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Car Hire at La Rochelle Airport - Information

The airport is found along the western coastline of France, and just 2.5km from the city of La Rochelle. It is a small French airport, handling approximately 200,000 passengers per annum, but is nonetheless considered to be an important gateway to the Charente-Maritime department of the country. The two main areas it serves is La Rochelle and the island of Ile de Ré, which is just to the west of the airport, and connected to the mainland by a bridge. The La Rochelle car hire companies are ready to serve all arriving passengers in need of a rented car, and those available are amongst the best in the world. They offer competitive prices, and even special quotes for customers with airline tickets.

The airport consists of a single terminal building, which is fairly well equipped with facilities, and it has areas for arrivals and departures. The airline companies offering flights to the airport include Air France, Airlinair, EasyJet,, Ryanair and Flybe. Once passengers have collected their baggage, they can proceed to the car hire company of their choice in order to arrange their vehicle, or to collect their reserved car. The companies available at the airport are National, Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Alamo, Easycar and Auto Europa, and these are all internationally recognised businesses with many years of experience in the car rental industry. They all offer an exceptional variety of cars for hire, and a range of basic or all-inclusive rates. Further options may also be available, such as one way hires, which enables the customer to return their vehicle to a different rental location. One way hires may be more expensive, but could be free of charge if the vehicle is returned to a location within the country of France. It is best to confirm all details with your chosen car rental company.

In general, the rented cars are collected from the airport’s car parking area, and returned to the same location, with either a full or empty tank of fuel, depending on the fuel options chosen by the customer, and the length of the rental. For rentals of four days or longer, the purchase of a full tank is usually required, while for shorter rentals, customers may simply return the vehicle as it was collected. If you have purchased fuel, try to return the vehicle as empty as possible, as no refunds will be given for unused petrol or diesel. Before leaving La Rochelle, ensure that your car has been thoroughly checked for existing damages and scratches, and that you have the emergency numbers to contact in case of an accident or breakdown. Most of the La Rochelle Airport car rental companies hire their vehicles with free breakdown assistance and unlimited mileage.

Even though La Rochelle is not a very busy airport location, passengers are recommended to hire their vehicles as early as possible, in order to secure the best rental rates and peace of mind in knowing their ideal car is ready and waiting for their arrival. Advanced reservations can most easily be achieved online, from various sources. Often, an online booking discount is included in the price. For your rented car, don’t forget to reserve additional items of equipment needed on your journey, such as a satellite navigation system or child seat. There may also be luggage racks available, and hand controls for disabled drivers can be used by those with a lower limb disability. Hand controls are free of charge, but all other items will cost a few extra Euro per day of hire.

The car hire companies will expect their primary renters and all the additional drivers listed on the rental contract to be at least 21 years of age. They must also be present in person to collect the vehicle, and be able to show a valid drivers license which has been held in their country of residence for a minimum period of one year prior to the rental date. Most local licenses are accepted, provided that they are printed in English, however, sometimes an International Driving Permit is required. Drivers younger than the age of 25 will pay higher rental rates, for young driver insurance, and may also not be permitted to hire from certain vehicle categories. Other documents required when hiring a vehicle may include a return airline ticket, an Identity document other than a driving license and a major credit card, such as American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard, Mastercard or Visa, for payment of the rental period.

The La Rochelle Airport car hire companies all have a wide range of vehicles for hire, and most are arranged into various categories, such as Mini, Economy, Compact, Intermediate, Standard, Premium, Luxury and Van. The smaller and more affordable vehicles are similar to the Renault Twingo, Opel Corsa, Citroen C3 and Peugeot 308, and they are manually driven vehicles with a couple of nice features, such as air conditioning, airbag protection and power steering. They are ideal for between four and five passengers. Families, however, often rent something a little larger, such as the Citroen C5, Renault Laguna or VW Passat. There are also vans which seat between seven and nine passengers, and they are ideal for groups of travellers, or for anyone who simply prefers more room in their vehicle. Examples include the Citroen Grand Picasso C4, Ford Galaxy, Opel Zafira, Renault Espace and Renault Traffic Combi.

Although the city of La Rochelle is quite small, and often travelled on bicycle, a rented car is best for exploring the surrounding countryside, and for travelling to the nearby towns and cities. Important cities nearby include Niort (58km), Nantes (113km), Poitiers (123km) and Angers (151km). Further south is also Bordeaux, another wonderful place to visit, and to the west is Limoges. Vehicles can also easily be driven onto the island of Ile de Ré, as there is a bridge just to the west of the airport, crossed by the D735 highway.

Contact your favourite La Rochelle car rental company for all further details.

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