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Why rent a car in Nice?
Nice is a great destination to visit by heart. Located in the heart of French Riviera, it offers easy to access to all the main attractions of the area, and is an interesting city in its own right.
Top ways to enter Nice
- Nice Airport: One of France’s busiest, Nice Airport hosts flights to and from nearly European countries, as well as other parts of the world.
- Toulon Airport: This small airport is popular with low-cost carriers and mainly active during summer months.
- By public transportation: If you’re arriving to Nice by train, you can conveniently pick up a rental car at the Nice Railway Station.
Useful city facts
- With the urban population of more than 1 million, Nice is the fifth largest city in France.
- The main language of Nice is French. The knowledge of English varies among the local population, but many people working in the service industry speak it.
- With mild winters, but hot summers Nice is a typical Mediterranean destination. The precipitation is generally low and sometimes almost non-existent during July and August.
Top destinations and activities
- Promenade des Anglais. The most famous landmark of Nice. Walking the whole length of 7 km (4.2 mi) of this seaside promenade is a great way to get your first impressions of the city.
- Colline du Château. The castle hill offers a very scenic view of the harbour and the rest of the city. The castle itself has fallen to disrepair, but is nevertheless interesting to observe.
- The old town (Vieux Nice). Mazy and always full of life, the original settlement of Nice has something for everyone, from the the local cathedral, the Baroque Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate, and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC), to a market where you can buy fruits and other produce from local farmers.
Traffic and parking tips
- The speed limit in cities is 50 km/h, although in certain areas the speed limit may be reduced to 30 km/h. Unlike with inter-city roads, the urban speed limit is unaffected by weather.
- Outside cities, as of July 2018 the speed limit depends on the type of the road. Highways are limited to 130 km/h, 4-lane expressways to 110 km/h, and 2- or 3- lane roads to 90 km/h. During the rain the limits are respectively lowered to 110 km/h, 100 km/h, and 80 km/h. The general speed limit is lowered to 50 km/h during heavy fog or other cases of bad visibility.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- As of 2018, hands-free mobile phone use is banned in France and the fines are hefty.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.02% for novice drivers.
- The emergency number is 112.
Most of the main highways in France (autoroute in French) are toll roads. Their names start with letter A and you can recognize them by a red number sign. The fare for taking a toll road depends on the specific route, the distance length, as well as the type of your vehicle - trailer cars and caravans have to pay more than regular cars. You can pay by a credit card or by cash. You’ll be given a ticket that you have to keep while on the toll road.
Some rental cars are equipped with toll road transporters and can use the automatic toll road payment booths (Télépéage). Ask your rental car provider to find out if they offer cars with toll road transporters.
See the official French toll road website for more information. Use the website's toll road calculator to find out exactly how much you’ll have to pay for using the toll roads on your planned route.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Monaco. Just a half an hour’s drive east of Nice, this microstate arguably has the richest population on earth. From opulent architecture to beautiful gardens, interesting museums, and harbour full of five-star yachts, it can be a fun place to explore. Although Monaco is technically not a part of the Schengen Area, it has the same entry requirements as those of France.
- Mercantour National Park. About an hour’s drive from Nice, this beautiful nature area in the Maritime Alps has long valleys, friendly villages, and caves with petroglyphs originating in the Bronze Age.
- Cannes. Smaller than Nice and a host of the world-famous film festival, Cannes is both beautiful and cozy.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in France is the Renault Twingo, but travelers also pick the Volkswagen Polo and the Ford Fiesta a lot. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact and mini.
- Avignon. A city of great historic and religious prominence, Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a more relaxed destination than the large coastal cities.
- Piedmont and Lombardy. These two nearby Italian regions should be visited not only for their famous capitals, Turin and Milan, but also because of beautiful countryside, mountain lakes, and friendly local population.
- The Alps. Winter resorts like Chamonix and Albertville are among the most famous in Europe, and it only takes about five hours drive north of the Mediterranean to reach them.
How can I save money on my rental car?
These are the ways to get a good car rental deal in Nice:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Nice is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 42% cheaper than the yearly average and 59% cheaper than renting a car in July.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Nice?
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What's the most popular month to rent a car in Nice?
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