If this article would be only one line long, it would look like this.

** DON’T TAKE A CAB. PERIOD. **

Of course, it’s more complex. So this is just the opening of a series about how to move around on the Riviera.

I’ve also been to a situation when I had to take a taxi, but I try to avoid it. You should too. If you come from a place where you can get a cab for a reasonable price, you’d be horrified here.

Once I had to go from Nice airport to Antibes, which is about 20 kilometers and it took maybe 15 minutes (at that hour) and I ended up paying 70 Euros. And the driver made himself appear the good guy as he didn’t charge me some extra for my carry-on baggage - not that he helped putting it to the trunk… And yes, he charged me for the checked-in suitcase.

Since then I got more skilled. I could have stayed in a hotel next to the airport for about 30 Euros and next day take a bus for 1.5 Euros. Or even for a Euro if I bought a pass of 10 tickets. Or took a train which is much faster and I would have paid 5 Euros.

In the first part of this series, I’m going to share with you some information about car rentals.

Car rental

If you want to leave the coastal line most probably you will need a car as there are not a lot of trains going to the arriere pays and the buses might be slow if there are any.

There used to be more trains, but some bridges were destoryed by the French so the occupying Nazi regime couldn’t take advantage of them. They were never rebuilt. Some other lines were closed in the post WW2 era because they were not economic and efficient enough and they preferred buses.

So if you want to rent a car, your obvious choice could be hiring something right at the airport from a well-known company. It would be comfortable and it would also be expensive.

I would advise you to use some smaller local companies. Possibly choose one from the city which will be your base during your stay.

How to find such companies? Search for _“louer voiture pas cher "_.

You can also try the AirBnb of car rentals, Drivy. Probably it’s useful or at least you have a wider list of choices if you learn a bit of French for that, but I’m sure you find English speaking owners.

Extra frugal advice: Have you ever driven a minivan? Maybe it’s the right time to do it. You can get some minivans cheaper than a normal car. Why is that? Because someone who is hiring a minivan is - usually - not a tourist. Are you up for the challenge?

It also matters where you make your full before returning your car. Don’t do it in the very proximity of the agency. It’ll be too expensive. Use a cheaper gas station. Next to supermarkets or hypermarkets it’s quite likely you’ll find one. Or here is a page to check for the lowest prices.

Conclusion

In this post, you got some pieces of advice on how to rent a car on the Riviera. We also saw that even car renting has its own “AirBnb”.

In the coming articles of this series, you will get information about:

  • Parking
  • Bus
  • Rail

Stay tuned!