Paris - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

Something small. I would recommended a vehicle if you plan to travel around France. - May 2022

Nothing large and gas is expensive. - Sep 2021

I did not bring a car and do not regret it. Renting is easy and affordable when needed. - Jul 2020

I brought a medium sized SUV but did not use it often. It was nice, however, for occasional trips outside Paris. The Embassy was very helpful and found (and paid for) underground parking near my housing after a bit of trouble finding a spot large enough for the vehicle. - Jan 2018

We have a small Volkswagen Tiguan and it is big to drive and park in Paris but nice to have when travelling. We only use our car for trips to the airport and to travel. Driving in Paris isn't necessary and can be a huge hassle. - Aug 2015

Nothing too big, though people do bring SUVs. The parking spaces are tiny. You'll only need it for going on shopping or vacation trips out of the city. - Feb 2015

I have been doing fine without one. Just rent one for trips outside city. I wouldn't recommend bringing a large vehicle, as parking spots are small. Also, everyone's cars get banged up because the French use touch to gauge distance. - Jun 2013

Smaller is better. - Jan 2011

Bring a small car that you are not afraid to dent and scrape. Parisians park by touch here, and you will squeeze into parking spaces you never thought possible. - Sep 2010

We brought a small city car that's sold in the U.S. and Europe. It was suitable, but even better would have been not bringing a car. Traffic in Paris is bad enough that even leaving town for the weekend, the train is more relaxing. And the TGVs sure travel faster than the car! - Apr 2009

Don't bring a car to Paris -- streets are narrow and parking is scarce and expensive. Better to rent a car when you need to get out of town (and even then, only if you're going deep into the countryside, as the train network connects most major cities and towns). - Dec 2008

It can be difficult getting parts for your American car here as dealers may not carry the parts for American models. The parts can be ordered, but it can take 2-3 months sometimes for the parts to arrive. Singles can survive without a car here. You can rent one if you drive deep into the country side where the train does not go. Families have a bigger need for a car. I would suggest checking with the local dealer here to see if they carry parts for your American car or buying a car here locally so you will have an easier time getting it fixed. Some folks have found cars through French Ebay or Craigslist. If you are a woman and don't speak french you wil have a hard time getting your car fixed. The French generall drive smaller cars in the city, but you can drive large or small cars in Paris. You will have a hard time parking a large American car in the city. - Jun 2008


Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More