Car rental Toulouse
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Why rent a car in Toulouse?
Toulouse is a great city to visit by car. The center of a large and interesting region and a great destination in its own right, it’s best explored with the freedom of your own ride.
Top ways to enter Toulouse
- Toulouse Blagnac Airport. Located about 7 km (4.2 mi) west of Toulouse city center, this airport serves flights to and from many destinations in Europe and North Africa.
- Carcassonne Airport. Located about an hour’s drive southwest of Toulouse, this small airport serves flights to and from Belgium, United Kingdom, Portugal, and the Republic of Ireland. Other international airports 200 km (125 mi) or less from Toulouse include Tarbes–Lourdes–Pyrénées Airport, Beziers Airport, Perpignan Airport, Pau Pyrénées Airport, Bergerac Airport, and Brive Airport.
- By public transportation: If you’re arriving in Toulouse by train, you can conveniently pick up a rental car at the Toulouse Railway Station.
Useful city facts
- With the urban population of almost 1,000,000, Toulouse is the largest city and the capital of the Occitanie Region.
- Like other southern French cities, Toulouse experiences mild winters and very hot summers, but the precipitation is somewhat higher than on the Mediterranean Coast.
Top destinations and activities
- Basilique Saint-Sernin. This church, first built in 11th Century, is perhaps the largest building in the world built in the Romanesque style. Historically a stopover on important pilgrimage routes, it is noted for its bell-tower and the impressive sound of the church organ.
- Saint Raymond Museum. From prehistoric and Iron Age artefacts to relics of Etruscans, Romans, and Visigoths, the collections of this museum tell the surprisingly diverse story of Toulouse’s history.
- Capitole de Toulouse. Located next to the main Toulouse square, this famous building is home to the City Hall with its awe-inspiring Salle des Illustres hall, as well as the city’s largest theater.
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
- Les Abattoirs. The huge former abattoir is now home to a contemporary arts museum that frequently hosts unique exhibitions.
- Carcassonne. This fortified city is one of the best kept medieval destinations in the whole of France and the largest walled city in Europe.
- The national parks. There are quite a few nature areas near Toulouse. Pyrénées National Park has the amazing mountainous scenery of eastern Pyrenees while Haut-Languedoc Regional Nature Park is home to diverse flora and fauna and changing scenery.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most often picked rental cars in France are the Renault Twingo, the Volkswagen Polo and the Ford Fiesta. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact and mini.
- Perpignan and the Mediterranean Coast. Less visited than Provence but just as interesting, the eastern portion of France’s Mediterranean Coast is a relaxing destination of fishing villages and beaches that you can explore for days.
- Basque Country. The historical region of Basque country, both on the French side of the border as well as Spain, is a fascinating destination not only because of its proud yet hospitable population, but also in terms of culture, architecture, and cuisine.
- Catalonia. Sharing close ties with Toulouse and the rest of Occitanie, this region of Spain offers everything from beautiful countryside and great wine culture to stunning Barcelona.
How can I save money on my rental car?
There are many things you can do to get a good car rental deal in Toulouse:
- 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 Toulouse is the cheapest in October when renting a car is about 60% cheaper than the yearly average and 67% cheaper than renting a car in July.
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