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Old 21 August 2019, 11:07
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Renting/Driving a Car in France

So HH6 and I leave for France next week. I am renting a car and driving to Bayeux and visiting Normandy and the surrounding areas of the Invasion. My question is how much insurance do I really need for the rental. The car comes with CDW and theft with a deductible of 1800 Euros. Do I need to get the insurance for the windshield and tires? Or is it just a nice to have? I would use one of my Credit Cards for the Insurance but the rental is all part of the package deal.
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Old 21 August 2019, 11:21
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Weren't these guys from France?

_coneheads.jpg
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Old 21 August 2019, 12:18
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There is only one reason we are going to France. Normandy!
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Old 21 August 2019, 12:54
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I just did this back in June. I got the basic care insurance as my regular car insurance said they would cover it. If you were going to be in Paris the whole time then it would be different as you are more apt to get hit or dinged.
Be aware of using your CC for the toll roads, if it does not get read correctly, the machine keeps it. Most places suggest using a secondary card for this.
Also my Visa did not work at Gas station pumps. Many places are self serve or not manned so be advised. It only worked when you could go inside as Visa required a signed receipt.
Otherwise driving was very easy there. Don't speed as they use radar cams.
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Old 22 August 2019, 06:32
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Thanks!
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Old 22 August 2019, 14:27
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Also watch out for scooters and motorcycles as they split lanes very aggressively
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Old 22 August 2019, 19:55
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Normandy is amazing, but, if I was in that part of France, I'd loiter a day or two in the Loire Valley. The Loire is south of Normandy but it has some of the finest castles and vineyards in all of France. Definitely worth a stop.
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Old 22 August 2019, 20:11
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I dont know if this still applies, but my wife found out that when you make a train reservation, make sure you have the same credit card you made it with...
Other than that, you should be fine, the French are nice people..
My cousin has a vineyard in the SE, if ya head that way... Stop in, drink some Vino and get some food. She is a great cook too.
https://www.domaine-des-enfants.com/...ry/our-family/
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Old 23 August 2019, 06:47
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HH6 says we have to visit some "Monk Island". You can only get to the Island at low tide by car. Can't wait...…..
After seeing Normandy and surrounding areas we move to Liege to go to one of the biggest weapons museums in the world. Then off to Bastogne, Arnhem, and ending in Stuttgart.
I think my wife has programmed some artsy fartsey crap in between these places.

Last edited by Stopp700; 23 August 2019 at 06:55.
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Old 23 August 2019, 07:02
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Where is Monk Island?
Mont-Saint-Michel? If so yes that was neat to visit. Get there early as it quickly become extremely crowded.
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Old 23 August 2019, 07:05
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The Bayeux Museum is nice, also go to the British beach sector as they still have the large guns in the bunkers.
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Old 23 August 2019, 08:04
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Yes, Mont Saint Michael. Thanks for the getting there early tip as my wife likes to drag her feet in the morning. The British Sector was on my list. Looking forward to all of it!
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Old 23 August 2019, 08:15
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it is 320 steps to the top. Nice walk, but the bottom is mainly a tourist trap with shops every foot. On the way out it became extremely packed (10 am) with wall to wall people. Pick pocketers are very active there due to the crush of people.
We drove there from Bayeux, I think it was 2 hours cross country. Pretty drive.
My Sprint phone worked great with Google maps. You can pre-download maps before you get there. Also Google translate works great.
Your car will show the local speed limits, you need to watch out for this as the speed limit changes a lot. When you hit a town limits, the speed decreases even when not posted.
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Old 23 August 2019, 17:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve40th View Post
I dont know if this still applies, but my wife found out that when you make a train reservation, make sure you have the same credit card you made it with...
It does, they do this throughout the EU. You can make reservations, print your own tickets, and get on the train directly but when the conductor comes to check your ticket, they will want to see ID and the original card used for payment.
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Old 24 August 2019, 01:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerCharlie View Post
I just did this back in June. I got the basic care insurance as my regular car insurance said they would cover it. If you were going to be in Paris the whole time then it would be different as you are more apt to get hit or dinged.
Be aware of using your CC for the toll roads, if it does not get read correctly, the machine keeps it. Most places suggest using a secondary card for this.
Also my Visa did not work at Gas station pumps. Many places are self serve or not manned so be advised. It only worked when you could go inside as Visa required a signed receipt.
Otherwise driving was very easy there. Don't speed as they use radar cams.
Agreed. Same happened to me on a very quick round trip from Normandy to Bordeaux.

Had to spend the night in the rental car in proximity to a petrol station due to the short manned hours and the pumps not accepting my card without signature.

I found I could speed like a demon(like everyone else) as the camera zones on the motorway were well marked and the motorcycle cops rode in packs making avoiding them easy.
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  #16  
Old 24 August 2019, 16:39
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If you use a Visa credit card, car rental insurance is covered by Visa. They also have some sort of travel/emergency insurance.

Contact your bank or card issuer to go over what those perks are specifically for your needs.
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  #17  
Old 24 August 2019, 16:44
justamedic justamedic is offline
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Better yet, here is the info direct from Visa.
They still recommend calling your card issuer for questions or other specifics.

https://usa.visa.com/support/consume...ge-waiver.html

Here is the number for the perk travel insurance that some Visa cards have automatically:
1-800-992-6029

Enjoy your trip!!!
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Old 1 September 2019, 04:54
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I know your vacation is over, but I missed this note;

I have never had a problem with a credit card at a pump? But, use the stations along the auto-route you can pay inside.

Driving, drop your speed to 50 kilometers per hour in towns. When you see the sign for a town the speed limit starts there. You can also be stopped by the Gendarmes with speed cameras. Do not just think the French only use stationary cameras. Also "some" Gendarme units carry a credit card reader. This is not a joke. They will take your payment before you leave. They might make you pay before you leave.

I never get rental insurance as my insurance converge already covers rentals.

One last note; there are more American Cemeteries in France then Normandy. You will have a better experience at the others.
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  #19  
Old 4 September 2019, 01:23
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Vacation is still going on. Driving was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Having Google maps helped a lot. The Tolls were pretty bad. We paid 28 euros for our trip to Hillie from Normandy. Got rid of the rental yesterday and now we are using trains and drivers.

Mount St Michele was pretty good. Just like everyone had told us get there early, we did. When we were going to have lunch the crowds were just getting there.

We then drove to St Lo. The old part of the City was really devastated by our bombing.

Pointe de Hoc was really something. I will post pictures later. Omaha Beach was pretty commercialized. We went to the American Cem at Omaha, the wife had two cousins buried there. The Cem Staff took us out to both graves sites to put flags on them. It's a really big Cemetery, a lot of young Soldiers are there.
Yesterday we visited the American Cemetery near Liege. Another thing I am glad we got to see.

Today we are going to Arnhem, I have not been there in 18 years. We will go to a couple museums, the UK/Polish Cemetery and then walk around the town.
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  #20  
Old 4 September 2019, 16:03
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Arnhem was fabulous! The Airborne Museum had been totally refurbished. Still a good stop. The UK/Polish Cemetery was still beautifully taken care of by the locals. The GE cemetery was cleaned up from the last time I went there. Last time it looked like the opening scenes from the Munsters Show. We then went to the Museum at the old school. Full of old weapons, uniforms, radios and explosives. Not sure they were inert but still pretty cool. Tomorrow off to Bastogne.
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