car in one of the long term car parks, or to make sure your accommodation in Nantes has car parking.
Traffic in France drives on the right-hand side of the road, so be wary at first until you get used to it. The French have a few driving laws to be aware of, for example 'driving with due care and attention' – no eating McDonalds behind the wheel. La priorité à droite (priority from the right) rule causes plenty of confusion and frustration. If you see a car coming from the right, give way – even on roundabouts.
3 Easy Day Trips from Nantes
Best for families – Zoo des Sables It takes an hour and 20 minutes to drive to this eco-zoo, and is worth it to see more than 40 species of threatened animals. Conservation is the order of the day at this animal park, with lots to see, do and learn. Feed colourful lorikeets in the aviary, or take part in special activities for adults and children.
Best for local culture – Brière Regional Natural Park Just under an hour's drive from Nantes, this area of marshland is famous for its thatched cottages and rich history. Hop on a chaland (flat bottomed boat) and travel along the canals. Hop off and try the local dishes made from duck and eel at the restaurant in St-Joachim.
Best for seaside – Noirmoutier-en-l'Île The island of Noirmoutier is an hour and 25 minutes drive from downtown Nantes. This peaceful island has peaceful harbour towns, sandy beaches and leafy forests to explore. Be careful if you're driving to or from the island on the Passage du Gois causeway. Tides rise quickly, and it's easy to get stranded. Check the tide timetable before setting out.